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

In This Issue
Newsletter Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Grace
Lenten Devotional Booklets Available Sunday
Wednesday Fellowship: "One New Man"
Praise for Student Ministries Volunteers: Next Up!
Parents' Night Out March 1
Sure, Your Chili Is Hot. But Can It Make Sam Sweat?
Bereavement Teams Need Cooks and Muscle
Looking to Spring
Pretzels for Fairmount School
Gifts to the Church
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
February 24
7th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Genesis 45:3-11
Luke 6:27-38
Is Love All You Really Need?
Dave Welch
Praise to the Lord
Give to the Winds Thy Fears
And All the Earth Shall Own Him Lord
Last Sunday's Attendance
8:30: 139; 11:00: 124
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 21, 2019
Word from the Pastor: Grace
I was all set to go. I had a topic for this "word from the pastor," and I was sure the topic was of pressing concern. I had outlined the essay, lined up relevant quotes, and was set to write it this afternoon. Then it happened. I screwed up.
This week has been a series of minor disasters, scheduling conflicts, and plain old bone-headedness. I was supposed to be at someone's home for an appointed visit. Preparations had been made; time and money and thoughtfulness had flowed from hearts and hands in anticipation. The time came. The time passed. Pastor Sam was a no-show. Pastor Sam was carrying on in the conference room, oblivious to the kindness others had put on display. I screwed up.
When another's visit to my office led me to realize my mistake, self-loathing filled my stomach like a sack of bricks. I don't usually do such things. Relying on a righteousness of my own, I pride myself on keeping it together. I've got an app for that; I've got an app for everything that will help me put my best foot forward. Nevertheless, a chink in my armor had appeared. I didn't have it together. I had fallen short. I called and apologized profusely. Even my phone call was strange. Surely, I didn't need to continue chaining apologies together; they got it the first time.
Then it happened. Rather than judgment, disappointment, or the tsk-tsk of a wagging finger, those involved showed kindness. They understood. In fact, they had understood before I had called to apologize. Before it had even dawned on me that I had fallen short and was in need of confession and forgiveness, my siblings in Christ loved me enough to look at me through the lens of charity. They had told themselves the best possible story about me and why I couldn't be there, making room for me despite my shortcomings. This is grace.
Then the pieces started to fall together. The essay that I felt was so pressing wasn't so pressing anymore. The definitive stance I was going to take on a pressing social, theological, and moral issue was less definitive. Who am I to stand with a finger pointed at another, when others were so ready to extend grace to me? I still believe what I believed about the pressing issue I was going to write about, but my heart had been softened by what others had extended to me. They had extended grace because, deep down, they knew that we are all beggars before God.
We are all beggars, and we are all adopted sons and daughters. Simul justus et peccator, righteous and transgressor at the same time. We are both sinners and saints with each and every tick of the clock. This strange working of grace that cradles us in the love of God despite our wretchedness is a mystery that ought to leave us speechless (and in some cases, essayless). We are loved, and because we are loved, we ought to love one another deeply. We ought to tell each other the best stories we can about one another because our stories are now told, now seen through a love that sees beyond the stains. God now sees us only through the lens of His Son, Jesus the Christ.
In the end, I was left speechless. Not wordless, mind you; I did get this essay pushed out! Awed and full of gratitude. What a great Father we have, what a glorious brother we have in Christ, and what wonderful family God has given us in one another. Glory be to God!
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Lenten Devotional Booklets Available Sunday
The 2019 Lenten devotional booklets from Presbyterians Today will be available in the narthex and the Fellowship Hallway this Sunday, February 24. The theme is Awakening to God's Beauty. PT states: "[T]hrough magnificent photography and a spiritual discipline called visio divina (praying with art), we open our eyes with new awareness and gratitude for the beauty of creation. The devotional offers a dazzling smorgasbord of soul-stirring original photographs, each with a short, guided meditation to lift our hearts and fortify us for the rest of our Lenten journey." One booklet per family, please.
Wednesday Fellowship: "One New Man"
Bryan Loritts
Next Wednesday, February 27, we will conclude our series Race, Culture and Reconciliation with "One New Man," a talk by the Reverend Dr. Bryan Loritts, which he gave at Dallas Theological Seminary January 18, 2013. After the presentation, we will have time for discussion and questions. We encourage everyone to attend.
Rev. Loritts is the founder of the Kainos Movement, an organization committed to seeing the multiethnic church become the "new normal" in our world. He is the former Senior Pastor and co-founder of Fellowship Memphis as well as a trustee of Biola University and Pine Cove Christian Camps. He is currently the Senior Pastor of Abundant Life Christian Fellowship in Silicon Valley, a multiethnic, multicultural church in the heart of the tech hub of the United States. You can check him out at
The evening's fellowship will begin with a lasagna supper 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. (Ring-a-ding-ding! They can use more hands.)
Praise for Student Ministries Volunteers: Next Up!
Lee Galliher
In this series I am thanking my Student Ministries volunteers and highlighting the different ways folks can serve in this ministry. Next up is Lee Galliher. Lee spends his Sunday evenings in the sound booth. He meets with the student worship band for rehearsal, runs sound, and builds all the media slides for Student Fellowship. He stays calm when new information is thrown at him at the last minute and, like a wizard, produces the media needed for Student Fellowship to run smoothly. He runs the sound for Student Fellowship and has become quite the DJ! Lee is quiet and behind the scenes, making sure the media and sound for Sunday nights is excellent. He is the calm to our crazy team, and we are so thankful to have him! Thank you, Lee, for serving and loving our student ministry so BIG!
