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

In This Issue
Newsletter Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Time
Five Cents a Meal Offering Sunday
FPC Receives Reading Buddies Award Sunday
Wednesday Fellowship: Race, Culture, Reconciliation
Ring Those Bells
Bereavement Teams Need Cooks and Other Help
Ever Faithful and a Bit Springy
Chili Cook-Off and Talent Show Coming Up
Pretzels for Fairmount School
Praise for Student Ministries Volunteers
Church Finances End 2018 on a High Note
Gifts to the Church
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
February 17
6th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Proverbs 21:30-31
Revelation 19
It's All Over but the Crying
Sam Weddington
Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less
Glory to God
Last Sunday's Attendance
8:30: 128; 11:00: 172
Newsletter 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

February 14, 2019
Word from the Pastor: Time
Change is in the air. As many of you know, we are changing the time of our 8:30 contemporary worship service to 9:00, starting Sunday, March 10. (Don't forget, that's also when Daylight Saving Time begins!) For many of us with young children, the extra thirty minutes might translate into a sliver more sanity remaining at the end of the day after the scramble to get our kids out the door and to church. For others, 9:00 may still be too early. Still others may worry that the time move might stifle a full worship experience.
Change is in the air, and change is hard. I know. However, I want to encourage everyone to pull together as we take this next step. I want you to know that what has driven this discussion in staff meetings and with the Session is the deep-seated desire to try and make sure our worship time makes us accessible to as many families as possible, especially families for whom 8:30 is just a tad too early for them and their little ones. From my perspective, if 9:00 allows one or two more families join us to worship our Lord Jesus on Sunday morning, then it will have been worth it.
However, I acknowledge the difficulty this change in our pattern of meeting poses to our community. I want to thank you in advance for your patience with us as we figure out how to worship in a different time slot and under different constraints. I also want to assure you that in all that we do, we honor Paul's instructions in Ephesians 5. No matter what, we will sing, we will read Scripture, we will pray, and we will give thanks. In the end, the praise and worship of God in the name of Jesus is the only standard that matters.
To that end, I want to highlight what you will see and experience on the morning of Sunday, March 10:
  • We will begin gathering at 8:50 for an initial time of prayer and a few songs to prepare us for worship. Please come and pray for those who will worship that Sunday, and for the future ministry of the church.
  • The worship service will officially begin at 9:00 with our doxology, followed by worship songs.
  • We will sing our prayer of confession.
  • We may be just a little tighter on time for sharing the peace of Christ. Again, please be patient with us.
  • Services, God willing, will conclude at 10:00 to allow those who wish to make their way to Sunday School or Adult Bible Study about ten minutes to join their classes.
  • Most classes will start around 10:10.
  • Traditional worship will begin at its normal time, 11:00.
In closing, I ask that you pray for the church and the staff as we navigate this change together. Please pray that all that we do glorifies God, and that God will increase the ministry of God's church in our little corner of the world.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Five Cents a Meal Offering Sunday
We will collect our quarterly Five Cents a Meal offering this Sunday, February 17, at both services. The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, or about a nickel for each meal you eat in a three-month period. Your contribution will provide hunger relief through both local and global ministries. Last year our Five Cents a Meal offerings enabled FPC to help feed the hungry in Bristol through Haven of Rest and Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, and in Ethiopia and Brazil through our missions in those countries. Please be generous!
FPC Receives Reading Buddies Award Sunday
Kelli Campbell
In recognition of the involvement of our congregation with the Reading Buddies program at Fairmount Elementary School, Principal Kelli Campbell will present FPC with an award this Sunday, February 17, at both services. The goal of the Reading Buddies program is for 90% of all students to enter the third grade reading at grade level. The program pairs volunteers with students for weekly half-­hour meetings. Volunteers read to their students, listen to them read, encourage them, and attend their school activities, when possible. As much as supporting critical reading skills, volunteers help their buddies by establishing a positive relationship with them.
Volunteers take a one-hour training session, but no special skills or teaching experience are required. A volunteer simply needs to be prepared to have a positive interaction with a young child. For more information or to volunteer, visit
Wednesday Fellowship: Race, Culture, Reconciliation
On Wednesday, February 20, Chase and Audrey Arndt will lead our Adult Learning program in the second part of our series  Race, Culture, and Reconciliation. We live in a rapidly changing world where technology "connects" us more than ever. However, despite this "connection," there are racial, cultural, and linguistic barriers that fragment the unity of the church. In this series, we will share stories of overcoming the boundaries that threaten our Christian fellowship. We will talk about strategies we might adopt to understand and connect with others who are different from ourselves, so that we might reflect the unity to which we are called. Please join us for this timely discussion.
