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

  • WORSHIP and COMMUNION for Maundy Thursday, April 1, 7:00pm


  • PASTOR on CALL for APRIL 5 thru APRIL 19




  • LENTEN REFLECTION: aaaaaaaaaa Imagine! God's Earth and It's People Restored




  • REMINDER: ONE GREAT HOUR of SHARING donations end 4/5

  • 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.

April 1, 7:00pm
on YouTube

A service of remembrance, music,
prayers, Celebration at the Lord's Table, and silence

On this night, we observe Maundy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper and Jesus washing the feet of his disciples. Jesus and the disciples had gathered for the Passover Seder, the feast of unleavened bread, commemorating the exodus of the Jews from Egypt.
Before the meal, Jesus washed the feet of the disciples, demonstrating for the disciples to be servants - the ultimate act of "servant leadership."
During the meal, Jesus foretells his death, saying he will eat no more until the kingdom of God is fulfilled.

We will be celebrating communion virtually in this Worship service. Please bring to your place of at-home worship whatever you will use to take as the bread and the cup. You may use food and beverages in your home that are used for communion around the house: bread, a cracker, or a cookie and wine, juice, or water.

Thursday, April 1, 7:00pm on our YouTube channel.

You will receive a REMINDER email on Thursday morning, April 1.


Balmoral Presbyterian Church
Sunday, April 4, 2021

BALMORAL WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
Scriptures: Psalm 118 (selected verses)
& John 20:1-18
a aa Sermon: "Easter Questions"

NOTE: Sunday Studies classes will NOT meet on Easter Sunday. Spring Classes will begin NEXT Sunday, April 11 at 10:00am.
We will also NOT be serving Communion this morning; Communion will instead will be celebrated at the Lord's Table during the Maundy Thursday service Thursday night, April 1.
COFCC will have service both LIVE and Zoom (see link) this Resurrection Sunday at 9am.

Scripture: Psalm 22: 1-10
a aa Sermon: "Eli Eli Lama Sabacthani"

The live service will be held Outdoors using COVID Safety Precautions at the group home COFCC serves.
The address is 3151 Belle Grove, Memphis, TN 38115. Please bring your chair and join us
for service and communion.

Everyone is also invited to join the Circle of Faith service led by Rev. Cliff Stockton. The link will be listed each week in the ONLINE EVENTS calendar in this Newsletter!

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

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 
will be taking time off from Monday, April 5, through Monday, April 19, for Worship planning and a couple of vacation days.
Rev. Anne Hagler will be filling the pulpit April 11 and April 18 and will be the Pastor on Call while Carla is out. You can reach Anne by phone or text at (901) 628-2104 or by email
Wednesday, April 7, 2021
10:30am on Zoom

Everyone is welcome to join for Bible Study, reflection and fellowship with Rev. Anne Hagler for our monthly get-together. We especially invite new-comers and just-visiting folks!

Bring a snack, if you like, and
The Balmoral Book Club will not meet in April, but will resume our regular meeting schedule of the second Tuesday of each month, starting in May.
We hope you will join us on
Tuesday, May 11, 1:30 p.m.
for a discussion of 
The Last Castle
by Denise Kiernan
A New York Times bestseller, The Last Castle tells the untold, true story behind the Biltmore Estate—the largest, grandest private residence in North America, which has seen more than 120 years of history pass by its front door. The story of Biltmore spans World Wars, the Jazz Age, the Depression, and generations of the famous Vanderbilt family, and features a captivating cast of real-life characters including F. Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Teddy Roosevelt, John Singer Sargent, James Whistler, Henry James, and Edith Wharton. 
Kathrine Getske will lead the discussion. 

