mailing address:  Balmoral Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 17309, Memphis, TN 38187
NEWS THIS WEEK

  • CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLE LIGHTING SERVICE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 24, 5:00pm

  • WORSHIP for SUNDAY, DECEMBER 26

  • PASTOR on CALL

  • WINTER SUNDAY STUDIES

  • PW BIBLE STUDY JAN. 5

  • BOOK CLUB for 2022

  • THE CHRISTMAS STORY - A NEW WAY of LIVING

  • DID YOU MISS THESE LAST WEEK?
  • A NOTE of THANKS from CARLA
  • STORIES by PHYLLIS BLACKSTONE in HER NEW BOOK "My Storied Life"

  • BPC Photos
  • Worship of Lessons & Carols December 19
  • SEED Getting Ready for their Christmas Program
  • Caroling at Brookdale

WEEKLY INFORMATION
  • Birthdays
  • Calendar of Events
  • OUTREACH OPPORTUNITIES
  • CONTACT INFORMATION

LINKS to DOCUMENTS


REMINDERS:
  • WORSHIP IN-PERSON POLICIES & PROCEDURES & UPDATE FROM the BPC TASK FORCE

  • LAST CHANCE DEC. 26
  • ADVENT TREE is COLLECTING CLOTHES
  • CHRISTMAS JOY GIFT OFFERING

  • CLOTHES NEEDS for JOHNSON AUXILIARY continue all year!

CHRISTMAS EVE CANDLELIGHT SERVICE
5:00pm
We rejoice to celebrate the birth of the Savior with a truly special Worship Service, after we missed being with friends and family together in person last year!

Join us at 5:00pm as we light the Christ candle, hear the story of Christ's birth, sing favorite hymns, celebrate Communion together in person and shine light on our world!

Come at 4:45pm for pre-service Christmas music:
  • Meditation on "Veni, Emmanuel" by Todd Marchand, played by Frank Carney and John Gilmer 
  • The Wexford Carol, a Traditional Irish melody, arranged by Mark Hayes and Douglas Wagner, and played by Linda Warren 
  • He Is Born the Divine Christ Child, arranged by Dale Wood and played by Frank Carney
Enjoy this special music and get a good seat!

(NOTE: The Christmas Eve service will also be on LiveStream on our YouTube channel - see Friday morning's worship email for the link)

BPC WORSHIP

Sunday, December 26


11:00am IN BPC's SANCTUARY

Scriptures: Luke 2:41-52
Sermon: "Chosen Home"
CIRCLE of FAITH WORSHIP at 8:30am
IN BPC's Fellowship Hall
Everyone is also invited to join the Circle of Faith's return to In-Person worship service! To enter the building, use Office door to the Fellowship Hall.

Sunday Studies will NOT meet on Sundays 12/26 or 1/2.
Winter Studies will resume on January 9, 9:30-10:30 am
We will still send an email on FRIDAY with the Sunday Worship Guide. 

Previous Worship Services at Balmoral are still available on the 
REMINDERS
EVERYONE IS REQUIRED to WEAR MASKS, whether vaccinated or not, and is asked to keep Social Distancing.
SEE BELOW for POLICIES and PROCEDURES.
You will also receive our regular worship email, with the bulletin and link for livestream worship, if you plan to worship at home.
WEAR YOUR NAME TAGS!
The Rev. Elizabeth Dick
will be the Pastor on Call
from Monday, December 27, through Sunday, January 2, 2022.
(Elizabeth will be out of town, but she will be available by phone/text and by email.)
To Contact Elizabeth:
Phone/signed text: 314.330.0506
Email: elizabethdick2@gmail.com

WINTER SUNDAY STUDIES
9:30am beginning January 9, 2022
The Sunday morning Winter Term Sunday Studies will run from January 9 to April 10, 2022. The two classes are a Bible study of Matthew and a book study of "His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis" by Jon Meacham.
Bible Study of Matthew
led by Clinton Bailey, Stanley Gates,
Cliff Stockton and William Warren.

