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

In This Issue
About Windows
More FPC Holiday Worship and Events
In the Pulpit Sunday
What Are We Waiting For?
Frances Rowell Shares Her Gratitude
Night of Christmas Worship Next Thursday
Caroling, Coloring, and Chick-fil-A
Christmas Eve Cookie Delivery
Save the Date: Feb. 23-25
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Officers
Church Calendar
December 17
3rd Sunday of Advent
Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11
John 1:6-8, 19-28
Witnessing to the Light
Dr. Brian Alderman
Bluegrass Carols (8:30)
O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Oh, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem
O Come All Ye Faithful
Oh, Holy Night
Children Go
Angels We Have Heard on High
Hymns (11:00)
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Come Now, O Prince of Peace
In the Bleak Midwinter
Anthem (11:00)
There Is No Rose
Last Sunday's Attendance
8:30: 91; 11:00: 144
Deadline for contributions to Windows is the Monday of the week of publication. The newsletter is emailed a minute after midnight on Thursday morning.

Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN. Please direct questions and suggestions to the editor, Kathy Acuff,


on First Presbyterian Church

December 14, 2017
More FPC Holiday Worship and Events
Breaking news: We begin the third week of Advent with Bluegrass Christmas Carols at early worship on December 17! (See the weekly "Worship" column for a list of these songs.) Please join us in the Fellowship Hall at 8:30 on Sunday morning for a service you won't soon forget!
Also this Sunday, the children of the church will present their much-anticipated Christmas Play at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. Kids: Costuming begins at 4:30! A few days later, on Wednesday, December 20, children and their adult friends will meet at the church at 3:30 p.m. to go caroling at nursing homes. At 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 21, the congregation is invited to the Fellowship Hall for a night of Christmas worship, to sing and reflect on the meaning of Christmas.
After our 10:30 a.m.
ONE Worship service in the sanctuary on Sunday, December 24, stay to help the Children's Ministries box cookies and take them to those in our community who work on Christmas Eve. In the evening, at 7:00, we will hold our Christmas Eve Candlelight and Communion service in the sanctuary and collect an offering for the Minister's Discretionary Fund.
We will hold ONE Worship in the Fellowship Hall on New Year's Eve, Sunday, December 31, at 10:30 a.m. and take up an offering for the Five Cents A Meal program.
In sum:
2017 Holiday Worship & Events Schedule
Sunday, Dec. 17
8:30 a.m.
Bluegrass Christmas
Fellowship Hall
Sunday, Dec. 17
5:30 p.m.
Christmas Play
Wed., Dec. 20
3:30 p.m.
Children Go Caroling
Thurs., Dec. 21
7:00 p.m.
Christmas Worship
Fellowship Hall
Sunday, Dec. 24
10:30 a.m.
ONE Worship
Sunday, Dec. 24
7:00 p.m.
Candlelight Communion
Sunday, Dec. 31
10:30 a.m.
ONE Worship
Fellowship Hall

