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

In This Issue
About Windows
A Season of Prayer
The Season of Lent
Our Partners in Natal Celebrate 18th Anniversary
Identify Your Abilities
It's Time to Order Easter Lilies
Next Wednesday: Melungeons and Their Christian Faith
How to Get Involved in the Will Graham Celebration
Will Graham Celebration Events
Local Seminar Takes the Fear Out of Sharing Your Faith
Your Missionary Emergency Fund at Work
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry Banquet
Holston Camp Needs Summer Staff
Last Call for Teddy Grahams
Sounds of Silence
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Gifts to the Church
Elders and Deacons of FPC
Church Calendar
March 4
3rd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-17
John 2:13-22
Intended Consequences
Dave Welch
You Are My Refuge, Faithful God
A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
Loaves Were Broken, Words Were Spoken
Agnus Dei
Last Sunday's Attendance
8:30: 80; 11:00: 104
Deadline for contributions to Windows is the Monday of the week of publication. The newsletter is emailed a minute after midnight on Thursday morning.

Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN. Please direct questions and suggestions to the editor, Kathy Acuff,


on First Presbyterian Church

March 1, 2018
A Season of Prayer
Our Session of Elders invites all members of First Presbyterian Church to join them Sunday evenings during Lent for a focused season of prayer. Elders will gather in the chapel from 5:00 to 6:00 p.m. on March 4, 11, 18, and 25 to engage members of the congregation in conversation and to lead a time of prayer for discernment regarding the mission, ministry, and staffing of FPC. If you are unable to join us on these evenings, we ask that you set aside your own time for this needed, focused prayer.
The Season of Lent
Our worship Sunday observes the season of Lent, the seven weeks of the church year preceding Easter. Recalling Jesus' 40-day temptation in the wilderness, Lent invites us through introspection and penitence to consider the costliness of Christ's sacrifice for our sin. Lenten worship is hence more subdued, signified by the purple liturgical color as well as by the temporary absence of flowers and "alleluias."
Our Partners in Natal Celebrate 18th Anniversary
The altar in Natal decorated for one of our previous visits.
Congratulations to our brothers and sisters in Natal on the 18th anniversary of the organization of the Independent Presbyterian Church of Brazil (IPIB) in Felipe Camar ão. The anniversary was marked with special celebrations and worship this past Sunday, February 25.
Our first visit to the church in the Natal neighborhood of Felipe Camar ão was in 2002 on the invitation of Paul and Linda Fahnestock. Since then, we have sent nearly 100 people on teams to visit and serve the church, school, and community of Felipe Camar ão. We have thrice welcomed pastors from Brazil to Bristol, most recently on the visit from Jo ão Batista and Rosangela in 2016. God has richly blessed our communities of faith through the deep love we share for one another and the prayers we lift up on each other's behalf. What a gift such partnerships are for all!
From the Stewardship Committee
Identify Your Abilities
As we continue to view stewardship as an ongoing ministry of the First Presbyterian Church congregation, we want to focus now on the giving of our talents. When members give of their talents freely and generously, we will surely reap God's abundant blessings.
Think of the following as a checklist that you can use to identify some of your abilities. Can you paint; welcome people; make something out of cloth, wood, paper, or plastic; mow grass; vacuum; pick up trash; rearrange tables and chairs; read aloud; wash dishes; fold bulletins; cook a meal; visit shut-ins; lead a Bible study; care for children; or garden? If you mentally checked any one of these abilities, or recognized other abilities in yourself, then you can serve God in this place.
The scripture from a devotional that I read recently seems fitting for this topic. I refer you to Exodus 35: 1-40:38 that provided God's instruction to Moses in regard to the construction of the tabernacle. The emphasis today is on Exodus 35:30-36:1: "Then Moses said to the Israelites. 'See, the Lord has chosen Bezalel, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of crafts to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers - all of them master craftsmen and designers. So Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord has given skill and ability to know how to carry out all the work of constructing the sanctuary are to do the work just as the Lord has commanded.' " In this passage, Moses asked people with various abilities to help with the tabernacle construction. Those who could spin cloth made an important contribution, those such as Bezalel and Oholiab with artistic skills cut jewels and carved wood.
Moses laid out the steps as God had given them to him. Another Israelite was asked to serve as the scribe for the project. God did not ask Moses to do all this alone, but to motivate others to perform the tasks. Once the tabernacle was completed, ongoing care was required, just as our church requires ongoing care in many dimensions. Today, churches and neighborhoods require this same kind of pulling together in order to provide many essential services.
