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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: The Road Ahead
Men's Bible Study Meets Again
Behind-the-Scenes Look at Congregational Finances
We Need Hands and Fabric for Masks
We're Standing Ready to Help
Come to Our Party Aug. 16
Devote 300 Words to Our Advent Observance
Back to the Office Safely
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
Study the Bible Online
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
The World Needs Our Prayers
Well South of Eden
Organist's Footnotes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
June 28
4th Sunday after Pentecost
Genesis 22:1-14
Matthew 10:40-42
It's Not About You
Dan Kreiss
Last Sunday's Attendance
In person: 9:00: 31; 11:00: 29
Livestream: 77
Playbacks: 155

July 5
5th Sunday after Pentecost
Dave Welch
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

June 25 & July 2, 2020
Word from the Pastor: The Road Ahead
Many of you have taken the time to ask hard questions of me, or have asked me to clarify what I have meant in my past few sermons, and for that I thank you. It is clear that I have been talking about the issue of race and the Gospel, which rightly makes us all a bit uneasy. I do not hide, nor have I ever hidden, the fact that the looming question of the Gospel as it relates to the reconciliation of all brothers and sisters, regardless of race or ethnicity, has dominated my writing, thinking, and study at various points.
The reason for this is that I believe the Gospel is the good news that we have peace with God through the shed blood of the Son, and that peace demands we make peace with one another. Here I invite you to examine Ephesians 2, Romans 12, and 2 Corinthians 5. We are the body of Christ, the embodiment of the new humanity put on display in Jesus, and I am convinced that the church should struggle and strive to show that unity we have in Jesus.
I encourage you to continue asking hard questions of me, of us, and of yourselves. You see, I'm not alone in this conviction. As I have expressed before, I have a great deal of respect and admiration for Billy Graham, and I want to share with you an excerpt from an interview he gave February 20, 2006. The interviewer asked him, "What do you think is the greatest social problem in the world today? Some friends and I were talking about this recently, but we didn't come to any agreement. Whatever it is, do you think churches should be doing anything about it, or is it best left to governments?"
Rev. Graham responded:
"I've often said that in my view racism is the biggest social problem we face in the world today, and I believe it still is. Not only do we have continuing problems with racism in our own country, but racism is a worldwide problem that leads to countless wars and conflicts. It also is at the root of much of the world's injustice and poverty.
"Governments have their part to play in solving society's ills, of course-not just racism, but other social problems as well. We need fair laws that will fight corruption and injustice, and we need wise policies that will encourage a better world.
"But we also have a responsibility as believers to work for a better world. The Bible tells us to pray for our leaders, so that 'we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness' (1 Timothy 2:2). God told Jeremiah to 'seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you. ... Pray to the Lord for it' (Jeremiah 29:7). Are you doing this?
"The problem, however, is that even the wisest leaders and the finest laws can't deal with the most basic problem our world faces-and that is the problem of the human heart. Society is evil because our hearts are evil-and only God can change our hearts. And He will, as we turn in faith to Christ and ask Him to change us from within. Is this happening in your life?"
As inheritors of this evangelical faith, and whatever your opinion of the hard things I have had to say over the past few weeks, my hope and prayer is that, as a church, we can answer "Yes" to Billy's two questions. Yes, we are seeking the well-being of our society through acts of faith and love, and yes, we are turning to Christ to guide us all the way.
As your pastor, I want you to know that I do love you. In fact, I love you enough to be honest with you about what I also feel is the biggest failing of the church in North America. My prayer and my hope is that Jesus will lead us as we become the visible sign and witness of the reconciliation that is already here in Jesus, and that is to come when he returns to rule and reign over all things.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Men's Bible Study Meets Again
The Men's Bible Study plans to meet at 7:00 this morning, Thursday, June 25, in the Fellowship Hall. We will wear masks, observe social distancing, and bring our own coffee and snacks. We hope to see you then!
Behind-the-Scenes Look at Congregational Finances
Behind the scenes of the church's very important efforts to relieve and reach out to our local and global communities, adapt worship to online options, and care for our congregation, our business office and Finance Committee have focused on managing our finances through the first half of the year. In the midst of the pandemic, we prayerfully considered the necessary contingency plans, not knowing then, and not knowing now, the disease's full impact on our region.
As part of the contingency planning, FPC applied for and received $85,000 from the CARES Act through the Payroll Protection Program. This amount essentially covered payroll expenses for all staff members for approximately two months at a time when their full engagement in worship, programming, and outreach was paramount. Because monies received were spent as outlined by the PPP guidelines, these funds will be granted to FPC without penalty or interest.
At the same time, our congregation demonstrated its continuing faithful commitment to our church's mission by maintaining giving at near budget levels. In fact, actual giving to date through May 2020 exceeded actual gifts received for the same period last year by more than $20,000, thanks be to God! What a blessing and affirmation this is to the mission we are called to as the body of Christ at FPC Bristol.
