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

In This Issue
Newsletter Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Security
Attend Our Congregational Meeting Jan. 20
Acolytes Receive Further Training This Month
Pastor Sam in Pittsburgh Jan. 21-Feb. 1
PSA from Bob Swerski and the Superfans
Wednesday Kickoff Gets the Pointe
Wednesday Morning Group Takes Up Ephesians
New Officer Candidates and Training
Sharing Christ Jan. 26
Women Retreat in Six Weeks
Pretzels for Fairmount School
Join Local Gospel Choir for Annual MLK Celebration
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
January 13
Baptism of the Lord
Hosea 11:1-11
Matthew 2:13-18
Into Egypt
Sam Weddington
In Christ Called to Baptize
Jesus Entered Egypt
Wondrous Love
Last Sunday's Attendance: 8:30: 122; 11:00: 125
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 [email protected]


on First Presbyterian Church

January 10, 2019
Word from the Pastor: Security
As we all know, safety and security is a pressing issue in our society. Not to be alarmist, but in light of various acts of violence in houses of worship over the past few years, the Session has decided to take some measures to reduce risk to our congregation. Here is an outline of our plan:
  1. New security doors with keycard passes are being installed in the rear breezeway entrances to both the church and the education wing. The keycards will be effective only at specific times during the services.
  2. Keycards will be issued to parents who drop their children off in the nursery. Parents will need to sign their infants in to receive the keycards, and they will return the keycards when they sign them out.
  3. At each breezeway entrance there will be a basket with a few keycards for parents who need immediate access to elementary age students. If you take a keycard, you will need to return it immediately after using it.
  4. The doors will be open in the mornings on our usual schedule, with the exception of the large, wooden doors at the front of the church. Those will not be opened until 10:00. Anyone wishing to enter the church before 10:00 will need to use a different door.
  5. All doors to the church will be locked 10 minutes after the start of the early morning service. If you come late (say, at 8:50), we will have someone on hand to let you in through the Fellowship Hall door. Parents who need access to their children in the education wing can do so as outlined in points 2 and 3.
  6. During late worship, again, all the doors to the church will be locked with the exception of the wooden front doors. Parents can gain access to their children through the rear breezeway through keycards issued to them or available in the baskets.
  7. Ushers will be issued air horns with which to warn the congregation in case an assailant enters the church through the front doors. The ushers will also have access to their cellphones and 911.
  8. We ask that others in the congregation contribute by having cellphones ready to make an emergency call.
  9. We are having panic buttons installed in the pulpit of the main sanctuary as well as in the sound booth in the Fellowship Hall.
  10. Between services (from 9:45 to 11:10), the main doors of the church will be open. The risk here is lessened in that congregants will be dispersed throughout our campus and not collected together as easy targets for an assailant.
I know that this is a lot to take in, and the subject matter is not one we like to contemplate; you will need time to understand this new policy and ask questions. We expect to roll this plan out on Sunday, February 3. We will run this notice in Windows for the next several weeks, and we will discuss this matter during announcements. In addition, we will take your questions during the "new business" portion of the congregational meeting on Sunday, January 20, at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall.
We want to lift up to you that these measures come at significant cost to the church. In total, the doors and keycard readers alone will cost more than $11,000. If, in response to the measures we have taken, God leads you to contribute to our efforts, we ask that you make a special gift to the church and write "Security - Door Installation" on the memo line of your check. We ask especially that you pray for our church to be spared such violence.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Attend Our Congregational Meeting Jan. 20
Be sure to attend our annual congregational meeting Sunday, January 20, at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall! We will elect officers, approve the pastoral terms of call, receive an annual financial report, and discuss new business. We will then convene as a meeting of the corporation to receive an update on relevant matters and elect a new Trustee. We encourage all members of First Presbyterian Church to attend.
Acolytes Receive Further Training This Month
As you may have noticed, our acolytes in traditional worship are taking a break for January. Not to worry, however, for they will return in February. We are taking this month off to do some training so that they can expand their presence in our worship. We ask that you pray for our acolytes that God would bless and use them in a mighty way.
