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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Good News
Communion Uncontained
Scampering Scams, Sam!
Bigger and Better!
Seeking Submissions for 2020 Advent Devotional
Back to the Office Safely
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
Safe Connections
Meet Us Online for Bible Study
The World Needs Our Prayers
Have a Need? See a Need? We Can Help!
We're Making and Wearing Masks
Nature's Caravan
Gifts to the Church
Organist's Footnotes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
June 7
Trinity Sunday
Lamentations 5:15-22
Romans 12:1-2
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday's Attendance
In person: 9:00: 26; 11:00: 16
Livestream (YouTube & Facebook): 90 families
Total YouTube views: 190
Total Facebook views: 34
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 4, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Good News
The following is an excerpt from Thomas Merton's Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander , pp.126-128.
"The time is fully come, and the Reign of God is at hand: repent and believe in the good news."
Mark 1:15
The greatest temptation that assails Christians is that in effect, for most of us, the Gospel has ceased to be news. And if it is not news it is not Gospel: for the Gospel is the proclamation of something absolutely new, everlastingly new, not a message that was once new but is now two thousand years old. And yet for many of us the Gospel is precisely the announcement of something that is not new: the truths of the Gospel are old, deep-rooted, firmly established, unchanging and in some sense a refuge against all that is disturbing because it is new.... The message of the Gospel when it was first preached was profoundly disturbing to those who wanted to cling to well-established religious patterns, the ancient and accepted ways, the ways that were not dangerous and which contained no surprises.
Repentance is at the same time a complete renewal, a discovery, a new life, and a return to the old, to that which is before everything else that is old. But the old and the new meet in the metanoia [Greek for "turn around," or "repent"], the inner change, that is accomplished by the hearing of God's word and the keeping of it. That which is oldest is also newest because it is the beginning. "I am the Beginning, and I speak to you." "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end." The Jews were scandalized at Christ, who spoke as if He were already known to Abraham. "Thou art not yet forty years old." Christ replied: "Before Abraham was made, I am." The new is within the old because it is the perennial beginning of everything, and emerges from the old, transcending it, having no part in it, eternally renewing its own life. The Gospel is handed down from generation to generation but it must reach each one of us brand new, or not at all. If it is merely "tradition" and not news, it has not been preached or not heard -- it is not Gospel.
Any word that comes from God is news!
... If there is no risk in revelation, if there is no fear in it, if there is no challenge in it, if it is not a word which creates whole new worlds, and new beings, if it does not call into existence a new creature, our new self, then religion is dead....
The Gospel is the news that, if I will, I can respond now in perfect freedom to the redemptive love of God for man in Christ, that I can now rise above the forces of necessity and evil in order to say "yes" to the mysterious action of Spirit that is transforming the world even in the midst of the violence and confusion and destruction....
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Communion Uncontained
We will observe the Lord's Table this Sunday, June 7. If you are worshiping from home, please prepare home communion. If you are joining us for service at the church, please note that we will use prepackaged communion containers. These containers can be a bit tricky to deal with. Please see the picture: the cup has two plastic-wrap lids. The top cover protects the wafer. Peel it first, and remove and consume the wafer. Then peel the second cover and drink the juice.
Scampering Scams, Sam!
The indefatigable internet and smartphone scammers who targeted us in January and April are back in June. Their messages, which come by email, text, or websites such as Facebook, appear to be from FPC staff. Bright and early this week, some of the church staff even received one that looked like Pastor Sam's FPC email and claimed he needed us to take care of a matter for him discreetly. It said he was in a prayer session and could not be interrupted, so "please reply to this email." We marked it as spam, deleted it, and notified Sam. Another form this scam takes is to tell you to buy a gift card for a person or family in need, or for a worthy-sounding ministry. You are instructed to send the gift card codes to the phone number provided. These are scams. PLEASE DO NOT RESPOND or take any action. The staff of FPC will NEVER ask you to do such things. Learn more about scammers and gift cards here.
Bigger and Better!
FPC's second drive-by, drop-off Food Pantry Parade doubled participation and collected twice as much shelf-stable food as on May 13. That's just how we roll! On Wednesday, May 27, 41 cars and families, compared with 22 in our first parade, delivered nonperishable food to restock the Food Pantry shelves. Thank you, FPC Bristol, for being a blessing to the hungry in lean times! / Dave Welch

Seeking Submissions for 2020 Advent Devotional
The Worship Committee invites the congregation to participate in our 2020 Advent Devotional by submitting devotions of no more than 300 words. Your contributions will enhance our time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. If you would like 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.
Safe Connections
We are continuing to livestream our early worship service and other activities, so remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel. 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.
