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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Practicing Justice
We Install New Officers Sunday
Please Pray for Our Mission Partners in Guinea-Bissau
Scam Targets Bristol and FPC
Onward with Corinthians Wednesday
Parents' Night Out Next Friday
Puttin' On Our Top Hat, Tyin' Up Our Tap Shoes
Registration for Women's Retreat Opens Sunday
Let's Feed These Kids
Cheerios for Fairmount
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
January 26
3rd Sunday after Epiphany
Psalm 27:7-8
Matthew 4:17-22
What Are You Fishing For?
Sam Weddington
Holy Ground
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 136; 11:00: 97
Click here to livestream our contemporary service. You can also access past sermons and ministry videos on our YouTube account, "FPC Bristol."
Deadline & Subscriptions
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on First Presbyterian Church

January 23, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Practicing Justice
"It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
Isaiah 49:6 NRSV
Take a long look at the picture above, snapped in 1957. I'm sure that you will recognize the man on the left, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do you know the others? Behind Dr. King is the famous musician Pete Seeger; next to Dr. King is Charis Horton, daughter of Myles Horton; then Rosa Parks, who stands next to the Reverend Ralph Abernathy.
Why is this picture important? Well, it is important in helping us recognize the work of those who went before us in the struggle for righteousness. But it is also important to us so that we might remember how our Presbyterian identity within the body of Christ intersects with God's larger work in the world. You see, Myles Horton was a fellow Presbyterian who established the Highlander Folk School in 1932 for the purpose of training and building up poor communities.
This photograph is also important because it was taken not too far from Bristol at that school, one of the few places at that time where whites and blacks could openly work, meet, and collaborate together in the South. The purpose of the school was to train the poor, farmworkers, and black and white communities in ways to pursue equality. Rosa Parks, for example, would come to the school for four months in 1955 to receive instructions before she took her seat on a bus in Birmingham that December. Dr. King would come on several occasions and work to develop a model of organizing and mobilizing his community. When the school was shut down in 1961 by the state on trumped-up charges, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference would take over the school's citizenship program, and through it train more than 100,000 people for nonviolent action.
God did wonderful things through the Civil Rights Movement, and continues to do so. Our story is only a minor footnote in that larger story, but it is a part nonetheless. We can, you can, the church can work in a way to reflect Christ to the nation(s) by exercising care, mercy, and justice. In so doing, we inch our way to that day when Christ shall come, and "we shall see him as he is" (1 John 3:2).
This is the promise we find in Isaiah 49:6 that struck me when Dr. Dotterweich read it this past Sunday. We might think our call is to be a servant to raise up our own and restore our limited perspective on being the body of Christ. But God's call is bigger; much bigger. That is too light a thing, God tells us. No, God has promised to "give us as a light to the nations, that God's salvation may reach to the end of the earth." God has promised to use us, in whatever way we can contribute, to be a blessing as we bear witness to God's faithfulness and love.
That picture looks old, and that day seems far gone. But it isn't. It's a reminder of God's ongoing call to frame new pictures, take new directions, create new connections, so that we might love others as Christ first loved us. Let's imagine a picture someone might come across of FPC years from now, and let's do our best to make it a picture that reflects Christ's love.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
We Install New Officers Sunday
At the annual meeting last Sunday, the congregation approved our slate of nominees for elders, deacons, and trustee. We congratulate our new leaders for the class of 2022! We will ordain and install the new officers in our service of worship this Sunday, January 26. Please pray that God may continue to guide our leaders faithfully as they serve us all.
Officers of the Class of 2022
Anna L. Booher
Mike Cleland
Nancy Cook
Bruce Gannaway
Geneva King
Will Hankins
George Linke
Dottie Havlik
Charlie Taylor
Laura Ong

Please Pray for Our Mission Partners in Guinea-Bissau
Rui Damasceno is a brother in Christ and a mission partner in Brazil, along with his wife Ariel. We support their work in Guinea-Bissau to evangelize and educate a small village there. Over the years, they have managed to build a small church and school to help children in the area. We recently received the following communication from him, which we have edited for readability:
We arrived here in GUINÉ-BISSAU. Things here are not so good. We have political problems: the government just closed our school and requested new documents! Things here are very difficult, more than we imagined, because the president who won the elections is Islamic. And he is making many new requirements to release the functioning of our school. From now on our school can no longer work within the church, so we will have to build our school out of the church building! And this will make everything more expensive and take more time. But for our God nothing is impossible! Luke 1:37.
We ask that you pray for Rui and his mission partners, and for their work in the West African Republic of Guinea-Bissau. Pray that God opens new doors of opportunity for them, and that their critical work will be allowed to move forward. We also invite you to friend Rui on Facebook and share your prayers, well-wishes, and messages of support. It is a wonderful way to connect with him and get regular updates on their progress. You can find his page at / Pastor Sam
Scam Targets Bristol and FPC
Friends, please note that there is an internet and smartphone scam making its way through Bristol and First Presbyterian Church. Scammers, posing as FPC staff, will say that they are in a meeting or unable to attend to an important issue, then ask you to go and buy a gift card (for Walmart, Target, Food City, etc.) to be given to a person or family in need, a worthy-sounding ministry, or other credible recipient. They will instruct you to send the card information to an attached phone number. The message may come to you as a text or through Facebook or similar method. It is a scam. PLEASE DO NOT respond or take any action. The staff of FPC will never ask you to do anything like this! For more information about scammers and gift cards, click on this link from the Federal Trade Commission: . / Dave Welch
Onward with Corinthians Wednesday
Please join us Wednesday, January 29, at 5:30 for a fellowship supper, followed at 6:00 by activities for children and youth. At 6:15, our Adult Enrichment program will resume the study of 2 Corinthians, picking up at chapter 5, with Pastor Sam. Except when we have special presentations, we worship on most Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together.
Parents' Night Out Next Friday

