March 5 – April 11, 2014
Mondays – Fridays 12:05pm-12:40pm
Mondays – Fridays 11:00am-1:30pm
*Due to copyright issues Mr. Ray Suarez, Dr. Amy-Jill Levine, and Friends of the Groom will not be recorded.
For ninety-one consecutive years during the season of Lent, Calvary Episcopal Church has hosted a preaching series featuring inspiring and diverse speakers. Through the Series, which is free and open to the public, Calvary provides numerous opportunities for spiritual renewal and growth, and a deeper relationship with God.
The Series features dynamic local and national speakers from various denominations and faiths and takes place Mondays through Fridays from 12:05 to 12:40 p.m., beginning the Thursday after Ash Wednesday, and continuing through the Friday before Palm Sunday.
Dr. Marcus Borg
Canon Theologian at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral, Portland, Oregon
Internationally known in both academic and church
circles as a biblical and Jesus scholar, he was Hundere Chair of
Religion and Culture in the Philosophy Department at Oregon State
University until his retirement in 2007.
He is the author of nineteen books, including Jesus: A New Vision (1987) and the best-seller Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time (1994); The God We Never Knew (1997); The Meaning of Jesus: Two Visions (1999); Reading the Bible Again for the First Time (2001), and The Heart of Christianity (2003), both best-sellers. His newest books are Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings and Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary (2006), a New York Times Best-Seller; Conversations with Scripture: Mark (2009), and three books co-authored with John Dominic Crossan, The Last Week (2006), The First Christmas (2007), and The First Paul (2009).
His novel, Putting Away Childish Things, was published in April, 2010.
Elder Davin Clemons
Elder of Cathedral of Praise Church and member of Memphis Police Department, Memphis, TN
Elder Davin Clemons’ educational background includes a Master of Divinity from Memphis Theological Seminary, a Master of Science in Operations Management from the University of Arkansas, and a Bachelor of Art in Criminal Justice Administration from LeMoyne Owen College. He has a passion for standing up for the oppressed and ministering to the needs of all God’s people who are treated unfair. As a minister of the newly formed Cathedral of Praise church, Elder Clemons has already begun to step up to the challenge and speak up for the marginalized. He became a member of “Clergy Defending Rights of All” in 2012, and supported the non-discrimination ordinance in Memphis, rallying for equality for all City of Memphis employees, speaking for equality with the group and standing up for the marginalized within city government.
The Rev. J. Lawrence Turner
Pastor of Mississippi Blvd. Christian Church, Memphis, TN
Rev. J. Lawrence Turner, by the divine providence of God, accepted the Call to serve as the Senior Pastor of Mississippi Boulevard Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Memphis, TN on January 13, 2013. For seven years prior to coming to Mississippi Boulevard, his pastoral assignment was the Community Baptist Church in New Haven, Connecticut.
A native of Nashville, Tennessee, the Rev. Turner is a 2003 magna cum laude graduate of Fisk University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Religion and Philosophy. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School and was awarded the prestigious H.H. Tweedy Prize for exceptional promise for pastoral leadership. Currently, the Rev. Turner is pursuing the Doctor of Ministry degree in Transformative Leadership at the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School in Rochester, NY.
The Rev. Becca Stevens
Author and founder of the Community of Magdalene and Thistle Farms for women who have survived lives on the streets, Nashville, TN
Becca Stevens is one of the premier preachers and speakers in the United States proclaiming love as the most powerful force for social change. She is an Episcopal priest and founder of Magdalene, residential communities of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking and addiction. She founded Thistle Farms in 2001 which currently employs nearly 50 residents and graduates, and houses a natural body care line, a paper and sewing studio and the Thistle Stop Café. She demonstrates that love is good business and raises millions of dollars annually for the organizations she runs. She is a prolific writer and has been featured in the New York Times and on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, CNN, and Huffington Post and named by the White House as one of 15 Champions of Change for violence against women in 2011. She was recently inducted into the Tennessee Women's Hall of Fame and conferred an honorary doctorate by The University of the South. Her newest book, The Way of Tea & Justice: Rescuing the World's Favorite Beverage from its Violent History, will release in 2014. Stevens lives in Nashville with her husband, Grammy-winning songwriter Marcus Hummon, and their three sons.
Becca Stevens answers questions about her life, faith and personal journey
The Rt. Rev. Don Johnson
Bishop of The Diocese of West Tennessee, Memphis, TN
The Rt. Rev. Don Edward Johnson is a native Tennessean who has served his entire ministry in the state. Born and raised in Nashville, he graduated from Battle Ground Academy, volunteered and served in the U.S. Navy as an enlisted man, received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Vanderbilt University in 1972, a Master of Divinity degree from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois in 1976, and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Graduate Theological Institute in Indiana in 1988.
