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

In This Issue
Subscriptions & Deadline
Word from the Pastor
Acolytes Join Sunday's Late Service
Deadline for Poinsettia Orders Is Monday
'Tis the Season
November Session Highlights
King Univ. Lessons and Carols Service Here Sunday
Enjoy Early Christmas Cheer in Banner Elk
Christmas Benefit for Bristol Faith in Action
Walk with Mary and Joseph Dec. 18
Middle School Christmas Party Friday
Music Notes
Gifts to the Church
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
December 2
First Sunday of Advent
Luke 21:25-36
Jeremiah 33:14-16
Around the Bend
Sam Weddington
Comfort, Comfort Ye My People
My Soul Cries Out with a Joyful Shout
As the Dark Awaits the Dawn
Last Sunday's Attendance
8:30: 127; 11:00: 96
Subscriptions & Deadline
To receive our e-newsletter, email your name and preferred email address to the editor, Kathy Acuff, at The newsletter is emailed a minute after midnight on Thursday morning. It is posted to our website later that day.
Deadline for contributions is the Monday of the week of publication. Windows is a publication of First Presbyterian Church, Bristol, TN.


on First Presbyterian Church

November 29, 2018
Word from the Pastor
I hate waiting, I truly do. I've always hated waiting. Call me impatient, but to my goal-oriented mind, waiting for things to come, whether that means having to live in anticipation of something good or something ill, drives me nuts. I want to get the job done; I need the results now! Let's get it over with!
I am not alone in this existential stance. I think part of our impatience has to do with the fact that life is short, and whether we consciously acknowledge it or not, we know that we aren't promised the next breath, much less another day. We fret over fleeting details, insecure in the fiction that by our power we can keep all the pieces together in a coherent whole we call living. If we take a moment to appraise this stance we are so prone to taking, there is a sadness, a sadness that no matter how furiously we keep rolling along, our days, as Scripture tells us in Psalm 144:4, are hevel. Breath. Vapor.
Pause for a moment. Acknowledge this reality. From here, allow Scripture to confront you with an even greater, yet rewarding, challenge. Jeremiah 31:31 puts it well: "The days are coming." They are not here yet. We will have to wait. God has given the promise. We are a people of promise. Good news is on its way. The days are coming.
But not yet. Not yet, but surely. The One who makes the promise is more reliable than a shaky foundation of breathless days. The Lord who proclaims that "the days are coming" is the One who set the wheels in motion for all that is. God speaks, and in God's words alone we find security; we find what we have always grasped for, and that is the Word above all our words who shapes, fits, and molds our tattered incompleteness into coherency, depth, and meaning.
The days are surely coming. That day has already come. That day is today. Today we stand before and in the presence of God, gripped by the One who loved us from the beginning: Jesus Christ. God's Word to us, the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). In Him alone I stand both waiting and full, incomplete yet secure, being and becoming. By His grace, all my fleeting days are advents, waiting and watching for His fullness to be revealed through us and into the world.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Acolytes Join Sunday's Late Service
We are pleased to announce that our new acolyte team will be joining the procession at the 11:00 a.m. worship service this Sunday. After some practice, and with great enthusiasm, we celebrate the presence of our young people in worship. Please be sure to encourage them, and all they will do for us, when you see them.
Deadline for Poinsettia Orders Is Monday
You still have time to participate in our longstanding tradition of decorating our sanctuary with poinsettias in Advent. Order forms are available in the church office during the week and in worship on Sunday. To order a plant to memorialize or honor someone, bring or mail your order form, with payment, to the church office or place it in the offering plate during worship. Each plant costs $15, and the deadline for orders is December 3. We will place the poinsettias in the sanctuary in time to enjoy them on December 9. Plants should be picked up after the Christmas Eve service.