The evening's fellowship will begin with a fellowship supper of BBQ sandwiches, baked beans, slaw, and dessert at 5:30. The Adult Learning program will begin at 6:20 p.m. High School Small Groups, Middle School Gathering, and Wednesday Night Kids will meet at 6:00. Handbell ringers will practice in room 212 at 6:15. (Psst! They can use more people.)
Ring Those Bells
What's wrong with this picture? Sure we have handbells, but most of them are just lying there because there's no one to pick them up. Brother, sister, can you lend a hand? The Sanctuary Handbell Choir needs you! We practice every Wednesday at 6:15 p.m. in room 212 and occasionally ring on Sunday mornings. Fear not: we're easy-going people who have a lot of fun. Won't you join us? Just email Bob Greene at or call him at 423-341-0378.
Bereavement Teams Need Cooks and Other Help
Our church has six bereavement teams that work in rotation to provide a meal (on request) when a church family has a death. We now need at least six new team members. Each member provides a dish when it is his or her team's turn and, depending on where the meal is to be served, may be asked to help set up and clean up. Often, we simply deliver the meal to the family's home.
If you are interested in serving the church in this ministry, please call or text Nancy Butterworth at 423-341-3734. If there are any men who wouldn't mind an occasional call to help set up and clean up, please let Nancy know that as well. Thank you!
Ever Faithful and a Bit Springy
Spring is eager to get here, and FPC is eager to recruit volunteers to mow when it does arrive. We are looking for folks who, like the church lawn, spring forth in faithfulness. Don't worry if you've never used a Scag mower before; greenness is not a problem in the mowing ministry, for Team Captain Randy Cook will gladly give you a lesson on our Tiger Cat. The task is easy, even fun, if you enjoy watching your foes fall before your relentless blade. Our mowing team welcomes men and women, adults and teens. Simply contact Randy at or 423-956-1541 to sort out the chaff.
Chili Cook-Off and Talent Show Coming Up
Our chili cook-off and talent show returns this year on Sunday, March 3. We'll hold this entertainment as usual from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Start thinking about the taste and talent you want to share, and we'll provide details soon.
Pretzels for Fairmount School
We are collecting pretzels as winter snacks for the children of Fairmount Elementary School. We need small pretzels or pretzel sticks, which teachers can easily arrange into individual servings. Please bring your donated pretzels to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway to perk up Fairmount students when their energy begins to wane. Thank you!
Praise for Student Ministries Volunteers
Linda Welch
I would like to thank my Student Ministries volunteers and highlight the different ways folks can serve in this ministry. Leading off this series is Linda Welch. We are all so thankful for her! Linda serves behind the scenes and oversees the dinner operations for Student Fellowship on Sunday nights. She has quickly become a pillar of our team. Her faithfulness and love in serving students in this way is inspiring. Without her in this role, our student ministry would not be the same. We thank Linda for serving our students and being the hands and feet of Jesus to the next generation. If you see her this week, please take a moment to thank her for all she does!
There are many ways to serve in the student ministry. If you feel God pushing on your heart to love our students and pour into the next generation, please contact me at!/ Katie Arnold
Church Finances End 2018 on a High Note
We are pleased to share the highlights of our December 2018 financial report.
  • Pledges/Offerings through year-end outpaced expectations by $64,127. Other Income exceeded budget by $1,181.
  • Expense Notes:
    • The church ended 2018 on a very positive note with revenues outpacing expenditures by more than $130,000. In its first meeting of 2019, held January 28, the Session voted to allocate the surplus to these areas:
      • $10,000 was allocated to four of our local benevolence organizations through Evangelism & Outreach restricted funds.
      • $80,000 was transferred to capital funds to be used, as needed, for capital loan principal payments.
      • The balance, $41,000, was transferred to Unrestricted Contingency Funds.
  • Evangelism & Outreach's programming and benevolences were in line with gifts and income received for special offerings, comprising $67,786 of overall expenditures.
  • Our program areas also ended 2018 on a financially positive note:
    • Worship & Music was under budget $3,153.
    • Christian Education & Nurture was under budget $168.
    • Fellowship was under budget $7,529.
  • Because administrative expenses were securely below budget through the end of November, the Session was able to approve staff Christmas gifts and technology upgrades in December that were outside the original appropriations for Administration in 2018.
