First Presbyterian Church  |  701 Florida Avenue  |  Bristol, TN 37620  |  423-764-7176  |

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Christian Conflict
Spurgeon Hope Ministry Offers Relief during Pandemic
Five Cents a Meal Offering Aug. 16
Parents, Tell Us What You Want
We'll Train Worship Techs
Our Advent Devotional Needs You!
Let's Encourage Our Confirmands
Face Masks: Oops! Or Not!
Fellowship at Doe River Gorge Next Sunday
We're Ready to Help
Back to the Office Safely
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Study the Bible Online
Pray for the World
Mowers Two by Two
Gifts to the Church
Organist's Footnotes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
August 9
10th Sunday after Pentecost
Genesis 37:1-11
1 Peter 5:8-11
The Problem with Dreams
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday's Attendance
In person: 9:00: 35; 11:00: 27
Livestream: 77
Playbacks: 141
Click here to livestream our contemporary service. You can also access past sermons and ministry videos on our YouTube account, "FPC Bristol."
Deadline & Subscriptions
Deadline for contributions is the Monday of the week of publication. To subscribe to our free e-newsletter, send an email with your name and preferred email address to


on First Presbyterian Church

August 6, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Christian Conflict
"If your brother sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that brother. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."
Matthew 18:15-18
This week I was blessed, but not in a typical way. I was blessed because one of my siblings in Christ told me that they had taken issue with something I had said.
I was blessed because this person took the time to address the conflict with me and, in Christian love, see if we might work out the issues at hand. I was blessed because this person loved me enough to use the formula outlined by Jesus himself in Matthew 18. I was blessed because my hope is that we left that conversation stronger and more united in Christ's love. At a minimum, we each had the opportunity to understand one another better.
Let's be candid for a moment: human beings, spouses, institutions, and, yes, churches typically don't do a great job of handling and navigating conflict. I grew up as the son of a leader within the church, and I have been in ordained ministry for thirteen years. I've rarely seen instances of conflict handled well. In almost every case, what was missing was the willingness of the parties to talk honestly and openly with those they disagree with or those who have hurt them, and doing so because they wanted to reconcile.
Instead, people tend to bottle it up until resentment makes reconciliation nearly impossible, or they take their grievance into the dark where it becomes poison, or they just take their marbles and go home. In many cases, from failed marriages to hurt congregations, once we arrive there, it is too late.
Yet the real failing in these cases is that we ignore Jesus' crystal clear teaching: if another offends, talk with them directly. If they ignore you, then involve others within the body to talk together. If this doesn't resolve the issue, talk to the leadership of the church. If this doesn't fix things, then reconciliation is not possible (at least, as far as we can see).
Do you see the brilliance in this approach? It is this: when we talk directly in love, we open up the window of opportunity for the Spirit to work and change hearts and minds. Is that not the Gospel message? Jesus comes to us and tells us, "Repent!" (Mark 1:15). This isn't a finger-in-your-face, hellfire-yell to repent. No. It is Jesus, motivated by the love of the Father and in the power of the Spirit, confronting us and calling us to turn and go another way. It is the voice of the Son who wants to create peace between us and the Father that confronts us and speaks to our hearts.
In closing, this is a very valuable lesson. Times have been tough over the past several months, given the virus and the strain social distancing is taking on us. Cooped up at home with frustrated spouses, maybe we've said or done things we wish we could take back. Unable to go back to life as we once knew it, we've grown angry because others aren't where we are in regard to the relative speed or caution we might take. I understand; we're only human.
