Evergreen-Rhodes Institute | Speaker Rev. Lucy Waechter Webb | May 5, 2019

The 4th annual Evergreen-Rhodes Institute explores change. Watch or listen as speaker, Rev. Lucy Waechter Webb, Pastor of Evergreen Presbyterian Church, delivers her sermon on change.

The Evergreen-Rhodes Institute seeks to deeply understand the ideas that shape our lives and our world through people from diverse disciplines. We believe passionately that our inner-life to our life-connected shape one another. We welcome people and ideas that nourish us and cultivate a more compassionate world.


New Evergreen Mural Up for Approval from Memphis Landmarks Commission

A rendering shows what the mural might look like on the building.

A rendering shows what the mural might look like on the building.

A new mural may soon grace the west-facing wall of Evergreen Presbyterian Church, one that its designers say highlights “the pedestrian-friendly culture of the Evergreen Historic District.”

That mural is now up for approval by the Memphis Landmarks Commission. A final vote on the mural is set for the commission’s meeting on Thursday, May 23rd. 

The mural was conceived by the Memphis College of Arts (MCA) office of Community Outreach and Student Affairs. Student artists Chongjin Won and Anna Bearman. Their design was informed by comments from Evergreen neighbors gathered at three listening sessions in January and February.

The artist said, “Our goal for the mural is to highlight the pedestrian friendly culture of the Evergreen Historic District. Evergreen is defined by its cohesive architecture, rich history, and sense of community. We find these features to be the defining characteristics of the neighborhood.” 

“On any given evening, too will find the residents running, biking, walking or strolling through the neighborhood. As the evening winds down, you will find neighbors on their front porches chatting with one another with the gentle sound of the rustling leaves and cars passing in the distance. 

”The design incorporated all of these elements into a mural that truly represents Evergreen Historic District. Set at the golden hour of dusk, our mural depicts the neighborhood teeming with activity: children playing, dogs being walked, parents strolling with their infants, and neighbors biking.” 

The mural design is up for approval from the Memphis Landmarks Commission on Thursday, May 23, 2019, at 4:30 pm. Public comment is welcomed during this meeting.

Check out the article from the Memphis Flyer by clicking here.

La Voz de Fenix "Voice of the Phoenix" Concert

Evergreen Presbyterian Church host “La Voz de Fénix” – an evening of songs, visual art, food and fellowship on Tuesday, April 16, 2019.

“La Voz de Fénix” (“The Voice of the Phoenix”) is a musical capstone for Evergreen’s Lenten preaching series on immigration justice and migrant narratives. Jim Cornfoot, music director at Evergreen, has assembled a lineup showcasing local spoken word artists and musicians practiced in the genres of rhythm and blues, soul music and American folk. Audience members may also have an opportunity to raise their voices in collective songs of community and protest.

“In much the same way that Lent begins with an imposition of ashes and ends with the promise of resurrection on Easter morning, the Phoenix has long embodied narratives of resilience, reawakening, and resurrection born from the ashes of adversity and death,” said Cornfoot. “We are proud to host a diverse panel of musicians for ‘La Voz de Fénix’ and highlight voices of women, people of color and LGBTQ community members, all of whom are donating their time and talent in an effort to bring some healing and renewal to our burdened and divided community.”

Performers include: Jeff Trotter, Me & Leah, Misti Rae Holton, Mt. & Valley and Damion Kareem.

Attendees were asked to consider a $10 suggested donation. All proceeds raised from this event benefited MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope), with an emphasis on MICAH’s pillar social justice issue of immigration and intercultural equity.  Refreshments were available from The Fiesta Wagon food truck; and libations and paletas from La Michoacána.

