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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Giving Grace
Study the Apostles' Creed
Wednesday Night: What Is Mission?
Informational Session on Sanctuary Acoustics Oct. 20
Modern Talk about an Ancient Message
Seeking Church Officer Candidates
New Members Invited to Join Oct. 27
Make a BFIA Care Package
Enjoy the Sweets of Mission at Trunk or Treat
Barbara Thomas Continues to Give
Casting Begins for Children's Christmas Play
Register Now for First Fusion Retreat
It's Christmas in June at Great Escape
High School Summer Trip 2020
We're Collecting Snacks for Fairmount Students
Mowers and Mission
How Do Text and Tune Get Together?
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
October 13
18th Sunday after Pentecost
Zechariah 9:9-12
1 Peter 3:18-20
Descended into Hell
Sam Weddington
Zion's Walls
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 116; 11:00: 120
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

October 10, 2019
Word from the Pastor: Giving Grace

Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29 NRSV
We're here! As you will see announced in this edition of Windows, we are finally ready to have a congregational discussion on the acoustics in the sanctuary (Sunday, October 20, after 11:00 worship). It has been a hard process of getting all the information together in a package that is easily digestible by most. It has been harder working through the anxiety about all the questions generated by the issue of the acoustics.
So we're going to gather and discuss the matter with as many facts at hand as we can muster. We will also bring our opinions and our love for worship. We are also going to disagree, I am quite sure. There may be more anxiety that even I can anticipate.
However, here is the most important thing that is going to happen: we are going to gather as one body, and in all we say and do, we are going to build one another up. We are going to take Paul's advice. Our words, if God gives us the ability, will bring grace and life. If we do it this way, I think we will find that there is common ground upon which we can all stand together. Along the way, I think we will find we have been standing on the only ground worthy of being called solid: Jesus Christ.
My appeal to all of you is to come to the table, so to speak, and let's talk this out. Let's be guided by our love and our hope, not by our fear and our anxiety. If we do that, God will be glorified, and I am hopeful that we will find common delight in his presence.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Study the Apostles' Creed

All adults are invited to study the Apostles' Creed in tandem with Pastor Sam's new sermon series. This short-term class uses video and discussion to explore what an ancient statement can say to us now about the Good News of Jesus Christ. We will meet in the chapel at 10:10 throughout the series. For more information, see Pastor Sam or Dave Welch.
Wednesday Night: What Is Mission?

Join us Wednesday, October 16, to hear Pastor Sam talk about mission. We will have our fellowship supper at 5:30 then programs for youth and children at 6:00 and Adult Enrichment at 6:15. Except when we have special presentations, we worship on most Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together at 6:15.
Informational Session on Sanctuary Acoustics Oct. 20
One way to test sanctuary acoustics.

On Sunday, October 20, after 11:00 worship, the congregation is invited to an informational session about the acoustics in the sanctuary. We will discuss the proposals we have on hand to deal with the sound issues we face. JT King, a sound engineer from Florida, will be present to help us understand these issues, and we will have time for discussion and questions. The Session of Elders will be in attendance to hear what the congregation prefers in the matter of sanctuary acoustics. This is not a congregational meeting, and no vote will be taken.
Modern Talk about an Ancient Message
Kathryn Long

