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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Glorious Images
One Worship Bluegrass Service Outdoors Sunday
Home Groups Are Happening!
Fairmount Snack Program Kicks Off Sunday
Next Sunday: Listen Up
Please Lend a Hand (or Two)
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Study the Bible Online
Pray for the World
Open with Care
Gifts to the Church
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
September 20
16th Sunday after Pentecost
One Worship
Genesis 1:27
Ephesians 2:15-22
Made to Be Together
Sam Weddington
Last Sunday's Attendance
In person: 9:00: 58; 11:00: 27
Livestream: 67
Playbacks: 131

Late service videos:

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

September 17, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Glorious Images
And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.
2 Corinthians 3:18, NRSV
There's a lot going on this week. This Sunday we're holding what we're calling "Rooted Together," a bluegrass One Worship service at 9:00 a.m. to fill the hole left by the cancellation of Rhythm and Roots. We're also beginning our churchwide Home Groups program, through which many of you are meeting this week to read God's Word together and grow in relationship with one another. Our Sunday School program has resumed limited in-person classes, and our nursery has also resumed with certain limitations.
There's a lot to think about, and much to celebrate, despite the hardships we seem to experience daily. Sometimes I feel like it's hard to keep the gears turning here at the church. How do we keep people engaged? Can we excite God's people about worship and fellowship in the virtual era?
Of course, I would do well to stay out of my own head. It's easy to forget that it's not about me, or my plans, or what I hope and dream for our church community. The programming was never the center of our life together.
Instead, we would all do well to remember that we are part of a body of Christ followers and, together, something wonderful is happening. What's happening, Paul tells us, is that we are in the process of being transformed. In our giving and receiving of one another's gifts in the power of the Spirit, we are being transformed. We are being conformed to the image of the Lord Jesus as we learn to share life together, and in that turning we come to radiate the very glory of God.
In our life together as the body of Christ, as a fellowship united in Him, we experience the truly rich, deep, and meaningful humanity for which we were made. Despite our foibles, Christ does for us what we cannot do for ourselves, so that we might have a share of the glory found only in his communion with the Father and the Spirit. We were, are, and always will be made to be together, the theme of our collective study this week.
Which brings me to a Mister Rogers quote I want to share:
All of us, at some time or other, need help. Whether we're giving or receiving help, each one of us has something valuable to bring to this world. That's one of the things that connects us as neighbors---in our own way, each one of us is a giver and a receiver.
Mister Rogers was a wise man. We were made to be together. We were made for fellowship. We were made in the image of God, who is a communion of Father, Son, and Spirit. Yet fellowship and communion aren't just words meant to elicit sentiment. No.
At the heart of the image of God within each of us is a communion that is defined by our giving and receiving of the gifts God has bestowed on each of us. That's the connection, that's the fellowship! We can only be fully human in community, and community is only possible when we are open enough to one another to both give our gifts and receive the gifts of others that cover our deficits.
At the heart of the divine image in each of us is the divine property of grace. We are glorious images made to give all that we are away and, in our giving, receive more than we could contain within ourselves. In the end, the best we are as images is a reflection of the generosity of God.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
One Worship Bluegrass Service Outdoors Sunday
This Sunday, September 20, we will hold One Worship at 9:00 a.m. on the lawn, weather permitting. (If it rains, we will meet in the Fellowship Hall.) The music for worship will be bluegrass played by members of our congregation. Bring a comfortable lawn chair and enjoy fellowship with others at a healthy distance. We hope to see you there! The service will also be livestreamed on our YouTube site and available there to watch at any time thereafter. /Bob Greene
Home Groups Are Happening!
This week, members of our congregation held their first meetings in our new Home Groups program. Home Groups are an innovative way to continue weekly fellowship and Bible study while staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. A group can be a gathering of friends, neighbors, or one or more families. Each week, we provide an intergenerational Bible study to each group, and the Sunday sermon reflects on its theme. If you're not already in a group, just picture yourself in one of the photos below, then go to the Home Groups page on our website, register yourself or start a group, and let us know. We would love to see a picture of your group! Please send your photos to our Windows editor at