'Tis the Season
With our fall Wednesday night fellowship programs behind us, we now introduce our schedule of holiday worship services and other events.
FPC 2018 Holiday Worship & Events
Sun., Dec. 2
6:00 p.m.
King U. Lessons & Carols
Fri., Dec. 7
6:00 p.m.
7:30 p.m.
Middle School Party
King U. Choir Christmas Concert
Reardon Home
Sun., Dec. 16
Both services
8:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m.
Joy Gift Offering
Lessons & Carols
High School Progressive Dinner
Fellowship Hall
Off Campus
Tue., Dec. 18
6:00 p.m.
Journey's End
Wed., Dec. 19
5:30 p.m.
Children's Christmas Play
Sun., Dec. 23
8:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
3:30 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
Bluegrass Worship
Christmas Caroling
Night of Worship
Fellowship Hall
Off Campus
Fellowship Hall
Mon., Dec. 24
10:00 a.m.
7:00 p.m.
Cookie Delivery
Candlelight Communion
Fellowship Hall
November Session Highlights
The FPC Session of Elders met Monday night and, among many decisions, approved measures to increase church safety. The Session will share first steps in this new Congregational Safety Protocol with the congregation in the near future. The Session also approved the following:
  1. The installation of two electric-powered doors, complete with card readers and panic bars, to the rear breezeway, as part of the Congregational Safety Protocol, at a cost not to exceed $9,700.
  2. The Finance Committee's motion to set aside $35,000 of any excess 2018 operating funds toward principal payments on our loan with Eastman Credit Union.
  3. A performance review of our new Senior Pastor to be conducted by the Elders on December 17.
  4. Calling the Annual Congregational Meeting and Annual Meeting of the Corporation for Sunday, January 20, at 10:00 a.m. for the purposes of electing new officers and a new corporate trustee, approving the pastor's terms of call for 2019, and distributing a financial summary for 2018.
  5. A two-part New Officer Training program, part of which will be digital and the other in person at a date to be determined.
  6. Increasing potential compensation for the Director of Early Worship to $28,000 for 2019.
  7. Changes to employee benefits.
  8. The request by Katie McInnis that Bane and Bennett be baptized in the 8:30 service on Sunday, December 23.
  9. The addition of Joonho "Joey" Chang to the list of approved supply preachers.
  10. Several requests to use our facilities.
King Univ. Lessons and Carols Service Here Sunday
All the King University choirs and four local church choirs will present a service of lessons and carols in our sanctuary this Sunday, December 2, at 6:00 p.m. King faculty and staff will read the lessons. This event, sponsored by King University, is open to the public. Admission is free, but attendees are encouraged to bring food or a donation to the Bristol Emergency Food Pantry.
Enjoy Early Christmas Cheer in Banner Elk
Come to Holston Camp to enjoy Christmas festivities in the High Country and help us decorate our tree! We are offering a special weekend package Friday, December 7 , through Sunday, December 9, for your family to visit, eat, worship, and have fun in a community of faith. Make plans to go out on the town or stay at camp; we'll have fun either way. Wear warm clothes because it will be chilly.
This package includes:
  • Room for 2 nights (linens provided)
  • 4 meals per person (breakfast, lunch, and dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday)
  • Friday night campfire with s'mores, cocoa, and carols
  • Saturday transportation to and from activities and Parade of Lights in Banner Elk (schedule at
  • Saturday afternoon hike and crafts
  • Decorating the Holston Christmas tree
  • Sunday morning worship at 10:30
  • Choosing and cutting your tree on Sunday
Room rates:
  • Lodge: $199 (2 full beds, private bath, for up to 4 people)
  • Lodge: $99 (2 twin beds, public bath, for 2 people)
  • Cabin: $149 (4 bunks, shared bath, for up to 4 people)
  • Bungalow: $249 (6-8 bunks, private bath, for up to 6 people; $315 for up to 8 people
  • Dorm: $315 (8 bunks, private bath, for up to 8 people)
Please call 844-465-7866 for reservations by December 4. Check in at 4:00 p.m. on Friday and check out at 11:00 a.m. on Sunday. Holston Camp is located at 6993 Hickory Nut Gap Road in Banner Elk, NC. For more information, see / Holston Presbytery Camp and Retreat Center
Christmas Benefit for Bristol Faith in Action