In the Pulpit Sunday

Dr. Brian Alderman, an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), serves as Chaplain and Associate Professor of Philosophy and Religion at King University. A native of Galax, Virginia, Brian pastored Madisonville Presbyterian Church and served as Chaplain at Hiwassee College in Madisonville, Tennessee, before joining the faculty of King. He also taught Biblical Studies and Religion at Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee, for six years. He and his wife, Monica Cooley Alderman, have one daughter, Ella Kate.
Dave Welch Muses
What Are We Waiting For?
What I did not see from my window.
"What are you waiting for?" my father asked one night as I stood on the couch, just tall enough to see over it and out the window. I had heard, probably from my older sister, who was nine years old, that the biggest rock band of all time was coming through Boston, where we lived. They were coming to give a concert. At five years of age, I'm not sure I even knew who the Beatles were, let alone what a concert was, but I know I didn't want to miss them. This was the biggest thing I'd ever experienced. Convinced that a parade of cars would drive by my house, and in one of the cars would be the Beatles, I waited all evening, eyes glued to the window, hoping to catch a glimpse. Not wanting to discourage me, my dad said, "Let me know when they come by. I'd like to see them too, but I've got some work to do right now." I don't remember much else from that evening. I'm sure I fell asleep right where I'd been waiting. I don't even remember being sad that I never saw the Beatles drive by my house; life just went on. The only thing I remember was standing and staring out the window as it got darker and darker, until it was pitch-black outside. Hey, I was just five years old, caught up in the excitement of something HUGE!
Advent, which is Latin for arrival or coming, is an intentional season in the church calendar. As I shared this past week, Advent is actually the beginning of the New Liturgical Year for the church. The liturgical calendar is divided into seasons that historically orient the church for its witness and proclamation. Starting with Advent, the calendar moves into Christmastide, then to Lent, Easter, Pentecost, and Ordinary Time, using a three-year cycle of scripture. Each Advent begins a new year, and a new cycle of scripture, oriented around a Gospel narrative.
This year's focus is the Gospel of Mark, which, lo and behold, has none of the birth narratives that we lift up and celebrate so highly in worship. There's no Mary and Joseph moving to Bethlehem, no baby wrapped in strips of cloth, no angels proclaiming to shepherds, and no manger. There is instead a "wild man," John the Baptizer, who comes out of the wilderness telling folks they better get right with God: "Repent and be baptized!" John also lets God's people know that one more powerful than he is coming: "Watch for him!"
I am struck by a thought from Mark's Gospel this New Year, this Advent season, that while we celebrate the birth narrative, in all its pastoral beauty and imagery, Advent is really inviting us to proclaim that Christ is coming but not as a baby. We are waiting for Christ's return, as the King riding on the clouds, who will bring to an end the world as we now know and experience it. Christ is shepherding in the world that we long for from scripture and participate in through our worship; a world that is just, peace filled, where there is no war or rumors of war, where everyone has more than enough of everything, and we worship unfettered and completely. We are waiting for a New Creation, one that is here ... but not yet fully. 
Frances Rowell Shares Her Gratitude

To the saints at 1st Pres.,
 Just a note to say what your kindness has meant to me the last few months! How very much I have appreciated Scottie's Wednesday night meals and those who delivered them. The men--Jerry Poteat and David Whitesides--for cleaning my gutters, and the prayer group and the lovely prayer shawl knit for me. For the beautiful flowers, your visits, and your prayers. I hope to be back in your midst very soon.
Frances Rowell
Night of Christmas Worship Next Thursday
Take a break from the busy and enjoy a night of worship led by Annie Osborne, Aidan Moore, and Jenn Sproles. Join them in the Fellowship Hall next Thursday, December 21, at 7:00 p.m. to sing, reflect, rest, focus, listen, and be renewed through singing Christmas songs old and new. The nursery will be available. All are welcome to enjoy this beautiful evening.
Caroling, Coloring, and Chick-fil-A
The Children's Ministries will go caroling to nursing homes Wednesday, December 20, at 3:30 p.m. We are calling this event "Caroling, Coloring, and Chick-fil-A." The children will color large Advent posters that we will take with us. If you would like to join us, please call the church office at 423-764-7176 or email Lilly Osborne at
Christmas Eve Cookie Delivery