Kathryn T. Long, Associate Professor of History Emerita at Wheaton College and author of God in the Rainforest (Oxford University Press, 2019), will speak in our sanctuary at 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 21. Her talk, part of the King Institute for Faith & Culture, is titled "God, His Ancient Spoken Message."
Dr. Long is an ordained PCUSA minister whose focus as a historian is on Christianity in the Americas during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She finds questions of interpretation and historical memory fascinating. Why do people or communities remember some events and not others? How is historical memory shaped and transmitted?
Dr. Long will speak earlier in the day, at 9:15 a.m., in King University Memorial Chapel, when her topic will be "Catherine Peeke: Keeping in Touch with a Protestant 'Saint.'"
Seeking Church Officer Candidates
Suggesting potential Elders, Deacons, and Trustees to the Officer Nominating Committee is an important responsibility of the members of our church. Now is your opportunity to raise awareness of strengths and witness of members in our congregation that are apparent to you and that you feel warrant the committee's consideration as potential church officers.
The committee welcomes your recommendations between now and October 27 of those you see as particularly gifted to serve as officers of the church. You will find nomination forms in the narthex and Fellowship Hallway. Please return completed forms to the church office or to one of the committee members: Lee Galliher, George Linke, Laura Ong, and John Vann (chair).
Alternatively, send your confidential suggestions to the committee at with:
  1. The name of your recommendation
  2. The office (Elder, Deacon, or Trustee) to be filled
  3. A statement of the gifts, characteristics, and experiences that commend this person for effective service as a church officer of First Presbyterian Church
Feel free to consult any committee member for more information. The duties of each office follow below, and a table of all current officers of the church can be found at the end of this newsletter.
The Duties of Elders
The Book of Order, G-2.0301, states: "As there were in Old Testament times elders for the government of the people, so the New Testament church provided persons with particular gifts to share in discernment of God's Spirit and governance of God's people. Accordingly, congregations should elect persons of wisdom and maturity of faith, having demonstrated skills in leadership and being compassionate in spirit. Ruling elders are so named not because they 'lord it over' the congregation (Matt. 20:25), but because they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life. Ruling elders, together with ministers of the Word and Sacrament, exercise leadership, government, spiritual discernment, and discipline and have responsibilities for the life of a congregation as well as the whole church, including ecumenical relationships. When elected by the congregation, they shall serve faithfully as members of the session. When elected as commissioners to higher councils, ruling elders participate and vote with the same authority as ministers of the Word and Sacrament, and they are eligible for any office."
The Duties of Deacons
The Book of Order, G-2.0201, states: "The ministry of deacon as set forth in Scripture is one of compassion, witness, and service, sharing in the redeeming love of Jesus Christ for the poor, the hungry, the sick, the lost, the friendless, the oppressed, those burdened by unjust policies or structures, or anyone in distress. Persons of spiritual character, honest repute, exemplary lives, brotherly and sisterly love, sincere compassion, and sound judgment should be chosen for this ministry."
The Duties of Trustees
The Book of Order, G-4.0101, states: "The [trustees of the] corporation shall have the following powers: to receive, hold, encumber, manage, and transfer property, real or personal, for the congregation, provided that in buying, selling, and mortgaging real property, the trustees shall act only after the approval of the congregation, granted in a duly constituted meeting; to accept and execute deeds of title to such property; to hold and defend title to such property; to manage any permanent special funds for the furtherance of the purposes of the congregation, all subject to the authority of the session and under the provisions of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The powers and duties of the trustees shall not infringe upon the powers and duties of the session or the board of deacons." / John Vann
New Members Invited to Join Oct. 27
We invite those interested in becoming members of First Presbyterian Church Bristol to meet with our Session of Elders Sunday, October 27, at 10:10 a.m. The meeting will be in room 167, near the Boy Scout hall entrance. For more information, ask any elder (see Church Officers at the end of this newsletter) or contact Dave Welch at
Make a BFIA Care Package
Annually, the Evangelism and Outreach Committee offers an opportunity for our congregation to support our friends in need at Bristol Faith in Action. Throughout October, we will collect personal care kits and basic cleaning supply kits for them.
Ziploc bags will be on the seats at early worship and on the bulletin table in the narthex each Sunday in October. Each bag will contain a list of items to collect. Please pick up a bag, fill it, and return it to the church by Monday, October 28. You will find collection receptacles in the Fellowship Hall and the narthex. Thank you! / Karen Vann
Enjoy the Sweets of Mission at Trunk or Treat
Decorations, treats, mission: you'll find them all at the Neighborhood Trunk or Treat at Fairmount School Thursday, October 24, at 5:00 p.m.! But this joint project between FPC and the school is about more than treats; it is about serving the children in our neighborhood. While you're having fun planning costumes for yourself and your car, think about the missional dimension of this project and its effect on Fairmount children and their families. And to think about sweets again for a moment: we know you can multitask, so feel free to contribute candy while you're waiting! Bring your donations to the dedicated bin outside the Fellowship Hall or to the front office.
Barbara Thomas Continues to Give
Barbara Thomas
The estate of Barbara Thomas desires to carry out her request to make available as a gift to members of FPC some of her personal articles. These include clothing (women's sizes 12 -16), costume jewelry, baskets, tins, and other small household items. If you would like any of these items, please contact Chris Thomas at 423-383-0484 to coordinate a time to pick them up at 2009 Edgemont Avenue.
Casting Begins for Children's Christmas Play
Our annual children's Christmas play, coming up Sunday, December 15, will center on the innkeeper and his annoyance at life's interruptions. What could be a better interruption than the birth of Christ? We are seeking angels, shepherds, sheep, stars, and main characters for this unusual and endearing look at the birth of Jesus. If your child, from age 4 through fifth grade, is interested in being part of this FPC tradition, please contact Lilly Osborne ( or 423-383-5476) or Sujean Bradley ( or 276-698-6492) as quickly as possible, so that we can plan accordingly.
Register Now for First Fusion Retreat 
Fusion kids! Fifth and sixth graders may register now for our inaugural Fusion retreat.
When: October 18 -19
Where: Holston Presbyterian Camp
Cost: $40 per person
We will leave at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 18, and return around 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 19. To register, contact Lilly Osborne at
It's Christmas in June at Great Escape
All sixth to eighth graders are invited to spend the best week of their summer at The Great Escape with our Student Ministries! Great Escape is an incredible week of wild fun for middle schoolers. The week is packed full of crazy recreation and fun, dynamic speakers, great bands, and entertainment designed to meet middle schoolers on their level. Save the dates for Christmas at Great Escape June 7 -12, 2020! Here again is the sweet recap video of our time at Great Escape 2019. / Katie Arnold
High School Summer Trip 2020