Our church's staff has also rallied to maintain tight controls on spending. Altered programs, cancellation of travel to conferences, and so forth naturally resulted in reductions, but beyond that, careful management of other expenses has helped reduce our actual-to-budgeted spending through May by $40,000.
In summary, FPC is prayerfully managing the church's finances, and we are ahead of budget for 2020, thanks to your faithfulness, contingency planning, and careful expense management. We will continue to manage in the same manner as the rest of the year unfolds. God has been faithful during this time, as we have tried to be faithful to care for those in need here and our mission partners in dire straits around the world. Join us in praying for our staff and our church family as well as all those affected locally and globally by this pandemic, always thanking God for His marvelous provisions and presence in the life of our congregation. / John Vann
We Need Hands and Fabric for Masks
We continue to make masks for members of our congregation and various organizations during the COVID-19 pandemic. If you would like to sew or  if you can donate high-quality cotton material, such as tightly woven quilting fabric,  for this effort, please contact the church office (423-764-7176) or  Peggy Hill  (423-956-0209 or  You will find the sewing pattern and instructions  here . If you need a mask, call the church office.
We're Standing Ready to Help
You are not alone! If you have a need, please call the church and let us know! We want to be a blessing to you and make sure that you have what you need. Our response teams are prepared to deliver essential supplies and make general wellness calls. We also have medical personnel on call. If you see a need, please let us know. If you want to help us in the work, just email Dave Welch or Pastor Sam.
Come to Our Party Aug. 16
Our entire church family is invited to our annual Celebration Party at Doe River Gorge in Hampton, TN, on Sunday, August 16, from 1:00 to 6:00 p.m. The afternoon will be full of lake fun and outdoor lounging. At 4:00 we will have a baptismal service by the lake then move to the dining pavilion for dinner together. You may pack a picnic dinner or pre-purchase a dinner voucher from Doe River Gorge. We hope to have our whole church together for this glorious day of celebration!
Devote 300 Words to Our Advent Observance
We want you to help build our 2020 Advent Devotional by submitting devotions of no more than 300 words! Your contribution will enhance our time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you want to share a devotion or have questions, please email Han Ong at or Candy Phelps at by August 1. If you choose to participate, please submit your devotion to Han by October 1.
Back to the Office Safely
FPC Picture
As part of our plan to get church functions back to normal, staff are returning to work in the church building on a limited basis. When you need to contact a member of staff, please do so by phone, email, or mail, if you can. We want to limit contact with others for everyone's safety. A later phase of our plan allows for more regular contact within the building, so please stay tuned for future announcements.
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
During the COVID-19 crisis, we encourage you to give by way of our website or by text or mail. We must hold together, and your continued, faithful giving ensures that we will have the resources to continue our ministries. You can give online by going to our   website  and clicking on "Give" in the upper right corner. You can send your pledge, offering, or special gift by texting (all one word) fpcbristol to 73256. You can also mail your checks directly to the church. Our address is 701 Florida Avenue, Bristol, TN 37620. Thank you, as always, for your generosity.
Study the Bible Online
We are continuing to offer two adult studies on our YouTube channel. The Sunday Bible study, Praying With the Psalms, looks at the Book of Psalms through the lens of prayer. All you need is a Bible and an open heart. We also post a short study every Wednesday. If you subscribe, you will be notified when new studies become available.
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the livestream of our early worship service and other activities. Go to and type in "FPC Bristol." Click on the link and hit "subscribe." You will receive notifications of new videos. We also suggest that you connect to our various Facebook sites. Go to Facebook and type in "FPC Bristol," and several accounts will show up. Some are open to the public, while others are restricted. In either case, "like" the page, or ask to join a group if it is closed.
The World Needs Our Prayers
As we weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking you to spend more time in prayer for our church, our community, our nation, and the world. Pray for our leaders, first responders, frontline workers, and the vulnerable. We also ask that you pray for a swift end to this disease.
Well South of Eden
The rain is pouring down as we prognosticate about the fate of our mowers over the next few weeks. We feel safe in predicting that they will have reason for choreography on the church lawn. Seeing that we have slid with a thud from prophecy to dance, we claim that both body forth the incorporeal. Larry Connolly (June 24-27), who as our facilities manager is expert in the corporeal, mows the lawn this week. Randy Olson (July 1-4) follows in his tracks, as Immigration Sunday follows Independence Day. We will not guess what is in store for Fred Harkleroad (July 8-11), but we hope it is rainbows and Edenic weather.
Organist's Footnotes
Music for June 28: This Sunday I will play arrangements of African American spirituals by three living American composers.
Raymond Henry composed our prelude, "I Want Jesus to Walk with Me." Henry is a freelance composer and music educator in New York, and accompanist at Concord Baptist Church, Brooklyn.
