Member News  

A death in the church family

Mary Lou Adams, 91, died Friday, February 8, 2019. We give thanks for the grace and mercy God gave her which she shared with everyone. Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, February 16 at Idlewild Presbyterian Church, with services to follow at 11:00. (Elders and trustees, please gather in the narthex 10 minutes before the service to enter the sanctuary together.) 

Mary Lou grew up in our church. Many will remember her as cheerful greeter, welcoming all who entered, and graciously helping wherever needed. She served on countless committees, was a member of the prayer chain, and was instrumental in creating the columbarium in the garth. She was a Presbyterian Women Lifetime Member, having been a moderator, Bible moderator, and Hannah Circle leader. In 1968, Mary Lou was one of the first three women elected to a ruling body of Idlewild, the Diaconate. In 1974, she was one of the first women ordained as an Elder. She was a Trustee Emeriti.

She is survived by her children, Cynthia Adams Hughston (Harold), Lou Adams (Connie), and Michael Adams (Cathy), her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and many more family and friends. Please remember her loved ones in prayer. Blessed are those who die in the Lord


Connect with others through Realm! 

Realm training for members -- Come and learn new and exciting ways to connect with your church family through Realm. Sessions are at the church. RSVP to Jenni Brooks, 

  • 12:00 noon, Tues Feb 12 (lunch)
  • 5:30 p.m., Wed Feb 20
  • 12:00 noon, Thurs Feb 28 (lunch)

All members have been send an email invitation to create a Realm account. Please accept the invitation and sign in on a computer. 


After creating your account: 1) Opt in to the directory, 2) check your security settings. Be sure to bookmark the site and remember the password. After your account is created, you can download the Realm Connect mobile app.

NOTE: If you have an account and receive an email about a change to your privacy settings, please disregard it.

WHY USE REALM? We are now using Realm for our member directory; committee and group communications; updating personal info; to register and pay for events; pledging and online giving; and contributions history. Realm is a secure web-based program just for our church. (There is also a mobile app.) You set up your password and update your own personal data (address, phone, emails, photo, etc.) — and only you can see your contributions information.

QUESTIONS? Send an email to


Elizabeth Dick is our Interim Outreach Coordinator

We welcome Elizabeth Dick to our staff in January. Elizabeth is serving as Outreach Coordinator while Sara Dorrien-Christians is our on maternity leave.  Elizabeth,  has a broad range of experience and we are blessed to have her with us! 


Marjorie Reynolds is our Interim Children's Ministry Coordinator

We welcome Marjorie Reynolds to our staff in mid-November. Marjorie is serving as Interim Children’s Ministry Coordinator. She will be part-time beginning next week and continuing through Caitlin’s return from maternity leave in mid-February. Marjorie is an elder at Germantown Presbyterian, where she has been involved in children’s and youth ministry for a decade. She has a background in sales and operations and extensive experience in professional and volunteer project management. She and her husband, Chance, have three children, Kate and Rees are in middle school and Chancellor is in high school. We are happy to have her at Idlewild!


A Pastoral Letter from Steve following Pittsburgh

Pastor Steve sent a letter to the congregation addressing the recent hate crimes and how we as Christians can respond. Click here to read the letter (10/31/18).


Introducing Realm Connect

A new web-based ministry program is coming! Realm Connect is a ministry platform—a browser-based application for the whole church. That means it isn’t just a database. It in an interactive tool made to integrate members, ministries, groups, contributions, and more! 

Sign up at church Sundays, October 21 to November 4! On November 5, all church members will receive an email with an invitation link to the program. Please us that link to create an account! 

Read more about Realm Connect!

Giving and Pledging in Realm Connect

Beginning in January 2019, you will be able to manage all payments in Realm. You can setup one-time or recurring payments for pledges, general offering, memorials, the compassion fund and event registration in the Realm Connect website or app. Other funds will be added as to Realm needed. Your giving history for your 2019 pledge will also be available.