Pastor Sam in Pittsburgh Jan. 21-Feb. 1
Pittsburgh Theological Seminary
Pastor Sam will travel to Pittsburgh on Monday, January 21, to begin two weeks of intensive coursework for his doctoral degree at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He will be back late Friday night, February 1. He will be unable to take calls while he is in class. If you need him, please leave a message in the office, and the staff will contact him.
PSA from Bob Swerski and the Superfans
It has come to our attention that a certain pastor, along with certain members of a certain congregation in a certain state to our south, is in mourning for a certain team, named after a certain animal, from a certain genus named Ursus, from a certain midwestern city, which we call home, who lost a certain so-called "playoff game" this past Sunday on the failure of a certain kicker (may his name pass in silence) to make a certain kick with five seconds remaining on the clock. To our southern chapter of the Superfans, we mourn with you. Maybe next year, and until then, may we never forget "da Bears!"
Wednesday Kickoff Gets the Pointe
We will kick off our new semester of Wednesday night fellowship January 16 with " Comedy with a Pointe!" Dr. Doug LaPointe, the pastor at Cold Spring Presbyterian
Doug LaPointe
Church, and his wife, Robin, will lead an entertaining and musical Adult Learning program. The first activity of the evening will be our
fried chicken fellowship dinner at 5:30 p.m. The LaPointes' 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, and any adult who wants to learn, will practice in room 212 at 6:15. And if you want to help make our Wednesday evenings go, see Scottie Bales! She could use your help.
Wednesday Morning Group Takes Up Ephesians
The Women's Wednesday Morning Bible Study will resume January 16. We will be studying Paul's letter to the Ephesians, guided by a book by John MacArthur. All women are welcome to join us from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. in room 117, across from Dave Welch's office./ Dottie Havlik
New Officer Candidates and Training
In preparation for our upcoming congregational meeting January 20 at 10:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall, the Nominating Committee, in consultation with the Session, presents the following slate of candidates:
Class of 2021
Class of 2021
Jack Butterworth
Ann Abel
Ron Fox (2020)
Randy Cook
Fred Harkleroad
John Graham
Matt Kingsley
Katie McInnis
Lisa McClain
John Vann
Drew Rice
Joyce Samuel
Officer Training Jan. 19
Church officer candidates should note that the second part of their training will take place Saturday, January 19, at 10:00 a.m. at the church. We will meet in room 123. Officer candidates should have already received an email outlining the first portion of their training. Those unable to attend will be given an alternate date for training.
Sharing Christ Jan. 26
Great news! We need only a few more casseroles for our service at Sharing Christ Downtown Mission on Saturday, January 26. If you can provide one, please contact Dottie Havlik ( [email protected] or 423-956-6747) for the simple recipe and to let her know what your delivery plan is.
Once assembled, this casserole can be refrigerated for a day or two before baking or freezing. If you bake yours on January 26, you can either deliver it to the mission on the corner of Sixth and State streets by 4:30 p.m. or take it to Dottie at her house a few blocks from FPC in time for her to load her car and drive downtown. If you bake it earlier, you can take it to the little kitchen at church. If you take it to the church before January 22, put it in the freezer. After the 22nd, put it in the refrigerator. Thank you!
Women Retreat in Six Weeks
Save the date for our annual Women's Retreat at Blowing Rock Conference Center! This beloved event is scheduled for February 22 -24 and will feature the Reverend Grace Kim as guest speaker. Grace has titled her talk, "Just As I Am." Mark your calendars now!
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!
Join Local Gospel Choir for Annual MLK Celebration
A choir sings during last year's Martin Luther King Jr. celebration at Lee Street Baptist Church in Bristol, VA. (Thomas Gray/WCYB)

Once again, Lee Street Baptist Church will host an annual service celebrating the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. A community gospel choir under the direction of Lee Street Music Director Troy Shelley sings for the service every year, and anyone in the community may join them. FPC member Geneva King ( [email protected]) was in the choir for the 2018 service, and she will be happy to talk to anyone who is interested in participating.
