mailing address:  Balmoral Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 17309, Memphis, TN 38187
  • WORSHIP for 4th SUNDAY of ADVENT December 20:
  • Music Celebration of Lessons and Carols


  • HeartFelt Moments in partnership with Circle of Faith






  • 1st Vaccines in Memphis

  • CHRISTMAS DOESN'T END on the 25th ..... The 12 Days of Christmas Begins


  • INTERESTED in STARTING a FAMILY TREE? Here's a way to start.

  • Birthdays
  • Calendar of Events

  • BPC Photos
  • Worship last Sunday
  • Both Sides for 2020


ONLINE on YouTube at 11:00 am 
Worship with us on our YouTube Channel Sunday morning at 11:00am
 and check our website at 
Our Session is committed to providing worship during the pandemic that reaches everyone. Those of you who do not have computer access or SmartPhone access, Idlewild will continue to broadcast  all of the worship services on the radio 96.1 FM.
Stay at home! Stay Safe!
REMINDER: Everyone who comes onto the BPC property MUST WEAR A MASK, including those who are only in the parking lot. NO ONE is allowed in the building without authorization.
We must help to keep our Worship team and the SEED children safe!

Requests for use of the property (including the parking lot) MUST prepare a proposal to the BPC COVID-19 Task Force (Scott Hill and Mary Schmitz, co-chairs) for review; the task force will review the proposal, then make a recommendation to the Session for consideration.

and Sunday Studies
4th Sunday of Advent
Balmoral Presbyterian Church
Sunday, December 20, 2020

WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
 A Special Musical Celebration of
Lessons and Carols
(for more information, see below!)

The fourth candle, the candle of Love, will be lighted in this Worship service. If you have your own Advent Wreath, or a just single candle, we invite you to place it near your computer or TV where you play the service. Join with us as we light the Candle of Love.
(There will be no Sunday Studies December 20th and 27th.
New classes begin Sunday January 3, 2021.)
You will receive an email Friday with details and a link to the YouTube site for Worship, and a link to download the Sunday Worship Guide, an insert about the Joy Gift Offering and a list of Memorials and Honorariums donated to support MIFA's PlusOne partnership. You will also receive a reminder on Sunday morning!

The Idlewild service will also still be available at 11:00 am on the radio at 96.1 FM or you can go online to the Idlewild Livestream broadcast at

Previous Worship Services at Balmoral are still available on the 
Sunday, December 20, 11:00 a.m. Service
From favorite hymns to vocal arrangements to instrumental pieces and a video of the entire Balmoral Choir from last year's service, we celebrate with joy the season brings.
Our Worship Service of Lessons and Carols tells the promise of a Messiah and the story of Jesus' birth through Scriptural proclamations and music.

Each lesson is followed by a carol or other song that reflects on the lesson's message and prayer.
on YouTube
We may not be able to be in the sanctuary, but we will STILL celebrate the Christ Child's birth with our traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve Service!
Special music,
aaaaaaa Christmas Carols, and
aaaaaaaaaa Lighting the Christ candle,
Followed by lighting the world as we sing
"Silent Night" and "Joy to the World"
We will be inviting you to light candles with us during that service. If you have an Advent Wreath, light the candles of hope, peace, joy and love, and a Christ candle, as we light them in the service.
You may also want to share candlelight with the people you will be with by lighting a Christ candle with us then share the light by each participant leans their candle wick into the Christ candle's flame.
The service will be on our YouTube website at
Circle of Faith
is partnering with
HeartFelt Moments
to serve mid-south families in need in the Memphis area.
HeartFelt Moments matches volunteers in a sponsorship role to families in need of assistance with Holiday gifts - like an Angel Tree, but where sponsors meet with their angel families! 

This coming Saturday is the annual HeartFelt MoMent Christmas party which is usually a big party with lots of love, food, and yes, gifts too! Due to the pandemic, this year's Christmas celebration has been replanned as a drive-thru where families will still receive gifts for their children. Pastor Cliff Stockton will assist with the drive through gift distribution.  

You can learn more about HeartFelt Moments by finding them on Facebook, or reaching out to founder, Christina Handy at 901-550-6954.  

Read more about when Christina was featured on Channel 5 News as a 2017 Midsouth Hero here: 
New Sunday Classes Begin Sunday,
January 3 through March 28, 2021
Christ in Crisis ?
by Jim Wallis

Writing in response to our current "constitutional crisis," New York Times bestselling author and Christian activist Jim Wallis urges America to return to the tenets of Jesus once again as the means to save us from the polarizing bitterness and anger of our tribal nation.

The author provides a path of spiritual healing and solidarity to help us heal the divide separating Americans today.  
Cliff Gurlen and Renee Mitchell 
Bible Study
This class continues to the next 2 New Testament books, Pauls' letters to the Corinthians and Galatians.

Clinton Bailey, Stanley Gates,
Cliff Stockton and William Warren


Rev. Dr. Stewart M. Pattison has been living with multiple sclerosis for years. As his health has recently forced him to retire, gifts from the Christmas Joy Offering have come to have special meaning for him. A portion of gifts received from Presbyterians in congregations like ours go toward supporting church leaders in their times of critical financial need.

This is something Rev. Pattison truly appreciates. Several years ago, he received a grant from the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions and the Presbytery of Chicago. 

Rev. Pattison used his grant for the purchase of a specialized scooter which he has affectionately nicknamed “Di Blasi” in honor of the manufacturer. A scooter seems like a simple thing, but in fact it was a game changer. Di Blasi made it possible for him to continue his ministry as the solo pastor of the Community Presbyterian Church of Lombard, Illinois, a calling that he answered with love for more than 20 years.

Now that he is fully retired, the Board of Pensions is also providing support and assistance as Rev. Pattison navigates the Social Security Administration system, which he says can be a “very difficult process.”

“They tell me what they need, and they just kind of get the job done,” he explains. “To just know you have someone there to help you navigate all the red tape is so helpful.”

Rev. Pattison offers an important perspective for us to think about in dealing with the many challenges of things like the COVID-19 virus. “For lots of people, the virus was a temporary stay-at-home thing,” he says. “A disability can also be a stay-at-home thing—sometimes a permanent stay-at-home thing if you don’t have anywhere to turn for help. What the Board of Pensions does is really important to me and others like me, so that we can carry on even with our disabilities. They’ve helped in ways that have opened up my life.”

Rev. Pattison wants everyone to know how much it means to have the support of Board of Pensions in his life and in the lives of other retirees and church leaders who need a helping hand. “I’m grateful for those who give to this Offering,” he said.

If Rev. Pattison were with us today, I’m sure he would be nodding in agreement when I say that when we all do a little, it adds up to a lot. Please give generously.
Send your gift by check marked JoyGift to the church at
Balmoral Presbyterian Church
P.O. Box 17309
Memphis, TN 38187

Nelson Carney graduated from the
U of M this semester. Notice the gold cords?
Cum Laude (!!!!)

Well done!
Psby Women
the Presbyterian Women's Group

Wednesday, January 6, 2021, 10:30am
Join Rev. Anne Hagler for Bible Study sponsored by Presbyterian Women as they continue their study for the Winter quarter (but you don't have to be female to join - you fellows are welcome, too!)

Bring a snack to your computer space and join in!
Bible Study meets the 1st Wednesday of each month.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021
1:30 pm on Zoom

Their Eyes Were Watching God

by Zora Neale Hurston
Ted Pearson will lead the discussion for January
We had a lively discussion of "Where the Crawdads Sing" at book club for December, and it was so enjoyable to see the Kaisers and everyone else who joined us. We hope those of you who were unable to "attend" will make our next one: Tuesday, January 12, 2021 at 1:30 p.m. 

We decided today that the January book will be  "Their Eyes Were Watching God" by Zora Neale Hurston, and
Ted Pearson will lead. According to a search on the Shelby County Library website, they have 67 copies of this book! 

This is what Amazon says about it:
"One of the most important works of twentieth-century American literature, Zora Neale Hurston's beloved 1937 classic is an enduring Southern love story sparkling with wit, beauty, and heartfelt wisdom."

Also in January, we will continue the discussion on which books we will read for 2021. Here are the main ones mentioned Tuesday, (including several that we didn't get to in 2020):
  • The Last Castle (Kathrine);
  • The Library Book (Kathrine);
  • Desert Queen: The Extraordinary Life of Gertrude Bell (Jane and Jane);
  • The Nikel Boys;
  • The Giver of Stars


State puts vaccine on ice? 
With all the talk about FedEx delivering coronavirus vaccines and when the doses first got to (or went through) Memphis, one might expect that we’ve already started vaccinating health care workers and first responders here. But, have we? The Tennessee Department of Health received its first shipment of Pfizer’s vaccine Monday but the state is currently keeping them as an “emergency backup supply.”

COVID-19 is spreading faster in Tennessee than anywhere else in the United States, but the state won’t use its first vaccines immediately.

The Tennessee Department of Health received an “early shipment” of 975 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine Monday, Dec. 14, and the state is keeping them as an “emergency backup supply,” according to a Tuesday afternoon press release.

