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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Elizabeth Patrick Preaches Sunday
Joy Gift Offering Sunday
Children's Christmas Play Sunday
Adults: Take Advantage of Sunday Morning Classes
Our 2019 Holiday Schedule
Students Put the Ginger in Gingerbread
We Need You at Journey's End
We're Going Caroling Wednesday
Student Ministries Alumni Christmas Party Dec. 23
Cookies for the Elves
Why Are We Warming Our Christmas Trees?
Get in the Spirit with Bristol Faith in Action
Students Scavenge for Operation Christmas Child
Register for Passion 2020
History of Our Chapel Windows
Gifts to the Church
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
December 15
3rd Sunday of Advent
Psalm 25:4-7
John 1:1-18
The Presents Jesus Brings
Elizabeth Patrick
Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 153; 11:00: 122
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

December 12, 2019
Elizabeth Patrick Preaches Sunday

We welcome the Reverend Elizabeth Patrick to the pulpit at both services this Sunday. Elizabeth is an ordained pastor of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and a graduate of Erskine College, Duke Law School, and Princeton Seminary. She served as solo pastor of Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church in Sandy Springs, South Carolina, before moving to Bristol in 2008 to marry Dr. Bill Linderman, Professor of Mathematics at King University. Since then, she has served as pulpit supply at a number of churches in the Tri-Cities and beyond. Elizabeth is active in our congregation but says she spends most of her time building Lego creations and otherwise caring for her sons, Henry and Ben.
Joy Gift Offering Sunday

We will collect our annual Joy Gift offering at both services this Sunday. The Joy Gift goes to providing assistance to current and retired church workers in time of need, and to Presbyterian-related schools and colleges developing future leaders for communities of color. Please be generous.
Children's Christmas Play Sunday

Please join us this Sunday for the theatrical event of the season! The children will present their Christmas play, The Innkeeper, in the sanctuary at 5:30 p.m. The joy of Christ's birth shines in this Nativity story told from the perspective of a beleaguered Bethlehem innkeeper. It's warm, funny, and above all wonderfully human! Don't miss it!
Adults: Take Advantage of Sunday Morning Classes

Adults of FPC! You are invited to study the Bible with other adults from 10:10 to 10:40 on Sunday mornings. Here are the learning opportunities:
  1. The Gospel of John, with Matt Richardson, in room 123
  2. A Look at the Gospels, with Chase and Audrey Arndt, in room 125
  3. Bible Study with the A.C. Adams Class, with Nancy Allerton, in room 124
  4. Sermon Bible verses, with Sam Weddington and Dave Welch, in room 167 (Boy Scout Wing)
Our 2019 Holiday Schedule
Fri., Dec. 13
7:30 p.m.
King Choir Christmas Concert
Sun., Dec. 15
5:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Joy Gift Offering
Christmas Play
Student Gingerbread Event
Fellowship Hall
Tue., Dec. 17
6:00 p.m.
Journey's End
Wed., Dec. 18
4:00 p.m.
Meet in Fellowship Hall
Sun., Dec. 22
11:00 a.m.
7:00 p.m.
Christmas Cantata
Night of Worship
Fellowship Hall
Mon., Dec. 23
7:00 p.m.
Student Fellowship Alumni Christmas Dinner
Off Campus
Christmas Eve
10:00 a.m.
7:00 p.m.
Cookie Ministry
Candlelight Communion
Fellowship Hall
Christmas Day
Church offices closed
No Programs
Thurs., Dec. 26
Church offices closed
Students Put the Ginger in Gingerbread

Middle and high school students are invited to the Fellowship Hall at 7:00 p.m. this Sunday, December 15, for FPC's annual Student Gingerbread House Competition. Get your design ideas together, grab your friends, and come for fun, prizes, and sweet fellowship! For more information, contact Katie Arnold at
We Need You at Journey's End

We will be responsible for the final station in the Journey's End procession Tuesday, December 17, so we need FPC folks to show up! Our Sanctuary Choir will be there, and we'd like to swell their ranks on the occasion. If you're interested, dress warmly and come to the Paramount at 6:00 p.m. on Tuesday.
Journey's End is Bristol's interpretation of the Latino tradition of Las Posadas (The Inns) . Singing carols and accompanied by instrumentalists, participants walk with Mary and Joseph as they search from inn to inn (represented by downtown businesses) for a place to spend the night. Believe in Bristol first organized Journey's End in 1999, and FPC has participated every year except for 2016. The event will begin at the Downtown Center, 810 State Street, and last about an hour.
We're Going Caroling Wednesday

