Outreach and Missions

Idlewild Presbyterian Church has made an unparalleled commitment to the residents of the city. Midtown Memphis is much more to us than an address. Whether embarking on large-scale initiatives (such as building transitional housing or forming a board to assist at-risk children and families) or offering a hot meal and warm fellowship to neighbors in need, Idlewild members strive to live their faith in the community. 

The members of Idlewild's Outreach Leadership Team use the image of a tree to guide their work. The tree is rooted in Scripture, especially in Jesus' direction to remember those who are hungry, thirsty, a stranger, naked, sick, or a prisoner ( Matthew 25). The three branches reflect three areas of outreach (Compassion and Justice, Children and Families, and International Missions), and the abundance of leaves reflect all of the committees and teams that offer their time and gifts to the community. The intention is that our outreach be fruitful, guided as it is by a model that's supportive and dynamic. If you are interested in getting involved in one or more of our ministries, or have an idea for a new ministry, please contact Sara Dorrien-Christians.

 

The Reverend Sara Dorrien-Christians
Outreach Coordinator
726-4681 ext. 42
sdorrien@idlewildchurch.org

 


Visit Sara's Blog

 


Compassion and justice

This branch prioritizes adults who are most vulnerable and marginalized in Metro Memphis.

More Than A Meal

 

Every Thursday evening, Idlewild opens her doors to anyone that desires a hot meal and warm fellowship. This includes many in Memphis who are experiencing homelessness or poverty.

At 5:00 p.m., guests are invited to a half-hour worship service that includes the celebration of Communion, and at 5:30 we gather in the dining room for supper, where we do more than eat: we listen to music, share concerns, pray for our community, and form friendships. If you are interested in joining us, please contact Betty Nelson at bettyb421@att.net, or simply arrive on Thursday evening by 5:10 for an orientation.

 

Community Support

Beginning in the fall, our Community Support Committee receives grant requests from organizations and ministries doing amazing things in Memphis. They review the requests, visit all the applicants, and prayerfully and thoughtfully discern how Idlewild Church can support community partners. Recipients have included Door of Hope, Church Health, First Presbyterian Soup Kitchen, Mid-South Food Bank and the BackPack Program for Brewster Elementary School, MIFA, Hospitality Hub, Friends For Life, Hope House Memphis, Memphis Union Mission, The Caritas Commuity, Dress for Success Memphis, Las Americas Community Center, Family Promise of Memphis, Community Alliance for the Homeless, RISE Foundation, Samaritan Counseling Center, South Memphis Alliance, Outreach Housing and Community, Multi-National Ministries, Refugee Empowerment Program, World Relief Memphis, Binghampton Christian Academy, A Step Ahead Foundation, Beating the Odds Ministries, Community of St. Therese of Lisieux, Memphis Area Legal Services, Memphis Child Advocacy Center, Books from Birth, Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Memphis, Neighborhood Christian Centers, Room In the Inn-Memphis, and YWCA-Memphis Family Shelter. For more information, please contact Lane Faughnan at lfaughnan@bellsouth.net.

Hospitality Ministry

Every Sunday morning, one or more members from this committed team provides welcome, care, and compassion for God's people seeking assistance. These members greet, listen to, pray with, and build relationships with guests who need help because of poverty, crisis, mental illness, addiction, or a temporary setback. For more information contact David Bell at david_bell@fd.org.

About requests for assistance at the church
Please do not give cash to people who ask for help at church! Each time that happens, the church office gets inundated by guests who come during the week saying, “We heard Idlewild is giving money.” If you would like to respond to people who ask for food or the like, you might carry gift cards for Back Yard Burgers, McDonald’s, etc., to offer. If someone asks for money or help on Sunday mornings, please introduce the guest to one of our Hospitality Team members on call (go to the office). Thank you for the many ways you care for God’s people year round!