According to the release, TDH expects to deliver 56,550 doses to 74 Tennessee hospitals Thursday, Dec. 17. The department expects another shipment of the same number of doses in about three weeks.

While we’re waiting for the vaccine: 
Shelby County added another 900 new coronavirus cases yesterday, but what’s more concerning is that the area’s ICUs recently hit 97% capacity, with only 15 beds available as of Monday evening. And, given what happened after Thanksgiving (again, 97% full ICUs), local leaders aren’t optimistic about what we’ll see in January after Christmas. In light of all of this, the Shelby County Health Department is prepping another new health directive, but it sounds like they’ve been postponing it — to see if we need additional restrictions — as we tiptoe closer to the area’s tripwires. 
Family & friends visiting? Going to visit a gathering? How safe will you be? Click the link here:
Make the Most of the 12 Days of Christmastide

Experience faith, fun — and a deeper meaning of Christ’s birth
By By Traci Smith  | Presbyterians Today
I’ll never understand why poinsettias are 50% off in the store on Dec. 26. Why have we decided that their red and green glory is only half as valuable on that day as the day before? I’ve long had a soft spot for these poinsettias, throwing them in the cart after Christmas Day and rescuing them from church dumpsters. I keep them around as long as I can. The same is true of the Christmas lights, the tree and all of the decorations. Christmas isn’t over on Dec. 26.

In the Christian liturgical calendar, Christmas is celebrated from Dec. 25 until Jan. 6, the day of Epiphany. The days in between are what we call the 12 Days of Christmas. For many Presbyterians, though, the only connection we have to the 12 days of Christmas is the song about all of the things “my true love gave to me,” including the drummers drumming, the pipers piping, the golden rings and, of course, the partridge in a pear tree. “The Twelve Days of Christmas” song has a long and complicated history, with some historians citing that each “gift” represents some aspect of the Christian faith. Many, though, think the song was designed as a sort of game for singers to test memory and recall. It’s a fun song, to be sure, but what if the 12 days of Christmas meant much more than a song? What if we could allow these days of Christmas to be holy time to celebrate after the rest of society has decided to pack it up, discount it and move on to something else?

As a pastor and a parent, I’ve come to relish the 12 days of Christmas. Teaching my children that there are 12 days of Christmas allows me precious time to create and build family traditions after the hustle and bustle of Christmas Day. The busiest season of the church year is over, and now we have time and space to continue to celebrate Christ’s birth as a family — not late, but right on time. It’s during the 12 days of Christmas that we drive around and look at the lights, enjoy the nativity scene and sit around in our pajamas drinking hot chocolate.

If you’ve never had a “12 days of Christmas” practice before, I encourage you to give it a try this year. Consider Christmas Day to be the beginning of your celebration. Spend time not cleaning up and moving on, but lingering for a while in the holiness of Christ’s birth.

One of the things we do as a family is to hold back some of the gifts and give them to each other on the days between Dec. 25 and Jan. 6. Nobody has been given a turtledove or a French hen yet, but my children have been delighted to unwrap boxes of chocolate and Matchbox cars on those days. I daresay they’ve appreciated them more than they might have if they had been thrown under the tree with all the rest on Christmas morning.

Little trinkets sprinkled throughout the 12 days of Christmas are reminders that each gift we give is precious. Most precious, of course, are the nonmaterial gifts we share during these days — time to enjoy God’s blessing of family and friendship, and the Advent gifts of hope, peace, joy and love. Making Christmas a season will give yourself and your family the gift of time and reflection. You might even find a poinsettia or two, discarded by others, to bring Christmas joy into your home.

Tips for Living liturgically
  • Celebrate the season with a “12 Days of Christmas Togetherness Challenge,” where your family decides on something special to do together each day during the 12 days of Christmas.
  • Throughout the season of Advent, make a list of all of the Christmas activities you’d like to do, such as driving around to see Christmas lights, watching Christmas movies or making Christmas cookies. Do one of the activities on each of the 12 days of Christmas, rather than trying to cram them all in during Advent.
  • Surprise a neighbor with a homemade treat or gift on one of the days of Christmas and delight them with a card that reads “Happy First Day of Christmas … Happy Second Day of Christmas” and so forth.
  • For an extra challenge, give gifts to 12 people.

Traci Smith is a PC(USA) pastor and author of three books on faith and family. Her latest book is “Faithful Families for Advent and Christmas: 100 Ways to Make the Season Sacred.” Learn more at

Jerry Francisco (18), Kay Dawson (21),
Carol Mitchell (23), Mary Nell Easum (29),
Stephanie Brigman (30), Janice Carney (30)
Have You Wanted to Research Your Family Tree?
Here's your chance to learn how!
Genealogy 101
Intro to Genealogy,
Family History & DNA
a Webinar presented by

When: Wednesday, January 20, 2021 10:00 AM, CST
Where: a link to a GoToWebinar Broadcast will be sent to you by email when you register
COST: for non-members of the TNGS = $5.00

Will you be attending? If so, please follow the link below:

Genealogy 101-Intro to Genealogy, Family
History & DNA by Debbie Atchley

This first session of our series will cover how to get started in your genealogical research, helpful forms and software, where to find records and how DNA fits into your search.

Access will be through GoToWebinar. Instructions and Connectivity Link will be forwarded via email to all registrants upon registration, six days prior and again 1 hour prior to the event. Making the connection is quick and easy only requiring a computer and Internet connectivity from wherever you chose to watch the event. Your questions help drive the meetings, and we will be there to help each other.

For more information about the TN Genealogical Society, click here:

Every Monday
2:00pm Writer's Group via Zoom

1st Wednesday of the Month
Bible Study with Presbyterian Women 10:30 am

1st & 3rd Thursday of the Month
Ellis Small Group 10:15 am

2nd Tuesday of the Month
BOOK CLUB meets via Zoom

2nd Thursday Evening of the Month
7:00 pm Trouble I've Seen Small Group

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Special Christmas Music Celebration of
Lessons & Carols
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube
(no Sunday Studies)

Thursday, December 24, 2020
5:00pm on YouTube

Friday, December 25, 2020
Sunday, December 27, 2020
11:00 AM Worship Service with Rev. Anne Hagler via YouTube
(no Sunday Studies)

Sunday, January 3, 2021
9:45 - 10:45 AM Advent Sunday Study on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service with Rev. Anne Hagler via YouTube


Pastoral Care will be supplied by Rev. Carla Meisterman
       and by Rev. Anne Hagler as a backup.
Rev. Carla Meisterman 901.235.1014 
       or email
Rev. Anne Hagler 901.628.2104 or
The current Session members have been re-aligned to be your primary contact for ongoing communication. Here's the new contact list:
Lori Blackwelder .... (901) 262-8282 ...............
Cathy Bailey ........... (901) 481-6395 ..............
Frank Carney ...........(901) 337-4917 .............
Leiza Collins ........... (901) 246-5031 ..................... 
Becky DeLoach ...... (901) 489-3369 .............
Barry Dotson .......... (901) 277-1596 ...............
Don Lamb ............... (901) 754-5530 ............................
Ted Pearson home: (901) 754-9796 ................... 
...........................cell: (901) 486-6117
John Van Nortwick (901) 605-2907 ............ jvnortwick@cornerstone-

(NOTE: Many of these Session members are working during the day, so you may want to text them or email them.)

Keep in mind that ANY Balmoral member who is healthy will most likely be happy to help you in case of need as well!

To contact other members, the most-current contact information is available by requesting a copy of the BPC PHONE DIRECTORY from Kathy Singleton by email or by phone or text to (901) 734-7193. 
BPC Worship 
Sunday, December 13, 2020
3rd Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Candle of Joy aaaaaaaa Meditation, Erich Shultz
Hymn 400 "My Soul Calls Out for a Joyous Shout"
Linda Warren, John Gilmer, Clinton Bailey, Fran Addicott,
Leiza Collins on piano
Musical Offering - A Christmas Medley
Acoustic Eidolon
Joe Scott (double neck guitjo) & Hannah Alkire (cello)
We have been keeping reference articles in the Newsletter each week throughout the summer. It's time to take them out, BUT some of these may still be helpful, so we will store them and give you links to them, but eliminate them from the body of the newsletter itself.
To access a document, simply click on the link name. The document will then open in your browser as a PDF file!

  • Newsletter Articles & Photos should be emailed to Kathy Singleton at no later than Monday at noon for the week you want the article in the news.
  • Bulletin Information should be emailed to Rev. Carla Meisterman, with a copy to Kathy Singleton, no later than Monday noon the week before the Sunday you want the information to appear.
  • Prayer Concerns should continue to be submitted via email to Rev. Carla Meisterman (
online church calendar
The calendar will take a few seconds to load and, once it opens, you will see the month that we are currently in. To see the next month's calendar, click on the arrow pointing down - it is just to the right of the name of the month. Once you click on that arrow, an icon will appear with all the months of the year listed. Click on the month that you want to see. To see a specific date, click on the number of the day you would like to see. The entire 2020 calendar is available to you.