Some of us just gotta sing! We're going caroling Wednesday, December 18, and want you to come with us! We will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 4:00 p.m. and go from there to several nursing homes with joy in the songs of the season. Those who can continue the fellowship will share a meal at Chick-fil-A afterwards. If you work late and can't make it by 4:00, you can join us at one of our stops. Just text Lilly Osborne at 423-383-5476 to see where we are.
Student Ministries Alumni Christmas Party Dec. 23

All Student Ministries alumni are invited to a Christmas party reunion on Monday, December 23, at 7:00 p.m. The gathering will be held at Katie Arnold's house, 716 Spruce Street. Everyone is encouraged to bring a $10 gift for the gift exchange. We hope to see all the alumni there, and spend an evening catching up and having fun together!
Cookies for the Elves

Those of us who understand the importance of Christmas cookies will meet in the Fellowship Hall at 10:00 a.m. on Christmas Eve bearing a batch or two of our homemade cookies. We will put all our cookies on the table and box up varieties of them. Then it will be time to spread Christmas cheer! Each person or family participating can take boxes to locations where people must work on Christmas, such as fire stations, the police station, and medical facilities. Hands off, Santa! These cookies are for the elves!
Why Are We Warming Our Christmas Trees?

Our mission in December is to help our neighbors stay warm. We invite each member of our church family to deck the Christmas trees in the sanctuary and Fellowship Hall with gifts of warmth: gloves, hats, and scarves. Bring your gifts to the church when you come to worship in December, and place them on the branches or the tree skirts. At the end of the month, we will box up all the items we've collected and, through Bristol Faith in Action and Fairmount Elementary School, share them with our neighbors who could use some warmth.
Get in the Spirit with Bristol Faith in Action

Need some help getting into the Christmas spirit? Try volunteering with the local interdenominational organization that helps the poor in our community. Bristol Faith in Action is looking for people to fill several key volunteer positions, as well as for someone to write occasional thank-you cards and other pieces. The agency also needs to restock its food pantry, whose shelves were emptied Thanksgiving week. Anything will be appreciated!
BFIA's mission is to meet the needs of local people in financial crisis. FPC believes that you will find their example of loving our neighbors fulfilling and meaningful. BFIA cannot operate without the dedication and loving spirit of volunteers, so please step up if you can.
Becoming a volunteer is simple: you complete an application form and sign confidentiality and code of conduct agreements. BFIA likes for potential volunteers to spend a day observing the position they are interested in. They can then sign up to fill available time slots on the days that are best for their own schedules. Many people choose to volunteer on the same day every week or every other week.
Shifts are from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, although the data entry position is more flexible. The agency urgently needs a receptionist on Tuesdays and occasional Fridays.
The work flows through these open positions:
Receptionist: Answer the phones, screen calls for the director, take messages, keep a call log and pass it on to the appointment setter. Use the electronic database for a number of tasks. Hand out short forms for commodities and ensure that they have been completely filled out. Work with clients coming in for commodities. File.
Appointment Setter: Call clients that have left messages requesting appointments. Check database for client eligibility and follow the checklist on the appointment sheet that goes in a client's file after an appointment is scheduled. Inform clients asking for rental assistance of the new rental assistance policy.
Interviewer: Conduct face-to-face interviews with clients seeking financial assistance. Complete a long form that includes the demographics of everyone in the household, financial need, income and expenses, and review of income proof. After the interview of client need is completed, copy all required documents. Meet with the director to review findings and get a voucher for the client to sign and take to the payee.
Data Entry Clerk: Enter all client data, visit information, and result of visit. Add payees as needed. Paperwork only; no client interaction.
For more information, visit the agency's website at or contact DeVonne Phipps, Executive Director, at 276-466-8292. BFIA is located at 1534 Euclid Avenue in Bristol, VA.
Students Scavenge for Operation Christmas Child

Student Ministries went all out on an Operation Christmas Child adventure last month. Teams were sent out on a scavenger hunt to find items to fill shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse. More than 50 students accepted the challenge. They brought their own money and worked together thoughtfully to choose items for their team's shoebox. When the teams returned to the church, they packed the boxes, made cards, and prayed over the boxes. It was a beautiful night of fun and service!
Operation Christmas Child is a project of Samaritan's Purse, an international relief organization. Its mission is to provide local partners around the world with shoeboxes filled with small toys, hygiene items, and school supplies, as a means of reaching out to children in their own communities with the Good News of Jesus Christ. The organization ships these simple gifts outside the United States to children affected by war, poverty, natural disaster, famine, and disease; and inside the US to children living on Native American reservations.