His ministry in the Episcopal Church has taken him to small and large parishes in the inner city and the suburbs. While at Vanderbilt, Don attended St. David’s Church, Nashville, during the time the Rev. Dan Matthews was rector. He began his ordained ministry as a deacon at St. Paul’s Church in Chattanooga, and served as priest-in-charge at Calvary Church in Memphis from 1977-1978. Returning to Chattanooga, he became rector of Christ Church and chaplain to the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, for eight years. In 1986, Johnson accepted a call to St. John's Church in Johnson City. In 1996 he became rector of Church of the Resurrection in Franklin, where he remained until his election as bishop in March 2001. He was consecrated the third bishop of The Diocese of West Tennessee in June 2001.
The Rev. H. Huey Gardner
Rector at St. Mary’s-on-the-Highlands Episcopal Church, Birmingham, AL
Huey grew up in the Birmingham area and was a candidate for Holy Orders from the Diocese of Alabama. He attended Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, Virginia and was ordained in 1991. Since his ordination he has served parishes in Anniston, AL; Memphis, TN; and Macon, GA. Before his ordination he was employed in the financial services industry and sold commercial real estate. He is married to Irene Thames Gardner of Montgomery. Huey and Irene both have long relationships with The Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Alabama. They enjoy traditional liturgical worship and the Christ-centered mission of St. Mary's-on-the-Highlands. They are particularly excited about the outreach work at St. Mary's and the many young families associated with the parish. Huey and Irene have two daughters, Emily and Lucy, who attend school in the Birmingham area.
Mr. Ray Suarez
Author, broadcast journalist and host of Inside Story on Al Jazeera America, Washington, D.C.
Veteran journalist Ray Suarez is the permanent host of Al Jazeera America’s daily program “Inside Story.”
Suarez joined the new American news channel after an extensive television and radio career in which he excelled at delivering, as Al Jazeera America president Kate O’Brian put it, “compelling coverage of the most challenging news stories and events with objectivity and depth, punctuated by Ray’s own brand of thoughtful analysis. That’s exactly what ‘Inside Story’ is all about.”
Suarez came from PBS’ “NewsHour,” where he worked from 1999 to 2013, most recently as its chief national correspondent. Before joining PBS, he hosted National Public Radio’s “Talk of the Nation” for six years.
Suarez is the author of the critically acclaimed Latino Americans, the companion book to the PBS documentary series of the same name, published in September 2013. He also is the author of The Holy Vote: The Politics of Faith in America and The Old Neighborhood: What We Lost in the Great Suburban Migration and has contributed to several other books. Suarez earned a B.A. in African history from New York University and an M.A. in the social sciences from the University of Chicago and has been awarded more than a dozen honorary degrees.
A native of Brooklyn, Suarez lives in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Amy-Jill Levine
University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Amy-Jill Levine is University Professor of New Testament and Jewish Studies, E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Professor of New Testament Studies, and Professor of Jewish Studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School and College of Arts and Sciences. Holding the B.A. from Smith College, the M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University, and honorary doctorates from Christian Theological Seminary, Drury University, the University of Richmond, the Episcopal Theological Seminary of the Southwest, and the University of South Carolina-Upstate, Professor Levine has been awarded grants from the Mellon Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the American Council of Learned Societies. She has held office in the Society of Biblical Literature, the Catholic Biblical Association, and the Association for Jewish Studies. Her books include The Misunderstood Jew: The Church and the Scandal of the Jewish Jesus (HarperOne), the edited collection,The Historical Jesus in Context (Princeton), and the fourteen-volume edited series, Feminist Companions to the New Testament and Early Christian Writings (Continuum). With Marc Brettler of Brandeis University, she has edited the Jewish Annotated New Testament (Oxford), and she has written, with her Vanderbilt Colleague Douglas Knight, The Meaning of the Bible: What The Jewish Scriptures and the Christian Old Testament Can Teach us (HarperOne). In 2011, Professor Levine became Affiliated Professor at the Woolf Institute: Centre for the Study of Jewish-Christian Relations at Cambridge, UK. A self-described "Yankee Jewish feminist who teaches in a predominantly Christian divinity school in the buckle of the Bible Belt," Professor Levine combines historical-critical rigor, literary-critical sensitivity, and a frequent dash of humor with a commitment to eliminating anti-Jewish, sexist, and homophobic theologies.
Amy-Jill Levine answers questions about her life, faith and personal journey
The Rev. Daniel Matthews, Sr.
retired as Rector Emeritus of Trinity Church Wall Street in 2004, New York, New York
Regarding the approximately 80 percent of Americans who today define themselves as spiritual, the Rev. Matthews observes, “The use of prayer, which is at times almost universal, defines a person as claiming to be spiritual. However, organized religion demands giving, community and loyalty, all of which are losing popularity in the dominant culture.” Thus, he feels “the ecumenical, interfaith nature of the Calvary Lenten Preaching Series is more important today than ever in its history.” In reflecting on his years of ministry at Trinity Wall Street there is no doubt about which event overshadows all others— “9/11. We ran for our lives to escape the thundering collapse of the Towers 150 yards away. None of us will ever be the same.”
