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Just Around the Corner - January 2018

New year. New resolutions. New opportunities. New beginnings.

As 2017 shrinks in the rear view mirror, I’m sure the newness of 2018 brings with it both anxiety and excitement. With that in mind, I’d like to share with you what I am most excited about for the upcoming year.

For just over a year now, faith communities and social-civic groups have been meeting together to form a new coalition - Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH) - in an effort to build a strong, lasting community dedicated to bringing a more powerful voice for issues of justice into the public sphere. MICAH “will organize and speak to our community and its leaders, always seeking to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God." The purpose of MICAH is not to replace each congregation or community organization's efforts, but instead, to amplify the voice and the impact by working together interdependently.”

As a founding member, Shady Grove joins Evergreen Presbyterian, Idlewild, Temple Israel, MIFA, Lindenwood, the National Civil Rights Museum, Freedom’s Chapel, New Direction, and many other wonderful communities dedicated to reconciliation and systemic change.

In an effort to build stronger external relationships through MICAH, we will seek to strengthen our internal relationships as well. Throughout Lent, myself and others will be seeking out individuals to participate in intentional ‘One on One’ conversations. These conversations are meant to be a first step in forming new and/or deeper relationships within our faith community. For those who volunteer or those who are asked to participate, we will ask for 30-45 minutes for you to tell us about yourself - where you grew up, how you came to Memphis, what your family was like growing up, what your family looks like now, seminal events in life, how you came to Shady Grove, your hopes and struggles, your dreams for Shady Grove, and your desires for Memphis.

The ‘One on One’s’ are meant to evoke stronger relationships and the conversations are confidential, save for the final two pieces. Your dreams for Shady Grove will help the session and myself shape strategies and goals for the coming year(s) and your desires for Memphis, namely what changes you believe need to be made in order for the city to achieve justice and peace, will be brought to MICAH at our ‘Issues Event’ in April 2018.

This is indeed a new beginning with new opportunities for Shady Grove, and my excitement for the newness cannot be down played! It is my hope that you all will join me in my excitement as we join with countless others in building this new partnership organization that seeks to reflect God’s beloved community right here in Memphis.

Be Blessed and Be a Blessing,

Rev. Will

Adult Sunday School
Every Sunday at 9:30am.

Team Meetings
Will be held Sunday, January 7, immediately following worship.

PW Day and Night Circles
The day circle will meet January 9, at 10am, in the library.  The night circle will meet at 7pm at the home of Mary Kirkland, located at 765 S. Yates.

MICAH Meeting
7:00p, January 9, Hope Presbyterian Church.  Terri Freeman, President of the National Civil Rights Museum, will speak about MLK50 and ‘Where do we go from here?’. Please join us!

Women's Birthday Lunch
Will be at Libro, noon, January 10.  Honorees are Jackie Alsobrook, Marie Johnson, Pat Walker.

Wednesday Night Dinners
Will resume on the 2nd and fourth Wednesday of each month.  The next dinner is January 10.  Our guest speaker will be Dr. Edward Ordman.  He is a Professor Emeritus of the University of Memphis and has been an interfaith activist for many years.  Approximately 15 years ago, he, along with several members of Temple Israel, Balmoral Presbyterian, and Masjid As-Salaam formed the Memphis Inter-Religious Group.

On January 24, Rev. Will will be presenting information on Memphis Coalition for Action and Hope (MICAH), the purpose of the organization, and how, as a founding member, Shady Grove can be a greater voice for justice in Memphis.  If you plan to attend, please sign up in the narthex or email the office.

Book & Movie Club
Book group will watch The Thief, on January 11, 6 pm.  Pat Patterson will lead the discussion.

Interested in Joining the Church?
Talk to an elder about attending the session meeting held on Monday, January 15, 5:30 pm in Room 13.

Saturday Supper
On January 20th, volunteers will meet at St. Luke's United Methodist Church to provide meals for those in need.  We meet at 3:00 PM for meal preparation and begin serving food at 4:30 PM.  St. Luke's UMC is located at 480 S. Highland St. on the corner of Highland and Mynders.  Please contact Susan Baldwin if you are interested in joining us!