If you would like to participate in our Christmas Eve Cookie Delivery, bring a batch or two of cookies to ONE Worship on December 24. After the 10:30 a.m. service, we will box up assortments of cookies and deliver them to the firefighters, police officers, nurses, and others who work on Christmas Eve. This is a very rewarding effort, and we encourage you to participate!
Save the Date: Feb. 23-25
h2h logo - new
Mark your calendars! Our Annual Women's Retreat is set for February 23-25 in Blowing Rock. We'll share details as we confirm them. Stay tuned!
Music Notes
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, Sanctuary Choir, Adult Handbell Choir.
Sunday's music: Our anthem, "There is No Rose," is an arrangement of an ancient plainsong by Stephen Caracciolo (b. 1962), a nationally known composer and arranger whose choral works have been performed extensively throughout the United States and
Stephen Caracciolo
Europe. He serves as the Artistic Director of
LancasterChorale , Central Ohio's premier professional chamber choir. Caracciolo was awarded the prestigious Individual Artist's Fellowship in Composition from the Greater Columbus Arts Council. In 1994 he founded BelCanto Singers, a professional performing arts organization dedicated to chamber choral music in Columbus, OH. As a choral singer, Caracciolo performs as a professional bass at Washington National Cathedral, where he also serves as a composer and substitute conductor for services. He has served on the faculties of Denison University, where he coordinated choral activities; Ohio University, where he conducted the Singing Men of Ohio in a rigorous schedule of concert tours and appearances; and Roberts Wesleyan College, as Director of Choral Activities.
The text of the anthem is from a 15th-century English carol. The principal manuscript is now almost unreadable in places, so transcriptions vary. That manuscript is actually a roll (Cambridge, Trinity College O.3.58), three pieces of vellum stitched together to form a strip six feet long. It contains thirteen carols, including one celebrating Henry V's victory at Agincourt in 1415. "There is no rose" is one of the best-known medieval carols, with several interesting features: first, that some of the Latin phrases (res miranda and pari forma) come from the Sequence for Christmas, and second, that the virtue of the rose/Mary in the first line is not just "goodness, purity," but a particular kind of power, the special healing power of a plant. The Middle English Dictionary entry for vertu makes interesting reading in conjunction with this carol; the sense here blends several of the word's potential meanings, "the quickening power of a flower or root; the life-sustaining force within a plant; the vegetative power of nature," "divine power, divine might," and "moral excellence, goodness." "There is no rose of such power" would really be a better translation. Mary is often connected with the rose. The particular appeal of the metaphor in this carol is encapsulated in the verse "in this rose contained was/heaven and earth in little space"; it conjures up an image of the closely packed petals of a rosebud, which contains so much in so tiny a space, so perfectly arranged.
Organist's footnotes: John Behnke, arranger of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (prelude), is the director of the Milwaukee Handbell Ensemble. He is also the Music Editor for AGEHR Music-Handbell Musicians of America and the Organist and Choir Director at historic Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in downtown Milwaukee, WI. Dr. Behnke is Emeritus Professor of Music at Concordia University in Mequon, WI, where he taught organ and graduate handbell courses and directed The Alleluia Ringers, Concordia's touring handbell choir, for 29 years from 1986 until August 2015.
annunciation (offertory) was created as one piece in a set of organ interludes for the
Rebecca Groom te Velde
2013 Christmas Eve service of lessons and carols at State Street United Methodist Church in Bristol, VA.
Rebecca Groom te Velde (b. 1956) lives in Stillwater, OK, where she is Director of Music and Organist at First Presbyterian Church. She is also Adjunct Instructor at Oklahoma City University. She is published by Oxford University Press, Darcey Press, and Santa Barbara Music Publishing. She contributes to and is co-editor (with David Blackwell) of the Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists, in which "God rest you merry" (postlude) is found.
Pray for One Another
An extensive list of prayer concerns, "Pray for One Another," is available for pickup at the church each week.
In Our Prayers
DeeDee Galliher
Ron Grubbs
Chili Ishmael (Claire Pruner's father)
Linda Pridemore
To the Church Triumphant
John E. Warner
December 6, 2017
Our love and sympathy are with Hugh Testerman in the death of his mother, Emma Greene Testerman, December 9 in Bristol.
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Dec. 17     Harrison Gilley, Rosa Poteat
Dec. 18     Braxton Foster, Macie Foster, Julie King
Dec. 19     Brady Arnold, Blaine Hunigan, Greg Jordan, Lynn Richards
Dec. 20     Trish Bane, Reese Peltier
Dec. 21     Jack Butterworth, Jo Ann Hatcher, Dottie Havlik
Dec. 22     Anna Comer
Dec. 23     Tom Carter
Church Officers
PCUSA seal small
Class of 2017
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Ann Abel
Aaron Brooks
Anna Booher
Beth Flannagan
Randy Cook
Lee Galliher
Tom King
Debbie McMillin
Pete Holler
Ernie Pennington
Stuart Parker
Han Ong
John Vann
Chuck Thompson
Pete Stigers
Class of 2017
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Jim Mayden
Adam Abel
George Linke
Mark Mervis
Nancy Butterworth
Greg Roberts
Robin North
David Ginn
Nate Sproles
Jordan Pennington
Rett Stocstill
Bill Whisnant
Byron Schiesz
Ann Woods
Church Calendar
Sunday, December 17
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
3:00 p.m.       Officer Training, Room 123
5:30 p.m.       Children's Christmas Play, Sanctuary
Monday, December 18
5:30 p.m.       Adult Handbells
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Room 123
Tuesday, December 19
9:30 a.m.       Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conference Room
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, December 20
3:30 p.m.       Children Go Caroling
6:00 p.m.       PNC, Room 117
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir
7:30 p.m.       8:30 Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, December 21
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Christmas Worship, Fellowship Hall
Friday, December 22
7:00 p.m.       College/Young Adult Christmas Party, 
                        Katie Arnold's Home