Two chapters will be studied each week.

Book Studyled by Cliff Gurlen and Audrey Davis.

His Truth is Marching On: John Lewis
by Jon Meacham

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER •
An intimate and revealing portrait of civil rights icon and longtime U.S. congressman John Lewis, linking his life to the painful quest for justice in America from the 1950s to the present from the Pulitzer Prize–winning author

BIBLE STUDY
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
10:30am in Classroom A

Start your New Year with a morning of fellowship and Bible Study as we continue our look at
"What My Grandmothers Taught Me:
Learning from the Women in Matthew’s Genealogy of Jesus"



2022
All BPC book lovers are invited to try out the
Balmoral Book Club in 2022.
Our book for January is Plainsong by Kent Haruf, a story of relationships with the themes of recovery, redemption and kindness. Discussion will be led by Beverly Hooker. Published in 1999, this book is widely available in the Memphis Public Library and on used book websites as well as Amazon. January meeting will be held Tuesday, January 11 at 1:30 p.m. in Classroom A. 
Looking ahead: our February Book will be Epiphany, stories by Ferrol Sams. The title story is about a small town doctor's relationship with an ex-con patient and is both hilarious and poignant. Also available in the Public Library as well as used book sites and Amazon.
World Council of Churches Urges
‘A New Way of Living’
in its Annual Christmas Greeting
by the Rev. Dr. Ioan Sauca, World Council of Churches
Special to Presbyterian News Service
Photo by Al Elmes via Unsplash

“For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”   2 Corinthians 8:9 (NRSV)
The Christmas story fascinates, intrigues and challenges.
 
It is a fascinating story, among other reasons, because the revelation of what God has graciously done in Christ for the renewal of the whole creation comes to us through narratives in which the main actors are not the powerful living in palaces, but the humble living in the margins.
 
Think of the Christmas stories from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. What comes to mind? A modest couple facing difficulties; a vulnerable child threatened by the cruelty of a king; a pregnant woman who does not find a hotel room to give birth; anonymous shepherds who receive good news from a crowd of angels; a young family pushed to migration.
 
All of them are on the underside of history. All of them are the bearers of the divine promise about the final destination of history.
What Mary celebrated in the spirit of the Hebrew prophets, by singing that her Savior had “brought down the powerful from their thrones, and lifted up the lowly,” the apostle Paul formulates in terms of the self-emptying of the Son of God, who became poor “for us and for our salvation,” as expressed later in the words of the Nicene Creed.
 
The Christmas story and its fascinating paradox invite us to meditate about Christian life in today’s world. Preaching in Constantinople about the second letter to the Corinthians, Saint John Chrysostom spoke of two altars in Christian life, which are inseparable from each other: the altar of Holy Communion and the altar of compassion. We cannot receive the Heavenly Bread without engaging in active solidarity, in “the liturgy after the liturgy”, with those who cannot receive the earthly bread.
 
Ours are times in which the pandemic has catalyzed the risks of the climate emergency, the systemic inequalities between rich and poor, and widespread gender-based violence.
 
As we prepare ourselves to welcome the One who manifested the God of the widow, the foreigner and the orphan, let not our minds conform to the spirit of greed of our times. Let us repent and convert to new ways of living that express our care for future generations. Let Christ’s love move the world to reconciliation and unity.

May your Christmas be blessed and its message of joy and hope overwhelm your lives. Christ is born, let us glorify him!
 
The Rev. Dr. Ioan Sauca is the Acting General Secretary of the World Council of Churches. Watch a video on the WCC’s 2021 Christmas greeting here.