Fairmount Snack Program Kicks Off Sunday
It's time to gather more snacks for our Fairmount children! This Sunday we will collect boxes of Multi Grain Cheerios, which the teachers and students love. The teachers use them for math lessons during snack time, and the whole grains are just sweet enough to appeal to the kids. Simply drop your donations into one of the collection boxes outside during One Worship.
Folks who cannot attend the service this Sunday can still contribute by dropping the snacks as usual in the little red house in the Fellowship Hallway, or leaving them on Dottie Havlik's porch. For more information, email Dottie at or call her at 423-956-6747.
Next Sunday: Listen Up
During the 11:00 service next Sunday, September 27, we will feature a demonstration to measure speaker performance in our sanctuary. The service will be followed by a sound study that will require the participation of several individuals. Please attend the service in person that day, if you are interested in leaving feedback as we progress in our acoustic update project.
Please Lend a Hand (or Two)
If you are interested in serving with our audiovisual team, we would love to hear from you! No experience is necessary. We will train you to control the cameras, modulate the sound, or run the videos and graphics. Just contact the church office to join the team.
Give Remotely to Keep Us Together
During the COVID-19 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.
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Remember to subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch the livestream of our early worship service and other activities. 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.
Study the Bible Online
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. All you need is 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.
Pray for the World
As we weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we are asking you to spend more time in prayer for our church, our community, our nation, and the world. Pray for our leaders, first responders, frontline workers, and the vulnerable. We also ask that you pray for an end to this disease.
Falling into Place
Here is our dear old Earth looking a bit dizzy, not to say tipsy, as it spins through time and space along with the rest of us. The image tells us it's time to synchronize our watches: the fall equinox begins on Tuesday, September 22, at 9:31 a.m. The first day of fall follows on the dancing heels of this Sunday's One Worship bluegrass service on the grounds, for which Bruce Gannaway (September 16-19) mows. (When you arrive, look around for the collection boxes for the Fairmount Elementary School snack program.) If you attend worship to participate in the speaker demonstration on September 27, you will see the results of Ron Fox's (Sept. 23-26) neat footwork as you head inside.
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 in memory of:
Virginia Long (mother of Lilly Osborne): to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad
Virginia Rutherford: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Fred & Heidi Harkleroad
Pray for One Another

In Our Prayers
Please also include in your prayers members of our community who wish to remain anonymous.
Scottie Bales & family
Joe Bell
Blountville Presbyterian Church
Sujean Bradley
Bud Branscomb
Bristol Tennessee School System
Becky Busler
Christians in Nigeria/ECWA
Community, nation & world
Thomas Covington
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
First responders & medical & infrastructure personnel
DeeDee Galliher
Deborah Garritson
Goddards (missionaries in Paraguay)
Martha & John Graham
Steve Gross
Ron Grubbs
Conor Haaser & squadron
Lou Hebb
Nate & Angela & newborn Higgins
Kate Hill (missionary)
Davan & Kristi Johnson
Marty Keys & family
Josh & Morgan King & family
Danae & Dan Kreiss
June Lamb
Lyn Leach
Nancy Lilly
Dot Mattison
Teagan McBride
Kathleen McGlothlin
Bob Millard
Megan Mitten
Alice Moore
Brianna Necessary
Martha North
Cheyenne Poteat
Jerry Poteat & family
Maria Poteat
Rosa Poteat
Family of Elizabeth Rogers
Harold Rutherford
Brittany Salter
Susan Solomon
Strickland family
Jim Swartchick
Family of Diane Thomas
Family of Becky Tulloch
Bill Wade
Patsy Ward
Karen White
Dave Whitesides
Windsor Avenue Presbyterian Church
To the Church Triumphant
Harriette Hargreave Massengill
September 13, 2020
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Sept. 21      Anna Booher, Karen Haaser, David Worley
Sept. 22      Elizabeth Blankenship, Ann Holler, Jason Mumpower, Amy Webb
Sept. 23      Bill Longnecker, Martha North, Sammy Weddington
Sept. 24      Andrew Beck, Mindy Carter
Sept. 25      Matt Richardson
Sept. 26      Henry Linderman, John Reardon
Church Calendar
Sunday, September 20
9:00 a.m.       One Worship Bluegrass Service, Outdoors
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
4:00 p.m.       Evangelism & Outreach Comm., Fellowship Hall
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship
Tuesday, September 22
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Fellowship Hall
Thursday, September 24
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Fellowship Hall
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
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