Please join us on zoom by clicking here:
Consider adding these books to your summer reading list and join us:

June 8: All Over But the Shouting by Ricky Bragg,
led by Cathy Bailey
July 13: The Overstory by Richard Powers, 
led by Bob Kaiser
August 10: Home  by Bill Bryson, led by Janice Hill

Spring Studies begin Sunday,
April 11, 10:00am.
The classes will run through May 23.
Two classes will be offered:
On the Brink of Everything: Grace, Gravity and Getting Old
by Parker Palmer

A beautiful book of reflections on what we can learn as we move closer to "the brink of everything." Drawing on eight decades of life -- and his career as a writer, teacher, and activist --
Parker Palmer explores the questions
age raises and the promises it holds.
Leaders: Jan Kaplan and Ted Pearson
Almost Everything:
Notes on Hope
by Anne LaMott

When life is at its bleakest--when we are, as she puts it, "doomed, stunned, exhausted, and over-caffeinated"--the seeds of rejuvenation are at hand. "All truth is paradox," Anne Lamott writes, "and this turns out to be a reason for hope."
Leaders: Beverly Hooker and Mary Schmitz
Both books are available from Amazon and
There are also multiple copies at several branches of the Memphis Public Library

Imagine! God’s Earth & People Restored.
Cláudio Carvalhaes will speak all three days of the advocacy event focused on environmental justice at Compassion, Peace & Justice Days.

By Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes used to approach walks like many of us — a time to reflect on his day, his family, process things that were on his mind.

“Now, when I walk, I bow to the tree,” Carvalhaes says. “I stop and I touch, and it is almost like an awareness of myself and my surroundings in ways that are not only that I feel attached, but I learned to see them as myself. I went from this process of, for instance, listening to the birds — In every class that I teach, I always ask students to listen to the birds at the beginning — but I went from listening to the birds as a song that they have, and I listen now to the songs that they sing, and it is my song. They’re singing my songs. Their breath is my breath. And so, I’m listening while they’re singing about me.

“It is a different cognition. It is not in the brain; it is not in the mind. It is not as myself … that I only think about myself. But no, it’s more myself in relation to what’s around me. I can only understand myself if I listen to the birds, if I bow to the trees as my elders, and that is what has expanded enormously and helped me to go through this thing.”

“This thing” has been the COVID-19 pandemic which in many ways has taken away the ability to breathe the same air with other people, which Carvalhaes finds essential.
“For me, the very core of being is breathing together, right?” he says. “And that is what this virus is taking away from us, is this breathing together.”

But Carvalhaes prefers gathering with people, virtually or otherwise, than not. That is what he will be doing April 7-9 as the featured speaker at Compassion Peace & Justice Training Days, the virtual iteration of CPJ Day, which up until last year was an annual advocacy training event in Washington, D.C., presented by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness on Capitol Hill.

Last year, on relatively short notice, the live event was canceled due to the pandemic, and an afternoon webinar with some of the originally planned speakers took its place. This year, the event needed to be virtual again, but with time organizers with the PC(USA)’s Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries have pulled together three days of panels, small-group discussions, worship, and daily theological reflections from Carvalhaes on the theme of Environmental Justice: Imagine God’s Earth & People Restored. Carvalhaes will talk about the topic of each day: How we got here, where we are, and imagining and building the future we want.

“It looks fantastic,” Carvalhaes says of the event. “I’m really enjoying everything, the way that is structured is really great.”

The theme of our connection to the natural world is obviously of great interest to Carvalhaes, a native of São Paulo, Brazil who is now an Associate Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His most recent books include last year’s “Liturgies from Below: Praying with People at the End of the World” and the forthcoming “Praying with Every Heart — Orienting Our Lives to the Wholeness of the World.” Carvalhaes is also a highly sought-after speaker and worship leader.

It was a speaker at Union who helped deepen Carvalhaes’ connection to the natural world around him.

Carvalhaes says he has always been interested in Creation and felt connected to the land, participating in environmental and justice movements in the United States and abroad. But it was a talk by botanist Robin Wall Kimmerer, author of “Braiding Sweetgrass” and a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation, that took his connection to a deeper level.