All of us have been given special talents and gifts. We are responsible for developing these abilities and to use them for God's glory. We can become skilled through study, by watching others, and through practice. This principle is important to remember today when we recognize the church, not as a building, but as a community of believers. Many seemingly unimportant tasks must be done and are vital to the ministry of the church. These tasks also have crucial importance in our worship. Won't you consider ways in which your talents can be developed, shared, and utilized here at First Presbyterian Church?  /Karen Pennington
It's Time to Order Easter Lilies
Easter lilies will be placed in our sanctuary on Easter Sunday, April 1, in memory of those we love and honor. To order a lily plant, simply fill out a form and return it, with payment, to the church office by Monday, March 26. To ensure correct acknowledgment in the Easter worship bulletin, please print all names exactly as you wish to see them. Order forms are available on the kiosk in the office hallway and in the bulletin, the sanctuary, the Fellowship Hall, and the office. Lilies cost $15 per pot.
Next Wednesday: Melungeons and Their Christian Faith
Next Wednesday, March 7, Katie Vande Brake will present the first of two programs on Melungeons in Appalachia and their Christian faith in our Adult Learning session at 6:15 p.m. Everyone is invited first to the Fellowship Hall at 5:30 p.m. to enjoy a dinner of beef stew, salad, cornbread, and dessert. The Middle School Gathering and Wednesday Night Kids will meet separately at 6:00. High School Small Groups will meet at 7:00.
How to Get Involved in the Will Graham Celebration
A major Will Graham evangelistic celebration has been scheduled for April 27 -29 at Freedom Hall in Johnson City. Will Graham is the son of Franklin Graham and the grandson of Dr. Billy Graham, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association is sponsoring this event. FPC's Evangelism & Outreach Committee wants to encourage each member of our congregation to prayerfully consider how you may want to get involved in this unique and wonderful evangelism and outreach effort, which was prayerfully planned over the past two years. Above all, we hope that as many members as possible will attend this Christian evangelistic event that is devoted to leading the unchurched in our community to the saving grace of Jesus Christ and to connecting them with a church in their local community.
Here are three ways you can participate in this process:
  1. Serve as a Counselor. Minimum age is 13. Mandatory training includes the Christian Life & Witness Course. Week 1 and 2 classes are available at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 10, at Calvary Church in Johnson City, and the Week 3 class will follow at 10:00 a.m. If you complete two classes, you can apply to be a counselor. The counselors will be matched up with those who come forward at each celebration event desirous of committing their lives to Jesus Christ.
  2. Attend a Friendship Evangelism Seminar. This is great preparation for serving as a celebration counselor. You will learn eight steps to take in the development of relationships, steps that will lead to an effective personal witness for Christ in your daily life. You need to attend only one of the Friendship Evangelism Seminars described in "Local Seminar Takes the Fear Out of Sharing Your Faith," elsewhere in this newsletter.
  3. Serve as an Usher. Minimum age is 16. Enrollment forms are available online at or at the Celebration office, located at 207 N. Boone Street, Suite 600, Johnson City. All usher volunteers must participate in one of the following training sessions:
  • Tuesday, April 10, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Cornerstone Church, Johnson City
  • Thursday, April 12, 7:00-8:30 p.m., Indian Springs Baptist Church, Hill Road Campus, Kingsport
For more information, see the Celebration website at, email, or call the Celebration office at 423-461-0057.
Will Graham Celebration Events
Four big events have been planned for the Will Graham Celebration, and all will be held in Freedom Hall Civic Center, located at 1320 Pactolas Road in Johnson City. Admission to each event is free. No ticket is required.
  • Adults & Families: 7:00 p.m. Friday, April 27
  • KidzFest: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, April 28
  • Youth Night: 7:00 p.m. Saturday, April 28 (Adults & families welcome!)
  • Adults & Families: 4:00 p.m. Sunday, April 29
Several other preparatory events for participants in the process will take place before the Celebration:
  • Regional Prayer Gathering: Thursday, March 1, Eastern Heights Presbyterian Church, Bristol, 7:00 p.m.
  • Follow-up Breakfast & Workshop/Promotion Materials Distribution Day: Thursday, March 22, Colonial Heights Baptist Church, Kingsport, 9:00 a.m.-11:00 a.m. For pastors and discipleship leaders. Information will be provided as it relates to the follow-up of those who come forward at the Celebration as well as strengthening your current follow-up procedures. RSVP for the breakfast by notifying the Celebration office at Publicity materials, invitations, and posters will be distributed from 11:00 a.m. to noon.
  • Final Prayer Gathering: Sunday, April 22. For all participants, University Parkway Baptist, Johnson City, 7:00 p.m.