  • Building & Grounds once again ended the year on a favorable note, having absorbed unplanned but necessary expenditures for security enhancements for two of our building entryways.
  • Capital Loan: Our loan balance with Eastman Credit Union on December 31 was $490,876. This represents a year-over-year principal reduction of $62,733. Interest expense on the loan (which flows through our Operating Budget) was $19,691 for the twelve months ending December 31. Interest for the same period of the previous year was $21,993.
Year-End Actual ($)
Annual Budget ($)
Variance ($)
Total Pledges
Other Gifts , Income & Reimbursements
Total Income:
Evangelism & Outreach
Worship & Music
Christian Education
Building & Grounds
Fellowship & Stewardship
Total Expense:
Transfer for Capital Loan
Transfer to Contingency Funds
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 the following individuals:
Tom Daniel: to the Capital Campaign Fund from Brandon & Mariel Story; to the Memorial Fund from Dot Mattison
Pat Hunigan: to the Memorial Fund from Dot Mattison; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Community Church (Hendersonville, TN), from Mary Wolford
Music Notes
Sunday's early service songs: You can hear the songs we'll sing in the 8:30 service here.
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, Sanctuary Choir, Sanctuary Handbell Choir.
Paul Christiansen
Sunday's music: Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750) originally composed the anthem for Sunday, "Glory to God," for a different text in his oratorio Magnificat in 1723. Bach is seen today as the most prolific composer of sacred music of his era and probably the most influential composer in Western music history. The majority of his career was spent in Leipzig, Germany, where he served the congregations of four churches simultaneously. Viewed today as a master composer of organ music, Bach seldom played the organ at the churches where he worked but often led the main music of the day, Hauptmusik, from the viola stand. The text that we are singing is a straightforward hymn of praise arranged by Paul Christiansen of St. Olaf College fame.
Organist's footnotes: While Sunday's sermon deals with spiritual warfare, the prelude, "The Agincourt Hymn," alludes to physical warfare, in particular the Battle of Agincourt. John Dunstable (also spelled Dunstaple; ca. 1370 -1453) was the author of "The Agincourt Hymn" celebrating the victory of Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt in France, on St. Crispin's Day, October 25, 1415. This battle was an important turning point in the Hundred Years' War. We know little about Dunstable, a contemporary of Chaucer. It is believed that he was in the service of the Chapel Royal. One epitaph describes him as "an astrologer, a mathematician, a musician, and what not." "The Agincourt Hymn," also called DEO GRACIAS, is associated with "O wondrous type! O vision fair," and "O Love, How Deep, How Broad, How High." It is here arranged for handbells. It is interesting to listen to music composed from that period, such as the offertory, "Composition on a Plainsong," and the postlude, "Under Thy Protection." Many of the conventions of music writing we take for granted today were at that time not yet "set in stone," making for some surprising twists and turns.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers several members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Mendy Bechtold
Becky Busler
FPC Search Committees
Ben & Patsy Frizzell
DeeDee & Sarah Galliher
Dianne Glymph (Mary Ellis Rice's mother)
John Graham
Ron Grubbs
Will Hankins
Eva Dot Hawk
Jonya Kennedy
Nancy King
Dot Mattison
Bob Millard
Beth Neal
Nick Niosi
Osborne family
Eric Page (Laura Linke's uncle)
Pastor Sam's mother
Pendley family
Don Preston
Tony Raccioppo
Anne Raven
Virginia Rutherford
Sikorski family
Jeremy Spencer
Stigers family
Chris Thomas (Barbara Thomas's brother)
Chuck Thompson
Jeremy Weaver
John Wizorek (Annette Tudor's father)
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Feb. 18     Sophie Arnold, Josh Kite, Bob Tate
Feb. 19     Bob Millard
Feb. 21     Davis Akard, Peggy Rutherford
Feb. 22     Mary Connor, Dillon Pendley, Elizabeth Patrick
Feb. 23     Jean Addison
Church Calendar
Sunday, February 17
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
4:00 p.m.       Evangelism & Outreach Comm., Room 117
Tuesday, February 19
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, February 20
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 37
5:30 p.m.       Fellowship Dinner, Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Wednesday Night Kids
6:00 p.m.       Middle School Gathering
6:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Practice, Room 212
6:20 p.m.       Adult Learning Program, Fellowship Hall
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir
7:15 p.m.       Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, February 21
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, February 22
Women's Retreat Begins, Blowing Rock Conf. Ctr.
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