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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Sunday's Guest Preacher: Rev. Jim McDaniel
"Beloved Community" Devotional Available Feb. 16
FPC Mission Emphases for 2020
Please Pray for the Sharretts
FPC Arts Series: Beethoven Sonatas Friday
Program of Piano and Organ Duets Feb. 13
Spend a Class Hour Helping Students Practice Leadership
We Help with Sharing Christ Saturday
"Re-e-ally Big Shoe" on Our Stage Sunday
New Monday Morning Bible Study
Study with Us Wednesday Night
BAMA Black Heritage Program Feb. 16
Let's Have "The Talk"
Suicide Intervention Training March 3-4
Turning a Page in Our Library
We Are Grateful to Bill Wade
Register for Women's Retreat
Students: Sign Up Now for Winter Jam
Cheerios for Fairmount
Gifts to the Church
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
February 9
5th Sunday after Epiphany
Jeremiah 4:23-28
Luke 15:13
Where Is the Foreign Country?
Rev. Jim McDaniel
Verleih' uns Frieden
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 143; 11:00: 107
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

February 6, 2020
It is my pleasure to announce that the Session has passed a plan to eliminate our church's outstanding debt immediately. As you know, in 2018, we still had around $500,000 in outstanding debt as a result of building improvements like the geothermal heating and cooling system. Through your generosity, and the financial wisdom and discipline exercised by the Finance Committee and the Session, we were able to bring together the resources to allow us to take this momentous step.
Part of the plan requires us to dip into our reserves. While God has given us the ability to do this, we want to encourage those who have made a Mortgage Elimination pledge to keep up with that pledge. We will use those pledges to replenish our reserves, so that we can begin a new chapter in the financial future of our church.
I want to thank all of you, and point us all to give glory to God, who has made this possible.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Sunday's Guest Preacher: Rev. Jim McDaniel
Rev. Jim McDaniel
The Reverend James Henry McDaniel Sr. will preach at both services this Sunday, February 9. He has deep roots in our community, having graduated from Douglass High School and earned his Bachelor of Divinity from Roan Mountain Bible College. He is well known and loved around the Tri-Cities as a minister that cares about local churches regardless of denomination or race, and as a friend and father figure to many. He has been pastor of High Point Baptist Church in Rural Retreat for 21 years. He and his wife, Sharon, live in Bristol, Virginia.
"Beloved Community" Devotional Available Feb. 16
We are making the Presbyterians Today 2020 Lenten devotional, Becoming a Beloved Community: A Matthew 25 journey to the cross, available beginning February 16. The devotions begin with Ash Wednesday, February 26. Look for a copy in the narthex or Fellowship Hallway, and please take only one per family.
The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. spoke of "the beloved community" to describe a society where everyone's needs are met. This year's devotional invites us on a journey to see firsthand how Jesus's instructions to feed the hungry and clothe the naked still change lives today. We will discover how needs are met when love breaks down racial barriers, gives voice to the voiceless, and feeds hungry hearts, souls, and bodies. Beautiful ancient Christian mosaics throughout the devotional invite us to reflect on how our own little tile piece could be added to contribute another dimension to the beloved community where we live.
FPC Mission Emphases for 2020
For your planning and preparation, the Session has approved the schedule below for this year's Monthly Mission Emphasis and special offerings. While you will hear and read more particular information when each project draws nearer, knowing these dates may allow you to look for bargains early and to pray often for our partnered agencies. Thank you for making FPC even more focused in our generosity!
Mission emphases:
  • May: Bristol Emergency Food Pantry. Canned goods, changing weekly, will be brought to worship each Sunday in May. We will conclude the emphasis with a One Worship service, lunch, and delivery of the collected goods.
  • July: Fairmount Elementary School Supplies. A different list of needed supplies will be provided for each Sunday in July. Donated items will be delivered before school starts in August.
  • September: Hygiene Kits for Bristol Faith in Action. Ziploc bags containing a list of requested items will be available all month for members to take, fill, and return for donation.
Special offerings:
  • Seasonal: Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
  • Five Cents a Meal (to fight hunger locally and internationally): the Sundays of February 16, May 10, August 16, and November 8.
We will continue to keep you informed! / Dave Welch
Please Pray for the Sharretts
The Sharrett family in December
Lawrence and Courtney Sharrett, FPC missionaries studying in Athens, have asked for our prayers for their stay in Greece and for their return next year to Sofia, Bulgaria. There they will serve churches and the community through the counseling profession. This is one of the broader ways in which they are assimilating into the culture for their continued work in Southeastern Europe. Let us all keep them in our prayers as we anticipate Larry's ordination here March 7.
