mailing address:  Balmoral Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 17309, Memphis, TN 38187
  • WORSHIP for 1st SUNDAY of ADVENT November 29

  • LOOKING AHEAD: Advent Events

  • ADVENT MEDITATIONS from Rev. Meg Overstreet


  • BOOK CLUB December 8

  • Hospitalizations at Highest Level Yet
  • Testing THIS WEEK in Memphis

  • A GOOD READ - 2020 NYT Top 10


  • 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.

and Sunday Studies
1st Sunday of Advent
Balmoral Presbyterian Church
Sunday, November 29, 2020

SUNDAY STUDIES 9:45 - 10:45am on Zoom 
  • Bible Study of Romans

WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
 SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 64 (selected verses)  & 
I Corinthians 1:3-5a, 7-9
SERMON: "Called to Hope"    

The first candle, the candle of HOPE, will be lighted in this Worship service. If you have your own Advent Wreath, or a just single candle, we invite you to place it near your computer or TV where you play the service. Join with us as we light the Candle of Hope.
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 
A direct and compelling headline

November 29: 1st Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Candle of HOPE
December 6: 2nd Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Candle of PEACE
December 13: 3rd Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Candle of JOY
December 20: 4th Sunday of Advent
Lighting the Candle of LOVE
Special Christmas Music Celebration
Thursday, 5:00pm, on YouTube
Lighting the CHRIST CANDLE

The Bible Study of the Romans will continue through Sunday, December 13.
(There will be no Sunday Studies on December 20 or 27. New classes will start in January.)

(gifts & names due by Tuesday, Dec 15)
JoyGift (PCUSA) (gifts due by Tuesday, Dec 29)
An Advent Reflection
This Advent devotional book is written by
Rev. Meg Overstreet, who spent a time with those of us at BPC. It’s a beautiful book and a meaningful practice for the Advent journey. 

The book is exclusively available from Amazon. Available in paperback or the Kindle download.
The MIFA PLUS ONE offering allows you to pay tribute to, or honor the memory of, the people who have been special in your lives. 

For a $12.00 contribution to MIFA's PLUS ONE program, you can name a special person and donate to the PLUS ONE fund that keeps utilities on during winter months for people on the margins of our society.

The names will be published in the worship bulletins for Sunday, December 20, and Christmas Eve service, December 24.

Make checks payable to Balmoral with a note indicating that it is for Plus1 and who you will Honor or In Memory of and attach send it to:
Balmoral Presbyterian
PO Box 17309
Memphis, TN 38187
Tuesday, December 15, is the deadline for receiving tributes/memorials for this year.
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. 

this Sunday, November 29, 2020
Did you find or make an at-home Advent Wreath, or find a centerpiece with a candle to light in worship during Advent? Share it!

Here's what I'll use: Candles from the back of the pantry (put away a couple of years ago after re-decorating the kitchen/dining/living rooms) - the purple candle had faded to a pinky-mauve that matched perfectly to my grandmother's Christmas platter (that usually held a rib roast at Christmas dinner when I was growing up.) The 4th candle in back is a Christmas candle of delicious vanilla/peppermint from last year. Added some spare gold ornaments. Memories from Christmases past!
Suggestions for making an Advent Wreath from earlier this month's Newsletter are available in the DOCUMENTS to LINKS at the top of this Newsletter
Christmas Goodies
Share a Recipe !
Sharing Holiday meals and treats with friends and love ones will be curtailed for most of us this year.

How about sharing with each other, but VIRTUALLY this year...
by sharing RECIPES of our favorite holiday dishes and treats instead!

Looking for Something New for Christmas Dinner?
How About Pork Tenderloin with Cherries for a Christmas Treat!

For Christmas Dinner

from Janice Hill
1 c. olive oil
6 TBL. Balsamic vinegar
2 heaping TBL. Dijon mustard
Salt and ground pepper

Other ingredients:
Package of two tenderloins
4 TBL. butter
8 TBL. chopped green onions
1 1/3 c. chicken broth
2 packages dried cherries

Directions: Whisk together marinade ingredients and RESERVE 2 TBL for sauce. Use remaining to marinate pork approximately 2 hrs. Then cook the pork at the temperature recommended on package (325 or 350) for time recommended, or until internal temperature is about 160 degrees. Let set a few minutes.

Sauce: Saute green onions in the butter and the 2 TBL. reserved marinade. Then add chicken broth and both packages of cherries. Bring to boil and simmer 5 to 10 mins. 
Cut tenderloins and arrange in center of platter. Pour prepared sauce over and garnish with parsley or rosemary sprigs. 
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!
Send your recipes to Kathy Singleton

Now is NOT the Time to Let Down Our Guard!
COVID Cases are Surging - STAY VIGILANT!
The holidays are near, vaccines are on the horizon.... BUT Memphis now is averaging more than 400 new cases a day AND hospitalizations are on the rise.

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.

Shelby County reports more than 350 new COVID-19 cases, 410 hospitalizations

A new high/low for hospitals: Memphis hospitals hit their highest number of admitted coronavirus patients yesterday since the pandemic began. There were 410 COVID-19 patients in the area’s hospitals, according to Tennessee’s Healthcare Resource Tracking System, and that number is one to keep in mind as we consider this: Health Department officials said at yesterday’s regular Tuesday briefing that they expect more than 500 people to be hospitalized on Christmas Day (though projections will continue to change with our behavior).

