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





  • New Health Directive
  • Where's Your Place in Line for the Vaccine



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

  • Birthdays
  • Calendar of Events

  • BPC Photos
  • Worship last Sunday


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.

Rev. Carla Meisterman will be off duty through Sunday, Jan 3, 2021
Rev. Anne Hagler will be the Pastor On Call during this time, and will lead worship on Sunday, January 3.
You can reach Anne by phone or text at 901.628.2104 or by email at


Balmoral Presbyterian Church
Sunday, January 3, 2021

WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
aScripture: Isaiah 60:1-6 & Matthew 2:1-12
a aSermon: "The Power of an Awakening"

SUNDAY STUDIES at 9:45am on Zoom
aTTwo classes are available (see details below):
  • Christ in Crisis? by Jim Wallis
  • BIBLE STUDY of Paul's letters
aaaaaaaaPlease read 1st Corinthians chapters 1 and 2 for this Sunday.
aaaaaaaa(A full schedule for the Winter quarter is below.)

You will receive emails on FRIDAY & again on SUNDAY with a link to the YouTube site for Worship & a downloadable Sunday Worship Guide and links to the Sunday Studies classes on Zoom. 

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 
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 

(A full schedule for the Winter quarter is below.)
Bible Study
This class continues to the next 2 New Testament books, Pauls' letters to the Corinthians and Galatians.
Please read 1st Corinthians chapters 1 and 2 for this Sunday.

Clinton Bailey, Stanley Gates,
Cliff Stockton and William Warren
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.

This month, we will be discussing the 4th chapter in the Bible Study guide, “Into the Light”? 

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


Safer at Home Health Directive No. 16 now in effect
During the four weeks from December 26, 2020 to January 22, 2021, residents of Shelby County are asked to remain at home as much as possible. Specific recommendations and restrictions include:
  • Social activities related to entertainment and recreation should be curtailed because they expose everyone to unnecessary risks of spreading COVID-19. This would include, for example, indoor receptions, parties or events that are not related to places of worship, weddings, and funerals.
  • Employers are strongly encouraged to allow employees to work remotely (where feasible).
  • All previously approved events that were to occur during the effective dates of this Safer at Home order should reschedule their events or contact the Health Department to determine whether their event may still proceed.
  • Due to the risk of viral transmission, Health Directive No. 16 strongly discourages any on-site dining.
  • Indoor dining capacity must not exceed 25%.
  • Retail capacity must not exceed 50%.
  • Gyms and fitness facilities must limit capacity to 50%, including staff.
  • Businesses that provide goods or services exclusively through curbside service and pickup, drive-thru, shipment, delivery or virtually may continue.

Family & friends visiting? Going to visit a gathering? How safe will you be? Click the link here:
in the LINE for the VACCINE?
A vaccine may be around the corner, but how long will it be until you get the shot? Health officials are considering vaccine timelines that give some Americans priority over others. If you’re a healthy American, you may wait many months for your turn.

To put this in perspective, the New York Times worked with the Surgo Foundation and Ariadne Labs using their vaccine tool to calculate the number of people who will need a vaccine in each state and county — and where you might fit in that line. Click the link below!

Decluttering is a Holy Act
Make room for joy by getting rid of
guilt and angst
By Courtney Bowen | Presbyterians Today / December 20, 2020
Decluttering is not likely the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about spiritual practices. It may even sound more like a chore as we think of sorting through closets or our dreaded junk drawers. The process can be overwhelming, particularly if it’s been a while since we last decluttered. However, the end result is worth the work as we admire the organized shelves and drawers.
The first step in decluttering is to acknowledge this is not easy work. While some possessions are valuable or evoke feelings of happiness, others just gobble up space. Letting go of what we have held on to for a long time can even stir up feelings of grief. Marie Kondo’s insights from her bestseller “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” can be helpful in thinking about this difficulty. Kondo counsels that when decluttering our physical space, we are reluctant to relinquish some of our possessions for two reasons: guilt and anxiety.

Guilt keeps us from letting go of possessions that have some sentimental value. We hold on to an item we don’t particularly like because a relative or friend gave it to us. Unconsciously, we may believe that giving up the gift represents a rejection of the giver.

Anxiety causes us to hold too tightly to our possessions because we fear that we may one day need those belongings. How many of us cannot fit a car into our garage because it’s full of “someday” items?

Now if Kondo advises letting go of possessions we no longer want or need to make room for belongings that spark joy for us, imagine what decluttering our spiritual space — letting go of “things” that clutter our hearts — could do!

Just as guilt might keep us holding on to physical things, we often hold on to memories, beliefs and past arguments that no longer serve us in our spiritual lives. Perhaps we hold on to dogma we were taught as children that is no longer helpful or healthy for us because to let go of it makes us feel as if we are turning our backs on our childhood homes or communities. Or perhaps we hold on to anger or hurt because we fear letting go of them would make us vulnerable.

When we declutter our spiritual lives by giving up what is no longer useful for us, we make room for the One who brings us true joy. Decluttering our spirits creates liminal space, full of possibility and creativity, for the Holy Spirit to move in our hearts.

How do we declutter our spiritual lives? Perhaps the answer lies in other spiritual practices such as confession and prayer. If we are holding on to guilt, let us practice confessing that guilt to God. If we are holding on to hurtful things that have been said or taught to us, let us share that with God. If we are holding on to fear or anxiety, let us give that to God as well, as Philippians 4:6–7 teaches us: Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Just as a decluttered physical space can bring a sense of calm, a decluttered spiritual life opens us to an even greater peace — one in which we have room to see how God is at work in our lives and in the world.

Happy cleaning!

Courtney Bowen is associate pastor for youth at First Presbyterian Church of Jackson, Florida. In addition to practicing the spiritual discipline of decluttering, she enjoys hiking and knitting, and is an avid reader.
Put into Practice
Spiritual decluttering ideas
  • Take an inventory of your emotions. What are you holding on to that is leaving no room for joy? Now hand the “clutter” over to God in prayer.
  • Create a New Year’s Day tradition by writing down your spiritual clutter on a piece of paper. Then start a fire outdoors and toss the paper into the flames. This can be done alone or as a church activity. Gathering around a fire and releasing the clutter is also a great idea for the start of Lent, which begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17.
  • Take a few minutes each day to clean out your “spiritual junk drawer” by confessing to God the “items” that are weighing you down.
Stephanie Brigman (30), Janice Carney (30)

Lorie Blackwelder (1), Frank Carney (7), Mona Kernan (11),
Anne Hagler (13), Sandra Lamb (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)
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:
adapted from Rev. Dr. Beth Tanner at a Synod of the Northeast webinar

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

Wednesday, January 6, 2021
PW BIBLE STUDY 10:30 am on Zoom

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


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. 

December 24, 2020
"Away in a Manger"
Linda Warren, Fran Addicott, Leiza Collins
"O Come, All Ye Faithful"
John Gilmer, Leiza Collins, Erich Shultz, Fran Addicott,
Pete Addicott, Clinton Bailey

Lighting the Advent Wreath
"Boy Child of Mary"
Linda Warren, Fran Addicott
"Song of Emmanuel"
 Emily and Leiza Collins, vocalists;
John Gilmer, cello; Linda Warren & Fran Addicott, recorders;
Beverly Hooker, glockenspiel; Ted Pearson, guitar
"The People Who Walked in Darkness"
BPC choir previously recorded 2019
Lighting the World
"Silent Night" & "Joy to the World"
POSTLUDE: "On Christmas Night, All Christians Sing"
Linda Warren, organist
BPC Worship 
Sunday, December 27, 2020
Prelude "Wexford Carol"
Leiza Collins, piano; John Gilmer, trombone;
Rachel Randall, flute
"Hark! the Herald Angels Sing"
Call to Worship
"Go, Tell It On the Mountain"
John Gilmer
"Lord, Dismiss Us With Thy Blessing"

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 2021 calendar is available to you.