A NOTE of THANKS
to Balmoral &
Circle of Faith
from Carla Meisterman
To the Congregations of Balmoral Presbyterian Church and Circle of Faith -
 
Expressing my gratitude to all of you is a greater task than I have the words to meet! The celebration of 18 years of ministry together, on November 22, 2021, was perfectly wonderful! Your loving expressions, with cards and gifts, simply overwhelmed me. When I saw the huge package from Circle of Faith and I looked up and saw the sailboat on waves, that you had commissioned for me, "sailing up the aisle" my heart exploded with joy. When I got home from the Session meeting that afternoon, Bruce and I sat together in our living room as I opened and read each card. It was a beautiful day which will stand out in my memory forever. The cards are all in a large bowl on my coffee table where I see them daily and am able to pick one out and read it again. Your gifts to me were thoughtful and expressed both the love we share for one another and the understanding of how God works through us and around us as we seek to catch the wind of the Spirit!

Thank you for giving me my own BPC sailboat with a spinnaker filled with wind and a rudder which moves so I can attempt to control my direction!! You know me well. Thank you for the monetary gift which Bruce and I appreciate so very much. And, to Circle of Faith, thank you for the pillow and throw that I find comfort in each day and the umbrella that says "when the praise goes up the blessings come down". The praise certainly goes up for all of you and the blessings you have given to me, year after year, have certainly come down to be indelibly imprinted in my memory and in my heart! 

Blessings and thanksgiving for all of you for your love and your kindness!
The Reverend Carla Meisterman
RevCarMeisterman@gmail.com
901.235.1014
NEW BOOK!
Our Friend, Storyteller Phyllis Blackstone, has Published her book "My Storied Life" and is available on Amazon!
Phyllis shares tales of her family, travels in her motor home, experiences in the classroom, and musings on life.

You’ll find yourself laughing one minute and crying the next as you enjoy Phyllis's gift as an observer and communicator of the human condition in all its beauty, foibles and sadness.



LAST CHANCE to
FILL the TREE
Since the Food Bank is still not collecting gifts of can goods, we will be collecting items of clothing for the Clothes Closet at First Presbyterian instead! Below is a list of items that are in need.

Bring your donations and add them to the Advent Tree through Sunday, December 28. We will accumulate during Advent and then take all of the donated items to 1st Presbyterian.

WHAT to BRING:
  • New socks
  • New undies
  • New or Used items:
  • Mens’s casual pants (sweats, khakis, jeans) really need 30-34
  • Women’s pants as well. All sizes
  • Long sleeve Ts
  • Hoodies
  • Jackets
  • Tennis shoes
  • Gloves
  • Blankets
  • Sleeping bags

CLOTHES DRIVE
for
JOHNSON AUXILIARY
Men’s Clothing:
  • Men’s Casual Shoes (athletic-type shoes) /Slippers (with backs) (All sizes needed)
  • Men’s Jackets and Hoodies (all sizes) & gloves
  • Men’s Casual Pants—Waist Sizes (All sizes needed, but particularly need sizes 30-36 waist and sizes 44 and up waist)
  • Men’s Casual Pants—Sweatpants (All sizes)
  • Men’s Casual Shirts—long sleeve (All sizes needed, but particularly need sizes XL and up particularly big and tall sizes); button down the front and pullover
  • Men’s underwear and socks (Must be new)—(All sizes)

Women’s Clothing:
  • Women’s sweatpants—all sizes needed
  • Women’s underwear and socks (must be new); all sizes needed
  • Women’s hoodies/casual outerwear (all sizes needed, particularly plus sizes); gloves
  • Women’s casual shoes (athletic-type) /slippers (with backs)—Sizes 9 and up

Other Clothing Related Needs:
  • Umbrellas
  • Rainwear such as ponchos (unisex, preferred)