Register for Passion 2020

Start the new year right with FPC Bristol at Passion 2020! We'll join thousands of 18 -to-25-year-olds at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta from December 31 through January 2. Passion is filled with incredible worship, dynamic speakers, and sweet time with your church family. The cost is $200 with a $50 deposit. Register here. For more information, contact Katie Arnold at
History of Our Chapel Windows

Here we present another look at the tangible history of our church, courtesy of Beth Flannagan and Bill Wade.
In 1883, 320 founding members organized First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Shelby and Fifth streets in downtown Bristol. The building was dedicated in 1885. In 1913, a new Sunday School building was constructed to accommodate the growing number of attendees. Notes indicate that the first order for the stained glass windows in the original sanctuary was for Bohemian glass from Czechoslovakia. In 1928, a second order was placed with Binswanger Glass Company of Richmond, Virginia.
By 1956 the downtown church was cramped and needed renovation. After months of study and reports, the congregation decided to build a new church on 10 acres of property purchased from and adjacent to King College. Through a capital campaign, they raised more than $700,000 to fund the project, and groundbreaking took place July 22, 1962. The stained glass windows in the downtown church sanctuary were moved to the chapel in the new building on Florida Avenue in 1963.
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:
Don Preston: to the Memorial Fund from Otey & Mary Dudley
Barbara Thomas: to the Memorial Fund from Gene & Kathy Kistner
Music Notes
J.S. Bach
Sunday's music: Our anthem is from the celebrated cantata Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme ("Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying") by Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750). Bach is regarded as the most influential composer of Christendom and perhaps of all music history. During his time, he was seen as old-fashioned, and he had to work very hard to gain stable employment. He was primarily a church composer, and much of his music is appropriate for use in liturgical settings. Our anthem combines two movements of Wachet auf arranged for use in a church or concert setting where the entire cantata would be too long. Today we are joined by Brandon Story on bass and Joshua King on violin.
Wayne L. Wold
Organist's footnotes: On Sunday we will hear the choir sing Bach's time-honored Wachet auf. At the risk of having too much of a good thing, I have decided to use that musical theme for the day's organ music. The prelude, offertory, and postlude are individual movements from the same work, arranged by Wayne L. Wold (b. 1954). Wold is Professor and Chair of the Music Department, Concert Manager, and College Organist at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland. He is also Director of Music Ministry at First Lutheran Church of Ellicott City, Maryland.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Sujean Bradley
Blair Brook's family
Meggie Brooks
Becky Busler
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Helen Davidson
Dorothy Dollar
Sarah Ellis
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Bobby Fleu
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Mary Geiger's family
Diane Glymph
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Lou Hebb
Marty Keys & family
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Music Ministries of FPC
Donald Page
Larry Roberts (Greg's brother)
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
Katlin Smith
Al Thomas
Phil Tupa
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Nancy Whitesides
Vicky Wood
Bill Woods
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Dec. 15       Jim Arnold, Lou Hebb, Laynie Richardson
Dec. 16       Hugh Testerman
Dec. 17       Harrison Gilley, Rosa Poteat
Dec. 18       Jane Daniel, Julie King
Dec. 19       Brady Arnold, Blaine Hunigan, Greg Jordan, Lynn Richards
Dec. 20       Reese Peltier
Dec. 21       Emma Arnold, Jack Butterworth, Jo Ann Hatcher, Dottie Havlik
Church Calendar
Sunday, December 15
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
10:15 a.m.     Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
4:00 p.m.       Evangelism & Outreach Comm., Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Student Gingerbread Event, Fellowship Hall
5:30 p.m.       Christmas Play, Sanctuary
Monday, December 16
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Room 123
Tuesday, December 17
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conf. Room
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, December 18
9:30 a.m.       Women's Wednesday Bible Study, Room 117
4:00 p.m.       Christmas Caroling, Fellowship Hall
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Choir, Room 212
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 220
Thursday, December 19
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
Friday, December 20
7:00 p.m.       Scout Roundtable, Room 165
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Pete Holler
David Hyde
John Graham
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Greg Roberts
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
Nate Sproles
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Bill Whisnant
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth