mailing address:  Balmoral Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 17309, Memphis, TN 38187
  • CHANGES to the NEWSLETTER Format
  • WORSHIP this week October 11
  • Trouble I've Seen PRESENTS: DISCUSSION PANEL: Grit, Grind, & Grace
  • BPC COVID-19 Task Force Survey Results
  • "Praise on the Parking Lot" 
  • Around Memphis
  • PC(USA) Votes 2020 Campaign
  • UKirk
  • Pastor on Call Oct 19 - Nov 8

  • Birthdays
  • A Good Read - new books this week!
  • Calendar of Events
  • BPC Photos
  • Worship last Sunday
  • At the Prayer March

The Newsletter has a slightly different look beginning this week due to changes of our software's vendor.
So bear with us for the next few weeks as we get used to the changes! We still have the ability to include our links to things like Worship on YouTube and Zoom meetings and documents - they will always be blue with an underline. But we no longer have the ability to use links from one place within the newsletter itself to a different article.
So, we will still include a list of the articles for this week, BUT they will not be links. Instead, the list will be in the ORDER the articles will be in, with newest articles first.
ONLINE on YouTube at 11:00 am 
thru at least OCTOBER 31, 2020
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, October 11, 2020

SUNDAY STUDIES 9:45 - 10:45am on Zoom 
  • How Good People Fight Bias 
  • Bible Study of Acts & Romans

WORSHIP at 11:00 AM on YouTube
   SCRIPTURE: Psalm 106: 1-5 & Philippians 4: 1-9            
   SERMON:   "A To Do List for Peace"

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 
"Grit, Grind, & Grace"
The Trouble I've Seen Small Group evolved out of a Sunday Studies class shared between Balmoral & Circle of Faith congregations where we studied the book, "Trouble I've Seen: Changing the Way the Church Views Racism" by Drew Hart. Many of us who participated in that class were so moved by what we were discovering, we decided we wanted the discussion to continue. We've been meeting monthly ever since. 
We meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month. Most of our meetings are round-table discussions, but we have also watched videos and listened to guest speakers. We have read books and we have watched movies. We've eaten dinner together, and we have run, walked, or cheered on 5k participants. We have laughed and we have cried. We have committed to learning truth & loving each other as we learn.  

We've been on a hiatus since the pandemic closed our building, but we reconvened last month with our first zoom meeting & it was so good to see each others' faces again.   

This week, we will host 2 speakers for our panel discussion,
"Grit, Grind, & Grace - How the Local Body of Christ Responds to Racial Tension in Memphis." Our speakers will be our own Rev. Carla Meisterman, as well as Dr. Kevin Brooks, a colleague of Pastor Cliff Stockton, Pastor of Circle of Faith. Dr. Brooks is with Providence African Methodist Church.  

Join us on our journey! Thursday, October 8th @ 7pm.  All are welcome. 

Results of the BPC COVID-19 membership survey
Are you planning to wait for a COVID-19 vaccination before returning to worship services in the sanctuary? Yes   30.6%             No    34.7%                    Maybe   34.7%

Do you watch the current recorded worship service that is being offered now on YouTube and/or Facebook? Always  57.1% Usually  28.6% Sometimes 12.2%    Rarely  0%   Never  2.0%

Would you be interested attending worship in the sanctuary with face coverings, social distancing, no singing, no food or beverage, temperature taking and other CDC-recommended procedures once the curve of new cases lessens?
Yes  34.6%             No  22.5%         Maybe  42.9%

Would you be interested in participating in Sunday Studies later this Fall in the classrooms in the church building observing the same protocols as listed above once the curve of new cases lessens?
Yes   16.3%                 No   55.1%             Maybe   28.5% 

Are you planning to attend virtual Sunday Studies via Zoom online this Fall? Yes   61.2%                No   18.4%                     Maybe  20.4%

Note the number of answers that indicate the uncertainty (maybe's). The comments mirror that, with "it depends" on other factors - the current positivity rate, the decline in numbers, what happens with regular flu during this fall, etc.