“At some point she said, ‘Where are the rituals that can connect us with the Earth?’” Carvalhaes remembers. “And then I said, all the time I’ve been teaching as if I am above the Earth. And so even though I was connecting — my nucleus was all about making connections with the table, with the ground, with immigration, with who harvests our food, and so on, so forth — it’s different now because it’s, to use my former theological language I grew up with, it’s more of a personal relationship with the Earth, now in ways that I am learning to listen, and to pause, and to be with.”

Carvalhaes found he needed to toss all his courses out the window with his re-oriented lens, along with his thinking, starting from the ground up. “And with this pandemic, it put me way more into it,” Carvalhaes says. “It’s kind of intensified this relationship.”

This deeper connection brings Carvalhaes to a place of “retelling the story” of his connection, of humans’ connection to nature, which sometimes portrays the natural world as scary, filled with beasts and other threats. And in these retellings, he finds encouragement to retell the stories of the world.

“It is a work of storytelling to shift and don’t see the animals or any kind of animal as the other, as a threat, as an enemy,” Carvalhaes says. “Just like we see immigrants, like we see refugees, like the people of other faiths, so there’s a connection there.

“So, it is a retelling of the story, time and time again.”

And the retelling of the story extends to things spiritual and as elemental as practices such as Communion. While we tend to serve communion from the communion table, up high, Carvalhaes says maybe it is more appropriate on the ground, close to where the elements originated.

“So, the gift of God to the people of God changes,” he says. “It is not only the gift from heaven, but it’s the gift from the Earth. And so, a little piece of bread, is wheat that was in the field just a few months ago. And now it was offered to me.

“That’s the wonder.”
The theme of our connection to the natural world is obviously of great interest to Carvalhaes, a native of São Paulo, Brazil who is now an Associate Professor of Worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City. His most recent books include last year’s “Liturgies from Below: Praying with People at the End of the World” and the forthcoming “Praying with Every Heart — Orienting Our Lives to the Wholeness of the World.” Carvalhaes is also a highly sought-after speaker and worship leader.
(Photo courtesy of Cláudio Carvalhaes )

“Praise the Lord from the heavens, praise him in the heights above. Praise him, all his angels, praise him, all his heavenly hosts.
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens and you waters above the skies. Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded and they were created. He set them in place for ever and ever; he gave a decree that will never pass away.” (Psalm 148:1-6)

LAST Easter we were just beginning our stay-at-home orders, so most of us worshipped from home and without all of our family members.
THIS year, many of us are now vaccinated and are looking forward to gathering with family!

So, we'd all like to see how everyone is spending their Easter this year!

Send us pictures for the newsletter next week with your Easter and/or Spring photos to
Kathy Singleton by text (901-734-7193) or by email ( for next week's Newsletter!


The United States has reported an average of 65,000 new cases in the last seven days, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), up about 10,000 cases per day since the most recent nadir two weeks ago. Those figures are well below the January apex of the third wave of infections, when a quarter-million people a day were testing positive for the virus.

But while millions of Americans are receiving vaccinations, progress toward herd immunity has not kept pace with the new spike. Cases are rising in about half the states, led by big spikes in New York and especially New York City, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

"Our work is far from over. The war against COVID-19 is far from won. This is deadly serious," President Biden said Monday at the White House, hours after CDC Director Rochelle Walensky pleaded for the public to keep up mitigation strategies. "If we let our guard down now, we could see a virus getting worse, not better."

Scientists say the new spike is being driven by the emergence of variants of the coronavirus, most notably a more readily transmissible and virulent strain known as B.1.1.7, first identified in the United Kingdom. CDC data shows that strain is responsible for an estimated 13 percent of new cases in Florida and 9 percent of cases in New Jersey.

But the number of cases is also being spurred by behavior changes as weary Americans increasingly participate in nonessential activities. States have loosened restrictions, in some cases altogether, and several states have dropped or are planning to scrap mask mandates.