CLICK HERE FOR INSTRUCTIONS  or pick up a handout at church. Visit the Giving page for more information.

January 2 – Online giving will be turned on in Realm. You will be able to make online payments using the Realm website - at the top click Contact, Realm - or the phone app Realm Connect. You will also be able to set up recurring payments through your credit card or bank account.

January 30  Unpaid balances from 2018 and More Idlewild pledges will be added to Realm for your tracking convenience.


Assistant Director of Youth Ministry (part time)

A search committee has been formed to look for a part-time Assistant Director of Youth Ministry to nurture and sustain our 6th–8th graders in faith formation, spiritual growth, and active participation in congregational life. Candidates must demonstrate a strong personal faith in Christ and passion for helping youth grow. Requires approximately 18 hours per week, including Sundays. Job Description and Requirements

Email resumés to either Frank Kelly, Director of Youth Ministry, or Jason Hood, search committee chair. Search committee members: Jason Hood (Chair), Mary Tayloe (Youth Ministry Committee), Jessica Joshi (Youth/High School, Youth Ministry Committee), Reid Chauhan (Youth/8th Grader), and Steele Ford (Personnel Committee).


New Officers Ordained/Installed

These new officers were ordained/installed January 13, 2019:

Deacons (Class of 2021): Sam Buckner, Lauren Cannon, Ben Clark, Charlotte Gillespie, Helen Gillespie (youth), Debi Havner, John Jones, Jeff Myers, William Myers, Ellen Rolfes, Tracey Sanders, Melanie Stewart, and Amy Taylor.

Elders (Class of 2021): Abigail Apple (youth), Chad Braddock, Katie Cole, Megan Ford, Bill Gibbons, Molly Glover, Jonathan Jones, David Rhodes, Mary Tayloe, and Scott Thomas.

Trustee: Katie Cole.New officers were elected at the congregational meeting on September 30, 2018. Officers on the Session and Board of Deacons will serve a three year period (youth serve one year) beginning in January. We pray that God will grant them the wisdom, energy, vision, humility, and confidence they need for their new roles.

Pastor Nominating Committee 

The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is posting information for the congregation throughout the coming months. Visit the Pastor Nominating Committee page for more info and PNC blog updates.


At the called congregational meeting on May 20, the church acted on Steve Montgomery’s request to dissolve the pastoral relationship between Idlewild and Steve effective on or around May 31, 2019; heard a report from the nominations committee for the Pastoral Nominating Committee (PNC); and voted on members of the PNC. These are the requirements of the Committee on Ministry of the Presbytery before they can begin to work with the PNC. Members of the PNC are Jeanne Marie Cummings, Albert Johnson, Julie Markham, Cindy Moore, Mitchell Redd, Betty Louis Sheppard (chair), Jeremy Sykes, and Jeff Thompson.

Do you have a suggestion? The Pastor Nominating Committee is developing a Mission Information Form (MIF), which is the first step in the search process. The MIF describes the mission and vision of Idlewild Church in data and narrative. It will be filed with the PC(USA) and candidates made aware of the position. In the meantime, if you know someone you think would be a good candidate, please contact one of these committee members, giving some background for your suggestion: 

Jeanne Marie Cummings ( | Albert Johnson (  | Julie Markham (  | Cindy Moore ( | Mitchell Redd ( | Betty Louis Sheppard, chair (  | Jeremy Sykes ( | Jeff Thompson (

SUNDAY, OCT 21 -- A congregational listening session will be held Sunday, October 21 in the chapel following the 11:00 worship service. All members are invited to attend, to inform the PNC about what you would like to see in our next pastor, and to share your vision of Idlewild’s future.


Pastor Steve announces his retirement in April 2019

On March 22, 2018, Pastor Steve Montgomery announced that he will be retiring in April 2019. Click here to read his letter.


Idlewild becomes a Founding Member of MICAH

Visit our MICAH page for more info and events. 

At the January meeting, the Session unanimously approved that Idlewild Presbyterian Church become a founding member of the Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH).

