OUTREACH

Loving Memphis from the Heart of Midtown

Metro Memphis is much more to us than an address. Freed by God’s grace and called to model the life and ministry of Jesus, Idlewild has a history of extending her hand to those in need and helping to build a more just, inclusive, and welcoming community in Memphis and beyond.
Whether embarking on large-scale initiatives (such as building transitional housing or forming a nonprofit to assist at-risk children and families) or offering a hot meal and fellowship to unsheltered neighbors, Idlewild embraces outreach that is both consistent and constantly evolving. There is a place for everyone looking to live out their faith in the community.

McMerton Gardens

Idlewild has teamed up with the Binghampton community, to help aid the neighborhood gardens full of fresh tomatoes, okra, green beans, and other nutritious veggies. They are tended by Idlewild gardeners, neighbors, and friends who meet on Saturday mornings 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.

No Longer Strangers

No Longer Strangers – Responding Faithfully to Immigration is a relatively new Outreach Ministry at Idlewild that came out of a year long discernment process studying immigration and contemplating a faithful response from the church. The ministry has 5 main areas of focus:

Welcoming and Easing Newcomers into our Community, Advocacy and Activism, Financial Support, Assist in Immigration Legal Process, and Annual “Immigration Sunday”

Compassion Fund

The Compassion Fund is a benevolence fund used by our Outreach Ministry to provide help for those seeking assistance with rent, utility bills, prescription medication, counseling, bus cards, and emergency housing. The Compassion Fund is supported exclusively by donation– most especially by special offerings.

To donate to the Compassion Fund, mail/bring a check (note “Compassion Fund”) or you can donate in Realm.

MICAH

The Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope

This is a regional faith-and-value-based coalition working for social justice in the Memphis area. It is an “organization of organizations” (mostly congregations) that seeks to identify areas of social concern, find consensus, and work with community leaders for lasting change. Currently, MICAH works in the areas of Education, Economic Equity, and Race and Class Equity in the Justice System. Their motto, taken from the prophet Micah, is to do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God - Micah 6:8.

As a founding member of MICAH, Idlewild participates in the life of the organization through membership on the board and participation on task forces. The Idlewild MICAH Core Team meets regularly.

Room in the Inn

Room in the Inn is a hospitality oriented ministry for our unsheltered neighbors, and we are officially sheltering guests at Idlewild this season. During the months of November-April Idlewild will host women on the first and third Thursday of each month during the nights. We will transport our guests from First United Methodist Church downtown to Idlewild and provide dinner, a warm and safe place to sleep, and a quick breakfast with a snack to-go. The following morning we will transport them back downtown. There are various ways that you can help make this ministry a success! Per Room In The Inn guidelines, any volunteer who will come in contact with a guest must be vaccinated.

Mobile Food Bank

Idlewild has continued a partnership with the MidSouth Food Bank since the pandemic began. We serve families on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month. Please sign up so we know if we have enough volunteers.

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.

Our guests are welcome to come inside and have dinner.

Hospitality Team

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.

If someone asks for money or help on Sunday mornings, please introduce the guest to one of our Hospitality Team members on call.

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.

Children & Families

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

Backpack Program

At the Mid-South Food Bank, two teams of Idlewild volunteers pack non-perishable items for an hour on alternating weeks providing weekend meals for food-insecure children in the Memphis area. The packs ensure that the children receive six nutritious meals before they return to school each Monday.

Children & Family Enrichment Center

CAFE is a not-for-profit organization that was chartered November 9, 2016.

It is the product of the church’s discernment and planning for the “next steps” in Idlewild Church’s outreach in the city. CAFE’s mission is to provide children and families tools for lifelong resilience. CAFE’s dual initiatives offer these tools through the Early Enrichment Center (EEC) and the Parent Enrichment Place (PEP).

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. 

International Mission

This outreach area prioritizes partnerships with ministries in other parts of the world.

Partnering with Living Waters for the World, Idlewild Members have installed water purification systems in Ghana, with more on the way. Living Waters for the World (a PCUSA)ministry) has shared water with over 900 communities in 25 nations. In addition to installing the systems, mission trip participants learn how to train our partners in Ghana, empowering them to sustain their systems and install more, ultimately providing clean water access to other communities. 

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.