The goal of adult ministry is to form mature disciples of Jesus Christ in word and in deed. Through a variety of classes that incorporate a diversity of learning styles, adults at Idlewild come to know Christ’s love, peace, and justice through study of scripture, spiritual practice, literature, fellowship, and critical engagement with contemporary issues. At Idlewild, the questions are as important as the answers, and faith is understood as a lifelong journey.

Table of Contents

Adult Forum

9:00 AM Each Sunday

Join us this summer for faithful discussion each week either through Zoom or in person.

June 4
Mark Jones: A Historical Tour of Idlewild

Lifetime Idlewilder, Mark Jones, will guide us in a tour of the church. Mark’s tour is a lively production of interesting facts and funny anecdotes that makes this tour the best in town. This will be the only Adult Forum this summer that begins in the sanctuary.  

June 11
Dr. James Whelan: Behavioral Addiction: Risky Business

Dr. Whelan is a Research Professor in the University of Memphis and Executive Director of The Institute for Gambling Education and Research. For over 20 years, the Institute has operated a treatment clinic for individuals with gambling disorder and a research lab dedicated to exploring of problem gambling prevention, assessment, and treatment. He published widely on important questions related gambling disorder. He has served in various capacities to increase awareness of research based responsible gambling. He was also the recipient of the 2022 Scientific Achievement Award from the International Center for Responsible Gambling. Currently his team at the Institute are developing a comprehensive system of care for Tennesseans experiencing gambling related problems and for people concerned about a loved one’s gambling.

June 18
No Longer Strangers

No Longer Strangers arose from a year-long discernment process, which contemplated how we – as the body of Christ – faithfully respond to immigration. In October 2021, World Relief was finally able to partner us with a family from Afghanistan. To that, the relationship between Idlewild’s Good Neighbor Welcome Team and the Akrami family was born. 

This forum will be led by Melissa Peeler and the Good Neighbor Welcoming Team as they share their story.

June 25
Kevin Ritz: Justice and Civil Rights

Kevin G. Ritz was sworn in September 28, 2022, as United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. Ritz has been with the office for about 18 years as an assistant U.S. attorney. 

Ritz worked as a prosecutor in gun-related crimes before moving to appeals later in his career, even appearing before the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014 to argue whether a man convicted of misdemeanor domestic assault in Tennessee qualified as a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence under federal law. 

July 9
Rev. joshua h. narcisse: Black Church & the Mystic Tradition

Rev. Joshua Henry Narcisse is a proud native of Queens, NY, and now happily calls Memphis home. Rev. Narcisse is a minister in PC (U.S.A.), and currently serves as the Director of Spiritual Care at Church Health. At Church Health, he offers spiritual support to staff and patients, coordinates interreligious programming, leads faith community engagement efforts, and offers strategic leadership for organizational culture and service learning initiatives. Rev. Narcisse also serves on the staff of the Idlewild Presbyterian Church as Parish Associate providing pastoral care to staff and volunteers. 

Rev. Narcisse is a graduate of Howard University where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in History and Political Science. He earned his Master of Divinity degree at Yale Divinity School where he also received the Linda Lesourd Lader prize, awarded to a student that shows promise for leadership in the Reformed tradition.

July 16
Dr. Raissa A. Von Doetinchem de Rande: The Politics of Islamic Ethics

Raissa von Doetinchem de Rande joined the Department of Religious Studies as assistant professor in January 2021. Dr. von Doetinchem de Rande’s research interests lie at the intersection of the study of Islam and ethics. Her current book project, The Politics of Islamic Ethics: An Untold Story of Human Nature (under contract with Cambridge University Press), focuses on the Qur’anic concept of a divinely created human nature and its reception in early Islamic philosophy. At Rhodes, she teaches classes on Islam, the Qur’an, (comparative) ethics, and methods and theories in the study of Islam and religion more broadly. 

July 23
AJ Northrop: Cuba Ministry Update

In a partnership of mutual love and support with Juan G. Hall Presbyterian Church in Cardenas, Cuba, Idlewild seeks to grow together in Christ across cultural, political, systemic, and experiential barriers. Through this congregational partnership, members of Juan G. Hall and Idlewild experience from each other the power of God’s love, the meaning of being siblings in Christ, and the joy of sharing with – and learning from – one another. This relationship is nourished through visits that develop friendships and increase understanding. 

August 6
John Ashworth: Economics of Enslavement

John Ashworth is a Vietnam veteran with 21 years of active military service followed by 20 years of commercial aviation management.  His educational pursuits included studies at Tennessee State University, Columbia College, Missouri; Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Michigan; and DeVry Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia.

His book, Slavery, Capitalism, and Politics in the Antebellum Republic, is a two-volume series on the treatment of slavery, capitalism and politics in the forty years before the Civil War. It is both a novel reinterpretation, from a Marxist perspective.

Disciple Bible Study

Disciple 1 Class: Fast Track to the Old & New Testaments
This course is currently not open - new course to come soon

A Disciple Bible Study is a comprehensive, participatory study of the Bible in a small group setting that is aimed at developing strong Christian leaders. 

The classes will vacillate between in-person at the church and virtually on Zoom. A complete schedule will be provided to each registrant.

This course will include short weekly readings and facilitator-led weekly classes (75 minutes each) lasting 25 weeks. Registration is on Realm and if you have questions, please reach out to the Rev. Mary Gale. 

Idlewild Mens Bible Study

Tuesdays at 9 AM | Montgomery Hall and on Zoom

The Idlewild Men/s Bible Study meets each Tuesday morning at 9 am. Currently, there are options to participate in person in Montgomery Hall or to join the group by Zoom with about half choosing each method. For those participating in person, the church provides coffee and breakfast for a small fee. 

The group is currently studying the gospel of Matthew. As has been the practice in the past, participants can purchase N. T. Wright’s study guide to assist in their study. The group is small enough to allow for significant dialogue among participants but large enough to allow for only contemplative participation as well. We are fortunate to have two excellent and very qualified leaders in Ted Mealor and Jim McClanahan who offer significant insights into the passages under study for each week. This is a perfect opportunity for spiritual growth regardless of one’s biblical knowledge. 

Email facilitator, Charles Key, with any questions.

Idlewild Book Club

The Idlewild Book Club reads a range of books from all genres. We encourage visitors, friends, and any book lovers to join us each month! We pick our books each month at our meeting. If you are interested in learning more, sign up for the adult newsletter or reach out to Joyce Webber