Yet, being human, we can look to Jesus Christ, the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2), and we can heed his instruction. In love, Christians handle conflict openly, seeking the work of grace to invade every aspect of our existence, even the places we've fallen short.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Spurgeon Hope Ministry Offers Relief during Pandemic
We ask that you continue to pray for our brothers and sisters in Kaduna State, Nigeria; Pastor Nehemiah Kim Maji and his family; the Spurgeon Hope Ministry; and all affected by the ongoing persecution of our Christian brothers and sisters there as they also suffer the economic effects of the pandemic. We were so delighted to receive a great deal of reporting about ongoing efforts there through the Spurgeon Hope Ministry, and we give thanks to God that we were able to share our resources with them to bring aid to those who are suffering. Here are a few pictures from a relief event they put on, funded by donations from First Presbyterian of Bristol and the Missionary Emergency Fund. Pray, pray, pray for our brothers and sisters there. If you are led, also consider giving to their ongoing relief efforts. You can do so by giving to the church and specifying "Spurgeon Hope Ministry" in your gift. /Pastor Sam

Five Cents a Meal Offering Aug. 16
We will collect our quarterly Five Cents a Meal offering next Sunday, August 16, at both services and online. You can give this offering remotely here. (Click on the arrow on the Fund line, then scroll down and click on Five Cents a Meal.) The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, or about a nickel for each meal in a three-month period. Feel free to round up! The monies we collect for hunger relief next Sunday will go to Bristol Emergency Food Pantry and Holston Presbytery Hunger Ministries. Please be generous in these difficult times!
Parents, Tell Us What You Want
Parents of children and students! We need your feedback as we try to plan the next couple of months. Please take a moment to fill out the survey you will find here by Monday, August 10. We greatly appreciate your help as we navigate the best way to minister to your families in this season! /Katie Arnold
We'll Train Worship Techs
This season has required us to get a little more techy, which has given us more opportunities to serve during our worship services! If you are interested in serving with our audiovisual team, we would love to hear from you! No experience necessary. Want to learn how to control the cameras, control the sound, or run the videos and graphics? The AV team will train you for the role. Contact the church office! /Katie Arnold
Our Advent Devotional Needs You!
We are asking FPC members to contribute a short devotional (300 words) to our 2020 Advent Devotional. We would love to have your reflections to help us all prepare in that season for the coming of our Lord. Please email Han Ong at or Candy Phelps at as soon as possible to tell us you will help, or to ask for more information.
Let's Encourage Our Confirmands
In the hope of holding Confirmation Sunday on August 23, we are collecting letters from the congregation encouraging our confirmands in their spiritual journey. On Confirmation Sunday, these students will proclaim their faith to our church family and become members of First Presbyterian Church. If you know some of our confirmands, please consider writing them a letter of support.
Cards and letters of spiritual encouragement might include a story or memory, something about your own faith, how knowing this student has affected your life, or words of love and truth that will spur them on in their faith. The kind words you share will encourage them now as they prepare to be confirmed and stay with them for years as a reminder of the great cloud of witnesses that surrounds them and continues to love, guide, and encourage them as they run the race (Hebrews 12:1-2).
If you would like to participate, please email your messages to or mail or deliver your cards or letters by August 21 to:
First Presbyterian Church
Attn.: Katie Arnold
701 Florida Avenue
Bristol, TN 37620
Thank you for joining us as we celebrate this important and exciting time in the lives of our students! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. /Katie Arnold
2020 FPC Confirmation Class
Alex Akard
Micah Bechtold
Isabel Gross
Campbell Kent
Noah Ong
James Phipps
Joan Weddington
Face Masks: Oops! Or Not!
Many are the plans in a person's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails.
Proverbs 19:21
According to this verse, there are no "oops." The Lord's hand is always at work, even in these crazy times. Case in point: At the 2020 women's retreat, the steering team had planned a beautiful quilting activity that went along with the theme of the event. As a part of the steering team, Katie McInnis had purchased tons of fabric, all as diverse as the retreat participants. The quilt didn't happen for a variety of reasons, but we now know that God had other plans for that material.
Shortly after the retreat, COVID-19 became a reality in our area. Fabric masks were requested by organizations near and far. Within a few weeks, FPC's face mask team began running low on personally donated fabric. Fabric stores closed. Walmart's fabric was in short supply. We prayed. That's when Katie called and offered the fabric. By God's provision, the canceled retreat activity became a blessing that supplied our church members and others in the community with much-needed face masks.
Katie writes: "I feel like it's from all us women. We made a "quilt" of love together ... it just came out in pieces that were spread all around our community. Some of us donated the fabric, some donated the ability and time to make them, some donated the delivery of them, and all have been blessed by them, including us ... a piece of what we have ALL been able to give together."
Thanks, FPC, for these face masks, small symbols of Jesus' love that have been made possible by your generosity that has blessed us and many others in our community.