High schoolers! Save the date for High School Summer Trip 2020! It is planned for June 19 -27 in Panama City Beach, FLA. More info is coming soon! While you wait, check out this awesome recap video of our trip to Serve Orlando 2019. 
We're Collecting Snacks for Fairmount Students
We are collecting Teddy Grahams for the students of Fairmount School, and we do not have enough for all who need them. About 80% of the children get help with lunch, and their families can't afford snacks for them. With at least two children in each of 16 classrooms needing assistance, the snacks go quickly. We take the boxes to the school, and the teachers divide the contents into child-size portions. We need to provide 20 portions per child per month. Please remember our Fairmount children the next time you shop, and bring your donations to the Little Red House in the Fellowship Hallway. Thank you!
Mowers and Mission

BTCS is on break this week, but David Moore (October 9 -12) is not. If splashes of rain have encouraged the grass to grow, he will be out on the church lawn with the Tiger Cat. Everyone will be back next week, including our Wednesday fellowship program, featuring Pastor Sam on mission. It will be Randy Olson's (October 16 -19) mission to mow the lawn.
How Do Text and Tune Get Together?
Mary Louise Bringle
Mary Louise "Mel" Bringle, Professor of Religious Studies at Brevard College, will give an engaging talk about hymns and their creation Tuesday, October 15, at the church. "Match Made in Heaven or Marriage of Convenience?" will focus on the pairing of hymn text and tune. The evening will begin with dinner ($15) at 6:00 in the Fellowship Hall, and the free two-hour program will follow at 7:00 in the sanctuary. The talk is sponsored by the Northeast Tennessee/Southwest Virginia Chapter of the American Guild of Organists.
If you plan to attend the dinner, RSVP to Laura Champouillon at  or 423-306-2964 or  by tomorrow, Friday, October 11. You will be asked to specify your choice of bacon, onion, and cheese quiche; spinach and butternut squash quiche; or quiche Lorraine (spinach and cheese).
Music Notes
Aaron Copland
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "Zion's Walls" by Aaron Copland (1900 -1990), the most influential American composer of the 20th century. The "Dean of American Composers" is most known for incorporating American folk music into the orchestral context in a style referred to as populist. His most famous works come from the 1930s and '40s and embody the expansive frontier of our vast country. His most recognizable composition is "Fanfare for the Common Man," a standard of military, civic, and professional brass ensembles. Copland was a notable composer of stage works, including opera and ballet. "Zion's Walls" was adapted from his opera The Tender Land and is an arrangement of "Revivalist Song" by John G. McCurry, compiler of The Social Harp songbook (1855).
Copland was born in Brooklyn to a Jewish family of Lithuanian origin. His family lived above his father's department store, and most of the children worked in it. Copland's musical education began in New York but flourished when he moved to Paris to study with Nadia Boulanger, the most important music pedagogue of the 20th century; her pupils ranged from Leonard Bernstein to Quincy Jones. While in Paris, Copland learned the burgeoning European style and incorporated the twelve-tone and serialist styles that Arnold Schoenberg developed in the early decades of the 20th century. Copland worked in this style but found it difficult to market, so he turned to more accessible music. He returned to New York and began a full-fledged career as a composer and conductor. Around the 1960s his inspiration for composing seemed to dry up, and he finished his career as a conductor.
Organist's footnotes: Today's organ music is intended to relate to the phrase "he descended into hell" from the Apostles' Creed. I have chosen to play three chorale preludes by Johann Sebastian Bach that he based on the Lutheran chorale Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir ("Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord").
J.S. Bach
