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

In This Issue
Deadline & Subscriptions
Word from the Pastor: Creeds and Confidence
Be in with the In Crowd
Meet the Connect Card
Join the Apostles' Creed Study
Join Us for Wednesday Night Fellowship
Next to Godliness
Let's Get Teddy to School
Trunk or Treat at Fairmount School
Student Night of Worship Sunday
Take a Look at Great Escape
To Autumn, on a Rollercoaster
Gifts to the Church
No Ding-a-lings We
Music Notes
Pray for One Another
Church Calendar
Our Church Officers
September 29
16th Sunday after Pentecost
Isaiah 11:1-5
Matthew 1:18-21
John 1:11-13
Spirit Conceived and Virgin Born
Sam Weddington
Sing Unto the Lord
Last Sunday's Attendance
9:00: 135; 11:00: 109
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 26 , 2019
Word from the Pastor: Creeds and Confidence

Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain. For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received.
1 Corinthians 15:1-3a NRSV
With this simple reminder in chapter 15 of 1 Corinthians, Paul launches into one of the most beautiful expositions of the Gospel and our future hope of bodily resurrection and glorification in full communion with God recorded in Scripture. I commend the entirety of 1 Corinthians 15 for your study and devotion. However, I share the passage above for a different purpose.
We are now in the fourth week of our churchwide series on the Apostles' Creed, and I want to thank you for your patience. Some of the topics we are covering can, from a certain perspective, seem a bit tedious. Along with you, I want to emphasize our personal relationship with Christ. How can we know him? How can we be engaged with him personally? What good is it to know about the hypostatic union, or the two natures of Christ, when I'm struggling to know him in my daily devotional life? These are pressing and important questions, and I hear you loud and clear.
However, I think it is important for the church, from time to time, to brush up on the Christ we know, and examine what we believe about him, so that we can be sure we are in love with Jesus as he is and not as we have made him. I know that we live in a day of quick messaging, but some things are worth looking at critically, and even savoring. I can think of no one who ought to demand this attention to detail more than Jesus.
So back to Paul. This series, I hope, will do for us what Paul was doing for the church in Corinth. We are being reminded of the good news the church has received over the ages, for it is in that good news that we must stand. Paul goes to great lengths to make sure the Corinthians understand not just the basics but the many implications of that story. For you see, it is only by understanding the story and thinking (adoring God with our minds!) that we can come to wonderful conclusions, as Paul does in verse 49: "just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will also bear the image of the man of heaven."
In this example alone, we see how topics like the two natures of Christ, or hypostatic union, point us in the direction of our future hope: full communion with God as we bear the image of the man of heaven. Or as Bishop Athanasius put it, when we know the story of who Jesus was, what he did for us, and all its implications for our lives, we can be confident in the fact that all of it serves God's purpose that we "might become as He is."
So we will continue to study the Word together and to think along with our brothers and sisters in Christ who came before us. When we do that, we step onto the holy ground the church has always dared to tread, the ground of encounter with God, our attempts to understand what that encounter means, and how that encounter shapes how we live our lives. All of it must and will be done in Jesus' name.
In Christ,
Pastor Sam
Be in with the In Crowd
Be in with the in crowd when you time your entrance and exit according to our new door schedule for Sunday mornings:
8:00:       Doors unlock as the church gathers
9:10:       Doors lock 10 minutes after the start of worship
9:55:       Doors unlock a few minutes before worship ends
11:10:     Doors lock 10 minutes after the start of worship
11:55:     Doors unlock a few minutes before worship ends
If you or your group need to enter the building while the doors are locked, you must make prior arrangements to do so. If you need help with this, please let Pastor Sam and Larry Connolly know.
Meet the Connect Card
We are trying a new way of connecting with one other and visitors: introducing the Connect Card, the easier alternative to the red fellowship register, which it replaces. If you are a regular attendee or member, please use the white Connect Card to update your personal information as needed (changes in email, street address, phone number) or for prayer requests. The full blue-and-white sheet is for visitors only and designed for sharing information--both ways! Visitors fill in their info then tear off and keep the information about First Presbyterian Church. Visitors and congregants alike should drop completed or updated Connect Cards into an offering plate or designated box in either worship space. If you have any questions, please contact Dave Welch (
Join the Apostles' Creed Study

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.
Join Us for Wednesday Night Fellowship
Join us Wednesday evenings for our fellowship supper at 5:30 and stay for programs for youth, children, and adults. With the exception of special presentations, we worship on Wednesday evenings by praying, singing, and studying God's Word together in the chapel. Wednesday night Bible study begins at 6:15.
Next to Godliness
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
Let's Get Teddy to School
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!
Trunk or Treat at Fairmount School
We're gearing up for the Fairmount Neighborhood Trunk or Treat to be held at Fairmount Elementary School on Thursday, October 24, at 5:00 p.m. We have a fun five weeks to plan just how to dress up car trunk, self, and others this year. If you would like to contribute candy while you're waiting, please bring your donations to the dedicated bin outside the Fellowship Hall or to the front office. Thanks!
Student Night of Worship Sunday
This Sunday at Student Fellowship, students will conclude their worship series with a night of worship. The series focused on how we worship with all our heart, mind, soul, and strength. Students will be invited to worship through music and interactive stations. Dinner at 6:00 will be followed by worship, and the evening will conclude with recreation and fellowship. Join us! / Katie Arnold
Take a Look at Great Escape
Katie Arnold, Director of Student Ministries, has provided a video recap of this summer's Great Escape. She has described it as "an incredible week of wildness, mess, laughter, and spiritual growth for our middle schoolers." She added, "Amid the water balloons and shaving cream, students grew in their faith through worship and message." See the highlights of the week here.
To Autumn, on a Rollercoaster
It is fall, and rollercoaster season is officially open. The air is cool and crisp, when it isn't hot and muggy, and an occasional shower dashes by, loosely punctuating the dry spell. 'Tis the season of mists and mellow fruitlessness, as Bridget Jones puts it. Hewing closely to Keats, JB Madison will mow September 25 -28, if there is anything in the way of fruitfulness in the lawn, and Fred Harkleroad (October 2 -5) may have reason to miss the small gnats' wailful choir. The world transitions, and anything can happen.
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:
Gene Blankenship (father of Chris Blankenship}: to the Memorial Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill
Kathy Story (mother of Brandon Story): to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Barbara Daniel
Larry Story (father of Brandon Story): to the Minister's Discretionary Fund from Barbara Daniel, from Eddie & Peggy Hill
Chuck Thompson: to the Brazil Mission Fund from Eddie & Peggy Hill; to the Children's Ministries Fund from Lee & Robin North
No Ding-a-lings We

Get into the swing of things with the Sanctuary Handbell Choir! We are 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 and get in plenty of practice before our next appearance! Please contact Bob Greene at or 276-696-9091 to talk about joining this fun-loving group.
Music Notes
Sunday's music: This week the choir is singing an upbeat and tender work filled with levity, "Sing Unto the Lord." It is a simple setting of a familiar text and is composed of two distinct melodies. One melody is bouncy and fast, the other smooth, or legato. The first melody is stepwise, or scalar, and at times there is a telescopic effect created by one voice going up and the other going down. The overall effect of this piece is light and clear, uplifting and refreshing.
The composer, Charles Yannerella, graduated from the Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and is now the president of Graves Piano and Organ Company in Columbus, Ohio. His works are performed frequently by church choirs throughout America.
Organist's footnotes: Today's organ music is derived from the portion of the Apostles' Creed which reads, "Conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary." I have chosen three pieces based upon familiar hymns, the texts of which relate to this portion of the creed.
Mary Beth Bennett
Our prelude, "Es ist ein' Ros' entsprungen" ("Lo, How a Rose E'er Blooming'), relates to Isaiah 11:1 "A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots." Mary Beth Bennett (b. 1954) has set this beautiful German carol in ethereal, ever-shifting harmonies, over which plaintive solo flutes play stylized imitations of the melody. Bennett, who lives in Richmond, Virginia, has dedicated her composition "for my husband, Mark Bowersox, with love."
"Gabriel's Message" (offertory) is the tune associated with the hymn, "The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came," which tells of the angel's visit to Mary. Just as important is the angel's visit to Joseph in a dream, informing him "the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit" (Matthew 1:20).
Michael Bedford
(b. 1949) has set this Basque traditional carol in a sprightly, dancelike setting.
"Personent Hodie" (postlude) originates from Piae Cantiones (1582) and was arranged by Gustav Holst in 1924. I love the first line, "On this day earth shall ring with the song children sing," because our own FPC children are singing today! This carol is pure celebration, and Rebecca Groom Te Velde (b. 1956) has created a suitably boisterous arrangement to send us on our way.
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
Randy Cook
Dorothy Dollar
Ethiopian brothers & sisters
DeeDee Galliher
Diane Glymph
Barbara Grubbs
Ron Grubbs
Kristi Johnson
Marty Keys & family
Nancy King
Leanne Madison
Dot Mattison
Roger McCracken
Christine Mitten & family
Alice Moore
Donald Page
Don Preston
Larry Roberts (Greg's brother)
Virginia Rutherford
Joan Sams
Stigers family
Katie Taylor
Ashley Thomasson
Karen White
Bill Woods
Birthday Prayer Fellowship
Sept. 29      Larry Connolly, Riley Miller, Ann Woods
Sept. 30      Chloe Arnold
Oct. 1          Johnny Warner
Oct. 2          Jordan Pennington
Oct. 3          Fred Harkleroad
Oct. 4          Brian Miller, Deborah Whitaker
Church Calendar
Sunday, September 29
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
6:00 p.m.       Student Fellowship
Tuesday, October 1
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 2
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 3
7:00 a.m.       Men's Bible Study, Parlor
12:00 p.m.     Noon Bible Study, Room 117
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