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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Fullness of Joy
Last Chance to Catch Friday Parents' Night Out
Presbytery Meeting, Sharrett Ordination Saturday
Ethiopia Report at Wednesday Night Fellowship
Lenten Evensong March 15
We're Throwing an Easter Block Party
Breakfast Was a Hit
Men Gather for Breakfast Again March 28
Children's Ministries Volunteer Spotlight on Heidi Harkleroad
Adrianna Nelson Named a Young Birder of the Year
Get Ready (and a Discount) for Holston Summer Camp
BFIA Needs Commodities & Volunteers
Teddy Grahams on a Mission
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
March 8
2nd Sunday in Lent
Exodus 20:1-7
Galatians 3:23-29
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday: 9:00: 157; 11:00: 110
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 [email protected]


on First Presbyterian Church

March 5, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Fullness of Joy
Photo: Aleteia
Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. For you do not give me up to Sheol, or let your faithful one see the Pit. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
Psalm 16:9-11 NRSV
We began our monthlong series on the "R's" of worship last Sunday. What I hope we all got from that is that worship is grounded in remembrance. We gather in God's name to remember God's goodness and faithfulness, and in our remembering we experience true rest. While resting in God, we also begin to remember who we truly are. We are God's children, made for the purpose of resting in God's peace and sharing in the joy of God's fellowship. Anything calling itself worship but not beginning in this sort of remembrance can quickly fall into the error of telling us what we want to hear.
But if this act of remembering brings us into God's presence, where we experience the true rest we were made for in Christ, that rest and peace ought to fill us with joy. The Psalmist tells us that in God's presence "there is fullness of joy." Joy looks different to each rejoicer, but we are far from being frozen in our pews on a Sunday morning.
As an example, consider Augustine's conversion experience and the days following it. I think we find a description of his days as being worship filled as he experienced life from within God's life-giving presence, free of the burdens of his addiction to pleasure:
How sweet did it suddenly seem to me to shrug off those sweet frivolities, and how glad I now was to get rid of them -I who had been loath to let them go! For it was you who cast them out from me, you, our real and all-surpassing sweetness. You cast them out and entered yourself to take their place, you who are lovelier than any pleasure, though not to flesh and blood, more lustrous than any light, yet more inward than is any secret intimacy, loftier than all honor, yet not to those who look for loftiness in themselves. My mind was free at last from the gnawing need to seek advancement and riches, to welter in filth and scratch my itching lust. Childlike, I chattered away with you, my glory, my wealth, my salvation, and my Lord and God. ( Confessions, Book IX, Ch. 1)
Here, Augustine describes God's presence as sweetness, freedom, loveliness, and intimacy. His former life had been filled with "itching lust," but now he feels rejuvenated (might we say, "given second-birth" or "born anew?") like a child in God's presence. In short, he felt filled to fullness with God's presence as he began to realize who he truly was, that he was made to rest in God.
If this description of childlike thrill in God's presence finds purchase in your heart, then part of reevaluating what worship means for us involves reexamining the cultural mores around worship we have assumed are "normal." What child have you found able to sit perfectly still without making a sound in a worship service? In my experience, they don't really exist. Instead, they do what kids do: they learn to take delight in the smallest of things. Maybe this suggests that our way of worshiping might need to reflect that same delight.
Never forget that you belong to God, and that you were made to dwell in God's presence as God's Spirit indwells you. In light of that truth, surely our souls and hearts are glad and filled with joy.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Last Chance to Catch Friday Parents' Night Out
The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 tomorrow, Friday, March 6, 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 [email protected], call or text her at 423-383-5476, or use the Children's Ministries Facebook page.
Presbytery Meeting, Sharrett Ordination Saturday
Our church will host the next stated meeting of Holston Presbytery this Saturday, March 7. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., delegates will arrive, sign in, and enjoy a short fellowship. The meeting proper will begin at 9:00. At the conclusion of business around 10:15, we will transition into a worship service wherein the presbytery will ordain Lawrence Sharrett as a Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PCUSA to a Validated Ministry working with Encylical. We are so delighted to be hosting this event at our church, and we invite you to join us for the service of ordination and the luncheon to follow.
Ethiopia Report at Wednesday Night Fellowship
Our midweek Adult Enrichment programs in Lent are focusing on missionaries and ongoing mission projects. Please join us on Wednesdays for a fellowship supper at 5:30 followed by small group learning at 6:15. Activities for children and youth begin at 6:00. On March 11, we will hear a report from Nancy Allerton, Geneva King, Han Ong, and Dave Welch on the most recent Ethiopia mission trip.
Lenten Evensong March 15
Our Music Ministries will present a Lenten evensong service Sunday, March 15, at 5:00 p.m. in the sanctuary. Evensong is an ancient tradition in which the choir serves as worship leader. Please take advantage of this opportunity to deepen your experience of this season of penitence and reflection, as you enjoy the beauty of the music and the fellowship of the congregation.
We're Throwing an Easter Block Party
On Saturday, April 4, we will hold a community Easter Block Party for all ages. This free event will start at 4:00 p.m. with an Easter skit and egg hunt for the children (infancy to 6th grade). After the fun of the hunt, we will all gather together for a dinner of barbecue smoked by the men of the church. We will enjoy fellowship, music, door prizes, and more! If you would, please bring a side (last name beginning with A -M) or a dessert (last name beginning with N -Z) to share. We will have a hoppin' good time! And oh yes, we need lots of candy for treat bags! / Lilly Osborne
Breakfast Was a Hit
Last Saturday, around 30 men of the church gathered to share table for our inaugural Men's Ministry breakfast. The food was great, the fellowship was even better, and God used the event to help us think about how we want organize our Men's Ministry. We give thanks to the team ( Blake Bassett, Bruce Gannaway, Davan Johnson, George Linke, and Charlie Taylor) for all their hard work, and thanks to the many others who helped us clean up! / Pastor Sam

There is no such thing as leftover bacon.

Time to serve!
Men Gather for Breakfast Again March 28
The Men's Ministry Team will gather once more on Saturday, March 28, at 8:00 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall for a men's breakfast. We want to get an idea of who plans to attend, so look for sign-up sheets around the church or call the church office and let them know. Beyond the food and fellowship, we will talk about our plans for a community barbecue the following weekend, and how you can get involved in this emerging ministry. / Pastor Sam
Children's Ministries Volunteer Spotlight on Heidi Harkleroad
Heidi and kids flourishing in situ.
If you have children in our children's ministry now, or have had at any time in the past 30 years, Heidi Harkleroad is a very familiar face. She has served as a Sunday School teacher on and off since 1989 and currently teaches our first and second grade class. Heidi also serves in many other ways at First Pres. She helps in the church office; assists with Wednesday night dinners, Parents' Night Out, VBS, and Meals on Wheels; and ushers and serves on the bereavement committee. Heidi is married to Fred, and they have two children, Freddy and Liz, and three grandchildren, Kameron, Barron, and Bryce. When she isn't teaching Sunday School or volunteering in some other way at the church, Heidi enjoys yardwork, UT athletics, and strawberry ice cream.
Heidi's favorite volunteer role is teaching first and second graders in Sunday School. She says of the experience: "I love their smiles and their hugs. I miss them when they are not here. I am always amazed at how smart they are." By volunteering, she feels connected to the church and a part of the church community. "It gives me a chance to know others better." Heidi believes if we are open, God will put us where we need to be. Thank you, Heidi, for your dedication and many years of service to the children of our church! /
Lilly Osborne
Adrianna Nelson Named a Young Birder of the Year
Birding enthusiast Adrianna keeps her eyes open!
Adrianna Nelson has been chosen as one of only two Young Birders for 2020 by the American Birding Association. The ABA Young Birder of the Year program exists to encourage, mentor, and develop the talents of teenage birders. Begun in 1998, It has a solid track record of influencing up-and-coming leaders of the birding community. We congratulate you, Adrianna!
Get Ready (and a Discount) for Holston Summer Camp
You are invited to spend the best summer yet with friends new and old at Holston Presbytery's beautiful camp in the mountains! You'll enjoy new activities as well as old favorites: campfires, Wildcat Lake, Rock of Ages, and Dance Night. The theme will be Who is my neighbor? Do you know how Jesus answered that question? Come find out! To receive a 10% discount, register by next Thursday, March 12, either online here or by phone at 844-465-7866 (toll free).
BFIA Needs Commodities and Volunteers
Bristol Faith In Action urgently needs many commodities, especially toilet paper, body soap, toothpaste, shampoo, dish soap, cleaners and disinfectants, and nonperishable food items. Donations can be placed in the grocery cart in the Fellowship Hallway or dropped off at BFIA. The organization is also seeking volunteer receptionists and appointment bookers. BFIA is located at 1534 Euclid Avenue, and its phone number is 276-466-8292.
Teddy Grahams on a Mission
One of our ongoing missions in our immediate neighborhood is to make sure the children of Fairmount Elementary all get a snack during the school day. About 80% of the students get help with lunch, but their families can't buy snacks. This month we are collecting Teddy Grahams for these kids. Please bring your donations to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway, and we will take it from there. Thank you!
Music Notes
Maurice Duruflé
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "Sanctus" from Maurice Duruflé's Requiem. Duruflé (1902-1986) began his musical studies at the Rouen Cathedral Choir School, where he studied piano and organ with Jules Haeling, a pupil of Alexandre Guilmant. At Rouen, the tradition of choral plainsong (Gregorian chant) was strong, and it influenced Duruflé's compositions throughout his life. As a teenager, Duruflé moved to Paris and began studies with Charles Tournemire. In 1927, he became Louis Vierne's assistant at Notre Dame. Later in life, Duruflé taught many composition students, including Francis Poulenc, and in 1943 he became a Professor of Harmony at the Conservatoire de Paris.
Duruflé completed Requiem in 1947, and it has become one of his most frequently performed works. It was composed for choir, soloists, organ, and orchestra, but he also made arrangements that omit the orchestra. Duruflé was known as a perfectionist; his compositional output was relatively small but polished. Requiem contains melodies based on ancient chants, and lush organ accompaniment.
Organist's footnotes: For the second Sunday in Lent, I have decided to play three different arrangements, by three American composers, of the Lenten hymn "Wondrous Love." Its melody was derived from the 1701 English song "The Ballad of Captain Kidd." The melody itself predates the Kidd usage, however, possibly by more than a century. In addition, at least a dozen popular songs were set to the same melody after 1701. In the early 1800s, when the lyrics to "What Wondrous Love Is This" were first published, hymnals typically lacked any musical notation. Camp meeting attendees during the Second Great Awakening would sing the hymns printed in these hymnals to a variety of melodies popular at the time, including "The Ballad of Captain Kidd"; this is likely how the text and melody came to be paired. The text and melody were first published together in The Southern Harmony, a book of shape-note hymns compiled by William Walker.
Samuel Barber
Samuel Barber (1910-1981) composed his "Wondrous Love, Variations on a shape-note hymn" in 1958 on commission by Christ Episcopal Church, Grosse Point, Michigan, for the inauguration of their three-manual Walter Holtkamp organ. It is dedicated to the organist of the church, Richard Roeckelein, who premiered it October 19, 1958. It begins with a straight rendition of the hymn, picks up tempo on the first variation, becomes livelier still on the second variation, then eases into a 12/8 meter on the third variation. On the slower fourth variation, the melody is so highly ornamented as to become virtually indistinguishable.
Dale Wood's (1934-2003) setting of "Wondrous Love" is gently moving, with mildly jazzlike harmonies. In the introduction to the 1970 publication in which this setting is found, Wood writes: "The settings in this volume make no attempt to be profound or involved. The statement of the tune is always clear and direct, and I hope this will please many of my colleagues who also happen to like a good old melody now and then."
Rebecca Groom te Velde's (b. 1956) setting continually alternates back and forth between triplet and duplet patterns. It builds in complexity then subsides quietly at the end. Te Velde was co-editor of the Oxford Hymn Settings for Organists (2015) in which this arrangement is found.
Join the handbell choir: We are always looking for more folks, either regulars or substitutes, to help us ring those bells! We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on most Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs, and we play for the late service about once a month. It isn't hard and it's a lot of fun! Please contact Bob Greene at [email protected] or 276-696-9091 to join us, or just come to a Wednesday practice.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Sujean Bradley
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Eddy Carter's family
Jennifer Chang & family
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Rhonda, Mark & Anna Comer
Raymond Dickenson
Dorothy Dollar
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Trinka Felty
Garrett Foster
Andrew Fox
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Ron Grubbs
Lou Hebb
Eddie & Peggy Hill & family
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Peggy King
Nancy Lilly
Drew Long
Brandon Luttrell
Dot Mattison
Kelly Mayden & family
Roger McCracken
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
Brook Pate
Evan Patrick
Meg Rice & mother
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Scott Sams & family
Joyce Samuel
John Scott
Katie Sword
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Vicky Wood
To the Church Triumphant
Eddy M. "Joe" Carter
February 27, 2020
Vivian Hill
February 27, 2020
Our love and sympathy are with Al and Loretta Thomas in the death of their brother-in-law, Dr. Gary Boggs, and of Loretta's aunt, Delores Mittlesteadt; with Scott Sams in the death of his mother, Joan Rule Sams, February 28; and with Karen and John Vann in the death of Karen's mother, Betty King Ottenfeld, March 1.
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
March 8       Tony Adams, Dawn Eubanks
March 9       Abi Davis, Katie Davis
March 10     Amy Pannell
March 12     David Hyde, Candy Phelps
March 13     Will Hankins, Bob O'Dell
March 14     Jenny Harkleroad, Charlie Taylor
Church Calendar
Sunday, March 8
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, Fellowship Hall
Monday, March 9
11:00 a.m.     Group Bible Study, Room 123
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., Room 123
Tuesday, March 10
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
6:00 p.m.       Venture Crew 3, Room 165
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, March 11
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
5:00 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, March 12
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
4:30 p.m.       Human Resources Comm., Room 117
Friday, March 13
7:00 p.m.       Scout Roundtable, Room 165
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