They key number of infections per 100.000 is 11 (ELEVEN) in Shelby County this week. Per PCUSA science based chart, that is still HIGH. It is safe to have VACCINATED people in the building only. The goal is “5-6”. This will allow safe socially distanced worship in the sanctuary. 

The U.K. variant, identified in Shelby County in early February, is quickly growing, a sign that it is 50% more contagious than the original SARS CoV-2 virus. By mid-April, it is expected to be the dominant local strain.

But officials are equally as worried about the P.1 strain, 200% more contagious than SARS CoV-2 and resistant to the antibodies people develop from having the disease, and to a lesser extent, the antibodies the vaccine creates.

“It creates havoc very quickly as it has done in many cities in Brazil,” said Dr. Manoj Jain said Tuesday, March 30. “It can evade the vaccine and can cause re-infection. That concerns us because people who have previous infection and those with vaccines could get disease.

The vaccine is effective against serious disease with the U.K. strain and likely the P.1 strain, but less is known about the latter.
One of the reasons is because in Brazil, where P.1 is ravaging local economies, there also is very little vaccine.

Four cases of P.1 were detected here last week. The people are in isolation and their contacts have been quarantined, but worry persists that the surveillance network may not be broad enough to find all the cases before P.1 also begins spreading exponentially.

“The U.K., B 1.1.7, has already caused community transmission,” Jain said. “About 50% of the cases that are positive are from that strain.

“In the case of P.1, it is barely seeding in our communities, so this is a time where we can act, drop back rapidly and contain.”

The health precautions people have been taking for more than a year are still the best defense, even with highly contagious variants.

Testing is critically important. The mutations are identified in labs processing the specimens. If they aren’t there, the surveillance breaks down.

even if you are fully vaccinated!

Now that Shelby County opened vaccinations to people 45 and up last week, appointments increased as expected. Now, any person 16 and over is also eligible as well.
Shortly after Easter, perhaps by April 5 or 6, the doses for Shelby County will jump from 40,000 a week to more than 50,000. The bulk will be administered through the five fixed drive-thru stations, but pop-ups, some with capacity to deliver 2,000 doses, will extend availability, but it will not be enough to accommodate every adult who wants the vaccine in a week or even a month, McGowen said.

To prepare for the bump in appointments, the state is doubling operators at its call center for people who call 901-222-SHOT.

“We have been working with SignUpGenius to make sure that the platform is stable and that we have enough bandwidth there to absorb the number of appointments,” he said.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
NOTE: The Daily Memphian provides all COVID-19 related information free of charge at these links as a service to the community.
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For COVID-19 testing information, go to this link:
NOTE: Several CVS and Walgreen's locations are now currently on the updated list at the link above.
Family & friends visiting? Going to visit a gathering? How safe will you be? Click the link here:
March 21, 2021
The BPC COVID-19 Task Force met March 18 to start talking about when and how we can get back in the building and worship in the sanctuary. We arrived at some general conclusions, but adjourned with more questions than answers.

We can hope we are at the beginning of the end, but given that we do not know what we do not know about where the virus and its variants is going to take us, our default position is an abundance of caution. We have no idea when Dr. Fauci will say y’all can go back to church now.

We learned Friday that Tennessee is opening vaccinations to all adults as long as people in priority categories get the shots they need. Encouraged by the prospect that anyone who wants it can be vaccinated by the end of June, we want to get back into the building in September in some manner, limited by the unpredictability of the pandemic.

One well-received idea proposed that daily reported new cases could drop to a point that we could start gathering in limited ways and/or in low-risk settings. We are talking about small groups of vaccinated AND unvaccinated people to meet at members’ homes or outdoors, and eventually for vaccinated members to return to the building in small groups, including Sunday studies—still observing Covid-19 protocols. Some could be strictly social events to get us back together after more than a year of missing face to face contact with each other.