MICAH is a regional faith-and-value-based coalition working for social justice in the Memphis region. It is an “organization of organizations” that seeks to identify areas of social concern, find consensus regarding the way forward, and work with community leaders for lasting change. Their motto, taken from the prophet Micah, is to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

MICAH is an affiliate of the Gamaliel Foundation, which has empowered faith-based communities to work for the common good since 1986. Other Gamaliel affiliates, including the  Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH) have worked on issues ranging from affordable housing to transportation equity to youth violence prevention to anti-racism training. MICAH will choose its own issues following a democratic discernment process this spring, and Idlewild’s MICAH core group will keep the congregation informed and involved as that process unfolds.

In the meantime, please be in touch with Sara Dorrien-Christians, our Outreach Coordinator, if you are interested in learning more about MICAH and/or being part of the core group that will guide Idlewild’s participation in the organization, and please join MICAH for these upcoming events:


Congregational Care and Support

Please let the church office know if you or someone else in the church is having difficulty because of illness, loss of job, bereavement or immobility, please contact the church. There are volunteers ready to offer rides, meals and time. We are the Church Together, “...servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries (1 Cor. 4:1).”


Are you or a family member recuperating from injury or surgery or suffering from a debilitating medical condition? If so, Congregational Care can provide help. They maintain the home health equipment closet, which has wheelchairs, shower chairs, commode chairs, walkers, crutches and many other health-related devices. Call the church, 726-4681, or come by during the week and see if we have what you need. This free program, coordinated by Larry and Shari Tucker, has helped hundreds of members and friends for more than 20 years. The revolving inventory is made possible through donations of equipment no longer needed by others. 

Equipment needed: Gently used wheelchairs, shower chairs, commode chairs, walkers, crutches or other non-motorized devices are appreciated. (Gifts of non-motorized devices in good repair are gratefully accepted and stored until someone expresses a need.) Bring donations to the office. Items are stored until needed.   


If you can't drive and need a ride to church, please call 726-4681.  Drivers are needed to bring members who can't drive to church each Sunday, and take them home after worship services. If you can help, contact Anne Apple.


The Prayer Shawl Ministry needs knitters and crocheters. Any level of ability is welcome! Whether you hand knit, use a knitting machine/loom, or crochet – all are appreciated. You can get patterns, work at home or join a knitting group. The time and prayers that go into the making of each shawl bring comfort beyond measure to each person that receives one. Especially needed: colors that might be more appropriate for a man. Please feel free to contact Jackie Baker, or 901-347-0539.


Prepare a meal or two of your favorite recipe for members of the congregation who are recovering from illness or who have experienced a death in their family. Bring prepared meals in disposable containers, with cooking instructions, to the church. Meals are frozen then delivered as needed. For information contact Anne Covington at 274-5864.


On Monday morning, the sanctuary flowers are reused to create bouquets for members who are sick or cannot come to service. Volunteers “do their magic” to transform the two big arrangements into several small baskets, then others deliver the flowers. (Our regular arrangers are Martha Garriott, Jane Roberts, Margaret Jones Gillespie, Betsy Gross and Mary Sharp, and delivery volunteers are Allen Cox and Catherine Berger. A big thank you to Sally Podesta, who recently retired from the flower ministry after many, many Mondays of service.)

We need a couple of people to serve as back-ups whenever one of the regular arrangers or drivers has a conflict. If you could be on call to either arrange flowers Monday morning OR deliver flowers later that day, please contact Mary Sharp at 683-6522 or


Confidential prayer requests can be made by calling the prayer chain at 683-6578, or by filling out the cards in the pew racks or by filling out the cards in the pew racks on Sunday.

The flower ministry makes sure there are the beautiful flowers in the Sanctuary each Sunday. On Monday the large arrangements are made into small bouquets and delivered to hospital patients and shut-ins. If you would like to give flowers in memory or in honor of someone special, or simply donate to the flower fund, please call Buff Adams, 818-5567.



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Presbyterian Beliefs

What We Believe To Be True