  • Counselor Rehearsal: Thursday, April 26. For those selected to serve as counselors, Freedom Hall, Johnson City, 7:30-9:00 p.m.
Local Seminar Takes the Fear Out of Sharing Your Faith
If you have ever been reluctant to talk about your faith with a friend, our Evangelism & Outreach Committee recommends an incredible training opportunity to you. It is sponsored by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, free, and available at three locations in the Tri-Cities. Attend and discover the "why" and "how" of doing Friendship Evangelism. As Jesus was called a friend of sinners, we are all called to be a friend. At this seminar you will learn how to take the fear out of sharing your faith story with your friends.
Choose the date and location best for you:
Monday, March 5*
Tuesday, March 6*
Thursday, March 8
7:00-8:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
7:00-8:30 p.m.
Hosanna Fellowship
Fellowship Chapel
Sullivan Baptist Church
715 Sunset Dr.
201 Crockett St.
4152 Maplewood St.
Johnson City
*If you'd like to carpool on either Monday, March 5, or Tuesday, March 6, call the church office at 423-764-7176 or email Diana Mattison, our church secretary, at by noon on March 5 to sign up.
Your Missionary Emergency Fund at Work
The Samir Family
Last October, Tom King approached the Missionary Emergency Fund Advisory Committee requesting support toward The Outreach Foundation's purchase of a car for a minister serving the Presbyterian congregation in Basra, Iraq. The Reverend Amgad Samir, his wife Mary, and their two children had moved to Basra from Egypt to minister to the 15 families in the church and to oversee the church's thriving kindergarten and nursery, which serves 200 children. They reach many different faiths in their community, several members of which now worship with them and are quietly under their discipleship.
With a large geographic area to cover, the Samirs were dependent on public transportation. This severely hampered their ability to respond and minister to those around them. The MEF was able to contribute $2,500 toward a $15,000 goal for the vehicle, the purchase of which has now been completed!
A note received last week through The Outreach Foundation from the pastor says it all:
Dear People and Churches that donated:
Thank you so much for your generous gift of buying a car for me to use as the pastor in Basra! I have pastored here for a year and a half, and a lot of things have been more difficult because I didn't have a car. It was especially difficult to visit church members in their homes.
Because of your gifts, I will be able to visit church members and visitors much more easily. This will be a real blessing to the church. It will also be a blessing to my family and me, as we can visit others and do more family activities together.
Thank you for your generosity! May God bless you!
Pastor Amgad
Basra Iraq
First Presbyterian is one of the recipients of the Missionary Emergency Fund, created nearly 100 years by A.D. Reynolds to respond to missionary needs such as this. This gift as an example of the kinds of projects touching lives around the world each year. In the weeks ahead, the MEF Advisory Committee will present in Windows an overview of the MEF and information about the projects funded each year.
The MEF is an important outreach of First Presbyterian Church and is worthy of our celebration and praise to God, reminding us all of the bounty given to and through our church. Praise God from whom all blessings flow!
Good News Jail & Prison Ministry Banquet
The Good News Jail & Prison Ministry, a supported ministry of FPC, will hold their Annual Banquet on Saturday, March 17, at 6:00 p.m. at Avoca Christian Church. Everyone from FPC is invited to attend. For more information, please email or, or call 423-279-6089 or 276-645-7442.
Good News places Christian chaplains in jails and prisons to minister to the spiritual needs of inmates and staff. The organization has developed several practical, life-giving programs that introduce inmates and staff to Christ and help them grow in their knowledge of Him and His Word.
Holston Camp Needs Summer Staff
Holston Summer Camp seeks motivated, energetic, Christian counselors for summer camp staff positions. Resident staff must be at least 18 years old with a high school diploma and one year of higher education or work experience. Counselors will be expected to participate in vigorous physical activity. Holston Summer Camp prefers previous youth camp or counselor experience. Background checks and references will be required. Applicants must love to work with kids. Positions include Internship Summer Director, Adventure Leaders, Resident Counselors, Swim Instructor/Lifeguard, Day Camp Director, Day Camp Counselors, and Nurse. Applications are available at
Last Call for Teddy Grahams
We will continue to collect your donated boxes of Teddy Grahams for snacktime at Fairmount Elementary School for one more week. Our Christian Hands Ministry folks will make sure they get to our neighborhood school. Please bring your boxes to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway to help the children of Fairmount concentrate on their afternoon lessons. Thank you!
Sounds of Silence
An analog sound-mixing board.