The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 next Friday, January 31, 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.
Puttin' On Our Top Hat, Tyin' Up Our Tap Shoes
Cookin' up some heat! For we'll be holdin' our annual chili cook-off and talent show two and a half weeks from now. Those of you payin' attention realize that these lines no longer scan. But our lack of syncopation can't keep you from synchronizin' your calendar with ours. Be sure to save the new date: Sunday, February 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. If you want to show all the world that can fit into the Fellowship Hall just what you can do, please contact Lilly Osborne at or Katie Arnold at For we'll be there!
Registration for Women's Retreat Opens Sunday
Registration for our annual women's retreat begins this Sunday, January 26! We are going to beautiful Blowing Rock, NC, February 21 -23 for a weekend of connection and renewal . We will continue our conversation about intergenerational connectedness with Jessica Stollings. Bring your friends and ReGenerate!
Let's Feed These Kids
Student Fellowship needs folks to provide dinners on Sunday nights. You can orchestrate dinner all by yourself, make a family project of it, or work with others. Whether you cook or pick up and deliver food, we need your help to feed teens on these dates: February 16 and 23 and March 1 and 8. If you can help, please contact Katie Arnold at or Sarah Gannaway at
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!
Music Notes
Geron Davis
Sunday's music: This week's anthem is known throughout American churches as a standard that praises the sanctity of our religious spaces. "Holy Ground" by Geron Davis is a way for us to give thanks to God for the gift of his Holy Spirit that imbues our church with holiness. Davis (b. 1960) was first signed by Meadowgreen Music, and "Holy Ground" is his best-known song. He and his wife, Becky, have written several songs, including "In the Presence of Jehovah," "Mercy Saw Me," and "Send It On Down." Davis, also a vocalist, asked his sister, Alyson Lovern, and her husband, Shelton, to join him and Becky in forming the group Kindred Souls. They have been performing together for more than 10 years. Their 2002 debut album, Let It Rain, gained considerable attention on AC charts.
Organist's footnotes: As I write these notes, I am saddened by the news of the sudden passing of Kevin Flannagan, age 39. Kevin grew up in Bristol and made a name for himself in many respects, among which were his qualities of "compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience" (Colossians 3:12). He was a fine musician and a friend to many. He will be dearly missed.
John Courter
All of Sunday's organ music comes from a collection called Biblical Sketches: The Lexington Organ Book, which is dedicated to the memory of another dear saint, John Courter (1941 -2010), who conceived of a competition for composers in conjunction with the 2011 Regional Convention of the American Guild of Organists, Region V, in Lexington, KY. His initial idea was to request pieces based on biblical themes, because of the difficulty of finding organ pieces closely tied to specific, yet common, scriptural passages. He also saw the need for pieces that would be used in church services rather than in recitals. Courter chose 20 biblical passages as possible themes for entries in the competition. The competition was successful, with 78 entries submitted from all over the United States, as well as from England, Canada, and Germany.
The first two pieces I will play are both reflections on the scripture passage we will hear, Matthew 4:19, "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." Both pieces are gentle, melodic, inviting compositions. Consider God's call for your own life as you listen to them.
The postlude, "Rejoice in the Lord Always" (based on Philippians 4:4) by Jeff Enns, is a classic trumpet tune similar in character to those of David N. Johnson. Enns pitches his piece in D-flat, but I will be playing it in D-major, the traditional key for trumpet tunes, to give it more sparkle and pizzazz.
Join the Sanctuary Handbell Choir: Ring our bells! We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs, and play for the late worship service about once a month. Contact Bob Greene at or 276-696-9091 to join us.
Early service music: The YouTube playlist for early worship is here.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Bissau-Guinean brothers & sisters
Sujean Bradley
Becky Busler
Craig Cato
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Dorothy Dollar
Charlie Dolpp
Tucker Dorton
Sarah Ellis
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Flannagan family
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Kay Martin Grott
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Bonnie Haskins
Lou Hebb
Rita Holifield
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King
Krista Martin
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Breanna Necessary
Eric Page
Pat Rippetoe
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
John Scott
Grayson Smith & family
Bethel Tulama
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Wing Kang Wei
Vicky Wood
Bill Woods
To the Church Triumphant
Elizabeth Ellen "Betty" Barger
January 16, 2020
Our love and sympathy are with Barbara Daniel in the death of her sister, Betty Jo Cox, January 17 in Blountville; with Pat Flannagan in the death of his nephew, Kevin Flannagan, January 18 in Huntsville, Alabama; and with Jane Nickels in the death of her brother, Jimmy Goebel, January 18 in Sarasota, Florida.

Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Jan. 27      Bambi Akard, David Akard, Piper Arnold, Ann Galliher, Phillip Hoffer,
                   Samuel Parker, Ethan Webb, Grayson Webb, Jeremiah Webb
Jan. 28      Kaemon Nelson, Byron Schiesz
Jan. 30      Lucy Bechtold
Jan. 31      Andrea Hyde
Church Calendar
Sunday, January 26
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
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship
Monday, January 27
4:00 p.m.       Children's Ministries, Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Room 123
Tuesday, January 28
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 Hall
Wednesday, January 29
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
5:15 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, January 30
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, January 31
6:00 p.m.       Parents' Night Out, Education Wing
6:00 p.m.       Scout Overnight, Scout Hall
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