Robert Powell
Our offertory, "There Is a Balm in Gilead," is by
Robert J. Powell (b. 1932, Benoit, Mississippi). He has composed anthems, service music, hymn concertatos, organ music, music for handbell choir, and large-scale oratorios. His conservative, neo-Romantic style stems from his practical approach to composition. Powell says that he writes for "choirs of twenty-five because that's what most choirs are. When you come right down to it, most choirs are not of cathedral ability or size. My pieces are all practical things and useful for specific occasions." His publications appear in The Hymnal 1982 as well as in the catalogs of most of the significant American publishers of church music. According to publisher GIA, Powell is "a composer whose output bridges denominational boundaries and who is able to serve the larger Church. He has made ecumenical sharing a reality-and always with a genteel touch." Powell is an active member of the Association of Anglican Musicians and a Fellow of the American Guild of Organists.
Powell earned a Bachelor of Music degree from Louisiana State University with a focus on organ and composition. He studied with Alec Wyton at Union Theological Seminary in New York and was also Wyton's assistant at The Episcopal Cathedral of St. John the Divine. From 1965 to 1968, he served as Director of Music at St. Paul's School in Concord, New Hampshire. From 1968 to 2003, he was Director of Music and Organist of Christ Church (Episcopal) of Greenville, South Carolina.
Adolphus Hailstork
Our postlude, "Every Time I Feel the Spirit, "
is by Adolphus Hailstork (b. 1941, Rochester, New York). He grew up in Albany, New York, where he studied violin, piano, organ, and voice. Hailstork earned a BA from Howard University, studying with Mark Fax; a master's degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studying with Vittorio Giannini and David Diamond; and a doctorate in music composition from Michigan State University, studying with H. Owen Reed. He was a student of Nadia Boulanger at The American Institute at Fontainebleau. He has served as professor at Youngstown State University in Ohio as well as professor of music and composer-in-residence at Virginia's Norfolk State University. He is currently a professor of music and composer-in-residence at Old Dominion University in Norfolk.
Karl Kroeger
Music for July 5: Karl Kroeger (b. 1932), an American composer, musicologist, music editor, and former professor of music, composed our music for the first Sunday in July. All three pieces build on chorales by John Antes, the most gifted American Moravian composer of the 18th century. In addition to more than 30 concerted anthems and sacred songs, as well as three string trios, Antes (1740 -1811) composed more than 50 chorale melodies, several of which remain popular in the Moravian Church.
Our prelude is "Passacaglia on FALCKNER"; our communion music is "Pastorale on MONKLAND"; and our postlude is "Toccata on INGHAM."
Kroeger was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He studied at the University of Louisville under Claude Almand and George Perle. After receiving a master's degree in music at Louisville, Kroeger studied at the University of Illinois, where his main teacher was Gordon Binkerd.
Kroeger was head of the American Music Collection at the New York Public Library from 1962 to 1964. From 1964 to 1967 he was Ford Foundation composer-in-residence to the public schools of Eugene, Oregon. In 1967 Kroeger joined the faculty of Ohio University. He then began doctoral studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, after which he transferred to Brown University, where he completed his PhD. Kroeger later directed the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina (1972 -82), and taught at the University of Colorado (1982 -98). Now retired, he lives in Gainesville, Florida.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Regina Ambagis
Joe Bell
Booher family
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bristol Tennessee School System
Jane Brooks
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
John Clark's family
Community, nation & world
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Evans family                             
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
Francis Forino
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Gene Grindstaff
Gerald Grubbs
Ron Grubbs
Heidi Harkleroad
Marjorie Harr
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela & newborn Higgins
John Holler
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Richard Lee
Nancy Lilly
Dot Mattison
Rev. McDaniel
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Mott Mitchell
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
Martha North
Lilly Osborne's family
Caleb Revill
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Brittany Salter
Josh & Ta'meka Stigers
Student athletes returning to practice
Tom & Kitty Vann
Bill Wade
Maria Wagner
Our love and sympathy are with Karen White in the death of her son, Chad Cline.
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
June 28         Nora Smith
June 29         Noah Ong
June 30         Peggy O'Dell, Julia Sikorski
July 1             Nancy Hoffer
July 2             Wyatt Gross
July 4             Andy Mumpower
July 5             Campbell Kent
July 6             Micah Bechtold, Mary Tate Gannaway, Kay Wiseman
July 7             Barbara Duncan
July 8             Baine McInnis
July 9             Harold Rutherford
July 10           Jan Eads, Ray Osborne
July 11           Lelia Matney
Church Calendar
Sunday, June 28
9:00 a.m.        Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestream
                          Online Sunday School (following 9:00 service)
10:10 a.m.     Adult Sunday School, TBA
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Tuesday, June 30
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room Fellowship Hall
Thursday, July 2
Church offices closed for Independence Day
Sunday, July 5
9:00 a.m.        Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestream
                          Online Sunday School (following 9:00 service)
10:10 a.m.     Adult Sunday School, TBA
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, July 6
6:30 p.m.       Board of Deacons, Fellowship Hall
Tuesday, July 7
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, July 9
8:30 a.m.        Meals on Wheels, Fellowship Hall
4:30 p.m.       Human Resources Comm., Fellowship 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