mailing address:  Balmoral Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 17309, Memphis, TN 38187
  • WORSHIP this week November 22



  • BOOK CLUB December 8

  • REFLECTION on the ELECTION from the PC(USA) Stated Clerk

  • Around Memphis
  • COVID-19 Risk Assessment Map

  • Birthdays
  • A Good Read
  • Calendar of Events
  • BPC Photos
  • Worship last Sunday
  • Farewell Drive-by for the Kaisers

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!

Worship and Sunday Studies
Balmoral Presbyterian Church
Sunday, November 22, 2020

SUNDAY STUDIES 9:45 - 10:45am on Zoom 
  • Bible Study of Romans
  • How Good People Fight Bias 
NOTE: This Sunday will be the last class for the book How Good People Fight Bias. The Bible Study of Romans class will continue through December 15.

WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
   SCRIPTURE: Psalm 100 & Ephesians 1:15-23
SERMON: "The Exercise of Power"       
You will receive an email Friday with details, links to the 2 Sunday Studies classes on Zoom, a link to the YouTube site for Worship, and a link to download the Sunday Worship Guide. You will also receive a reminder & links to the classes & worship service 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 
As we worship virtually and provide the worship bulletin to people who are not members of our congregation, we want to insure that our prayer requests are kept private and within a circle of trust that understands and respects the confidentiality of the names listed.

Please plan to make the weekly Prayer Concern email your daily prompt for prayer and reaching out to support and encourage the people who have requested our support in prayer.
Now is NOT the Time to Let Down Our Guard!
COVID Cases are Surging - STAY VIGILANT!
The Election is over, the holidays are coming, vaccines are on the horizon.... BUT Memphis had 835 new cases yesterday AND hospitalizations are causing concern to healthcare workers.

It's tempting to think "We've got this - we're used to what we need to do".... maybe we can "bend the rules" just a bit, let ourselves enjoy the holidays....

"BIG MISTAKE!" warn the experts. The predicted Winter surge is on us and experts warn it is probably the MOST dangerous time we've been in this pandemic so far. It's time to double-down, not let up. If anything, be MORE vigilant.

(See also the article in the Memphis News section to REVIEW RISKS in our area)

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.

Memphis InterReligious Thanksgiving
Due to the Pandemic, our annual in-person Thanksgiving service with Temple Israel, Holy Spirit, Masjid As-Salam, Balmoral & other churches won't be possible.
Instead, the mosque, churches and synagogue will be doing
an offering to support families in the Metro area by making donations to the Mid-South Food Bank.

The Interfaith Coalition plans "an exciting new approach to our interfaith partnership that allows us to serve together but in a very different way than is typical due to the health pandemic.... We can put our faith into action in the days around Thanksgiving that is safe and responsible, rooted in our shared convictions that call us to serve alongside our neighbors, and that takes the place of an in-person large group gathering for worship in one of our congregation’s sanctuaries," according to Stephen H. Cook, Senior Pastor, Second Baptist Church.

Donations can be made online at the

Hunger is a persistent problem for many in our community and those needs are only increasing as the pandemic wears on. Your donations are greatly appreciated to support our Community!
December 8, 1:30pm
Where the Crawdads Sing
is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

This has been a very popular book and has been out for a couple of years, so it should be readily available at libraries and used book stores such as, as well as new paperback versions and digital formats.

Discussion will be led by Cathy Bailey and Janice Hill. 

Sunday, November 29, 2020
Christmas Goodies
Share a Recipe !
Sharing Holiday meals and treats with friends and love ones will be curtailed for most of us this year.
And we will sorely miss it !

How about sharing with each other, but VIRTUALLY this year...
by sharing RECIPES of our favorite holiday dishes and treats instead!
Bored with your own recipes?
Spice it up by trying each other's favorites!
Send your family's favorite recipe(s) to the Newsletter ( Add a picture, a story about the recipe or a story about your traditional family gatherings.

Here's your first recipe!
Cookie Brittle
The recipe card is from my Mom's recipe box, and has been a family favorite since at least the 1980's. It's super easy,
keeps well in plastic baggies, and good for "just a nibble!"
  • A non-stick cookie sheet works better than foil cookie sheets - easy cleanup, though, because of the margarine
  • Watch the time - begin looking at it after about 15 minutes because time will depend on how thick or thin you press it into the pan. Edges also will brown faster than the center.
Send your recipes to Kathy Singleton
Words of Hope to a Nation
Anxious Over Election Uncertainty
Words from The Stated Clerk of the PC(USA)’s
General Assembly 
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson
LOUISVILLE — The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) had a pastoral message for Presbyterians anxious about the outcome of the presidential election even as ballots are still being counted.

