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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Pray and Pray More
Please Lend a Hand in Worship
Take Part in Our Speaker Demo Sunday
Meet Our New Mission Partner, Kate Hill
A Change of Seasons
Put Yourself in the Picture
Cheerios for Fairmount Snacks
Give from a Safe Distance to Keep Us Close
Join Us on YouTube and Facebook
Study the Bible Online
Pray for the World
Sunday Is Bring Your Ears to Church Day
Gifts to the Church
Organist's Footnotes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
September 27
17th Sunday after Pentecost
Genesis 13:14-18
Mark 10:46-52
God Builds a Nation
Dave Welch
Last Sunday's One Worship Attendance
In person: 140
Livestream: 86
Playbacks: 158
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 24, 2020
Word from the Pastor: Pray and Pray More
The prayer of the righteous is powerful and effective.
James 5:16b, NRSV
There is a fine balance between genuine lament and self-pity, and I don't always walk that line well. However, at the risk of sounding maudlin, I have to say that I do not recall a more challenging time for our nation or our world.
I think we are being challenged on two fronts as a society. On the first, the health crisis demands both patience and cooperation, and we seem deficient in both. On the second, we are in an election year, and with elections come hyperpartisanship. Our political opponents are cast as swamp monsters from the abyss, not as human beings worthy of dignity and respect because they, too, are children of God, warts and all.
Political theatrics may produce better bottom lines for social media, newspaper, and broadcasting corporations, but they do little to foster community and build a society of "responsible selves," as Wendell Berry puts it. When our neighbor is the enemy, our communities eventually become war zones. There is a convincing argument to be made that our present society is akin to a child growing up in the home of substance abusers.
So where do we go from here? The pandemic isn't going away anytime soon, and we are approximately 40 days away from a national election. Is it time to go into our bunkers and wait for the aftermath?
No. Never. This is not what Christians do. In the face of overwhelming challenges, we believe there is only one place to go, and that is to the Lord in prayer. We believe in a God who loves creation and loves us, God's creation. In fact, God loved us enough to redeem us at the cost of his Son. So we call out to God in our need, and we do it confidently because we know our pleas are heard for Christ's sake. This is the exact instruction James gives us in chapter 5 when confronted with any number of crises. We are to pray, James tells, because the prayers of the righteous, the prayers of those who are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2 Cor. 5:21), are most effective. They are effective because God has purposed to deliver us through the Son, and whatever work God begins, God always finishes (Philippians 1:6).
So I am asking each of you, as the church, to pray daily for our community, our nation, and our world. I am not asking you to pray that your candidate win or that the "evil bums" of your political opponents be thrown out.
No, pray for our community, our nation, and our world, that God would have mercy on all of us and that God would lead us, as a society, in the paths that would honor Him. Pray for your neighbor with whom you have deep disagreements, that despite our divisions, compassion for one another may grow. Pray for all those in leadership, both present and future, that they would be given all wisdom and ability to do the good and turn from evil. Pray that God would give us the courage and the ability to change what needs to be changed about ourselves or our actions, and that God would strengthen us in all that we do that is right.
The prayers of the righteous are powerful and effective only to the degree that they reflect the self-giving, humble, servant love of our Lord Jesus. Pray, and then pray some more in this way.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Please Lend a Hand in Worship
We need you on our audiovisual team! 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.
Take Part in Our Speaker Demo Sunday
During the 11:00 service this 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.
Meet Our New Mission Partner, Kate Hill
Kate Hill is one of our own, the daughter of Chris and Kelly Hill and granddaughter of Peggy and Eddie Hill. As the eldest daughter of career military parents, Kate was born in Japan and has lived in Germany and across the United States. Family visits home often brought her back to her home church, FPC Bristol.
Kate graduated from the University of Georgia in 2018 but heard God's call to stay there for two years to help disciple undergraduate students through the Wesley Campus Ministry that served more than 1,500 students. Through that service, Kate heard God's call to the mission field. She writes:
Missionary. What does that mean to me? Someone bursting at the seams to share the news of the radical love of Jesus. Someone willing to serve in a variety of different facets. Someone ready to love any stranger, neighbor, or friend. Someone who knows God as provider through the generosity and love of friends and family. There's a responsibility that comes with that job title, one I don't take lightly. I've honestly struggled to think it applies to me and questioned my equipping, my worthiness, but God never lets me stay there long. I am worthy. I am equipped. I am called. This yes is one surrendered in obedience and faith, full of joy and excitement.
We give thanks to God for Kate and the ministry to which God has called her. This Sunday, it will be our great joy to pray God's blessings upon her as the Lord sends her out to bear witness to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Please join us this Sunday as we celebrate another mission partnership emerge from the ministry of our church.
A Change of Seasons
Our courtyard is a garden for all seasons, beautifully kept by a man who knows them all as old friends. But don't call him a man for all seasons. Bill Whisnant wouldn't appreciate the cliché. He spent eight years making all things new in our courtyard, and we owe him fresh praise, at least, as he retires. Here, now, we clear an acre of metaphorical new ground in gratitude to him.
Bill, the Building & Grounds Committee thanks you, the entire congregation of FPC Bristol thanks you, everyone with eyes to see thanks you; what shall we do without you?
As Bill exits the garden with summer on his arm, we enter a new season. Our task now is to find a new volunteer or team to care for the trees, shrubs, flowers, and small lawn in this lovely retreat. If you can help, please contact our Facilities Manager, Larry Connolly, by calling the church office at 423-764-7176.

Put Yourself in the Picture
Our new Home Groups program is under way, and there are openings and opportunities to join in. 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. If you have questions, see Dave, Katie, or Lilly. We would love to see a picture of your group! Please send your photos to our Windows editor at

Cheerios for Fairmount Snacks
We are collecting boxes of Multi Grain Cheerios for the students of our neighborhood school. Fairmount teachers use them for math lessons at snack time, and the whole grains are just sweet enough to appeal to the children. Please drop your contributions in the little red house in the Fellowship Hallway or leave them on Dottie Havlik's porch, only four blocks from the church. For more information, email Dottie at or call her at 423-956-6747.
Give from a Safe Distance to Keep Us Close
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.
Sunday Is Bring Your Ears to Church Day
If you come to church this first Sunday of fall, you will see that Ron Fox (Sept. 23-26) has prepared a treat for your eyes and, if you are among the free spirited, feet. Inside, you can give your ears a treat in, oh, so many ways, not least by lending them to the test of our sanctuary audio system during and after the 11:00 service. David Moore (Sept.-October 3) mows for World Communion Sunday, October 4.
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 Hill: to the Christian Hands Ministry from Barbara Daniel
Virginia Rutherford: to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Barbara Daniel
Organist's Footnotes
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St. Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor. Since the 19th-century Bach Revival, he has been generally regarded as one of the greatest composers of all time.
Bach composed most of his preludes and fugues for organ during his tenure at Weimar (1708-1717), where he served as organist and Konzertmeister (director of music) at the ducal court. Our prelude for Sunday is his Prelude and Fugue in A major, BWV 536, which comes from a later, more mature period in his life. Lionel Rogg wrote: "A gentle luminosity and warm tenderness pervade the Prelude and Fugue in A major. From the brief prelude, which derives its vitality from the three elegant arpeggios set in a surrounding of silence, to the fugue with its delicately balanced subject making light of the bar line, the mood remains that of a pastorale."
"Kommst du nun Jesu, vom Himmel Herunter auf Erden" ("Come thou, Jesu, from heaven to earth") is one of the six Schübler Chorales and Sunday's offertory. These pieces were published around 1748 as Sechs Chorale von verschiedener Art ("Six Chorales of Various Kinds"). They are transcriptions of movements from several of Bach's cantatas.
The Inventions and Sinfonias, BWV 772-801, also known as the Two- and Three-Part Inventions, are a collection of 30 short keyboard compositions: 15 inventions, which are two-part contrapuntal pieces, and 15 sinfonias, which are three-part contrapuntal pieces. They were originally written as "Praeambula" and "Fantasiae" in the Klavierbüchlein für Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, a clavier booklet for his eldest son, and later rewritten as musical exercises for his students. Rob Griswell-Lowry has arranged Sinfonia #13 in A minor (Sunday's postlude) for the organ. Rob happens to be our own Chris Bingham's father-in-law.
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
Irene Blankenship
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
Will Hankins
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
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
Robert F. (Bob) Millard
September 22, 2020
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Sept. 27      Jessica Rogers, Winston Taylor
Sept. 28      Kelley Mayden
Sept. 29      Larry Connolly, Riley Miller, Ann Woods
Sept. 30      Chloe Arnold
Oct. 1          Johnny Warner
Oct. 2          Jordan Pennington
Oct. 3          Fred Harkleroad
Church Calendar
Sunday, September 27
9:00 a.m.       Worship, Fellowship Hall & Livestream
10:10 a.m.     Sunday School
11:00 a.m.     Worship, Sanctuary
                         Audio Live Test During & After Worship
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship
Monday, September 28
7:00 p.m.       Session of Elders, Fellowship Hall
Tuesday, September 29
10:00 a.m.     Staff Meeting, Fellowship Hall
7:00 p.m.       Scout Court of Honor, Chapel
Thursday, October 1
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Fellowship Hall
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
6:00 p.m.       Scout Roundtable, Fellowship Hall
Saturday, October 3
7:00 a.m.       Scout Yard Sale, Parking Lot
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