If items have been previously worn, they must be clean, odor-free, stain-free and not in need of repair.
Your contributions really help and are greatly appreciated! 
(Place items near the Food Cart in the narthex hallway.)
VOLUNTEERS are also needed!
Contact Beverley Hooker for more information!
BPC will gather your offerings from now until Tuesday, December 28, by sending a check to our PO box below (please note on your check that it is for “Joy Gift”) or using the Joy Gift envelopes on the back table and placing them in the offering plate. Thank you for your support of the Christmas Joy Offering!
UPDATE from the BPC COVID-19 TASK FORCE
aaa
The Session approved motions from the BPC COVID-19 Task Force the following changes to Balmoral's procedures:
(1) The congregation is permitted to sing, but must wear masks;
(2) the choir is no longer limited to 12 singers, but all must wear masks;
(3) sharing the peace is permitted, but the congregation must be masked and socially distanced;
(4) communion may resume, with details worked out by Rev. Gale and the worship team, followed by approval by the Covid-19 Task Force;
(5) fully vaccinated church officers and volunteers may resume use of the church office, continuing to follow protocols (masked and distanced) and using only a direct path to and from the office from the entrance closest to the office;
(6) As we begin to lift restrictions, the Session encourages unvaccinated individuals to remain safe by joining us on live-stream rather than worshipping in person.

NOTE: Since the church office will NOT be manned and the outside doors remain locked, those needing access to the church office will need a key or be with someone who has a key. Please continue to stay vigilant about keeping the SEED children safe by avoiding going into their area. Thank you!
CURRENT WORSHIP PROCEDURES
Due to New CDC Recommendations regarding the Delta Variant the following will be observed:
  • Masks will be worn in the building at all times
  • Social Distancing of 6 feet will be observed at all times; please avoid close contact with others, such as hugging or shaking hands. Greet each other with elbow bumps instead!
  • Pastor will be masked at all times except at the pulpit when she is preaching and leading worship
  • Choral leaders will be masked at all times except when they sing or lead liturgy
  • Musicians will be masked at all times, except those who play brass or wind instruments
NOTE that CONGREGATIONAL SINGING restrictions have been REMOVED! The Congregation invites all vaccinated, masked worshippers to join their voices!
PLEASE, FOR THE SAFETY OF YOURSELF and ALL THOSE YOU LOVE AND CARE FOR:
Anyone who is experiencing symptoms of illness (EG: sinus infection; flu like symptoms; sore throat; fever or chills; cough; shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; fatigue; muscle or body aches; headache; new loss of taste or smell; congestion or runny nose; nausea or vomiting; diarrhea) should consider contacting your Healthcare Provider and let them know you may have been exposed to a breakthrough case of COVID-19 to a fully vaccinated person.
PLEASE DO NOT COME TO THE CHURCH
IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS
Thank you for continuing to observe the ever-changing policies as we navigate the pandemic together.
To contact the Chair of the BPC COVID-19 Task Force:
Scott Hill - signed text: 901.277.9794
email: hill8910@bellsouth.net
IF YOU ARE EXPOSED TO OR HAVE BEEN DIAGNOSED WITH COVID    
Contact: The Reverend Elizabeth Dick 314.330.0506 or elizabethdick2@gmail.com
Let Elizabeth know when you were last in church; Give permission for notification to the congregation; Get Tested, if you have not already been; Contact any person or persons you have been with and follow with your doctor's advice.


DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
Carol Mitchell (23), Carla Meisterman (27),
Mary Nell Easum (29), Stephanie Brigman (30),
Janice Carney (30)
Lorie Blackwelder (1), Frank Carney (7), Mona Kernan (11), Sandra Lamb (13), Anne Hagler (13), Do Kaiser (18), Kathrine Getske (19), Jerry Sparger (19), Janie Pearson (21),
Dorothy Stockdale (21), Janice Hill (23),
Amber Baldwin (23), Glenda Ellis (29), Bob Kaiser (29) 
 
Every Monday
2:00pm Writer's Group CLASSROOM A and/or on Zoom

1st Wednesday of the Month
BIBLE STUDY 10:30am in Classroom A

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

2nd Tuesday of the Month
1:30pm BOOK CLUB in Classroom A

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

1st & 3rd Thursday of the Month
COLONIAL PARK FOOD DRIVE
Friday, December 24, 2021
Christmas Eve Candlelight Service
5:00 PM in the Sanctuary & on LiveStream

Sunday, December 26, 2021
8:30 AM Circle of Faith Worship in the Fellowship Hall
(NO SUNDAY STUDIES)
11:00 AM BPC Worship in the Sanctuary & on LiveStream

Sunday, January 2, 2022
8:30 AM Circle of Faith Worship in the Fellowship Hall
(NO SUNDAY STUDIES)
11:00 AM BPC Worship in the Sanctuary & on LiveStream

Sunday, January 9, 2022
8:30 AM Circle of Faith Worship in the Fellowship Hall
9:30 AM SUNDAY STUDIES: aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa
  • Bible Study meets in Classroom A
  • "His Truth is Marching On" meets in the Fellowship area
11:00 AM BPC Worship in the Sanctuary & on LiveStream

PLEASE NOTE: The Church Office will NOT be staffed. Please continue to use your contact lists to reach us!
REMINDERS: We must help to keep the SEED children safe!
Please do not enter the SEED area of the building without authorization and be sure to wear masks around the children.

Small Group Meetings in Classrooms A & B must be scheduled with Barry Dotson, barry.dotson@yahoo.com or signed text/cell: 901. 277.1596

Requests for other uses of the property (including the parking lot) MUST prepare a proposal to the BPC COVID-19 Task Force (Scott Hill, chairperson) for review; the task force will review the proposal, then make a recommendation to the Session for consideration.

BPC PHOTOS
WORSHIP, December 19, 2021
Balmoral Choir
L: The Rev. Mary Newberg Gale
R: Introit with the Bells of Balmoral
Prelude
Lighting the Advent Candles: Eli Gurlen, Ainsley & Fiona Gale
READING the LESSONS:
Jack & Emmy Orians
Rev. Elizabeth Dick
Becky DeLoach
Glenda Ellis
Mary Schmitz
Art Hall
SEED KIDS GET READY for their CHRISTMAS PROGRAM

BPC CHOIR GOES CAROLING
at the BROOKDALE HOME
COLONIAL PARK FOOD DRIVE
IF ANYONE IS CALLED TO SERVE....
We work every 1st and 3rd Thursday. 
Colonial Park UMC
5330 Park Ave
CONTACT SCOTT DAWSON for more INFORMATION

CONTACT INFORMATION
Pastoral Care this week will be supplied by Pastoral Care Intern Rev. Elizabeth Dick 314.330.0506
       or email elizabethdick2@gmail.com
You may also reach out to our Transitional Pastor
Rev. Mary Newberg Gale at 913.481.7427
       or email mngale@balmoralpc.com
    
Session members are your primary contact for ongoing communication. Here's the current contact list:
Lori Blackwelder .... (901) 262-8282 ............... LORIEB1165@yahoo.com
Leiza Collins ........... (901) 246-5031 ..................... leiza1016@gmail.com 
Becky DeLoach ...... (901) 489-3369 ............. BeckyMD2905@gmail.com
Barry Dotson .......... (901) 277-1596 ............... barry.dotson@yahoo.com
Janice Hill ............... (901) 826-9747 ................... janicehill81@gmail.com
Beverly Hooker.........(901) 496-1241 ......................... bev.h@earthlink.net
Ted Pearson home: (901) 754-9796 ...................  pearsonteda@aol.com 
...........................cell: (901) 486-6117
Erich Shultz .............(901) 268-4951 ...................emshultz@bellsouth.net
John Van Nortwick (901) 605-2907 ............ jvnortwick@cornerstone-
systems.com

(NOTE: Many of these Session members work 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 ksingle2@bellsouth.net or by phone or text to (901) 734-7193. 
LINKS to DOCUMENTS
Reference articles from previous Newsletters .
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 ksingle2@bellsouth.net no later than Monday at noon for the week you want the article in the news.
  • Bulletin Information should be emailed to Rev. Mary Gale, 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 be submitted via email to Rev. Elizabeth Dick (elizabethdick2@gmail.com) with a copy to Kathy Singleton at ksingle2@bellsouth.net.
DECEMBER 2021
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 2021-2022 calendar is available to you.