“I am convinced the Lord has given us this moment of pause to think through who we are in this present age,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, during a virtual chapel service put on by the PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness and attended by more than 90 people. “How will we respond? How will we conduct ourselves in ways that will remind the world that God, through Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit” fills God’s children with love “even among the hatred and bigotry out on the streets of the United States of America.”

We’re in a period of waiting not unlike Jesus experienced when he asked his disciples to stay awake and pray with him in the Garden of Gethsemane hours before the Lord was crucified. Instead, the disciples fall asleep.

Nelson said we’re being asked to pray “to the only wise God we know … This is a time of pause, of deep contemplation, over how we conduct ourselves in the midst of what seems to be a great deal of tension … I believe God has given us this moment for justice, to prepare ourselves to represent the peaceable kingdom, to an openness to God even though we don’t get the outcome we were looking for — or maybe we do.”

“We’re called to be repairers of the breach, which has always been there,” Nelson said. The population includes “demented minds and spirits” who have “created problems we could never imagine” and taken us “to places we thought we would never have to engage.”

“Our faith is in a God who never fails or forsakes us or leaves us alone,” he said. “We don’t get all we think we are promised, but we have a faith to hold onto even when promises are broken.”
During this moment of pause, “will it be anger that will consume some of us? Will it be the calm of Gethsemane,” when the disciples couldn’t stay awake with Jesus as he prayed “and Jesus got a little upset about that,” Nelson noted.

“The calling of discipleship is moments like these, when we offer our hearts and turn toward each other rather than on each other, because we know what God can do,” Nelson said. While we may not know who our next president will be, “we know what God has done for us, and we know the faith we hold. God was willing to give up the only begotten child of God for little old you and little old me. Let us never forget we took up the task as people of faith to follow that God to the end, no matter the outcome.”

No matter the election’s outcome, Nelson said that the work ahead for Presbyterians and other people of faith “is to prepare for whatever the outcome and stand in solidarity with the poor and marginalized, to stand in places where others don’t want to go, to mourn — but not for too long, because there will be work to be done no matter who the president of the United States might be.”

Rather than being “disturbed or deterred by what is in front of us,” Nelson urged worshipers to “prepare for the journey ahead, through the One who gives us life, health and strength, my friends. No matter who the president or vice-president might be, God has a plan to lift the spirits of the faithful and love those who have been dispossessed. We know that plan. We serve in that plan. We have been blessed by that plan — and more importantly, we are still called to that plan.”

Then Nelson broke into song, rendering the lyrics to the old gospel hymn “Only Believe”: “Only believe, only believe, just trust in Jesus, only believe.”

Following a video of Presbyterians at work serving God and proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ, Nelson closed the worship service with a prayer and a benediction.

“We give thanks to a God who never fails us or forsakes us or leaves us alone,” Nelson said. “We walk toward a savior who died for our sin, and we live in the midst of a Spirit who has never abandoned us.

“We have nothing to fear, to mourn for in this moment, nothing to be truly distressed about. We have the same God who gives us mercy and peace and power. Use the power to transform the world. Go in peace, my friends.”


Health Department looks at tripwires as coronavirus cases mount
With hospitalizations now at highs registered during the summer peak and the virus doubling every 42 days, the region is on course to have serious holiday infections.

For weeks, health officials have been warning of the challenges to come. Tuesday, Shelby County Health Department Director Alisa Haushalter noted the time had arrived. “It’s critical that we continue the course and focus really on individual decision-making, decisions for our families and decisions for our communities,” she said.

A COVID record 835 new cases were reported on Tuesday.
By Christmas Day, models say 473 people will be in Shelby County hospitals with COVID. As of Sunday, the number was 361.

The Health Department is exploring options for what kinds of restrictions to impose with the rising caseloads and transmission. The restrictions are outlined in the tripwires.

Health Department officials did not say they planned to soon enact restrictions, but through 450 contact tracing interviews it did last week, it knows that transmission is happening when people gather and take their masks off. The categories mentioned most frequently in the interviews are socializing in small groups, eating in restaurants and working out in gyms.