Meet Us Online for Bible Study
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. No preparation is needed, other than to have 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.
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, the 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.
Have a Need? See a Need? We Can 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. And if you see a need, please let us know. If you are interested in joining us in the work, just email Dave Welch or Pastor Sam.
We're Making and Wearing Masks
We continue to reach out to those of you who can sew. Ballad Health has asked us to make masks for respiratory patients during the COVID-19 crisis, so that medical-grade masks can be conserved for medical professionals. You will find the sewing pattern and instructions here. An FPC response team member will come to your home to pick up your finished masks for delivery. The contact person for this project is Peggy Hill. You can reach her at 423-956-0209 or
If you need a mask, call the church office. We have a limited number made by members of our church. Even masked, be sure to maintain six feet of distance from those outside your household when you leave your home. We now know that masks offer some protection from infection to both wearers and those they encounter. It is possible to have the disease without realizing it, so please take care.
Nature's Caravan
For the space of a sentence or so, let us focus our attention on nature. June is here, the Queen of Sheba among months, long-awaited and gorgeously generous, and summer follows in her train. Breathe deeply (be sure to stand at least six feet from the camels) and contemplate the apes and peacocks or, if you can see them, the giraffes and unicorns. Ahhhh! Right, on to the business at hand. As we foreshadowed last week, Ron Fox (June 3-6) will spring onto the exotic Tiger Cat and mow down the church lawn for Trinity Sunday, June 7. Randy Cook (June 10-13) will take it from there for the second Sunday after Pentecost, of which more later.
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:
Jim Mayden: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Drew & Meg Rice
Betty Ottenfeld (Karen Vann's mother): to the Brazil Mission Fund from Sarah Barker, from Drew & Meg Rice; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Nancy De Friece
Peggy Truman (Linda Welch's mother): to the Brazil Mission Fund from Drew & Meg Rice
Pat & Bob Vann: to the Brazil Mission Fund from Bill Vann
Organist's Footnotes
Piet Post (1919-1979) was a Dutch organist, conductor, and composer. He enrolled in the Amsterdam Conservatory in 1939 but was unable to finish his education until 1945, after World War II. During the war, Post was an organist in Amstelveen and the Reformed Church in Weesp. After the war, he worked for the NCRV for a while, and in 1949 he became an organist in the service of the Church of Our Lady, in Breda. That same year, he was accepted as organist of the Great Church in Leeuwarden. He later became conductor of the Leeuwarden Concert Choir and the Christian Oratory Society in Groningen. Post composed music mainly for organ and choir, gave concerts at home and abroad, and received the Golden Violin in 1959 for his contributions to the Frisian music scene.
Dale Wood
Dale Wood (1934-2003) was a renowned composer, organist, and choral director best known for his church music compositions. He was executive editor for The Sacred Music Press, a position he held from 1975 to 1996. Most of his pieces were conceived with a three-manual organ in mind but are readily adaptable to smaller instruments. He gave general suggestions for registrations, but he always trusted the performer's own imagination ("The printed music is just a blueprint, and it is the performer's job to complete the project," he liked to say). He used unusual techniques in several pieces, such as wedges in keys for pedal points ("Il est né," "Meditation on KEDRON"). Not all his hymn arrangements were easy. Many require a significant amount of finger substitution; several involve bridging (playing on two manuals simultaneously with one hand); and his pedal lines sometimes go to the top of the pedalboard ("Amazing Grace" sports a high F#). Nor was he afraid to write pieces with accidentals. When cautioned that some organists would find a piece in six flats overly challenging, he responded, "Well, then, they'll just need to practice!"
You can view last Sunday's 11:00 worship service here.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Arnold family
Joe Bell
Bock family
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bristol Tennessee School System
Jane Brooks
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Community, nation & world
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
Francis Forino
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Roxanna Garcia & family
Diane Glymph
Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Gene Grindstaff
Ron Grubbs
Heidi Harkleroad
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela & newborn Higgins
John Holler
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Nancy Lilly
Virginia Long
Dot Mattison
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Mott Mitchell
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
New Jersey & New York
Margaret Noble
Martha North
Ed Richards
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Hazel Salama
Brittany Salter
Student athletes returning to practice
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
June 8       Beckham Schiesz
June 9       Rob Nicar
June 12     Blair Jane Gannaway, Van VanNostrand
Church Calendar
Sunday, June 7
9:00 a.m.        Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestreamed
                          Online Sunday School (following 9:00 service)
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, June 8
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., UberConference
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., UberConference
Tuesday, June 9
Church offices closed
9:00 a.m.        Staff Retreat, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, June 11
8:30 a.m.        Meals on Wheels, Kitchen
4:00 p.m.       Christian Education Comm., UberConference
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