Concert attendees also had the opportunity to view “Jesus at the Border: Stations of the Cross,” a visual art installation by renowned theological folk artist Mary Button. Button’s “Jesus at the Border,” an exploration of migrant journeys to the U.S./Mexico border, attempts to lift up the human stories of migration as an antidote and counter-narrative to the criminalization of migration. View this exhibit and others at www.marybutton.com

2019 Annual Celebration

Our 2019 Annual Celebration on Sunday, January 27, 2019, was full of joy, laughter, and music. We gathered together to reflect on our mission from 2018 and to preview what is the come in 2019! We were excited to announce the formation of two new circle of practice: (1) a dialogue circle and (2) a nurturing circle. Evergreen will spend 2019 building our relational capacity with one another. As it is said in Hebrews 10:24-25, “And let us consider how to provoke one another to love and good deeds, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” As we we enter a new year, we enter it in community both alone and together.

Be sure to check out a the musical gifts shared with us during our Annual Celebration and photos of our congregation sharing in fellowship.

Impromptu Christmas Pageant 2018

On Sunday, December 16, 2018, the annual Impromptu Christmas Pageant was held during Sunday Worship Service. The room was filled with cheers as member, both younger and older, donned their pageant attire for an unrehearsed pageant. Older congregation members led the children through the nativity story, demonstrating the wonder and amazement of the nativity. The pageant was truly unique experience that captured the heart and spirit of the Advent season.

You can check out the video below to see some photos from the event. We would like to thank all our families and members who participated during the Impromptu pageant. We look forward to our Impromptu Christmas Pageant again next year.

Beer + Hymns Presents: A Very Merry Beer & Carols

On Friday, December 7, 2018, the annual Christmas Edition of Beer + Hymn’s A Very Merry Beer & Carols took place at Midtown Crossing Bar & Grill. The gathering was filled with lots of Christmas carols, laughter, and beer. During the program, Anne Greenly spoke about her love for Beer + Hymns stating, “My five year old and I love coming to Beer + Hymns.” She continued, “I love to sing, even though I’m not the best at it. Singing with a big crowd of people in a bar is perfect.” Pastor Lucy Waechter Webb spoke about the practice of Beer + Hymns. She shared that the practice of singing together is rare these days, but it the power to transform us.

Watch this short video to get a glimpse of A Very Merry Beer & Carols yourself.

Beer + Hymns is a part of a national movement to reclaim public spaces for public singing. The Memphis chapter is headed by Jim Cornfoot, Music Director for Evergreen Presbyterian Church. This practice gathers the first Friday of each month and is open to everyone, includes families and kids. You can follow Beer + Hymns Memphis on Facebook at www.facebook.com/beerandhymns901. You can sign up today for an email newsletter for Beer + Hymns by using the form below.

The next Beer + Hymns will be Friday, January 4, 2019, at Midtown Crossing Bar & Grill (394 N Watkins St) at 5:30 pm.

Greens on the Go

Sunday, December 2, Evergreen members gathered together for the annual Greens on the Go. Greens on the Go is an annual event when we bring Christmas cheer and wreaths to our members’ homes who are unable to regularly join us for service or who have experienced grief or loss this season. This years, with gathered 14 members, including three youngsters, to visit eight homes. During the visits, we spent time sharing stories and hanging wreaths. This year’s wreaths were purchased through Continental Floral Greens, who sell handmade, sustainably harvested wreaths from the Pacific Northwest. Click this link to learn more about Continental Floral Greens. After the visits, we gathered together for social fellowship at a local restaurant. We want to thank all the members who joined us this year for Greens on the Go and those who invited us into their homes.

Sign-up for the Evergreen E-newsletter to get more information about upcoming events this Christmas season. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram to learn more about upcoming events and get the latest photos from our events!

Evergreen Meets Capital Campaign Goal

“I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify God with thanksgiving.” Psalm 69:30

IMG_0423.jpg

Evergreen has met our Capital Campaign goal. Pastor Rev. Lucy Waechter Webb has written an open letter to members and friends of Evergreen to express gratitude for all the generosity. We invite you to continue reading.

Dear Evergreen Members and Friends,

Thanks to all of you who have made a pledge and given to our capital campaign. After many anxious years of transition, we set a lofty goal to raise $200,000 for our building improvements, and in less than a year we reached our goal! We have had many from our current family and alumni give generously to this campaign, and we are excited to continue to birth the new Evergreen with you. It is a sure sign of vitality and health that we have been able to support so much of the renovation work with direct support from our church family and friends.