If you've worshiped with us in the 11:00 service over the past several weeks, you may be aware of intermittent problems with several of our sanctuary microphones, including the pulpit's, wireless, and hearing-assisted headphones. A local sound engineer has determined that the mixing board, the heart and head of the entire sound system, is beginning to fail. We bought it used more than 12 years ago, and it has outlived its normal lifespan. The analog (circuit-board) system is outdated, and the engineer thinks it is not worth the cost to repair. He suggests that we replace the entire unit with the current industry standard: a digital (computer-based) model. The staff and the Session are exploring options and will keep the congregation informed.
Music Notes
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan; Bob Greene; Sanctuary Choir; Adult Handbell Choir; Lauren Castor, flute.
Franz Josef Haydn
Sunday's music: Sunday's offertory anthem, "Agnus Dei," is yet another setting of the text from the final section of the mass liturgy. The composer of this setting is the famous Franz Josef Haydn (1732 -1809), whose music is acknowledged as the epitome of the Enlightenment. Indeed, his music is the textbook for understanding classicism. Haydn was a great influence on all who followed him, especially Mozart and Beethoven. Characterized by a simple elegance, Haydn's music becomes a marvelous vehicle for illuminating the text.
Organist's footnotes: Fanny Mendelssohn (1805 -1847), sister of Felix Mendelssohn (1809 -1847), introduced the keyboard music of Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750) to Charles Gounod (1818 -1893), who came to revere Bach. For him The Well-Tempered Clavier was "the law to pianoforte study ... the unquestioned textbook of musical composition." It inspired Gounod to devise a melody and superimpose it on the C major Prelude (BWV 846) from The Well-Tempered Clavier Book 1. To this melody in 1859 (after the deaths of both Mendelssohn siblings), Gounod fitted the words of the Ave Maria, resulting in a setting that became world famous. When not sung, Gounod's melody is often played on the violin. I have arranged and performed his melody as a solo handbell ringer, accompanied by piano. Today the roles are reversed, with handbells playing the accompaniment, and a flute playing Gounod's melody.
Johannes Brahms
We conclude this third Sunday of Lent with another selection from Elf Choralvorspiele für die Orgel (Eleven Chorale Preludes for the Organ), Op. 122, by Johannes Brahms (1833 -1897). Brahms wrote these short pieces in 1896 near the end of his life, and they were published posthumously in 1902. They are based on verses of nine Lutheran chorales, two of them set twice. "O Gott, du frommer Gott" (O God, Thou faithful God) was written by Johann Heermann (1585-1647), who was a German poet and hymnodist. Its tune was published in the Neu ordentlich Gesangbuch of 1646 and was later harmonized by Johann Sebastian Bach. Brahms's setting has the chorale tune weaving in and out of the dense harmonic texture, one isolated phrase at a time. This tune is obvious to the organist, who can see the melody highlighted in the score with German text. It is perhaps not so obvious to the listener, but beautiful to listen to nonetheless.
Pray for One Another
An extensive list of prayer concerns, "Pray for One Another," is available for pickup at the church each week.
In Our Prayers
Briggs Evans
DeeDee Galliher
Ron Grubbs
Don Moneyhun
Joan Sams (mother of Scott Sams)
Chuck Thompson
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
March 4        Weston Foster, Brandi Smith
March 6        Jenn Sproles
March 7        Abby Welch
March 8        Tony Adams, Dawn Eubanks
March 9        Abi Davis, Katie Davis
Gifts to the Church
We gratefully acknowledge recent gifts in memory of the following individuals:
Graham Barr: to the Capital Fund/MEP from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad, from Sam & Selma Jennings; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from the Clarence Barr family, from the Evelyn Goad family, from the Frances Morgan family, from John & Karen Vann
Charles "Chili" Ishmael: to the Memorial Fund from John & Karen Vann
Betty Millard: to the Capital Fund/MEP from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad; to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Ann Abel, from John & Alice Graham, from Sam & Selma Jennings, from Julie King, from Tom & Leigh King, from Ernie & Karen Pennington, from John & Karen Vann; to the Music Projects Fund from Frances Emerson & George Huber
Elders and Deacons of FPC
PCUSA seal small
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

Church Calendar
Sunday, March 4
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, March 5
5:30 p.m.       Adult Handbells
7:00 p.m.       Board of Deacons, Room 123
Tuesday, March 6
9:30 a.m.       Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conference Room
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, March 7
9:30 a.m.       Women's DVD Bible Study, Coffee Klatch Room
5:15 p.m.       Baby & Toddler Care, Rooms 34 - 36
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.       Pastor Nominating Comm., Room 117
6:15 p.m.       Adult Learning Program, Fellowship Hall
7:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir
7:30 p.m.       8:30 Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, March 8
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
8:30 a.m.       Meals on Wheels, Fellowship Hall
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
5:00 p.m.       Human Resources Comm., Room 117