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

  • Committee Reports
  • Link to the Zoom Mtg

  • "The Hill We Climb"
aaaaaaaaaby Amanda Gorman

  • Lenten Devotional available from PCUSA

  • "Learning the Ways of Peace"

  • "Standby List" for VACCINES

  • CHANGE of TIME for Sunday Studies
  • TAPESTRY 2021 LEADERSHIP CLASS Saturday, January 30 on Zoom
  • BOOK CLUB for Feb

  • Birthdays
  • Calendar of Events

  • BPC Photos
  • Worship last Sunday
  • Cleaning up the Capitol


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.


Balmoral Presbyterian Church
Sunday, January 31, 2021


WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
aScriptures: Deuteronomy 18:15-20
aaaaaaaaaaaaa& Mark 1:21-28
a aSermon: "A New Teaching"

SUNDAY STUDIES at 10:00am 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 11 & 12 for this Sunday.
(A full schedule for the Winter quarter is available
at the end of this Newsletter under Document Links.)

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 

JANUARY 31, 2021
12:00 noon on Zoom
Mark your calendar for Sunday, January 31, 2021 for our Annual Congregational Meeting on Zoom at 12:00 pm.

The purpose of the meeting is to elect members to serve on the Nominating Committee that will present a slate of Elders for the Session Class 2024; there will also be a brief update on the 2021 plans, including budget and the Pastor's Call. The meeting is planned to be very brief. Materials for the meeting for your review, along with the link to the Zoom meeting and tips on how to join a Zoom meeting, are below.

If you will be unavailable to attend the meeting, you may submit any nominations to Rev. Carla Meisterman before the meeting by text or email and your nomination will be added to the list of nominations.
Here are the plans for the Congregational Meeting on 1/31/2021:
  1. Will be via Zoom (meeting details below)
  2. Rev. Carla Meisterman will be the Moderator, and John VanNortwick, Clerk of Session, will record the minutes.
  3. We will vote to the affirmative by show of hands
  4. We will ask people to unmute for discussion/objections
  5. Cliff Gurlen will serve as Sgt at Arms to count votes
Never used ZOOM before?
Click here to pull up instructions:
2021 PLANS
2020 Accomplishments

·        Established Guidelines/Policies for use of the building during COVID. Were able to welcome SEED back into the building, where their program is continuing successfully. We were able to host two elections that were planned before the pandemic.
·        Virtual worship established that has brought worship into homes of congregants and also brought new viewers. In the past 90 days, we’ve had 150 views a week. On a single day in December, we had 213 views.
·        Conducted joint Worship Service with Circle of Faith in parking lot on November 14.
·        Total revenues achieved at 98% of budgetne in a pandemic environment, where many other churches have struggled.
·        Scott Dawson obtained a forgivable PPP loan for $31,750 to help pay our employees.
·        Hired Thomas Bergstig, creative video producer for virtual worship services.
·        Completed repairs on HVAC and roof at a cost of $38,857.
2021 Plans
·        Upgrade security system.
·        Pave/Seal parking lot.
·        Create policies for and return to full use of building, as vaccines/easing pandemic permit.

·        Determine how we can apply what we have learned from virtual worship to worship in the sanctuary once we return.
2020 Actions:
·        Hired Thomas Bergstig’s virtual video production coordinator
·        Maintained salaries for two nursery attendants
·        Offered Sunday Studies options for all months except June, July and August
·        Offered Zoom training for congregation
·        Sponsored a Wednesday night all-church Zoom meeting to stay connected
·        Maintained contact with all church members as assigned to Session members
·        Supported weekly zoom meetings for the following groups: Writers’ Group, Book Club, Glenda Ellis’ Group, and “Trouble I’ve Seen” group.