As you know, we have had construction underway on the exterior, and it is nearing completion. Expect to see our new doors and awning installed soon. New signage will soon follow! 

We have approved the contract for the interior work and the city permit was approved, so we expect demolition will begin shortly. As we’ve indicated, it will get messy inside, but we hope to continue to stay and worship in our space while work is in progress. 

Artist Yvonne Bobo has all of the materials ready to build the sculpture for the ceiling of our sanctuary and will begin fabrication in the next month or so. 

As anticipated, the cost of our work will exceed the campaign goal, so a gift now will not go un-utilized! You can still make a pledge or give online here www.evergreenmemphis.org/capital-campaign/.

You can also still buy a t-shirt or a poster with Yvonne Bobo’s rendering of the sculpture. Email Mitchel (Mitchel@evergreenmemphis.org) to make a purchase. 

Again, it is with gratitude and hope that we celebrate this success in our community!

Love,

Pastor Lucy

Moving Memphis Forward with MICAH

On Sunday, October 21, 2018, at 4:30 p.m., Evergreen Presbyterian Church demonstrated our collective people power at MICAH’s Moving Memphis Forward Public Meeting at the historic Mason Temple. Those in attendance included MICAH’s 48 partner members, elected and public officials from the Shelby County Commission, the Shelby County Mayor’s Office, the Shelby County Sheriffs Office, the Shelby County School Board, a representative from the Memphis City Mayor’s Office, the Memphis City Council, the Memphis Police Department, a representative from the U.S. House of Representative Office of Steve Cohen, U.S Senate Candidate Phil Bredeson, and Tennessee Gubernatorial Candidate Karl Dean.

Mason Temple quickly filled with Memphians from all over the city. MICAH began the public meeting by grounding the room in their mission: to give a more powerful voice to Memphians through collective organizing. After the ground rules for the event were established, leaders from each task force gave public testimony and named public policy recommendations. The room was compelled by the public testimony and in support of the recommendations.

Evergreen’s Rev. Lucy Waechter Webb asked community representatives, including the Shelby County Mayor’s Office of Lee Harris, a representative from the  Memphis City Police Department, and the Memphis City Mayor’s Office, to publicly commit to working with MICAH’s Immigration and Intercultural Task Force on their platform. All three Offices agreed to meet with MICAH within the next 30 days to discuss strengthening the Citizen Law Enforcement Review Board (CLERD) and allowing MICAH to monitor local law enforcement trainings.

MICAH’s Economic Equity and Educational Equity Task Force received a public commitment from the Memphis Housing Authority and the Shelby County School Board, respectively, to work with the respective Task Forces to address their platforms.

It is never too late to become involved in MICAH’s organizing work. You can join any of the following meetings at Shady Grove Presbyterian Church:

  1. MICAH’s Economic Equity Task Force, October 25, 2018, 6:30 p.m.

  2. MICAH’s Immigration & Intercultural Task Force, October 29, 2018, 6:00 p.m.

  3. MICAH’s Educational Equity Task Force, November 5, 2018, 5:00 p.m.

Additionally, mark your calendar for MICAH’s Monthly Meeting on November 13, 2018, at 7:00 p.m., at Blount Auditorium on Rhodes College campus.

MICAH (Memphis Interfaith Coalition for Action and Hope) is a forming coalition of faith-based and community organizations joining together to give a more powerful voice for issues of justice in our city. MICAH has three priority areas: Economic Equity, Educational Equity, and Immigration & Intercultural Equity. To learn more about MICAH, visit their website, at www.micahmemphis.org or like their Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/MICAH901.

Photos courtesy of Brandon Dill (c) 2018.

Evergreen Visits Montgomery's newest Museum and Memorial

On Monday, October 15, 2018, a small group of Evergreen members traveled to Montgomery, AL to tour the newly opened Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. Those who traveled included Pastor Lucy Waechter Webb, Elder Jeff Blankenship, Elder Lee Kezar, Mitchel Griffin (Mission Developer), and Aylen Mercado.