Other concerns include the lack of ability to spread out in classrooms, bathrooms, etc. But also several mentioned that our inability to enjoy music and singing in worship would DIMINISH enjoyment of in-person worship for now!

Comments were VERY complimentary of the current worship services!

The overall feeling of the Task Force is that there is too much uncertainty to even consider in-person activities for Fall. Worship is well-attended, and the new Zoom classes and meetings are going well, too. The Task Force will do another survey later this year or early next year if/when the numbers of cases and positivity rates decrease.

Thank you to all who participated!
in the
Come and safely Worship with Circle of Faith Christian Center
October 18, 12:00 Noon
Rev. Cliff Stockton will lead from the front lawn of the church while worshippers remain in their cars for the service! 

For those of us who are missing seeing each other, Circle of Faith has invited BPC members to join them for their "drive-in" worship service.

Health Department Extends Restaurant Hours and Reduces Restrictions on Sporting Events
On Monday, the Health Department reported 95 new coronavirus cases for the area, and a downright amazing positivity rate of 2.3%. But coronavirus stats can be a cruel mistress. Yesterday, the area added 258 new cases, a high we haven’t seen since the middle of September, and apparently attributable to many days of tests coming in at once.

Given that, the Health Department went ahead and issued its latest directive, letting sports fans sit closer together at athletic events and allowing restaurants to stay open later. Restaurant owners are glad to hear it; BUT, it comes with a warning: Now if a business doesn't follow the new guidelines, it could take up to two weeks for them to be allowed to reopen again.
The Shelby County Health Department is adjusting the distance between fans at sporting events to 6 feet, while allowing restaurants to stay open until midnight, officials announced Tuesday.

In addition to the extended hours for restaurants, diners may sit eight to a table, up from the previous six. Officials emphasized, however, that those businesses must continue to enforce social distancing requirements, including that all wear masks.

The new rules go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. For the University of Memphis, capacity at Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium will increase to 12,000 on Oct. 17, when the Tigers play the University of Central Florida, a difference of potentially 7,500 more fans.

Join us for the last Wednesday night Zoom meeting at 7:00 tonight

Now that regular Small Groups are starting up, the Zoom meeting that started up this summer has decided to disband for now.
Tonight is our last meeting!
7:00 pm Summer Small Group via Zoom

Join us, won't you?
PC(U.S.A.) Votes 2020 Campaign
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is committed to taking a continued stand for equity and equality for all God’s people. Seeking to be a faithful witness to the need to continue to stand and bear witness in issues of justice, the Presbyterian Voting Campaign has been created to engage, educate, and motivate people to exercise their right to vote, especially those who are a part of marginalized communities.

Both Jesus and John Calvin placed a significant emphasis on the role of justice advocacy as central to our faith. Participation in the electoral process is a part of our responsibility as people of faith. We are called to vote our faith convictions at the polls. These convictions are grounded on principles of faith commitment and a larger view of building both global and local communities that are sustainable through sharing the resources of God.

Jesus’ call to faithful community building through the inclusion of all people and our denominational commitment to voter participation and justice are at the center of this campaign. The call to challenge current voter disenfranchisement and government’s collusion with corporate wealth continue to be at the center of our special emphasis throughout the PC(U.S.A.)’s Season of Peace, which began on Sunday, Sept. 6, 2020.

For the campaign schedule, resources and other information about the PC(U.S.A.) Votes 2020 Campaign, check out
Campus Ministry News:
Spring/Summer 2020