McMerton Community Gardens

In the Binghampton community, gardens full of fresh tomatoes, okra, green beans, and other nutritious veggies are teeming with life. They are tended by Idlewild gardeners, neighbors, and friends who meet on Saturday mornings and Monday evenings to plant, tend, and harvest the produce. Children in the Binghampton community share in the work and the fun as they learn about gardening, fresh food, and money management. In 2010 the gardeners started working with GrowMemphis, which supports community gardens throughout the city. For more information, please contact Clare Stallings, 726‑4258.

Midtown Legal Clinic

Coordinating with Memphis Area Legal Services and volunteer lawyers, Idlewild organizes, promotes, and hosts two free legal clinics each year, offering assistance to anyone who seeks it.

For more information, please contact Bruce Webber, brucewebber@earthlink.net.

HopeWorks

HopeWorks, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that seeks to serve the under-resourced through outreach programs that develop individual worth, encourage personal responsibility, and promote the honor and value of work. By implementing a holistic approach through daily classes and meals, educational training and spiritual counseling, HopeWorks strives to break the cycle of crime, addiction, and generational poverty that traps so many in our city (www.whyhopeworks.org).

Idlewild Church has supported the HopeWorks organization by organizing volunteers to serve as "Faith Encouragers" in the Prison Ministry unit. We've also provided space for classes and invited speakers in to grow community awareness. For more information contact Stephen McIntosh (stephenandmary@bellsouth.net) or info about becoming a Faith Encourager, Stephen McIntosh (Stephen.mcintosh@ipaper.com) or Sara Dorrien-Christians (sdorrien@idlewildchurch.org).

Call for Faith Encouragers for September 2018

More Faith Encouragers are desperately needed!  At present, there are more incarcerated persons asking for a Faith Encourager than there are Faith Encouragers to go around. HopeWorks is recruiting for the session which begins in September 2018. 

Idlewild Faith Encouragers work with HopeWorks in providing support to those transitioning out of the prison system and back into society. Faith Encouragers are an integral part of that process, paired one-one-one with incarcerated persons who are preparing for their release dates. It is a ministry of friendship, accompaniment, and moral support, and one that the incarcerated persons have named most important.

Faith Encouragers commit to a 13-week session following a training session. HopeWorks is presently recruiting for the session beginning in September.

For more information, please contact Stephen McIntosh at wit38104@gmail.com, or visit www.whyhopeworks.org/get-involved for information and a volunteer application. In addition to formal training provided by HopeWorks, the Idlewild team plans to get together for fellowship and support before the September session. 



The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis

This growing network of citizens is part of a national effort to memorialize over 4,000 known lynchings in the Unites States between 1877 and 1950. In our local context, we intend to tell the whole and accurate truth about the history of Shelby County, opening our hearts and our communities to racial healing. 

In the service of acknowledging our shared history of racial violence and our ongoining resolve for racial justice, The Lynching Sites Project seeks to identify the names of victims of lynching in Shelby County, locate the sites of these lynchings and place a memorial at each one, and to hold interfaith services at those sites. In addition, The Lynching Sites Project partners with others in Shelby County are working for racial healing and truth, and seeks to create groups and classes where the deeper, more difficult conversations about race and racism can take place. 

As a congregation with a long history of opposing racial violence and stratification, Idlewild Church supports and participates in this project of truth-telling and healing. For more information, please contact Mary McIntosh, mcomcintosh@gmail.com.

 

CHILDREN AND FAMILIES

This area of outreach ministry prioritizes children, youth, and families in the Metro-Memphis.

CAFE (Children and Family Enrichment)

The Children and Family Enrichment Center is a not-for-profit organization that officially opened in the summer of 2017. It is the product of the church's discernment and planning for the "next steps" in Idlewild Church's outreach in the city.

In partnership with Kemmons Wilson Family Center for Good Grief, CAFE provides counseling for children and their families as they grieve the death of a loved one; Universal Parenting classes where parents receive professional counseling, information, and emotional support; and a Childcare Center (still in the planning stage) that will provide preschool, summer camp, after-school care, and enrichment classes. 