Come join this ongoing team! We welcome you to:
  • Donate 100% cotton sheets (any color or pattern)
  • Wash and iron donated sheets and other fabric
  • Cut cotton sheets and other cotton fabric into rectangles 9" x 7" (adult masks); 7" x 5" (children's masks); or 2" x 4" or 3" x 5" (casings)
  • Sew the masks together (instructions and materials supplied)
If you can help with any of these steps, please contact the church office (423-764-7176) or Peggy Hill (423-956-0209 or If you need a mask, please call the church office.
We will share another story of God's blessing next week!
Fellowship at Doe River Gorge Next Sunday
We hope to have our whole church family together for a glorious day of celebration at Doe River Gorge in Hampton, TN, on Sunday, August 16, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. We will enjoy the lake and outdoor lounging until we gather at 4:00 for a lakeside baptismal service. (Please bring your own chairs, blankets, and games.) After the baptism, we will move to the pavilion for dinner together. You may pack a picnic dinner, or pre-purchase a dinner voucher from Doe River Gorge here. The cost of the meal is $9 for persons 8 years of age and over, and $5 for those 7 and under. Please register for the event here.
We're Ready to Help
You are not alone! If you have a need, please call the church and let us know! We want to be a blessing to you and make sure that you have what you need. Our response teams are prepared to deliver essential supplies and make general wellness calls. We also have medical personnel on call. If you see a need, please let us know. If you want to help us in the work, just email Dave Welch or Pastor Sam.
Back to the Office Safely
FPC Picture
As part of our plan to get church functions back to normal, staff are returning to work in the church building on a limited basis. When you need to contact a member of staff, please do so by phone, email, or mail, if you can. We want to limit contact with others for everyone's safety. A later phase of our plan allows for more regular contact within the building, so please stay tuned for future announcements.
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
During the COVID-19 crisis, we encourage you to give by way of our website or by text or mail. We must hold together, and your continued, faithful giving ensures that we will have the resources to continue our ministries. You can give online by going to our website and clicking on "Give" in the upper right corner. You can send your pledge, offering, or special gift by texting (all one word) fpcbristol to 73256. You can also mail your checks directly to the church. Our address is 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620. Thank you, as always, for your generosity.
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the livestream of our early worship service and other activities. Go to and type in "FPC Bristol." Click on the link and hit "subscribe." You will receive notifications of new videos. We also suggest that you connect to our various Facebook sites. Go to Facebook and type in "FPC Bristol," and several accounts will show up. Some are open to the public, while others are restricted. In either case, "like" the page, or ask to join a group if it is closed.
Study the Bible Online
We are continuing to offer two adult studies on our YouTube channel. The Sunday Bible study, Praying With the Psalms, looks at the Book of Psalms through the lens of prayer. All you need is a Bible and an open heart. We also post a short study every Wednesday. If you subscribe, you will be notified when new studies become available.
Pray for the World
As we weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking you to spend more time in prayer for our church, our community, our nation, and the world. Pray for our leaders, first responders, frontline workers, and the vulnerable. We also ask that you pray for a swift end to this disease.
Mowers Two by Two
The days are a bit shorter, the weather is much wetter, the temperatures are sliding up and down the scale. Ron Fox (August 5-8) faces the challenge of the clouds ripping their masks off and showering him with droplets, if he doesn't time his mowing of the church lawn just right. Only NOAA knows how the arc will bend for Larry Connolly (August 12-15) when his turn comes round next week. Maybe while we're waiting for the rainbow, it would be a good idea to think about building the other kind of ark.