The Legacy Museum “explores the history of racial inequality and its relationship to a range of contemporary issues from mass incarceration to police violence.” The Museum is located just blocks from one of the most active slave auction sites in America.

Pastor Lucy Waechter Webb said, “The narrative of the museum was powerful for me, and the physical experience of walking in the present with comrades today through the pillars of the history of lynching at the memorial was impactful.”

The group spent their morning at The Legacy Museum learning about America’s domestic slave trade. That afternoon they walked just a few blocks to The National Memorial for Peace and Justice. “The Memorial brings to light that the practice of lynching and violence against African American people happened in every community in the South. It was a powerfully sobering memorial,” said Mitchel Griffin.

The Equal Justice Initiative has documented 4400 lynchings of African Americans in the United States between 1877 and 1950. As EJI explains, “lynchings in the American South were not isolated hate crimes committed by rogue vigilantes. Lynching was targeted racial violence at the core of a systematic campaign of terror perpetuated in furtherance of an unjust social order.” Lee Kezar said, “[The] experiences are not only information-giving, but also emotion-giving and perspective-giving as they transform the tragedies we hear on the news to something tangible yet complex and ever more painful. I left the experience feeling more connected to and disturbed than ever...”

Learn more about the Equal Justice Initiative or The Legacy Museum and The National Memorial for Peace and Justice by visiting their website, at https://museumandmemorial.eji.org. To learn more about the Lynching Sites Project Memphis visit https://lynchingsitesmem.org/.

Left to Right: Lee Kezar, Mitchel Griffin, Aylen Mercado, Lucy Waechter Webb, and Jeff Blankenship.

Left to Right: Lee Kezar, Mitchel Griffin, Aylen Mercado, Lucy Waechter Webb, and Jeff Blankenship.

Inside The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL.

Inside The National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, AL.

Aylen Mercado reading the names of lynching victims from Shelby County, TN.

Aylen Mercado reading the names of lynching victims from Shelby County, TN.

Update: Evergreen's Renovations

Big changes are happening here at Evergreen! Our new awnings were installed last week and the copper fixture above the front entrance is coming next! Secession recently approved the bid to begin the interior work this fall. Evergreen will soon be transformed both inside and out. We are excited by this time of transformation. We will be updating you about any changes in our programming due to interior renovations. Follow along on this journey by getting the latest news here on our website or subscribe to our E-newsletter with the link below. Be sure to follow and like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/evergreenmemphis.

Evergreen’s new awning installation.

Evergreen’s new awning installation.

Beer & Hymns: Levitt Shell Edition

On Friday, October 5th, we gathered for Beer & Hymns: Levitt Shell Edition. Evergreen’s family and friends gathered on the back deck at the Levitt Shell to share in beer, song, food, and joy. We were excited to be hosted at a different venue for our October gathering. We would like to thank the Levitt Shell for hosting us, the families that donated food, and all our guest for joining us in this musical circle of practice. You can always join us for Beer & Hymns the first Friday of each month. Our next Beer & Hymns will be November 2, 2018 at Midtown Crossing Bar and Grill. Check back with us for more details. Be sure to follow our Beer & Hymns Facebook page at www.facebook.com/beerandhymns901 and Evergreen’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/evergreenmemphis for more photos and details.

Jim Cornfoot, Music Director for Evergreen Presbyterian Church, and Beer & Hymns band leading hymns.

Jim Cornfoot, Music Director for Evergreen Presbyterian Church, and Beer & Hymns band leading hymns.

Join Us and MICAH for Public Action!

On Sunday, October 21 at 4:30 pm at Mason Temple join in MICAH’s public meeting with elected officials and 2000 Memphians to take political action on MICAH’s issues of Economic, Education, and Immigration & Intercultural Equity. If you haven’t been to a MICAH event yet, this is the perfect opportunity to get your feet wet. Evergreen has committed to bringing 50 people with us to demonstrate our commitment to these issues in our community. Sign up to be a delegate today!