Robert Campbelle

Love Came Down, a Christmas celebration to benefit Bristol Faith in Action, will be held Sunday, December 16, at 3:00 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church. Seasonal music by Bach, Handel, Rutter, Dawson, McCoy, and CPC Choir Director Robert Campbelle will be performed. The church is located at 301 Euclid Avenue in Bristol, VA. For more information, call 276-623-3050 or 276-669-3157.
Walk with Mary and Joseph Dec. 18
On Tuesday, December 18, at 6:00 p.m., we will walk again with Mary and Joseph as they journey to Bethlehem and seek lodging. This hour-long event, called Journey's End, is Bristol's interpretation of the Latino tradition of Las Posadas (The Inns). Our inns are downtown businesses, and our innkeepers are local choirs and choral groups. We will begin our journey at the Downtown Center, 810 State Street, then process by candlelight with Mary and Joseph as we sing traditional songs and carols, accompanied by instrumentalists. Our own Pastor Sam will give the opening prayer.
Wear warm, comfortable clothing and bring baby strollers, if needed, and your voices. We will provide candles and song books at the start, and refreshments at the end. If the weather is bad, the event will be cancelled, so please pray for good weather!
Believe in Bristol first organized this annual event in 1999, and First Presbyterian Church has participated in it every year, with the exception of 2016. We invite more FPC folks to join those already involved.
Middle School Christmas Party Friday
Merry Christmas, middle schoolers! Join us on Friday, December 7, for a night of dinner and games! Meet at the Reardons' house (5850 Old Jonesboro Road) at 6:00 p.m. Bring a $10 gift for the gift exchange and five stocking stuffers for volunteer stockings. Grab your friends and tacky sweaters and let's party! For more information, contact Katie Arnold at
Music Notes
Sunday's music notes: Our anthem, "As the Dark Awaits the Dawn," was composed by Christopher Aspaas, who earned his Ph.D. in Choral Music Education at Florida State University, his M.M. in Choral Conducting at Michigan State University, and his B.M. in Voice
Christopher Aspaas
Performance at St. Olaf College. Christopher has served on the faculties of St. Olaf, Central Washington University, and Mount Holyoke College. He currently serves as Director of Choral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Texas Christian University. His travels as a guest conductor, clinician, adjudicator, and lecturer have taken him throughout the US and on three occasions to the Sultanate of Oman. Most recently, Christopher traveled to South Korea to headline the 35th Annual International Symposium on Choral Music. He has produced more than 40 arrangements and compositions for mixed, men's, and women's choirs. His works are published by Augsburg Fortress, earthsongs, Hal Leonard, and Aspen Hill Music, a publishing house Christopher co-founded with his wife, Nancy, in 2013. His latest commission premiered at the 2017 National Conference of the American Choral Directors Association in Minneapolis. Sunday's anthem is set to a text by noted poet and musician Susan Palo Cherwien and has been featured at the St. Olaf Christmas Festival.
Organist's footnotes:
Savior of the nations, come,
virgin's Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heav'n and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.
So begins the text of a Latin hymn attributed to Ambrose of Milan (340 -397) and translated into German by Martin Luther (1483 -1546), who also composed the tune based on a Latin chant. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685 -1750) composed a cantata and a number of chorale preludes based on "Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland," but this particular setting is the most often performed. For Sunday's prelude I play a piano transcription of that chorale prelude by Ferruccio Busoni (1866 -1924), an Italian who studied Bach's music extensively as a youth. Busoni's artful transcription takes Bach's soulful music to yet another dimension.
Like two bookends, the setting of "Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland" heard at the end of Sunday's worship is Bach's arrangement as found in his Orgelb├╝chlein ("little organ book"). We will hear Bach's four-voice chorale setting first, followed by his densely textured chorale prelude.
Sunday's music participants: Pat Flannagan, Bob Greene, Sanctuary Choir, Sanctuary Handbell Choir.
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 gifts to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Tom and Leigh King, in memory of Don Moneyhun and Joy Huber.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your general prayers several of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Becky Busler
City of Pittsburgh & Temple of Life congregation & community
Ethiopia, especially our Christian brothers & sisters in Oromia State
FPC Search Committees
Ben & Patsy Frizzell
DeeDee & Sarah Galliher
Tom Greene (Bob's brother)
Ron Grubbs
Nancy King
Katie Kreuser (Tom & Leigh King's daughter)
Dot Mattison
Marty McCloud
Moneyhun Family
Larry Mullins
Nick Niosi
Robin North & the Leonard Family
Osborne Family
Karen Pennington
Phyllis Phares (Mary Connor's mother)
Cheyenne Poteat
Don Preston
Virginia Rutherford
Sproles Family
Chuck Thompson
Bill Wade
John Wizorek (Annette Tudor's father)
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Dec. 5          Linda Poteat
Dec. 6          Daniel Osborne, Brittany Rutherford
Dec. 8          J.B. Madison
Church Calendar
Sunday, December 2
8:30 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
9:45 a.m.       Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
3:30 p.m.       Children's Christmas Play Rehearsal,
Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship, Education Building
6:00 p.m.       King Univ. Lessons & Carols, Sanctuary
Monday, December 3
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
6:30 p.m.       Board of Deacons, Rooms 117 & 123
Tuesday, December 4
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conference Room
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, December 5
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
6:00 p.m.       High School Small Groups, Youth Wing
6:15 p.m.       Handbell Practice, Sanctuary
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
7:15 p.m.       Worship Team, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, December 6
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, December 7
6:00 p.m.       Middle School Christmas Party, Reardon Home
7:30 p.m.       King Choir Christmas Concert, Sanctuary
Our Church Officers
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
Class of 2018
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Charles Webb
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill