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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Wisdom
To-Do or To-Be
New Members Received Sunday
Five-Cents-a-Meal Offering Nov. 3
Study the Apostles' Creed with Us
Supper and Bible Study Next Wednesday Night
Bag It 'n' Bring It by Monday!
Move the Trash to Find the Treasure
There's Plenty of Room in the Christmas Play
Enjoy Parents' Night Out Nov. 1
Now You're Cooking!
In the Wilderness
New Great Escape Registration Info
Register Now for Passion 2020
Let's Go to the Beach!
Goldfish for Fairmount Students
Keeping the Pledge
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
October 27
20th Sunday after Pentecost
Pledge Dedication
Luke 24:50-52
Colossians 3:3
Ascended and Seated
Sam Weddington
O How Amiable
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 123; 11:00: 125
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 24, 2019
Word from the Pastor: Wisdom

If any of you is lacking in wisdom, ask God, who gives to all generously and ungrudgingly, and it will be given you.
James 1:5 NRSV
I wanted to thank everyone who attended the informational meeting concerning the sanctuary acoustics last Sunday. The meeting went far better than I had expected. To that end, I give thanks to God and thanks to you for praying for the meeting and coming together in a spirit of unity and love to solve problems.
In my estimation, the most important thing that happened at the meeting, beyond the reports, numbers, and explanations, was that everyone had an opportunity to ask questions and be heard. Those of differing opinions on these critical matters could hear from others who did not share their perspective. As the body of Christ, it is important that we listen to one another. Together, we listen for God's voice as we try and discern the right steps forward.
As we outlined at the meeting, we have made no decisions yet about the direction we will take. There are a variety of approaches for us to consider, and the Session will meet next week to take the question up for consideration. For those interested, we do have packets outlining the findings of the workgroup. If you would like to review the presentation, please inquire at the church office.
I ask that you pray for our Session, our congregation, and all who lead and serve that God would give us wisdom and discerning hearts. To that end, we all ought to consider closely the words of James to his readers. If we lack perspective and wisdom, we need to ask God for it. When the way seems dim and the path forward unclear, we need to take up the conviction that we "walk by faith and not by sight" (2 Corinthians 5:7). And the wonderful news about this proposition, as James tells us, is that we belong to a God who bestows gifts generously. The insight and wisdom we lack, God is able to provide.
What's even better, God is able to provide these things in love. God loves us. God loves the person who disagrees with us. God loves all who belong to Him. If we ask, it will be given unto us.
So, please, continue to pray for us. As we go through the process, we will do our best to communicate what we are thinking about and planning.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
To-Do or To-Be

Most of us have some sort of to-do list either scribbled on scraps of paper in our pockets, hand written on well-designed organizer pages, or thumb-typed into a digital phone list. That to-do list can be a wonderful tool to help us accomplish more by holding our focus on these tasks. We all know folks who are driven by their to-do lists.
However, the very act of hyperfocusing on accomplishing each task may distract us from a more important list. We may be so intent on using the hours in our day, the energy in our life, and the money in our pocket to check off each "to-do" that we neglect our "to-be" list.
The to-be list is at a level above the to-do list. It guides our selection of tasks, determines how much time we give to each daily demand, and affects where our money goes. Our to-be list drives us to be a better parent, to be a better friend, to be a better spouse, and to be a better person.
Consider this your invitation "To-Be": to be a better pledger by filling out the 2020 pledge card and mailing it today; to be a better pledger by pledging whatever amount you feel is appropriate for you; to be a better pledger by committing your support for missions, for youth, for the community, and for the many other ways our church impacts the world; to be a better pledger by engaging in the 2020 pledge campaign. Please pledge.
This Sunday, we will gather as a congregation and bring our pledges forward after the regular offertory. This act will be done prayerfully, trusting that God will provide what we need for the ministry of the church through our generosity. If you have already turned your pledge card in, please just grab another and bring it up. Most importantly, what we are doing is about more than the paper, the pledging, or the amounts. What we are doing is saying that together, in Christ, Christ is Lord over our time, talent, and treasure. So please, come joyfully. Come generously. Come, knowing that we belong to the One who "is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20). / Stewardship Committee
New Members Received Sunday
We invite those interested in becoming members of First Presbyterian Church Bristol to meet with our Session of Elders this 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
Five-Cents-a-Meal Offering Nov. 3
5 cents a meal logo
We will collect our quarterly Five-Cents-a-Meal offering November 3, at both services. The suggested offering is $13.65 per person, or about a nickel for each meal in a three-month period. Our contributions will help both local and global ministries to provide hunger relief. Last year our Five-Cents-a-Meal offerings helped Haven of Rest and Bristol Emergency Food Pantry feed the hungry in Bristol, and our missions in Ethiopia and Brazil feed the hungry in those countries. Please be generous!
Study the Apostles' Creed with Us

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 are meeting in the chapel at 10:10 throughout the series. For more information, see Pastor Sam or Dave Welch.
Supper and Bible Study Next Wednesday Night
Except when we have special presentations, we worship on most Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together. The evening begins with a fellowship supper at 5:30, and activities for children and youth follow at 6:00. The adult program begins at 6:15. Please join us October 30 to continue our study of 2 Corinthians with Pastor Sam. See you there!
Bag It 'n' Bring It by Monday!
Monday closes our October project to benefit our fellow Bristolians through Bristol Faith in Action. Sunday is the last chance to pick up a bag and a list of personal care and basic cleaning supplies for local people in need. Ziploc bags will be on the seats at early worship and on the bulletin table in the narthex. Each bag will contain a list of items to collect. Please fill a bag and return it to the church by October 28. You will find collection receptacles in the Fellowship Hall and the narthex. Thank you!
Move the Trash to Find the Treasure

It's fall cleaning time at FPC! The Building & Grounds Committee has scheduled Saturday, November 16, beginning at 10:00 a.m., as Basement Cleanout Day. We need volunteers from the congregation to help with this task. Fear not! We know for a fact that there are no monsters lurking among the odds and ends. In fact, there may be some treasures down there that the church no longer needs. So come on out! There is a large quantity of slate from previous roof replacements that those of you with an artistic flair can do something creative with. We're asking $2 apiece for roofing slate (we have to pay for the dumpster somehow!).
If you can help, please contact Randy Cook at 423-956-1541 (text preferred) or email Stay tuned to hear when the basement will be available for "shoppers" before cleaning day! / Randy Cook
There's Plenty of Room in the 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.
Enjoy Parents' Night Out Nov. 1

The Children's Ministries will hold a Parents' Night Out from 6:00 to 8:30 on Friday, November 1, 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, call or text her at 423-383-5476, or use the Children's Ministries Facebook page.
Now You're Cooking!

Student Ministries has many mouths to feed on four Sunday evenings. Will you help? We need people who can provide dinner for 35 to 40 students on November 3 and 10 and December 1 and 8. Families can team up together or do it individually. Our dinner coordinator, Sarah Gannaway, or our director, Katie Arnold, can suggest what to bring and easy ways to accomplish the feat. This is a beautiful way to serve and support our students! Please contact Sarah at 423-573-2680 or Katie at to volunteer.
In the Wilderness
Our Fusion students had a fantastic time this past weekend at Holston Presbytery Camp in the mountains of North Carolina! We enjoyed the beauty of God's creation while ziplining and hiking. For our Bible lesson, we studied about Moses and the Israelites, who also camped in the wilderness. I can't wait for Fusion Retreat 2020! / Lilly Osborne

New Great Escape Registration Info
Join the FPC Middle School Ministry for Christmas at the Great Escape! We'll leave from the church Sunday, June 7, and join middle school students from all over the country at Lee University in Cleveland, TN. We'll have a wild 'n' crazy week of incredible music, captivating speakers, engaging entertainment, and the messiest games you can imagine. One day will be devoted to an off-campus adventure! We will return to Bristol around noon on Friday, June 12.
We have revised registration information. Register by December 1 and pay the super-early bird price of $415 and a $100 deposit. Register by January 26 and pay the early bird price of $450 and a $100 deposit. After February 3 the price rises to $475. The total balance is due May 1. Scholarships are available upon request.
The cost of this amazing week includes:
  • Transportation to & from camp
  • Camp programming
  • 5 nights of lodging
  • 13 meals
  • T-shirt
  • Day of whitewater rafting on the Ocoee River
Ready to go? Register through our Student Ministries webpage or here. We will take registrations until the camp is full.
Register Now for Passion 2020

Start the new year right with FPC Bristol at Passion 2020! We're going to join thousands of 18 -to-25-year-olds at the Benz in Atlanta from December 31 through January 2. Passion is filled with incredible worship, dynamic speakers, and sweet time with your church family. The cost is $150 if you register by December 1 and pay a $50 deposit. After December 1, the cost rises to $200. For more information and to register, contact Katie Arnold at now!
Let's Go to the Beach!