Prelude: This piece, from the Clavier-Übung III or "organ mass," is notable for its six-part polyphony. Aside from the Ricercar a 6 from The Musical Offering, Bach usually used three or four voices, only occasionally using five, in his keyboard compositions. He assigned the six voices as follows: two for the right hand, two for the left hand, and two for the feet. He reminds the organist that the composition uses pedal doppio, or two independent pedal parts, just as the fifth voice enters. The final voice to enter, which is the higher of the two pedal parts, is the cantus firmus, carrying the chorale melody in whole notes and half notes. Since the chorale is intended for organo pleno, or full organ, and since it has up to six notes being played simultaneously, the effect is that each phrase is a huge crescendo, building up until all six voices sound.
Offertory: There is a world of difference between the grandeur of Bach's six-part arrangement of this chorale (BWV 686) and the humility of this small-scale version. In this arrangement, it seems as if Bach is siding with vulnerable mankind, creeping closer, as it were, to God's throne, daring only to hope and expecting nothing. The only thing to hold on to is the melody line, which runs from start to finish in long note values. It results in a composition that is equally oppressive and charming. One can associate the calm and well-balanced atmosphere with God's mercy after confession.
Postlude: This chorale prelude is a fairly substantial work cast in two parts, the first devoted to a harmonizing of the chorale theme, and the longer second exhibiting a fantasy-like treatment of it. In recent years the attribution for this work has moved into the camp of Johann Sebastian Bach's son, Carl Phillip Emanuel Bach.
Ring a bell: The Sanctuary Handbell Choir is looking for new members, both regulars and substitutes. We practice from 6:15 to 7:15 on Wednesday evenings in room 212 upstairs, and play for the late worship service about once a month. Join now! Please contact Bob Greene at or 276-696-9091.
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Wayne Ausmus
Dale Barker
Beth & Brian
Karen Boone
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Anthony Comer
Dorothy Dollar
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Jane Godsey
Ron Grubbs
Sarah Haas
Lou Hebb
Kristi Johnson
Marty Keys & family
Nancy King
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Christine Mitten & family
Alice Moore
Donald Page
Don Preston
Larry Roberts (Greg's brother)
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
Katlin Smith
Stigers family
Ashley Thomasson
Karen White
Bill Woods
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Oct. 13        Buddy Eller, Katie Sword
Oct. 14        Ben Frizzell
Oct. 15        Sue Faucette, Kristi Johnson
Oct. 17        Ann Abel, Ron Fox
Oct. 18        Mariel Story
Oct. 19        Joseph Zeiler
Church Calendar
Sunday, October 13
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
10:30 a.m.     Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
Monday, October 14
7:00 p.m.       Building & Grounds Comm., Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Worship Comm., Room 123
Tuesday, October 15
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conf. Room
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, October 16
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
4:00 p.m.       Finance Comm., 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 Choir, Room 212
7:15 p.m.       Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
Thursday, October 17
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, October 18
4:00 p.m.       Fusion Retreat, Holston Presbyterian Camp
Our Church Officers
Church Officers
Class of 2019
Class of 2020
Class of 2021
Anna Booher
Nancy Allerton
Ann Abel
Lee Galliher
Rebecca Beck
Randy Cook
Pete Holler
David Hyde
John Graham
Han Ong
Jordan Pennington
Katie McInnis
Pete Stigers
Jerry Poteat
John Vann
Sujean Bradley
Blake Bassett
Fred Harkleroad
George Linke
Rhonda Comer
Matt Kingsley
Greg Roberts
Ron Fox
Lisa McClain
Nate Sproles
Brenda Lawson
Drew Rice
Bill Whisnant
Barbara Thompson
Joyce Samuel
Nancy Cook
Peggy Hill
Jack Butterworth