The task force agreed that another survey of the congregation is in order. The percentage of vaccinated Balmoral members and how they feel about returning will guide the task force’s recommendations to the Session. Our continuing relationship with Rev. Stockton and Circle of Faith will be top of mind as we work through our processes.

Assuming at some point we do return to full worship, there’s a question about whether it is practical to continue the very popular recorded worship. The task force will investigate whether it is feasible, given the effort and expense.

If you’re a glass-is-half-full person, you might see it as a good problem to have. On average we have had a larger audience for the recorded worship than we have members—91. On average, 104 computers are tuned to the service on Sunday alone. Some watch it later in the week, but we don’t have those stats. Our biggest number was 213 on Dec. 13.

Our members are watching (we don’t know the percentage) but so are others, and the total number of viewers is unknown.  What might be the unintended consequences of no longer offering the recording? Who among our members would rather watch at home, and who if any, would stop coming to church if we stopped the recording, especially if we were returning wearing masks and social distancing.

So that is the framework of what we are dealing with. Deep in the weeds are issues of known and unknown, such as our relationships with the SEED Program, Circle of Faith, the groups that meet in the building, maintenance and cleaning, the workload of our B&G team and the worship recording team.

Some current statistics on Shelby County Covid-19. Ten percent of our 900,000+ population have been infected, and 1.7 percent of those individuals, more than 1,500, have died. We are averaging 11.7 new cases per day for every 100,000 people. That’s 110 cases a day. In last two weeks, hospitalizations are down 30 percent, and positive tests are at 3 percent. 

In the interim, virtual worship and small groups will continue over the summer and the Newsletter will keep you updated!
For over 70 years, One Great Hour of Sharing has provided Presbyterians a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need around the world. Typically received during the season of Lent, each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing supports efforts to relieve hunger through the Presbyterian Hunger Program, promote development through the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, and assist in areas of disaster through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Join with Presbyterians worldwide in sharing God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief from natural disasters, food for the hungry, and support for the poor and oppressed.

Send your gifts made out to Balmoral Presbyterian, with your check marked for OGHS in the comments by Monday, April 5.

Susie Knight (3), Doreen Lutey (20), Sean Orians (27)

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
(but will NOT meet in April)
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
Thursday, April 1, 2021
Maundy Thursday
7:00 pm BPC Worship Service via YouTube

Sunday, April 4, 2021
Resurrection Sunday
9:00 AM Circle of Faith Worship on Zoom AND LIVE at
3151 Belle Grove, Memphis, TN 38115.
Please bring your chair and join us for service and communion.

Sunday, April 4, 2021
Easter Sunday
11:00 AM BPC Worship Service via YouTube

Monday, April 5, thru Monday, April 19, 2021
Rev. Carla Meisterman will be taking time off
for worship planning and vacation days.
Rev. Anne Hagler will provide Pastoral Care during this time.
Anne can be reached by phone/text at (901) 628-2104
or by email

Wednesday, April 7, 2021
10:30am Bible Study with Presbyterian Women on Zoom

Sunday, April 11, 2021
9:00 AM Circle of Faith Worship on Zoom
10:00 - 11:00 AM Sunday Study on Zoom - Spring Classes Begin
11:00 AM BPC Worship Service via YouTube

Sunday, April 18, 2021
9:00 AM Circle of Faith Worship on Zoom
10:00 - 11:00 AM Spring Sunday Studies on Zoom
11:00 AM BPC Worship Service via YouTube

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, March 28, 2021
Palm Sunday
Prelude from "Music for Children" by Carl Orff
Linda Warren, Leiza Collins, Fran Addicott, John Gilmer,
Musical Offering "Day to Sing Hosanna"
John Gilmer, Linda Warren, William Warren, Fran Addicott, Clinton Bailey, Erich Shultz, Pete Addicott
Hymn 196 "All Glory, Laud and Honor"

Charge and Blessing
Rev. Carla Meisterman
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 (
 APRIL 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 calendar is available to you.