Also of note at the briefing, Memphis COO Doug McGowen talked about people who underwent asymptomatic assurance testing this past weekend in preparation for Thanksgiving: Of those more than 2,600 tests, about one in 10 came back positive.
These were people who did not think they had the virus!

Family & friends coming for the Holidays? Going to visit a gathering? How safe will you be? Click the link here:

Kathy Singleton (2), Ian Mercer (4), Cliff Gurlen (6), Ted Pearson (7), Richard Vosburg (9), Jerry Francisco (18), Kay Dawson (21),
Carol Mitchell (23), Mary Nell Easum (29), Stephanie Brigman (30), Janice Carney (30)

A Good Read...
 TOP TEN for 2020
(New York Times)

A Children’s Bible By Lydia Millet. A bevy of kids and their middle-aged parents convene for the summer at a country house in America’s Northeast. With an unfailingly light touch, Millet delivers a wry fable about climate change, imbuing foundational myths with new meaning and, finally, hope.

Deacon King Kong By James McBride. A mystery story, a crime novel, an urban farce, a sociological portrait of late-1960s Brooklyn.

Hamnet By Maggie O’Farrell. A bold feat of imagination and empathy, this novel gives flesh and feeling to a historical mystery: how the death of Shakespeare’s 11-year-old son, Hamnet, in 1596, may have shaped his play “Hamlet” in great beauty.

Homeland Elegies By Ayad Akhtar. What, after all, does it take to be an American? The lure and ruin of capital, the wounds of 9/11, the bitter pill of cultural rejection: Akhtar pulls no punches critiquing the country’s most dominant narratives in this novel. 

The Vanishing Half By Brit Bennett. A provocative meditation on the possibilities and limits of self-definition, Bennett uses alternating sections to recount the separate fates of Stella and Desiree, twin sisters from a Black Louisiana town during Jim Crow, whose residents pride themselves on their light skin.

Hidden Valley Road By Robert Kolker. “For a family, schizophrenia is, primarily, a felt experience, as if the foundation of the family is permanently tilted,” Kolker writes. His is a feat of narrative journalism but also a study in empathy; he unspools the stories of the Galvin siblings with enormous compassion while tracing the scientific advances in treating the illness.

A Promised Land By Barack Obama. Presidential memoirs are meant to inform, to burnish reputations and, to a certain extent, to shape the course of history, and Obama’s is no exception. What sets it apart from his predecessors’ books is the remarkable degree of introspection. He invites the reader inside his head as he ponders life-or-death issues of national security, examining every detail of his decision-making; he describes what it’s like to endure the bruising legislative process and lays out his thinking on health care reform and the economic crisis. An easy, elegant writer, he studs his narrative with affectionate family anecdotes and thumbnail sketches of world leaders and colleagues. “A Promised Land” is the first of two volumes — it ends in 2011 — and it is as contemplative and measured as the former president himself.

Shakespeare in a Divided America By James Shapiro. The author takes two huge cultural hyper-objects — Shakespeare and America — and dissects the effects of their collision. Each chapter centers on a year with a different thematic focus. The first chapter, “1833: Miscegenation,” revolves around John Quincy Adams and his obsessive hatred of Desdemona. The last chapter, “2017: Left | Right,” where Shapiro truly soars, analyzes the notorious Central Park production of “Julius Caesar.” By this point it is clear that the real subject of the book is not Shakespeare plays, but us, the U.S.

Uncanny Valley By Anna Wiener. A memoir of tech-world disillusionment, Wiener heads west, heeding the siren call of Bay Area start-ups aglow with optimism, vitality and cash. A series of unglamorous jobs turns out to be a boon, providing a vantage point from which to scrutinize her field. The result is a scrupulously observed and quietly damning exposé of the yawning gap between an industry’s public idealism and its internal iniquities.

War By Margaret MacMillan. This is a short book but a rich one with a profound theme. MacMillan argues that war — fighting and killing — is so intimately bound up with what it means to be human that viewing it as an aberration misses the point. War has led to many of civilization’s great disasters but also to many of civilization’s greatest achievements.

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

PREVIOUS RECOMMENDATIONS are listed in the LINKS to DOCUMENTS at the top of this Newsletter
Thank you to Becky DeLoach for submitting this!

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

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 Study on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube

Sunday, December 6, 2020
9:45 - 10:45 AM Advent Sunday Study on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship & Communion Service via YouTube

Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Deadline for PlusOne donations and names to be honored

Sunday, December 20, 2020
Special Christmas Music Celebration

Thursday, December 24, 2020
5:00pm, on 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 22, 2020
"We Gather Together/Now Thank We All Our God"
Rachel Randal, flute; John Gilmer, euphonium, Leiza Collins, piano

Hymn "Be Thou My Vision"
Linda Warren, Fran Addicott, John Gilmer, Clinton Bailey, Erich Shultz, Leiza Collins on piano
Musical Offering "Worship the King of Kings"
Linda Warren, Fran Addicott, John Gilmer, Clinton Bailey,
Susan Spain, trumpet, Leiza Collins on piano
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.