Letter from the Campus Minister

Dear friends in ministry,

        The last time I wrote to you, we were just diving into campus ministry in the pandemic. At that time, I could not have predicted that we would still be in the situation, and I'm sure many of you would not have guessed that either! Throughout the summer we brainstormed several ideas about how to continue with campus ministry this Fall, but once Rhodes College and the University of Memphis released their decisions, our committee felt that the course was clear. With Rhodes being fully remote, and the majority of U of M's classes being held online, we came to the decision that the safest and most inclusive option was to continue with our regular Thursday gatherings online on Zoom. Many of our students are spending this semester living at home with family far from Memphis, so this is the only way that many of them can participate. However, we are also holding some small, socially distanced, outdoor gatherings for students who are in town, and I continue to meet with students one on one for coffee (outside and at a distance!). 
      Even though the majority of our conversation are taking place online, this has not diminished the passion that our students continue to express for growing in their faith journeys. With our nation's reckoning with racism this summer, our students decided they wanted to devote this Fall to a book study dealing with the intersection of faith and racial justice, and they chose to read Dear Church by Lenny Duncan. This has led to some heartfelt and spirit-filled discussions, where we wrestle with this text, agreeing and disagreeing, studying scripture alongside it, and praying for God's guidance as we discern our calling as Christians in response to our nation's history and current events. 
    Finally, in this time of social distancing, we also want to ensure that our students have some tangible reminders of the UKirk community and of God's love for each of them. So this year, we have paired each student with a "Board Buddy" from our committee who has committed to sending them notes of encouragement throughout the year (and food goodies if they are are in town!). We have also sent each student a UKirk mask, as a helpful way to stay safe, and to know that UKirk continues to care for them. We hope that you will care for our amazing students by praying for them, and praying for the work of this ministry, as we continue the work of growing together in God's love. 

Rev. Elizabeth H. Doolin 
UKirk Campus Minister 
Rev. Carla Meisterman
will be out of the office
Monday, October 19 through
Sunday, November 8, 2020
Rev. Anne Hagler will be the pastor on call.
You can reach Anne by text or phone 901.628.2104 or email
A Good Read...
Looking for something new to read while we are staying home? Here's are some books recommended by BPCers!

The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 Gander, Newfoundland 
by Jim DeFede

The Tender Bar by J.R. Moehringer - A Memoir about a boy
striving to become a man, and his romance with a bar.
NYT bestseller

Set My Heart to Five by Simon Stephenson - For those who like Douglas Adams’ Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy

(Thank you to Bruce Meisterman for this week's recommendations)

  • 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)
  • 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)
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
Gordon Brigman (12), Cathy Bailey (17), Heather Baldick (23),
Eleanor Thomas (29), Fran Addicott (31), Bill Thomas (31)
October 31, due to the COVID-19 Emergency & Safer-At-Home Executive Order.
The Session will meet again in October to update plans for Fall. 

Every Monday
2:00pm Writer's Group via Zoom

Every Wednesday
7:00 pm Small Group via Zoom 

1st & 3rd Thursday of the Month
Ellis Small Group 10:15 am

2nd Thursday Evening of the Month
7:00 pm Trouble I've Seen Small Group

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

Sunday, October 18, 2020
9:45 - 10:45 AM Fall Sunday Studies on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube

Monday, October 19 through Sunday, November 8, 2020
Rev. Carla Meisterman Out of Office
Rev. Anne Hagler is on call

Sunday, October 25, 2020
9:45 - 10:45 AM Fall Sunday Studies on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube
with Rev. Anne Hagler

Sunday, November 1, 2020
9:45 - 10:45 AM Fall Sunday Studies on Zoom
11:00 AM Worship Service via YouTube
with Rev. Anne Hagler

Monday, November 2 through Sunday, November 8, 2020
Building CLOSED for everyone except Election Personnel and Voters,
followed by building remediation cleansing.


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, September 27, 2020
World Communion Sunday
Hymn 476  “Crashing Waters at Creation”
Phyllis Long, cello; Leiza Collins piano
Connie Pride, Erich Shultz
"Beautiful Savior"
John Gilmer
Linda Warren
Hymn 490 
“Wash, O God, Your Sons and Daughters”
World Communion Sunday

At the Prayer March at Morris Park
The next Prayer March will be held Friday, Nov. 6
Kristen and Cliff Gurlen joined Rev. Cliff Stockton at the Prayer Walk last Friday night.
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.