“We see those activities are over-represented among people with COVID-19 disease. And so that gives us clues that those environments, as Dr. Haushalter mentioned earlier, are the kinds of places where you take your mask off,” said David Sweat, deputy director of the Health Department.

As holidays approach, the safety of small, intimate gatherings is taking on a renewed urgency for families gathering with even one or two others outside their household.

If the Health Department does close businesses or issue restrictions, it does not have authority to dictate what happens in churches, even though it knows transmission is happening in congregations. St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Bartlett canceled all services for this week after it was announced Saturday, Nov. 14, that Father Ernie DeBlasio, pastor at St. Ann’s, had tested positive the day before.

From contact tracing interviews, the Health Department also knows that four out of five people have symptoms and that large percentages of people who are not feeling well continue to work and socialize up to three days with symptoms. One worker, who likely was symptomatic, went into various buildings at work in the course of three days.

“Ultimately, for that one individual, approximately 40-45 people will quarantine. Out of those 45 people, some may end up with COVID,” Haushalter said. “That’s a critical piece we keep messaging. If you’re sick at all, even minor symptoms, please go get tested and stay home.”

While masking surveys continue to show high percentages of use in retail settings, the cloth slips when people are in small gatherings. “Where people are probably not quite there yet is wearing a mask around someone like a family member who doesn’t live in their household,” Haushalter said. “In the beginning, we talked about wearing a mask in public, but now we’re really saying wear a mask when you’re around anyone who’s not in your household.”

COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool
Family & friends coming for the Holidays? Going to visit a gathering? How safe will you be?

The COVID-19 Event Risk Assessment Planning Tool is a collaborative project led by Prof. Joshua Weitz and Prof. Clio Andris at the Georgia Institute of Technology, along with researchers at the Applied Bioinformatics Laboratory and Stanford University, and powered by RStudio. It allows you to click on a map to see the risk based on where and how many people will be together. Click the link here:

Amy Berthouex (19), Amelia Lucas (21)
A Good Read...
Looking for something new to read while we are staying home? Here's are some books recommended by BPCers!

  • Anna Pigeon's mystery series by Nevada Barr (Fiction)
  • The Guardians by John Grisham (Fiction)
  • Deborah Crombie's mystery series with Duncan Kincaid and Gemma James.  Book I:  A Share in Death. (Fiction) 
  • Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone.  (Fiction)  
  • Jeanine Cummins' American Dirt. (Fiction)  
  • Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate (Fiction)
  • Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson (Fiction)
  • The Book of Two Ways by Jodi Picoult (Fiction)
  • Countdown 1945 by Chris Wallace. (Non-fiction) 
  • Before and After by Judy Christie & Lisa Wingate. (Non-Fiction)
  • Educated by Tara Westover. (Non-fiction)  
  • Boom by Tom Brokaw. (Non-fiction)
  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. (Non-fiction)
  • The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede (Non-fiction)
  • The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer (Non-fiction)
  • Always a Guest: Speaking of Faith Far from Home by Barbara Brown Taylor (Non-fiction)
  • The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Larson (Non-fiction)
  • Dispatches from Pluto by Richard Grant (Non-fiction)

Have you found a good book recently? Send it to us so we can share!
Send an email to or phone or text to
Kathy Singleton 901.734-7193
due to the COVID-19 Emergency &
Safer-At-Home Executive Order.
The Session will meet each month to evaluate the current situation.

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, November 22, 2020
9:45 - 10:45 AM Fall Sunday Studies on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube

Thursday, November 26 & Friday, November 27, 2020

Thursday, November 26, 2020
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 29, 2020
First Sunday of Advent
9:45 - 10:45 AM Advent Sunday Studies Begin on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service 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, November 15, 2020

"Strength in the Stillness"
Leiza Collins, piano
Hymn "Come, Live in the Light"
Rev. Carla Meisterman
Musical Offering "We Are Singing for the Lord is Our Light"
John Gilmer, Connie Pride, Leiza Collins, Clinton Bailey, Kristen Gurlen, Linda Warren on piano
as they move to Greenville, SC
to live near son Greg's family
Do & Bob Kaiser greeted everyone as cars drove by.
(Anne K Apple is in the background)
Lynn Ward
Phil Shannon
Robin Ashworth
Susan Van Dyke
& Fran Shannon
Lisa Koffman, Becky DeLoach, Janice Hill. Cathy Bailey. Gordon Brigman. Clinton Bailey
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 ( or on a Prayer Request form in the Friendship Pads and placed in the offering.
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.