Guiding the philosophy and goals of CAFE is the awareness of Adverse Childhood Experiences and how those experiences intersect with extreme poverty and the lack of jobs, education, healthcare and strong support systems for many Memphis children and families. The goal is to offer children and families tools for lifelong resilience. CAFE is committed to being part of the solution with a new, creative approach. For more information contact The Rev. Margaret Burnett, margaret@idlewildchurch.org.


Adopt-A-School

For many years Idlewild Church has been an "adopter" of Idlewild Elementary School, a neighborhood public school. About 100 elementary students spend an hour or two each week with tutors from Idlewild's Adopt-A-School program. More than 50 Idlewild members tutor reading and math. Through the Idlewild Community Readers program, volunteers read books to kindergarten classes. Fifth graders are sponsored to attend Junior Achievement of Memphis' JA BizTown Program. Idlewild Church partners with Idlewild Elementary School in many other ways as we seek to show God's love to children. For more information contact Kathy James, kjames@barton.edu.

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ENRICHMENT CLASSES IN MAY

Volunteers are needed to lead enrichment classes at Idlewild Elementary for 4th & 5th graders in May 2018. Sessions have 10-12 students each. Contact Jenni Brooks (jbrooks@idlewildchurch.org) if you have a gift to share (art, dance, theater, gardening, woodworking, or something completely different). If you want to help but don't know what you would lead, something can be worked out. Enrichment classes are May 7, 14, and 21 from 12:00 to 3:00 p.m. The children enjoy learning something new and volunteers enjoy the time with the children. Thank you for helping support Idlewild Elementary through our Adopt-A-School ministry.

 

BackPacks for Brewster

Coordinating with the Mid-South Food Bank, a team of Idlewild volunteers pack backpacks with weekend meals for food-insecure children at Brewster Elementary School. The packs ensure that the children receive six nutritious meals before they return to school each Monday. For more information about the BackPack Team contact Erin Simpson, erintsimpson@gmail.com.

 


INTERNATIONAL MISSIONS

This outreach branch prioritizes partnerships and projects that are in communion with the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Clean Water - Ghana and Mexico

Partnering with Living Waters for the World, Idlewild Members have installed twelve water purification systems in Ghana and Mexico, and the number keeps growing. Living Waters for the World (a PCUSA) ministry) has installed 881 clean water systems in 25 nations. 

In addition to installing the systems, mission trip participants learn how to train our partners in Ghana and Mexico, empowering them to sustain their systems and install more, ultimately providing clean water access to other communities.  For more information, please contact Steve Valentine, swvalent@bellsouth.net.

https://www.livingwatersfortheworld.org

Shop Amazon and help Living Waters of the World. Use the link below, and don't forget to bookmark it for future shopping.


   

Cuba Partnership

Seeking to grow together in Christ across the traditional barriers of culture, political systems, and experience, the members of Idlewild Church and Juan G. Hall Presbyterian Church in Cardenas, Cuba, have formed a partnership of mutual love and support.

Included in the partnership's shared objectives is to experience from each other the power of God's love, the meaning of being brothers and sisters in Christ, and the joy of sharing with, and learning from, one another.

An exchange of visits nurtures the development of friendships and greater understanding.  For more information, please contact A.J. Northrop, genteelrogue@yahoo.com.

 

 

Global Gift Market

Note: The Global Market will not be held in 2017.

Every November, church members of partner with Ten Thousand Villages or a similar Fair-Trade organization to sell gifts from artisans all over the world. People in the developing world receive a fair wage for their art and labor, while members and friends of the congregation get a head start on their Christmas shopping. For more information, please contact Betsy Hood, edhood@bellsouth.net.

 

Youth Mission

Idlewild's senior high youth travel to Nicaragua and U.S. cities including the Navajo Nation in New Mexico to join God's people in building schools, restoring houses and playing with children. In 2017, 23 senior high youth along with 9 adult leaders traveled to New Mexico to help out with the Twin Pines community in the Navajo Nation working on three different roofs and building a handicap ramp for a home. Their shared mission experience inspires our church in mission! For more information contact Frank Kelly at fkelly@idlewildchurch.org.

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


   

 


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