FPC Arts Series: Beethoven Sonatas Friday
A Juilliard-trained classical pianist and former student of long-time FPC member Ann Holler will perform in our sanctuary tomorrow, Friday, February 7, at 7:00 p.m. The don't-miss recital by Zachary Hughes is a stop on his Beethoven Odyssey. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of Beethoven's birth, Hughes is working to memorize all 32 of his favorite composer's piano sonatas. That's 600 pages, or 11 hours, of music that he will play over the course of a dozen free community recitals in 2020. His performance at FPC is one of these, but we suggest a donation of $15 ($5 for students).
Program of Piano and Organ Duets Feb. 13
Robert Greene
Our own Robert Greene will present a program of piano and organ duets with Alice Sanders, the new organist at First Presbyterian Church of Kingsport, at 10:00 a.m. Thursday, February 13, at State Street United Methodist Church. Their program features the Suite for Piano and Organ by Canadian composer Ruth Watson Henderson. Other works are "Rhapsody for Organ and Piano" by Clifford Demarest, "Mountain Twilight" by Parker Bailey, "Priere" by Alexandre Guilmant, "The Swan" by Camille Saint-Saens, and "Hymn to Our God" by William Billings, arranged by Herbert Colvin.

Alice Sanders
This program, sponsored by the Bristol Music Club, is free of charge and open to the public. There will be refreshments in the church parlor after the program. State Street UMC is located at 300 West Valley Drive, Bristol, Virginia.
Spend a Class Hour Helping Students Practice Leadership

Next Thursday, February 13, at 1:45 p.m., the students of Fairmount Elementary School will participate in a training for Leadership Days, a systemwide initiative. Along with showcasing what they have been learning this year and practicing leadership presentations, students will also give class tours. The school needs volunteers with whom students may present and practice the learned skills. The training will conclude by 2:30. Please consider sharing your time, and receive a blessing! / Dave Welch
We Help with Sharing Christ Saturday
Our loving volunteers will serve at Sharing Christ Ministries and Worship Center this Saturday, February 8. We thank these FPC team players for stepping up so enthusiastically! Anyone who is interested in this service opportunity in the future may contact Dottie Havlik at or 423-956-6747.
"Re-e-ally Big Shoe" on Our Stage Sunday
We want to put on a re-e-ally big show in the Fellowship Hall this Sunday, February 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m., but first we need you! We want more acts for the talent show and plenty of chili (or dessert) chefs for the cook-off. No act, talent, pot, or dish is too small! We will select winners in three categories of chili goodness: Best, One of a Kind, and Make Sam Sweat. We'll eat the desserts rather than rank them. Be a trouper and share your talent with the rest of us! Please contact Lilly Osborne at or Katie Arnold at
New Monday Morning Bible Study
Pastor Sam will begin a new Bible study on Monday, February 10, at 11:00 a.m. in Room 123. We will use a Lectio Divina format, which means that we will seek God's guidance on the passage for that week. It will be an open, devotional discussion. We will also take the time to lift prayers to God. All are invited.
Study with Us Wednesday Night
Please join us Wednesday, February 12, at 5:30 for a fellowship supper, followed at 6:00 by activities for children and youth. At 6:15, Pastor Sam will lead our Adult Enrichment group in a discussion of 2  Corinthians 6 . Except when we have special presentations, we worship on most Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together.
BAMA Black Heritage Program Feb. 16
Rev. and Mrs. Hawkins
The Bristol Area Ministerial Alliance will present its annual Black Heritage program Sunday, February 16, at 4:00 p.m. at Hood Memorial A.M.E. Zion Church, 612 5th Street, Bristol. The guest speaker will be the Reverend Charles Hawkins, pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Zion Church, Kingsport. The public is invited to this free event.
Let's Have The Talk
Sonny Kelly
Arts Alliance Mountain Empire invites the public to a riveting night of theater with The Talk, Tuesday, February 18, at 7:00 in Virginia Middle School Auditorium. Written and performed by Sonny Kelly, The Talk is about a father's profound love for his children and his commitment to equipping them with the faith, hope, and love they will need to thrive in a divided world.