FPC high school students are invited to spend a week in Panama City Beach, Florida! We will leave from the church on June 19 and return June 27. We're going to BigStuf Camp for worship, engaging speakers, mission opportunities, and tons of beach time with hundreds of high school students from around the country. We will stay in a beachfront hotel at the convention center.
Spots are limited, so invite your friends and get the best price by registering now on the Student Ministries webpage or here.
  • Super Early Bird Price: $425; pay the $100 deposit by Nov. 10
  • Early Bird Price: $450; pay the $100 deposit by January 12
  • After January 12: $500
The cost includes:
  • Transportation & travel lodging
  • Beach lodging
  • Meals (excluding travel meals)
  • Camp
  • Mission days
  • T-shirt
  • An amazing week!
Goldfish for Fairmount Students

We are collecting Goldfish for snacktime at Fairmount School, where at least two children in each of 16 classrooms need assistance and the snacks go quickly. We take our donations 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!
Keeping the Pledge
You are reading the last Mower Alert! of the growing season, but if you look sharp, you may still catch a glimpse of Bruce Gannaway (October 23 -26) keeping his pledge to mow the church lawn for Stewardship Sunday. Be like Bruce, and all the other faithful stewards on our mowing team.
Music Notes
Ralph Vaughan Williams
Sunday's music: Our anthem this week is "O How Amiable" by Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872 -1958), considered the most significant composer of English sacred choral music. He studied at the Royal Conservatory of Music and Trinity College, Cambridge, and among his composition teachers were Hubert Parry, Charles Wood, and Charles Villiers Stanford. Vaughan Williams's music is known for its ability to look backward and forward at the same time, showing old techniques such as modality (versus tonality) in a modern light. He arranged older tunes, such as his orchestral work Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis, in a manner that was exciting for modern audiences but preserved the flavor of the original work. His piece "O How Amiable" is a staple of the Anglican tradition. The words are taken from Psalms 84 and 90 and affirm the blessings afforded to us by our creator. The organ writing in this work is particularly beautiful and shows off the range of timbres our instrument can produce.
Organist's footnotes: Continuing our sermon series on the Apostles' Creed, this week we examine "He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty." For today's prelude and postlude, I have chosen arrangements based upon hymns which allude to Christ's glorified status in heaven.
Words to the tune mit freuden zart ("with high delight," prelude) may be found in hymn 645, but they are not the words originally associated with this tune. The tune first appeared in the Bohemian Brethren's Kirchengesänge, 1566. Jan Bender (1909 -1994) composed this lively, playful setting in 1974. Bender was born in the Netherlands and immigrated to the United States, where he taught at several college and universities.
Tom Hay
In 1995, Central Presbyterian Church was undergoing its building expansion. As Music Director then, I suggested to the pastor, Tom Hay, that we needed a song to rally people around this project. Overnight, Tom penned the words to "A Blueprint for Discipleship," which I set to music; the congregation sang this hymn a number of times thereafter. I also arranged it for handbell choir. The Sanctuary Choir will sing the hymn during the offertory, and the Sanctuary Handbell Choir will play a shortened version of the handbell arrangement during the presentation of pledges on this Stewardship Sunday.
The tune middlebury first appeared in A Supplement to the Kentucky Harmony, c. 1821. The hymn "Come Away to the Skies," written by Charles Wesley, is most often sung to this tune. David Evan Thomas (b. 1958), a native of Rochester, New York, who now lives in Minneapolis, composed this setting, suitable for our postlude.
The bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells, bells: The call rings out from the Sanctuary Handbell Choir: O for new members or even 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. We're playing this Sunday; watch and learn, then come to our next practice! 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.
Beth & Brian
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Dorothy Dollar
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Jane Godsey
Ron Grubbs
Lou Hebb
Kristi Johnson
Marty Keys & family
Nancy King's family
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Alice Moore
Donald Page
Don Preston
Matt Richardson
Larry Roberts (Greg's brother)
Peggy Rutherford
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
Katlin Smith
Stigers family
Ashley Thomasson
Bill Woods
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Oct. 27        Ralph Booher, Peggy Hill, Peggy King
Oct. 28        Eddie Hill, Claire Pruner
Oct. 29        Jim Daniel, Virginia Rutherford
Oct. 31        Julie Halstead, Pat Longnecker, Flora Mae Turner, Joan Weddington
Nov. 2          Frances Rowell, Erin Yates
Church Calendar
Sunday, October 27
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall
10:10 a.m.     Session Receives New Members, Room 167
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
10:30 a.m.     Sanctuary Choir, Room 202
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship
Monday, October 28
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Room 123
Tuesday, October 29
10:00 a.m.     Morning Prayer Group, Conf. Room
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Room 117
7:00 p.m.       Boy Scout Troop 3, Scout Wing
Wednesday, October 30
9:30 a.m.       Women's Bible Study, Room 117
5:15 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 31
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
Friday, November 1
6:00 p.m.       Parents' Night Out, Education Wing
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