Gifts to the Church
Memorials and honoraria are published in the newsletter only after the family has been personally notified by our business office. Today we gratefully acknowledge gifts in memory of:
Logan "Joe" Brown: to the Music Ministries Fund from Carl & Reveley Gray McGrady
Dianne Glymph (mother of Mary Ellis Rice): to the Music Ministries Fund from Ernie & Karen Pennington
Virginia Long (mother of Lilly Osborne): to the Children's Ministries Fund from Barb Thompson
Virginia Rutherford: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Chuck & Suzee Bolick, from Linda Darnell, from Diane Harrison, from William Latham
Laura Ann Warner: to the Memorial Fund from Frances Rowell; to the Music Ministries Fund from Dotty Royston, from Barb Thompson
Bill Whitesides (brother of Dave): for technology and music for 9:00 service from Dave & Dottie Whitesides
Organist's Footnotes
Christ on the Via Dolorosa
The very first composition I ever put down on paper, at age 10, was a rather haunting dirge. That early piece, heard exactly as I wrote it, is the theme for "Christ" (Sunday's prelude), the last in a set of 12 pieces from The Apostles: Twelve Sketches for Organ. Each piece is a musical reflection on one of twelve lithographs by the Spanish Surrealist artist Salvador Dali (1904-1989). I composed the work in 2008 for an FPC Arts Series program called Artistic Reflections, for which local composers had been invited to compose pieces inspired by works of art housed at King College. Images of each piece of art were projected on a screen during the performances, and at the reception afterwards the audience could see the original artwork on display. It is interesting that Dali chose to include Christ as an apostle. Dali's lithograph shows Christ carrying his cross to his crucifixion.
Creatureliness: Salvador Dali with pet ocelot
The genesis for "Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow" goes back to the summer I codirected a Junior High Music Camp at Camp Whitman, a Christian summer camp on the shore of Seneca Lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes Region of Western New York. The weeklong camp culminated in the children leading worship on Sunday morning at a local church. I wrote a couple of pieces of music for them, one of which was a contemporary setting of the Doxology. The children sang each phrase, with the congregation repeating after them. Years later I wrote "Chorale Prelude on Praise God from Whom All Blessings Flow." It reflects on something my sister did in church when we were kids. We were singing the traditional Doxology. When we came to the line, "Praise Him, all creatures here below," she made antlers with her fingers on her head! With that image in mind, I tried to bring out all the creatureliness I could.
I recently composed "Trumpet Tune in D Major" for my musical friends David and Laura Champouillon, of Johnson City. I intentionally wrote it in the style of David N. Johnson (famous for his trumpet tunes), hence the subtitle "hommage à David N. Johnson."
You can watch the video of last Sunday's 11:00 worship service here.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Regina Ambagis
Sue Barr
Bassett family
Joe Bell
Booher family
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bud Branscomb
Bristol Tennessee School System
Jane Brooks
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Community, nation & world
Thomas Covington
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
DeeDee Galliher
Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Martha & John Graham
Gene Grindstaff
Ron Grubbs
Conor Haaser & squadron
Marjorie Harr
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela & newborn Higgins
John Holler
Lisa Holmes
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Richard Lee
Nancy Lilly
Dot Mattison
Katie McDonald
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Mott Mitchell
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
Doug Nelson's family
Martha North
Maria Poteat
Caleb Revill
Mary Ellis & Paul Rice family
Harold Rutherford & family
Brittany Salter
Susan Solomon
Joe Strickland's family
Bill Wade
Maria Wagner
Karen White
Dave Whitesides
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Aug. 9       Sydney Peltier, Brittany Starnes
Aug. 10     Loretta Thomas
Aug. 11     Juliana Linke
Aug. 12     Mary Bailey, Madison Ratliff, Penn Story, Rebecca Tate
Aug. 13     Katy Stigers
Aug. 14     Nora McCracken, Pete Stigers
Church Calendar
Sunday, August 9
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestream
                         Online Sunday School (following 9:00 service)
10:10 a.m.     Adult Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, August 10
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., Fellowship Hall
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., Fellowship Hall
Tuesday, August 11
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Venture Crew 3, Room 165
7:00 p.m.       Scouts Court of Honor, Outside
Thursday, August 13
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Fellowship Hall
8:30 a.m.       Meals on Wheels, Big Kitchen
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
6:30 p.m.       MEF Advisory Comm., TBD
Saturday, August 15
1:00 p.m.       Allerton Drive-Thru Baby Shower, Chapel Parking Lot
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Class of 2022
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Anna L. Booher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Bruce Gannaway
David Hyde
John Graham
Will Hankins
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Dottie Havlik
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Laura Ong
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
Mike Cleland
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Geneva King
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
George Linke
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Charlie Taylor
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth
Nancy Cook