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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Precautions and Prayers
Livestream-Only Worship This Sunday at 10:00
Stay Connected
All Events Suspended through March 28
Online Bible Studies
Giving Online
If You Need Help
Response Teams
Time to Order Easter Lilies
Project! Rehab or Reimagine the Little House
Danae's News from Love Thy Neighborhood
Decision on Block Party to Come Next Week
Please Donate Candy for Our Easter Party
Get a Discount for Holston Summer Camp
Gifts to the Church
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
March 22
4th Sunday in Lent
Livestream Only (10:00)
Lamentations 5:15-22
Romans 12:1-2
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 41; 11:00: 30
Online: 44 families
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

March 19, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Precautions and Prayers
But you do see! Indeed you note trouble and grief, that you may take it into your hands; the helpless commit themselves to you; you have been the helper of the orphan.
Psalm 10:14 NRSV
Church family,
All of us continue to navigate our way through the present crisis. We all have more questions than answers, and the future seems less than clear. In the interim, we are all having to shift midstream. Many of us are learning how to entertain ourselves with all the extra time we seem to have. Others, while isolated at home, are confronted with the challenge of keeping things in order as our children try to navigate this new reality.
We are also having to shift our patterns of gathering and worship. A lot of us are new to this whole idea of streaming a worship service and joining the body of Christ virtually. How do we pray for each other without face-to-face contact on a regular basis? Is it okay to sing along with a picture on a screen? Do I bow my head to pray when they do it on the video?
Yes, we are in the midst of a great deal of change and having to learn on the fly. It isn't easy. But I want to remind you of a few things. One, we will make our way through this crisis, and we will make it because, as the Psalmist tells us, God sees. God knows what we are going through, and God notes our "trouble and grief." We do not belong to a distant clockmaker who has little to do with our daily affairs. No! We belong to the Lord God, maker of heaven and earth, who also sees us, knows us, loves us, and cares for us.
As for the changes we have to get used to, the Psalmist also reminds us that when we feel helpless, we are to commit ourselves to God's care. When we do that, God helps us. God helps the vulnerable. God has a heart for the troubled. Because God cares in this way, God will also help us navigate these difficult changes. We may feel awkward about worshiping at home by video, but I believe that the same Spirit who sees us and cares for us will be present with us as we worship.
So, in the interim as we wait upon the Lord, I want to ask you to continue being a blessing to your neighbor. Pray for our church, our community, our nation, and our world. Pray for those on the front lines of this battle. Pray that this disease will come to an end soon, and that the people of God might prevail in such a way that we give bold witness to the love and faithfulness of Jesus Christ. Above all, be patient with us and with one another.
Also remember that you are not alone. If you have any need, please, call the office, email us, Facebook us, do whatever it takes to let us know. We will be there. We will be there because the same God who has promised to see us, note our travail, and care for us has also called each and every one of us to represent him. As the people of God, let's love with Christ's love. Thanks be to God!
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Livestream-Only Worship This Sunday at 10:00
In accordance with the guidelines that people not congregate in groups of more than 10 individuals, we are suspending in-person services at the church this Sunday. Not to worry, however! We will livestream the service at 10:00 a.m. Afterwards, we will have live, online special events for children and students, as well as for our Friendship class. Join us for the livestream on our YouTube site, here, or by the link provided on our Facebook page. We also ask that you prepare to join us for communion. You can do so by getting together a piece of bread, a cracker, or the like and juice, water, or whatever you have at hand. We will give you instructions during worship.
Stay Connected
As we move to livestream and online activities, it is important that you stay connected with us. Don't forget to subscribe to our account, here. Click on the link and hit the red "subscribe" button. You will get notifications when there is a new video. 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 for admittance to a group if it is closed. Beyond this, keep an eye on your email for Constant Contact updates and our Windows newsletter.
All Events Suspended through March 28
All events at the church, including Wednesday night meals and programming, Bible studies, the Zachary Hughes recital, and other gatherings, will be suspended until at least Saturday, March 28. Unfortunately, this also includes our previously scheduled Men's Breakfast on that date. We will provide the congregation week-by-week updates on any changes we plan to make to our calendar. Please stay posted.
Online Bible Studies
Because we won't be gathering at the church for Bible studies for a while, and your local in-house group may have suspended their meetings, we invite you to join us for our online studies. Every Tuesday and Thursday, we will post a short study, so that you can hear a word of comfort from God's Word and pray with us as we pray for our community, the nation, and the world. We encourage you to subscribe to our YouTube and Facebook sites, so that you will know when a new Bible study drops.
Giving Online
During our worship and throughout the week, we encourage you to consider shifting your giving online or to text or mail. We are all in this present crisis together, and your continued, faithful giving ensures that our community will have the resources it needs to continue ministry. You can give online by going to our website and clicking on "Give" in the upper right-hand 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 Ave., Bristol, TN 37620. Thank you, as always, for your generosity.
If You Need Help
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 responders are prepared to bring essential supplies and make general wellness calls. If you see a need, please let us know. We have medical personnel on call, for the time being, whom you can call on if you feel the need. You are not alone!