Micah_10.07.18.png

Evergreen's 2018 Fall Calendar!

September

7....... Beer & Hymns: at the Levitt Shell, 5:30 - 6:30, stay for concert at 7pm

11...... MICAH: monthly meeting at Neshoba Unitarian, 7:00 - 8:30 pm 

26...... Movie Screening: Albatross at EPC, 6:30pm - 8:30 pm 

29...... Evergreen at Mid-South Pride, Robert Church Park

30.......Pet Blessing in Williamson Park, 11:00am

October

5........Beer & Hymns: at Midtown Crossing Bar and Grill, 5:30 - 7:00 pm 

9....... MICAH: monthly meeting location TBD, 7:00 - 8:30 pm

14-15.... Trip to National Memorial for Peace and Justice, Montgomery, AL

21...... MICAH Public Meeting with Elected Officials at Mason Temple, 4:30 pm

November

2......Beer & Hymns: at Midtown Crossing Bar and Grill, 5:30 - 7:00 pm 

13.....MICAH: monthly meeting location TBD, 7:00 - 8:30 pm 

14.....Movie Screening: Won’t You Be My Neighbor?, 7:00 - 9:00 pm 

Join Evergreen Presbyterian for a special Alumni Homecoming on Sunday, August 19th!

Alumni Homecoming    Join your Evergreen family to celebrate the renewal and re-birth of this community at our Alumni Homecoming on Sunday, August 19th at 11:00 a.m. We’ll be culminating our capital campaign to restore and renovate our historic storefront building.   About the design:   We’ll be revealing some amazing things about our plans for 1567 Overton Park Ave. The bell from our former church home will be hung from the edifice of our new home and we hope to ring it for the first time at our Homecoming. Iconic Memphis artist, Yvonne Bobo, will be designing an incredible sculpture to adorn our ceiling. We’ll also be sharing our interior renderings for the first time and have lots of exciting details about furniture, fixtures, and lighting to share.   Sunday’s festivities:    We’ll worship at 11:00 a.m. with music from the Side Street Steppers, handbells, and an alumni choir. Contact us at jim@evergreenmemphis.org if you’d like to sing or play. There will be lots of time for swapping stories and catching up with your Evergreen family at a catered lunch to follow. RSVP by email at homecoming@evergreenmemphis.org.   Support the campaign:   Even if you can’t join us for our Homecoming celebration please consider giving generously to our capital campaign. Your donation will ensure the flourishing of our community for generations to come.  You can give online at: evergreenmemphis.org/capital-campaign.  If you are interested in a naming opportunity, please contact the chair of our capital campaign, Kelsey Hamilton at kelsey.m.hamilton@gmail.com.

Alumni Homecoming

Join your Evergreen family to celebrate the renewal and re-birth of this community at our Alumni Homecoming on Sunday, August 19th at 11:00 a.m. We’ll be culminating our capital campaign to restore and renovate our historic storefront building.

About the design:

We’ll be revealing some amazing things about our plans for 1567 Overton Park Ave. The bell from our former church home will be hung from the edifice of our new home and we hope to ring it for the first time at our Homecoming. Iconic Memphis artist, Yvonne Bobo, will be designing an incredible sculpture to adorn our ceiling. We’ll also be sharing our interior renderings for the first time and have lots of exciting details about furniture, fixtures, and lighting to share.

Sunday’s festivities:

We’ll worship at 11:00 a.m. with music from the Side Street Steppers, handbells, and an alumni choir. Contact us at jim@evergreenmemphis.org if you’d like to sing or play. There will be lots of time for swapping stories and catching up with your Evergreen family at a catered lunch to follow. RSVP by email at homecoming@evergreenmemphis.org.

Support the campaign:

Even if you can’t join us for our Homecoming celebration please consider giving generously to our capital campaign. Your donation will ensure the flourishing of our community for generations to come.

You can give online at: evergreenmemphis.org/capital-campaign.

If you are interested in a naming opportunity, please contact the chair of our capital campaign, Kelsey Hamilton at kelsey.m.hamilton@gmail.com.