2021 Goals:
·        Continue to offer Sunday Studies classes
·        Continue connectional Session contact lists
·        Maintain Sunday Studies and Sunday Worship services virtually
·        Pray for our physical reunion at church 
2020 Actions:
·        Increased cash donations to the Memphis Food Bank and MIFA
·        Switched from staffing a monthly food sort to a bi-monthly mobile food pantry
·        Mexico Cistern Ministry
·        Served as a voting location
·        Home for seed ministry
·        Continuation of weekly meals on wheel

2021 Goals
           We pray for an end to the pandemic and return to “normal”. We long for the time we can open our building to the community and return to helping people on the margins of society. These ministries include, but are not limited to our prison ministry, serving at the soup kitchen, collecting food, and building cisterns in Mexico
The BPC Operations Committee established the task force in the spring to respond to the outbreak of the infectious coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Members are Mary Schmitz and Scott Hill (co-chairs), Barry Dotson, Kathy Singleton, Frank Carney, Scott Dawson, and Rev. Carla Meisterman (ex officio).

After the session closed the building to all uses, the task force developed a policy and protocols defining who could use the building once it reopened. They were, and remain limited to, continuing use by The SEED Program, the virtual-worship recording team and the cleaning crew.

One-time events were allowed on a case-by-case basis. They included precinct voting, a parking lot worship service and a good-bye ceremony for Bob and Do Kaiser. The task force did approve several proposals, but the session denied them. No proposals have reached the task force since mid-November.

Additionally, the task force surveyed the membership for their feelings about how and when to return to worship in the building.
"The Hill We Climb"
by Amanda Gorman
Amanda Gorman made history Wednesday when she became the youngest inaugural poet during President Joe Biden’s swearing-in ceremony in Washington. (video above)

The 22-year-old Los Angeles resident, youth poet laureate of Los Angeles, first national youth poet laureate and Harvard graduate was invited to speak at the event by First Lady Jill Biden.

During her reading, Gorman wore a ring with a caged bird, a gift from Oprah for the occasion and tribute to symbolize Maya Angelou, a previous inaugural poet.

OR Use this link to print out the Words: "The Hill We Climb"
Sunday Classes
10:00-11:00am on Zoom
NOTE the change in time!
The time change was recommended by the Formation Committee and approved by the Session in order to accommodate Circle of Faith’s members in attending classes after their worship service.
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
Brennan Breed is Associate Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary and Theologian-in-Residence at First Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Ga. He is author of the monograph Nomadic Text (Indiana University Press, 2014) and co-author of Daniel: A Commentary (Westminster John Knox, 2014) with Carol Newsom. Brennan is currently writing on Ecclesiastes and the early Hellenistic era in the Levant. He lives in Decatur, Georgia with his wife, Catherine, his children, Freddie and Margaret Ann, and his miniature schnauzer, Winnie.
Our own
has been supplying many of us Girl Scout cookies in the past.....
This year, she isn't letting the Pandemic stop her!

This year, Amelia is ONLINE!
All of your favorites can be ordered and shipped directly to you OR delivered by Amelia which she and her mom Lori would love to do. 
QUESTIONS? Contact Lori Lucas at
Tuesday February 9, 2021 1:30pm
The BPC Book Club welcomes all book lovers to join us on the second Tuesday of each month to enjoy books together. If you have ever been curious about the book club but hesitant to commit, please "visit" our next Zoom meeting, Tuesday, February 9, beginning at 1:30 p.m., when we will discuss our February book selection
The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larsen, led by Cynthia Stanley.
This best selling non-fiction book was named one of the best books of the year by The New York Times Book Review, Time, Vogue, NPR, and The Washington Post. Larson shows, in cinematic detail, how Churchill taught the British people “the art of being fearless” in the first year of WWII, the height of the air war over Britain. 
Larson provides a new lens on London’s darkest year through the day-to-day experience of Churchill and his family and his closest advisers.