A virtuoso communicator, performer, and facilitator, Kelly embodies more than 20 characters and thoughtfully ushers audiences into a safe space for the difficult conversations we must have if we are to pursue equity and inclusion. This eclectic experience weaves together interactive theater, a dynamic performance, and a multimedia production with the words of James Baldwin, Langston Hughes, W.E.B. DuBois, Frantz Fanon, Paul Gilroy, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and others. The performance is free. Virginia Middle School is located at 501 Piedmont Avenue in Bristol.
Suicide Intervention Training March 3-4
Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, an acclaimed two-day interactive program in suicide first aid, will be given in Bristol March 3 -4, from 8:00 to 5:00 each day, at a location to be determined. ASIST is for adults who want to learn how to provide suicide first aid.
Program participants will learn how to prevent suicide by recognizing the signs, providing skilled intervention, and developing a safety plan for keeping someone alive. The training is designed to teach a wide variety of community members the hands-on skills they need to intervene in a suicidal crisis. Police officers, EMTs, teachers, school administrators, social workers, counselors, clergy, and business managers have benefited from ASIST.
Seating is limited, and the cost is $25 per person. For more information or to register, contact Bristol Crisis Center at 276-466-2218 or The 24/7 hotline is 276-466-2312, and all services are free and confidential. Learn more at
Turning a Page in Our Library
In the coming weeks and months, you will see changes in our church library. We have been blessed by Erin Kingsley, Rebecca Tate, Beth Flannagan, and Matt Peltier, who have stepped up to help lead this change. If you have questions, please direct them to our volunteer librarians or to the pastoral staff. In the meantime, hold tight. Change is coming. / Pastor Sam
We Are Grateful to Bill Wade
Dr. Bill Wade
As we prepare to make changes in our library, we want to take a moment to publicly thank Dr. Bill Wade for his years of dedicated service as our church librarian. Through his leadership, the library grew and many have been blessed. Thanks be to God! / Pastor Sam
Register for Women's Retreat
Registration for our annual women's retreat is under way. We are going to beautiful Blowing Rock, NC, February 21 -23 for a weekend of connection and renewal . With our guest speaker, Jessica Stollings, we will continue our conversation about intergenerational connectedness. Bring your friends and ReGenerate!
Students: Sign Up Now for Winter Jam
Student Ministries is going to Winter Jam 2020 in Knoxville Friday, February 14. Winter Jam features Christian bands and a speaker, Louie Giglio. We will leave from the church at 3:30 p.m. and stop for a quick dinner before heading to the concert. We'll stop by Waffle House on the way home. Students will need food money (we suggest $15) in addition to the $15 price of admission. We will return late Friday evening. To reserve a seat in the van, register here. 
Cheerios for Fairmount
We are collecting boxes of  Multi-Grain Cheerios for Fairmount Elementary students. About 80% of the children get help with lunch, but their families can't buy snacks to help them through the day. That's where we come in. Please bring your donations to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway to give our young friends at Fairmount a boost on long winter days. 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 the following gifts in memory of:
Barbara Thomas: to the Sound System Fund from Chris Thomas
Herb Van Nostrand: to Boy Scout Troop 3 from Rita Gayewski
Music Notes
Felix Mendelssohn
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "Verleih' uns Frieden" ("Grant us peace") by Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy (1809 -1847), one of the most fascinating figures in music history. Born to a wealthy family of prominent bankers and philosophers, young Felix was exposed to the most sophisticated and cosmopolitan culture of Leipzig and abroad. At an early age he showed phenomenal talent; the aging philosopher-poet Goethe compared him to the child prodigy Mozart. By his teens, Mendelssohn was a fully mature composer in all major genres except opera. His family was Jewish but converted to Christianity, and Felix was baptized in the Reformed Church when he was seven. While many historians speculate that this conversion was in response to anti-Semitism, we hear deep religious conviction in the composer's extensive sacred output.
Mendelssohn was also a musicologist and an impresario. He is credited with a revival of Bach's music, beginning with a performance of the St. Matthew Passion in Berlin in 1829. Although composers such as Mozart and Beethoven had studied and enjoyed Bach's music, it was seldom performed. Works by past composers were only rarely performed before Mendelssohn's revival of the St. Matthew Passion. The notion that compositions from the past were worth performing became one aspect of the Romantic ideal, as composers and artists searched for new forms of expression.
Mendelssohn was exceedingly busy. He was a prolific composer and in demand as a conductor throughout Europe and England. He founded the Leipzig Conservatory and served as Artistic Director of the city's Gewandhaus Orchestra. He was a talented visual artist, who completed more than 300 watercolor paintings. Overworked, overstressed, and brokenhearted by the death of his beloved sister, Fanny, another child prodigy who had become a highly regarded composer, Mendelssohn died at the age of 38.