The service will be held Sunday, January 20, at 4:00 p.m. at Lee Street Baptist Church, 1 West Mary Street in Bristol, VA. Three choir practices remain  before the event:
  • Monday, Jan. 14, 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday, Jan. 18, 6:00 p.m.
  • Saturday, Jan. 19, 3:00 p.m.
Music Notes
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, Sanctuary Choir.
Carson Cooman
Sunday's music: Our anthem, "Wondrous Love," is a familiar Appalachian tune. First published in 1811, it has been called a "white spiritual." The text draws on the themes of John 3:16, but there is no official scriptural reference. There is no certainty about either text or music. Some sources attribute the text to Alexander Means, a Methodist minister in Georgia; most sources attribute the tune to an English folk ballad, "The Ballad of Captain Kidd." Sunday's arrangement is by Carson Cooman (b. 1982), an American composer with a catalog of hundreds of works in many forms. His music has been performed on all six inhabited continents and in venues that range from the stage of Carnegie Hall to the basket of a hot air balloon. Cooman's music appears on more than 40 recordings, including more than 20 complete CDs. He also writes on musical subjects, producing frequent articles and reviews for a number of international publications.
Alfred Fedak
Organist's footnotes: Alfred V. Fedak's (b. 1953) Jesu, Jesu, Thou Art Mine: Variations on a Melody by Johann Sebastian Bach, 1736 (our prelude) is a delightful set of four short pieces. The variations come first, and Bach's own harmonization comes last. The first stanza of this sacred song reads: "Jesu, Jesu, Thou art mine! While on earth I live and languish, Keep me ever only Thine, Thine alone in joy and anguish. Living do I make surrender, Nor shall death Thee from me sunder. All to Thee do I resign: Jesu, Jesu, Thou art mine!"
According to Matthew's gospel, Herod's infamous slaughter of innocent children was fulfillment of what was spoken by the prophet Jeremiah: "A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping. Rachel is weeping for her children; she refuses to be comforted for her children, because they are no more." Oskar Lindberg's (1887-1955) setting of a haunting and melancholy Swedish folk tune, "Gammal fäbodpsalm från Dalarna" (our offertory), seems an apt reflection on this poignant story.
Finally, on Baptism of the Lord Sunday, we will close out worship with a rollicking rendition by American composer Barbara Harbach (b. 1946) of the African American spiritual, "Wade in the Water" (our postlude).
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers several members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Becky Busler
Tammy Connolly
Don & JoLynn Evans
FPC Search Committees
Ben & Patsy Frizzell
DeeDee & Sarah Galliher
Dianne Glymph (Mary Ellis Rice's mother)
Will Hankins
Eva Dot Hawk
Jonya Kennedy
Dot Mattison
Beth Neal
Nick Niosi
Osborne Family
Pastor Sam's mother
Pendley Family
Don Preston
Anne Raven
Sikorski Family
Jeremy Spencer
Stigers Family
Chuck Thompson
Jeremy Weaver
John Wizorek (Annette Tudor's father)
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Jan. 13    Pete Holler, Dale Keller, Nell Stigers
Jan. 14    Chris Blankenship, Fritz Reuning
Jan. 15    Bailey Bechtold
Jan. 16    Dale Davis
Jan. 18    Bebo McClain, Adrianna Nelson
Jan. 19    Carrie Haaser, Amanda Hankins, John Peters
Church Calendar
Sunday, January 13
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
4:30 p.m.       Finance Comm., Room 117
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship, Youth Wing
Monday, January 14
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., Room 123
Tuesday, January 15
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, January 16
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, January 17
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Human Resources Comm., Room 117
Saturday, January 19
10:00 a.m.     New Officers Training, Room 123
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Aaron Brooks
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Randy Cook
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Debbie McMillin
Pete Holler
David Hyde
Stuart Parker
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Chuck Thompson
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Adam Abel
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Nancy Butterworth
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
David Ginn
Greg Roberts
Brenda Lawson
Rett Stocstill
Nate Sproles
Barbara Thompson
Ann Woods
Bill Whisnant
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Charles Webb
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill