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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: One More Time
Parent Survey Responses Needed by Sunday
Changes to Summer Student Programming
Church Offices Closed Memorial Day
Back to the Office with Care
Seeking Submissions for 2020 Advent Devotional
Big Food Pantry Parade Hits the Spot.
Working Together for COVID-19 Relief in Brazil
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
Let's Stay Connected, Safely
Meet Us Online for Bible Study
Please Pray for All, Near and Far
Have a Need? See a Need? We Can Help!
We're Making and Wearing Masks
Looking Back and Ahead
Organist's Footnotes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
May 24
7th Sunday of Easter
Psalm 68:1-10, 32-35
Acts 1:6-14
Up, Up, and Away?
Dave Welch
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 18; 11:00: 15
Livestream: 78 households
Total online views: 253
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

May 21, 2020
Word from the Pastor: One More Time
Last Sunday we began cautiously, carefully resuming in-person worship while we await further information about the progression of COVID-19. We want now to remind the congregation of our current reunion plan. Phase 1 is outlined below, and a fuller articulation is on our website here.
  1. We are now holding limited, in-person worship at both 9:00 and 11:00 a.m. We also livestream the 9:00 service.
  2. Instead of in-person Sunday School classes or nursery, we are offering online Sunday School at 10:10 a.m.
  3. We are practicing strict social distancing and making hand sanitizer and masks available.
  4. We are asking those over 65 years of age, those with underlying health problems, and those who don't feel well in any way to stay home and participate in worship through the livestream.
  5. Meetings and classes remain canceled or online only. We continue to offer weekly online studies.
  6. We will observe these practices at least through Saturday, June 13.
This is only the first phase of our reunion plan, and whether we go on to other phases will depend on infection rates after things open back up as well as on guidance from civil authorities. We promise to give you plenty of notice before we enter a new phase or if we learn that we need to change our plans in recognition of new information. We are hopeful, and we ask that you continue to pray.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Parent Survey Responses Needed by Sunday
Our children's and student ministries are asking parents to help plan how we can best minister to their family in this season. As individuals, families, and a faith community, we are all trying our best to navigate the difficulties of life during the pandemic. Because people differ in what they feel comfortable doing outside their homes, we have prepared a six-question survey to help determine the best path forward for our children's and student ministries.
We take the health of your children very seriously. As we make our plans for the coming months, your responses to the survey will allow us to take into account what you are comfortable allowing your children to do. You will find the short survey here. Please fill it out in its entirety by this Sunday, May 24. Thank you for your time, and for your continued prayers.
Changes to Summer Student Programming
Congrats to our students on finishing the school year in the wildest way possible! Good news: summer is here! Like everything else, programming is going to look a little different. The Student Ministries team is working to discern how best to minister to teens this summer. Sunday night Student Fellowship is suspended for the summer, but we will continue to meet and connect in small groups. If you are unsure about when a small group meets, please contact Katie Arnold at 770-296-1671 or You can further help us plan by asking your parents to fill out this short-short survey by this Sunday, May 24. It's the survey also referenced in "Parent Survey Responses Needed by Sunday" (above) and should take just a few minutes to complete.
Church Offices Closed Memorial Day
All FPC offices will be closed Monday, May 25, in observance of Memorial Day. The Session of Elders will meet as planned by UberConference.
Back to the Office with Care
FPC Picture
As part of our plan to get church functions back to normal, staff will return to 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.
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.
Big Food Pantry Parade Hits the Spot
Last week's Food Pantry Parade was a huge success! Not only did we help restock the shelves with much-needed items, but 26 cars drove by! Church family members who've not seen one another for the past two months got to say "hi" and catch up, even with face masks on. Here's a big thank you to Jim White, who opened up the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry after hours, and to Blake Bassett, Danae Kreiss, Deidre Pendley, and Linda Welch for unloading bags, stacking cans, and keeping me focused and on task.
Please join us again Wednesday, May 27, for our second Food Pantry Parade. We want to deliver canned tuna, canned fruit, canned vegetables, plenty of peanut butter, and 1- or 2-pound packages of pasta and rice. We invite you to drive up to a designated shopping cart at the Pantry and drop off a bag of shelf-stable food items between 5:00 and 7:00 p.m., then drive away. Volunteers will take your gift inside and restock the shelves. The Pantry is located at 21 Washington Street, next to the railroad track and First Baptist Church. / Dave Welch

Working Together for COVID-19 Relief in Brazil
When the Evangelism & Outreach Committee provided COVID-19 relief funds to our partners in Brazil, Pastor João  Batista knew just what to do. He recently sent us this photo of 11 masked volunteers and the fruits of their labor. He commented: "Team that helped pack 200 food baskets for needy in Felipe Camarão. Blessing of God!"
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
During the present 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.
Let's Stay Connected, Safely
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.
Please Pray for All, Near and Far
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
Because we continue to need protective masks, we are reaching out to those of you who can sew. Ballad Health has invited us to help our community during the COVID-19 crisis by making masks for respiratory patients, so that medical-grade masks can be conserved for medical professionals. You will find the sewing pattern and instructions under "Documents" on the Ballad Health website. The specific URL is 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, 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, you must maintain six feet of distance from those outside your household when you leave your home. A mask does not shield you from infection, but it may give others some protection from your exhalations. It is possible to have the disease without realizing it. Please take care.
Looking Back and Ahead
Bruce Gannaway (May 20-23) mows the lawn this week, preparing for May 24, Intercultural Church Sunday, which looks back to the original Day of Pentecost as the beginning of the church as an intercultural community of faith whose members praise God in many languages. Randy Olson (May 27-30) will do the honors for the upcoming Day of Pentecost, Sunday, May 31.
Organist's Footnotes
Rebecca Groom te Velde
All three organ pieces this Sunday are 21st-century arrangements of 17th- and 18th-century hymn tunes. "O filii et filiae" ("O Sons and Daughters, Let Us Sing") is based on a French carol melody found in Airs sur les hymnes sacrez (1623), with origins more than 100 years earlier. Rebecca Groom te Velde (b. 1956) has created a series of short, contrasting vignettes played end-to-end.
"Easter Hymn" originally appeared in the John Walsh collection Lyra Davidica (1708) as a rather florid tune. Tempered to its present version by John Arnold in his Compleat Psalmodist (1749), it is now one of the best-known and most joyous Easter tunes. Michael Bedford (b. 1949) gives this hymn an unusually quiet treatment.
"Maccabeus" is an arrangement of a tune from the chorus "See, the Conquering Hero Comes" in George Frederick Handel's (1685 -1759) oratorio J udas Maccabeus (first performed without this chorus in 1746). Handel initially used the tune in his oratorio Joshua (1747) but transferred it to Judas Maccabeus in 1751; such changes were common in his operas and oratorios. Handel is reported to have said to a friend, "You will live to see it [the tune] a greater favorite with the people than my other finer things." Aaron David Miller (b. 1972) has created a lively festival march that changes back and forth in unmarchlike fashion between 4/4, 5/8, and 7/8 meters. Miller specifies the use of the organ's loudest reed, the trompette en chamade.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Joe Bell
Bock family
Sujean Bradley
Brandi & family
Bristol Tennessee School System
Craig Buchanan
Becky Busler
Calleigh Cairns
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Community, nation & world
Dollar family
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
Trinka Felty
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
Francis Forino
Garrett Foster
DeeDee Galliher
Roxanna Garcia & family
Diane Glymph
Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Rose Marie & Jim Goodrum
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Heidi Harkleroad
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela & newborn Higgins
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Nancy Lilly
Dot Mattison
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
New Jersey & New York
Margaret Noble
Martha North
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Brittany Salter
John Scott
John & Karen Vann
Bill Wade
Maria Wagner
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
May 24     Davan Johnson, Linda Welch
May 26     Rebecca Coté, Sherry Ratliff, Brittany Rutherford, Ford Sikorski, Lenita Thibault
May 27     Jerry Poteat
May 28     Sylvia Kingsley, David Tudor
May 29     Trevor Dowdell, Sandra Grubbs
Church Calendar
Sunday, May 24
9:00 a.m.        Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestreamed
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School, Online Only
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, May 25
Church offices closed for Memorial Day
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, UberConference
Tuesday, May 26
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, 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