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
Parents' Night Out March 1
The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 on Friday, March 1, in the Education Wing. This event is for newborns through sixth graders. Please let Lilly Osborne know the number and ages of the children you will bring so that she can provide dinner and materials for all of them. To sign up, email Lilly at, call or text her at 423-383-5476, or use the Children's Ministries Facebook page.
Sure, Your Chili Is Hot. But Can It Make Sam Sweat?
Our chili cook-off returns this year with a twist: the expression on Pastor Sam's face when he tastes your contest entry! Bring your best chili to the Fellowship Hall by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 3. Three lucky people will get the chance to make Sam sweat. As if that alone weren't worth the price of admission, if there were one, some of the nonculinary talents in our congregation will entertain us. Please say you will participate in the talent show! It will be fun, and sign-up is easy on the FPC Facebook page. If you prefer, email Katie McInnis at or Lilly Osborne at The party will be over when the EMTs arrive at 7:00.
Bereavement Teams Need Cooks and Muscle
FPC needs at least six more volunteers to aid our bereavement ministry. We need folks to cook a dish or help set up and clean up after a meal. We have six teams that work in rotation to provide a meal (on request) when a church family has a death. Each volunteer provides one dish when it is his or her team's turn. Often, we simply deliver the meal to the family's home, but when it is served elsewhere, we set up and clean up. If you can serve the church in this ministry in any capacity, please call or text Nancy Butterworth at 423-341-3734. Thank you!
Looking to Spring
'Tis the season once again to belabor clichés and see how low a pun can go, all in the interest, interestingly enough, of aesthetics. We are, of course, talking about the church lawn, so we are also talking about neighborliness. Do we care about good grooming? Yes, we do! Do we care about our neighbors? Yes, we do! Do we volunteer for the mowing team? Yes, we do! See how easy that was? Mowing is just the same. Spring aboard that mower, take a ride over the springing grass, and you're done. Our mowing team welcomes everyone, from teens up. Simply contact Team Captain Randy Cook at or 423-956-1541 to sign up. If you've never used a Scag mower before, Randy will be happy to give you a lesson on our Tiger Cat, which is uncharacteristically easy to herd.
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!
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:
Pat Hunigan: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Bob & Brenda Light and from Dotty Royston
Betty Millard: to the Memorial Fund from an anonymous donor
Pokey Warren (brother of Virginia Rutherford): to the Security Fund from Sue Barr
Music Notes
Sunday's Early Worship
You can hear the songs we'll sing in the 8:30 service here.
Sunday's Late Worship
Participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, Sanctuary Choir.
Sir Hubert Parry
Music: The anthem, "And All the Earth Shall Own Him Lord," was composed by Hubert Parry (1848 -1918). Set to a text by William Blake and Jeffrey Leach, this hymn tune gained wide appeal in the movie Chariots of Fire. It is found in our hymnal at #270 and #373. Parry was a much-acclaimed British composer who, with Vaughan Williams, led the British revival of choral music in the early 20th century with conscientious attention to text setting. This particular tune, Jerusalem, was considered Britain's unofficial national anthem during World War I. Parry was knighted in 1898 and made a baronet in 1903.
Organist's footnotes: All three organ pieces today are based upon our opening hymn, or rather all three organ pieces and our opening hymn are based upon the sturdy 17th-century German hymn "Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren": "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation." The composer is unknown, but this tune has inspired composers for centuries. I've chosen arrangements by three 20th-century composers (two dead, one living). Martin Shaw (1875-1958) was an English composer, conductor, and (in his early life) theater producer. His "Processional" (our prelude) is not so much an arrangement as a preamble leading into the hymn. Helmut Walcha (1907-1991) was a blind German organist who specialized in the works of the Dutch and German baroque masters. His arrangement (our offertory) begins playfully then changes to a canon between treble and bass voices. Wayne L. Wold (b. 1954) is Professor, College Organist, and Chair of the Music Department at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland, and Director of Music Ministry at First Lutheran Church in Ellicott City, Maryland. His arrangement (our postlude) begins with an ostentatious introduction then settles into a quick, jocular, asymmetrical 5/8 meter (with occasional 6/8 and 3/4 meters), indicating "the Almighty" must have a good sense of humor!
Handbell Choir wants you: The sanctuary is full of good hearts, and twice as many ears; what we need is more hands! The Sanctuary Handbell Choir needs you to swing a bell every once in a while on a Sunday morning and every Wednesday evening at 6:15, when we practice in room 212. Come join a group of people who enjoy learning and making music together. Just email Bob Greene at or ring him at 423-341-0378.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers 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)
To the Church Triumphant
Dorothy Brown "Dot" Copenhaver
February 13, 2019
Our love and sympathy are with Andrea Hyde in the death of her father, Oliver "Roscoe" Spears, February 14 in Bristol; and with Kathryn Parker in the death of her cousin Juliette "Julia" Ruth Powers Rainero February 13 in Bristol, VA. We also extend our sympathy to the family of David Preston Massie, who died February 12 in Charleston, SC. David had many friends in our congregation, some of whom grew up with him when his father, the Rev. Dr. Daniel W. Massie, was a pastor in the Tri-Cities.
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Feb. 24     Chris Shaw
Feb. 25     John Connor, Bart McMillin
Feb. 26     Amy McCracken
Feb. 27     Lee North, Jan Patrick, Chris Phipps, Colt Stocstill
Feb. 28     Aidan Haaser
March 1   Christian Bolick, Jack Hyder
Church Calendar
Sunday, February 24
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship, Youth Wing
Monday, February 25
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Room 123
Tuesday, February 26
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conf. Room
6:00 p.m.       Venture Crew 3, Room 165
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, February 27
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
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
7:15 p.m.       Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, February 28
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, March 1
6:00 p.m.       Parents' Night Out, Education Wing
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