Interfaith Panel Discussion on ‘Justice’ - Saturday, January 20
11:00am - Masjid As Salaam - 1065 Stratford Rd, Memphis TN 38122
Join us for a time of conversation and fellowship focused on the issue of ‘Justice’ from the Jewish, Christian, and Islamic perspective. Representatives of each faith will present for 10 minutes, followed by 30 minutes of questions and discussion. Lunch will be served at noon.
Special thanks to Muhammed Moinuddin, Billy Bickers, Sonny Robinson, and Richard Myers for their help in planning this event.

Knitting Group
We will meet on Sunday, January 28, from 2:00 to 3:30.

Sunday Refreshments
A New Year has arrived and we would like to ask for your help!  We cherish our after-worship-service reception each Sunday, and we would like to ask you to be a volunteer for one of the Sundays for the year 2018. The sign-up sheet for January through June is up in the narthex. So far only four Sundays have been taken. Please check your new 2018 calendar and find a Sunday you will be able to prepare a reception.  Thank you for your dedication.

This year’s Lenten season begins February 14th so we need to get started on our Lenten Devotional book.  If you would be willing to write a short reflection and prayer for a given
scripture, please contact Peggy Wilson at or text to 901-351-5654.  We would love to have your participation!

Food Pantry
Most needed items are cans of main dishes with meat (not tuna), macaroni & cheese, pork & beans.

Stewardship Season Is Upon Us!
We’ve achieved 96% of our budget goal for 2018. We can get there together, and we can get there today. Pledges help churches plan. They help families prioritize giving. They’re a simple tool used to a great effect. Please fill out a pledge card today!

Children's Sunday School
Our children’s class has started an exciting new program. Godly Play is an approach to religious education that encourages children to explore their faith through story as they gain religious language and enhance their spiritual experience through wonder and play. Godly Play is a much more extensive program, one that involved intensive training for Carolyn, and as such, requires more time than we currently allot for Sunday School. As we develop a more permanent solution, the Sunday School class will not rejoin worship for the Eucharist. Rev. Will will offer the sacrament to the class after the conclusion of the service.

Rev. Will is on vacation from Monday, January 22 - Monday, January 29. He and Sara will be traveling to Hayfield, Minnesota to baptize the daughter of their dear friends.


Please remember Shady Grove in your will.


January 22, 2018  
Hope Presbyterian Church, 8500 Walnut Grove
Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., Speaker
5:30pm - Register at

Moral Mondays in Memphis is inspired by Dr. King’s work and aims to build support for the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, which was launched earlier this month by Repairers of the Breach. The January event will include a training session led by Reverend Dr. Liz Theoharis, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign and author of the book, Always With Us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor.  

Guest speaker, Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr., is National Minister of the Drum Major Institute, Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church, The Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary, and President of the Healing of the Nations Ministries (all of these institutions of New York City). Additionally, Dr. Forbes is a highly acclaimed author, scholar and nationally sought-after speaker, affectionately referred to in national and international
religious circles as the preacher’s preacher because of his extensive preaching career and his charismatic style.


Akers Family
Janet Baldwin (Susan Baldwin)
Meredith Walsh
Coleen Whirley
Don and Charlotte Haynes and Family
Sharon Harrison
Mary Fischer (Henry & Janet Bartosch)
Sandy Smith (Ned & Sandra Smith)
Chuck Campbell (Sonny & Avalon Robinson)
Agnes Sanders (Avalon Robinson)
Bob and Kathy Farmer (Sarah Strong)
Polly Heimberg
Adam Cruthirds (Connie Cruthirds)
Kevin McDevitt (Meghan McDevitt-Murphy)
Maria Julia Garcia-Brake (Mary Alice Brake)
Ruth Ingram and Family
Okan Demirmen (Elizabeth McFadden)
Lynn Douglas (Shelley Gray)
Avalon and Sonny Robinson
Frierson Graves
Garland Smith
Helen Wofford & Family (Kay Ericksen)
Ned and Sandra Smith
Nancy Gray and Family
Marie Johnson and Family
DeAnn Pace (Ann Miller)
Rosaline Walker (Ann Miller)

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