Response Teams
Thank you to everyone who responded to the call to serve our neighbors during this challenging time! We are pleased to announce that we have six response teams organized, as well as two medical response teams. I am appreciative of their heart to serve, while I pray that we won't have to call upon them too often in the coming days. Pray that God would use these response teams in an effective and mighty way. If you are interested in joining us in the work, just email Dave Welch or me, and we will get you onboard. / Pastor Sam
In the coming weeks, 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.
Time to Order Easter Lilies
This year Easter arrives April 12, and at FPC we are already thinking about Easter lilies. We give them in honor or in memory of those we love and appreciate and place them in our worship spaces, enhancing the beauty of our Easter services. Giving lilies to be placed in the sanctuary or the Fellowship Hall is a wonderful way to celebrate the resurrection of the One who gives meaning to our lives. If you would like to order one or more lily plants, please fill out the form you will find at the church and return it to the office. Each plant costs $15. The deadline for ordering is Monday, April 6.
Project! Rehab or Reimagine the Little House
If you're looking for a project to do at home while keeping the novel coronavirus at a distance, the little red house in the Fellowship Hallway is looking shabby. That is because it has been loved for a long time, as everyone who has read The Velveteen Rabbit knows. Mac Blevins (Ann's husband, who died several years ago) built the structure, a big box on rollers, and Nancy Cook and Beth Flannagan decorated it.
The little red house has served us well as a receptacle for items we collect to take elsewhere, such as snacks for Fairmount students and donations to the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry, but it definitely needs some TLC. Anyone with a vision for how it might be rehabbed is welcome to scoop it up, take it home, and get to work. Or you may have an idea for a different form of receptacle. We think our little house would fit in most vehicles, but you might want to measure first. This could be a fun project! If you want to brainstorm ideas, email Beth Flannagan at Otherwise, have at it!

Danae's News from Love Thy Neighborhood
Danae took the kids she works with to a moving dance performance by the Elevate Hope girls (shown here) last month.
FPC supports the mission work of our own Danae Kreiss, who is serving a social justice internship with Love Thy Neighborhood in Louisville. In February she wrote: "I am so happy that I have all of you to support me through this year. The prayers are much needed and I continue to ask that you would lift me up in your prayers. I have 57% of my funds for the year. I want to thank each of you for supporting me in all the ways that you do." Danae asks our prayers for perseverance in her mission work, for her coworkers and the children they work with, and for her roommates. More information about LTN is available at
Decision on Block Party to Come Next Week
FPC is still planning to hold a community Easter Block Party Saturday, April 4. We are keeping an eye on local health news and will announce any change of plans next week. If we do go ahead with this free, intergenerational event, we will gather at 4:00 p.m. for an Easter skit and egg hunt for the children (infancy to 6th grade). We will also enjoy fellowship, music, door prizes, and barbecue prepared by the men of the church. If you would, please bring a side dish (last name beginning with A -M) or a dessert (last name beginning with N -Z) to share.
Please Donate Candy for Our Easter Party
Easter alert! We need bags and bags of candy to fill the treat bags for the children who will attend our community party Saturday, April 4. Please bring your donations to the bin outside Lilly Osborne's office (by the back breezeway doors) by Wednesday, April 1. No fooling! Thank you!
Get a Discount for Holston Summer Camp
Go to Holston Camp this summer! Since 1959, Holston has provided youth with a small-group, age-appropriate camp experience that encourages cooperation, friendship, and fun. Kids can unplug, enjoy the beauty of nature, and make friends in a safe space with staff and counselors who care about them. Use this code for 10% off when you register: ILOVECAMP (offer good through May 1.) Register here or call 844-465-7866 (toll free).
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:
Vivian Hill: to the Christian Hands Ministry from Ann Abel
Jim Mayden: to the Technology Fund from Susan Dahlgren, from Roy "Skip" Maiden, from Ann & the Presley Girls, from Cynthia Rhodes, from Harry & Gina Tharp, from Alicia & Eric Wilson
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Joe Bell
Tilly Betz
Sujean Bradley
Bristol Tennessee School System
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Jennifer Chang & family
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Rhonda, Mark & Anna Comer
Community & world in light of virus
Cookeville tornado victims
Raymond Dickenson
Dorothy Dollar
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Trinka Felty
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
The Goddards
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Lou Hebb
Eddie & Peggy Hill & family
Italy in light of virus
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Nancy Lilly
George Linke
Drew Long
Michael Long
Dot Mattison
Kelly Mayden & family
Military companies returning from Afghanistan
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
Evan Patrick
Meg Rice & mother
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Brittany Salter
Scott Sams & family
Joyce Samuel
John Scott
John & Karen Vann
Carol Van Olst's family
Bill Wade
Vicky Wood
To the Church Triumphant
Buddy Joe "Bulldog" Eller
March 17, 2020
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
March 23         Alex Akard, Louise Bowdoin
March 24         Alison Looney, Roby Witcher
March 25         John Bechtold
March 27         Bennett McInnis
March 28         Jay Regan, Bill Ward
Church Calendar
Sunday, March 22
10:00 a.m.    Worship, Livestream Only
Followed by Sunday School, Livestream Only
Monday, March 23
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders Teleconference
Tuesday, March 24
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
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