"Verleih' uns Frieden" is one of his more popular church choir pieces. It was composed in 1831 as a setting of a prayer for peace by Martin Luther that paraphrases 2 Kings 20:19, 2 Chronicles 20:12,15, and Psalm 72:6-7. The critic Robert Schumann, a fellow composer, wrote of it, "The small piece deserves to be world famous, and will become so in the future."
Organist's footnotes: Felix Mendelssohn was an accomplished organist, and he composed several dozen organ pieces. Only two, however, are of real significance: the masterly Six Sonatas, Op. 65, of 1845 and the Three Preludes and Fugues, Op. 37 (in C minor, G major, and D minor), published eight years before. We read "prelude and fugue" and think of J.S. Bach, and it seems that so, too, did Mendelssohn. The spirit of the great Leipzig master positively oozes from the pages of Op. 37, yet Mendelssohn's own technical skills and strength of personality are so great that we may not even notice the retrospective qualities of the work. The music began to take shape as early as 1833 during one of the composer's many visits to England. He had become acquainted with the English organist Thomas Attwood, and the seeds of the fugues of Op. 37, No. 1, and Op. 37, No. 3, were planted in some improvisations that Mendelssohn did at Attwood's encouragement. The other fugue, that in G major of Op. 37, No. 2 (which we will hear Sunday divided between prelude and postlude), was written in 1836. All three of the preludes were composed in early April 1837, and later in the year the whole set of six pieces was printed with a dedication to Attwood.
Sondra K. Tucker
The offertory is a handbell arrangement of the hymn "My Shepherd Will Supply My Need." Sondra K. Tucker is a well-known composer for handbells, choir, organ, and flute ensemble. Since 2013 she has served as Handbell Editor for Alfred Handbell. She is in demand as a conductor and clinician; has led denominational seminars for PCUSA, The Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Methodist Church, ELCA, and the Southern Baptist Church; and has served on the faculty of numerous Handbell Musicians of America local, area, and national events. Her compositions are published by most major church music publishing houses, and she also self-publishes flute ensemble music under her own QuickSilver Publications imprint and handbell titles under her Casa Publications. She is active in music circles of her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee. Her music degrees are from the University of Arkansas and the University of Memphis.
Speaking of handbells: The swinging Sanctuary Handbell Choir wants you! We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs and play for the late service about once a month. Please contact Bob Greene at or 276-696-9091 to join us, or just come to a Wednesday practice!
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Sujean Bradley
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Dorothy Dollar
Charlie Dolpp
Sarah Ellis
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Trinka Felty
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Kay Martin Grott
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Bonnie Haskins
Lou Hebb
Hertzog family
Vivian Hill
Clayton Hillman
Rita Holifield
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Peggy King
Sergio Lopez
Dot Mattison
Lisa May
Jim & Kelly Mayden
Roger McCracken
Bob Millard
Eric Moffett
Alice Moore
Breanna Necessary
Eric Page
Meg Rice & mother
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
John Scott
Grayson Smith & family
Bill Thomas's family
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Ying Kang Wei
Nancy Whitesides
Vicky Wood
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Feb. 9       Lorri Looney
Feb. 10     Joseph Ong, Lensey Richardson, Margaret Roberts
Feb. 12     Johnny Dabbs, Marjorie Harr
Feb. 14     Kathryn Parker, Sharon Ratliff, Jesse Strang
Feb. 15     JoLynn Evans, Brenda Foster, Chad McCracken, Amy Williams
Church Calendar
Sunday, February 9
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
5:00 p.m.       Cook-off & Talent Show, 
Fellowship Hall
Monday, February 10
11:00 a.m.     Lectio Divina Bible Study, Room 123
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., Room 123
Tuesday, February 11
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 12
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
4:00 p.m.       Finance Comm., 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.       Adult Enrichment
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Practice, Room 212
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
Thursday, February 13
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
8:30 a.m.        Meals on Wheels, Fellowship Hall
10:00 a.m.     Bob Greene & Alice Sanders in Recital, State St. UMC
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Fusion, Vann Home
7:00 p.m.       Scout Order of the Arrow, Scout Hall
Friday, February 14
3:30 p.m.       Winter Jam, Leave from FPC
7:00 p.m.       Scout Roundtable, Room 165
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