Looking ahead, here are the books we have identified for the rest of the year: 

March 9: The Nikel Boys by Colson Whitehead. Led by Do Kaiser
April 13: The Last Castle by Denise Kiernan, Led by Kathrine Getske
May 11: All Over But the Shouting by Ricky Bragg, led by Cathy Bailey
June 8: The Overstory by Richard Powers, led by Bob Kaiser

A new Lenten devotional addresses the history of racial injustice to empower readers for racial justice 
For many in the United States, the summer of 2020 served as a moment of renewed attention to the disease of racial inequality and injustice in our country. But in order to look forward in our pursuit of antiracism, we must also look back and acknowledge our history. To help churches address the difficult work of examining the history of American slavery, Cheri L. Mills offers her new Lenten devotional,

Her new 40-day devotional centers on Lenten themes — exodus, redemption, discipline, and repentance — to empower both Black and white readers for the work of addressing racial injustice. To confront our history, each day includes the testimony of a person who escaped slavery through the Underground Railroad, a Scripture passage, and a reflection connecting biblical and historical themes.

“If you’ve ever wondered what you can do to become more antiracist, “Lent of Liberation” is a great place to start,” says Kerry Connelly, author of “Good White Racist? Confronting Your Role in Racial Injustice.”

Lent of Liberation” is now available online from
Learning the Ways of Peace
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service
January 19, 2021
LOUISVILLE — Sandwiched between the violence of the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol and fortress-ensuring preparations ahead of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration Wednesday, a Monday webinar sought to offer practical, nonviolent ways to counter extremism and threats to churches. Nearly 60 people participated.

The speaker for the webinar, sponsored by the New York State Council of Churches, was Dr. Eli McCarthy, an adjunct lecturer in Justice and Peace Studies at Georgetown University and co-founder of the DC Peace Team, which among other things trains people in unarmed civilian protection and active bystander intervention.
Nonviolence, McCarthy said, “seeks to defeat justice, not people.” Separating the two “often throws the adversary off balance.” And it can create space for transformation, seen most recently in Black Lives Matter demonstrations. “When we risk nonviolence in different moments, it helps to expose injustice and violence in a clear way,” he said, and it also invites “more support and participation in the movement.”

McCarthy played a clip telling the story of Antoinette Tuff, who in 2013 was a bookkeeper at a Georgia school when one day an armed man broke into the school. The police responded, and a few gunshots volleyed back and forth. After saying a quick prayer, Tuff said later she began to see the man “not as a monster or irrational, but as a human,” McCarthy said. She could hear him talking to someone on his phone. “It sounds like that person really cares about you,” she said to him. He then told her he forgot to take his medication that morning. She relayed that information to the 911 operator, then offered to walk the man outside.

“I’ve been through a divorce. I’ve had a hard time raising a disabled son,” she told the man, who then got on the school intercom, apologizing to students for scaring them. Sensing he was, as McCarthy said, “going to a place of shame,” Tuff told the man, “I’m proud of you. We aren’t going to hate you.” She even told him she loved him and discussed with him some of the challenges she’d met with.

“My name is Michael,” he finally told her.

“He had been rehumanized,” McCarthy said. “The police were invited in, and nobody got shot. Everybody survived.”

Tuff’s story was later made into a film called “Faith Under Fire.”
Unarmed Civilian Protection principles developed by the Nonviolent Peace Force include these five strategies, which form the acronym CLARA:
  • Center, for connecting with your humanity and those around you. That includes taking a deep breath and naming a key person.
  • Listen for feelings, experiences, values and needs.
  • Affirm those feelings, experiences, values and needs you hear without necessarily agreeing with the person’s political position.
  • Respond by offering open-ended or choice questions, including “Would you be willing to …” and “Would you like ….?”
  • Add further resources for them to look into later.

There are times, of course, when quicker action must be taken. McCarthy said on Jan. 6, the day of the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, a group of President Trump supporters marched past Black Lives Matter Plaza in Washington, D.C., precipitating what he called “an intense yelling match.” One Trump supporter pulled out a knife, and a person on the scene monitoring the situation walked up and said, “Let’s slow down here. You can put that weapon away. It’s not going to help anything.” The man took a couple steps back, and then “some of his buddies came out and pulled him back, and they kept walking down the street,” McCarthy said. “Eventually it was defused.”

Tactics that fall into the category of distractions can sometimes be humorous. Examples can be as simple as calling out, “I really like that shirt on you,” singing a song or breaking out into a dance. McCarthy said one older practitioner actually faked having a heart attack, which prevented a fight from breaking out. To prevent another potential scuffle, two women got down on their knees and started praying for the aggressors. “What are you doing?” they asked the women before taking off.

“There’s a variety of clever things people can do,” McCarthy said.
McCarthy offered up other strategies, including “peeling off enablers.”

“Often an aggressor is performing for a group of friends, looking tough, cool or funny,” he said. “You don’t necessarily have to go to the most aggressive person. You can identify one or two others who are egging them on. Try to engage the enablers and get their attention … If you get the right enabler, you can enroll them to try to get their buddy to calm down.”

What happens, McCarthy was asked, if someone comes into your church with a gun?

That will require having developed a strategy in advance “so it’s not a surprising moment in the church,” he said. Churches can set into place cameras and trained people to monitor their space and put whistles, airhorns and flashing lights to use in such an emergency.
“Also remind people that Jesus talks about nonviolence,” McCarthy said. “We have a lot of contributions to make if we as Christians can unpack what the way to nonviolence looks like.”

For McCarthy, an inclusive approach is the best approach.

“You can communicate Christian values like dignity and the search for justice without using Christian language,” he said. One way that’s taking shape is in the discussion about changing the role of police while still providing community protection. Churches and faith leaders are playing an important role in those discussions, he said.

“What we do in our spaces,” he said, “will move the broader society one way or the other.”


NEW Stand-by List for Shots
Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced Tuesday afternoon that the Shelby County Health Department has launched a standby list for COVID-19 vaccinations. The list will operate similarly to a list to fly standby, is now open (though this list will still follow the state’s priority groups; it’s not first-come, first-served).

Vax Queue allows people to sign up for extra doses of the vaccine, although the Health Department still must follow the state priority list. Right now, it is vaccinating health-care workers, people 75 and older, first responders and funeral industry employees.

People who sign up for the standby list will be asked how soon they can get to a nearby testing site, plus their age, job and concerns they have with underlying health conditions. The responses will help the Health Department follow the state priority list. 

Sign-up for VaxQueue HERE:

And, with supply of the vaccine seeming to be an issue (though we should be getting an extra 3,000 doses a week in February), the Memphis City Council is joining 22 other large municipalities asking the federal government to send our share of the vaccine directly to us, not through the state. 

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Family & friends visiting? Going to visit a gathering? How safe will you be? Click the link here:
JANUARY: Glenda Ellis (29), Bob Kaiser (29)

Pete Addicott (8), Jane Rousseau (10), Rick Pride (24),
Art Hall (25), Emmy Orians (27), Rosie Schmitz (28)

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

1st & 3rd Thursday of the Month

Sunday, January 24, 2021
10:00 - 11:00 AM Sunday Study on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube

Sunday, January 31, 2021
10:00 - 11:00 AM Sunday Study on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube

Sunday, January 31, 2021
12:00 noon on Zoom
Annual Congregational Meeting

We work every 1st and 3rd Thursday. 
Colonial Park UMC
5330 Park Ave


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, January 24, 2021
Prelude "There is a Balm in Gilead"
Leiza Collins, piano
Hymns "Blest Be the God of Israel" and "You Walk Along Our Shoreline
Linda Warren, William Warren, and Pete Addicott,
John Gilmer and Fran Addicott on cello, Leiza Collins on piano
Prayer of Confession
Musical Offering "There's a Wideness in God's Mercy"
John Gilmer and Janice Hill, Bells; Leiza Collins, percussion; vocalists Fran & Pete Addicott and Linda & William Warren
New Testament Scripture Mark 1:14-20
PRESBYTERIAN Rep. Andy Kim (D-NJ) cleans up
debris and personal belongings strewn across the floor of the Rotunda in the early morning hours on Jan. 7, 2021
“It’s a room that I love so much — it’s the heart of the Capitol, literally the heart of this country. It pained me so much to see it in this kind of condition.”

So for the next hour and a half, he crouched down and filled a half dozen trash bags with debris. Then he returned to the House floor to debate Pennsylvania's vote count, a session that lasted until 3 a.m. By Thursday evening, he’d been awake for more than 36 hours.

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.
  • 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.