Dan Matthews answers questions about his life, faith and personal journey
The Rev. Daniel P. Matthews, Jr.
Rector, St. Luke's Episcopal Church, Atlanta, GA
A gifted preacher and teacher, Dan has an empathic disposition and abiding interest in people. Before feeling called to the ministry, Dan studied psychology at the University of the South at Sewanee and worked with adolescents in crisis. He planned a life in counseling, but the call to ministry set him on a new course. A graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, Dan has previously served as rector at St. Paul’s in Kingsport, TN; assistant at St. Mark’s in Jacksonville, FL; and, as a deacon and then curate at St. Paul’s in Chattanooga, TN. Dan and his wife Sarah have two children, Daniel III, who is in college, and Catie, who is in high school. Dan is the enthusiastic leader of The Parson’s Pickers, a bluegrass ensemble that performs for non-profit and church fund raisers.
Dan Matthews answers questions about his life, faith and personal journey
The Rev. Ellen Roberds
Creative Placemaking Program Director for Livable Memphis, Memphis, TN
Ellen Roberds is a child of Memphis, raised and ordained at Idlewild Presbyterian Church. She cut her teeth for ministry there and at First Presbyterian downtown where she was an associate pastor for eight years. Early on, her ecumenism led her to marry a Baptist boy she met while attending Vanderbilt Divinity School; it later led her into playing priest at Calvary Episcopal. Ellen currently works as a Tactical Urbanist and Creative Placemaker with Livable Memphis. She is married to Jarad Bingham of Shady Grove Presbyterian. They live in midtown with their three children: Abram, Obed, and Bella.
Ellen Roberds answers questions about her life, faith and personal journey
Friends of the Groom
Professional theater company committed to proclaiming the Christian message with a unique blend of humor, story and challenging content, Cincinnati, OH
Friends of the Groom is a professional theater company dedicated to communicating the Christian message in an entertaining and challenging format. The inter-denominational group is located in Cincinnati, Ohio. Since 1980, they have performed plays, led retreat weekends, and conducted workshops in thousands of locations from Anchorage to Athens.
Friends of the Groom answer questions about their life, faith and work
Mayor A C Wharton, Jr.
Mayor of Memphis, TN
A C Wharton Jr. is the 63rd mayor of the City of Memphis and the eighth mayor since city government was restructured into a mayor-City Council form of government in 1968.
Reared in Lebanon, Tennessee, Mayor Wharton attended Tennessee State University, where he majored in political science and graduated with honors in 1962. Six years later, he entered the University of Mississippi Law School, where he was one of the first African-American students to serve on the Moot Court Board and the first African-American to serve on the Judicial Council. He graduated with honors in 1971, and three years later, he became the first African-American professor of law at University of Mississippi, a position that he held for 25 years.
Following college graduation, Mayor Wharton worked in Washington, D.C., at the Office of General Council of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission for two years and one year at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, heading up the Public Employment Project funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
Dr. Mark Muesse
Professor at Rhodes College, Memphis, TN
Mark W. Muesse was born in Waco, TX, and attended Baylor University, where he received a B.A., summa cum laude, in English Literature (1979). He also attended Harvard University, where he earned a Masters of Theological Studies (1981), a Masters of Arts (1983), and a Ph.D. in The Study of Religion (1987). He wrote his doctoral thesis on the relationship between liberalism and fundamentalism.
Muesse has taught at Harvard College, Harvard Divinity School, and the University of Southern Maine, where he also served as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
At Rhodes, he teaches courses in world religions and philosophy, modern theology, and spirituality. In 2007, he received national recognition by Fortress Press, which presented him with its Undergraduate Teaching Award. In 2008, he received the Clarence Day Award for Outstanding Teaching, Rhodes' highest honor for a member of its faculty. He was a 2011 recipient of the “Distinguished Service Award” from the Viswayogi Viswamji Foundation for Universal Integration and Peace in Guntur, Andhra Pradesh, India.
He has produced four lecture series and companion books for The Great Courses: The Great Religions: Hinduism; Religions of the Axial Age; Confucius, Buddha, Jesus, and Muhammad; and Practicing Mindfulness. His books include Redeeming Men: Religion and Masculinities and The Hindu Traditions: A Concise Introduction. His most recent book, The Age of Sages: The Axial Age in Asia and the Near East, was published by Fortress Press in 2013.
The Rev. Canon Renee Miller
Writer, poet, conference leader and Manager of Faculty for CREDO, Monterey, CA
Miller is an Episcopal priest, author, poet, and entrepreneur. She
received her B.A. from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago,
Illinois, and her M.Div. from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary in
Evanston, Illinois. She has been ordained for over 25 years and has
served as a priest and spiritual director and has conducted conferences
and retreats throughout the United States and abroad. She is the author
of 8 books, is published in 2 anthologies and 1 hymnal. She has
written for www.explorefaith.org, www.wildmind.org, and www.patheos.com. She lives in Monterey, California, but is a woman of the desert.
The Rev. Starsky D. Wilson
President & CEO of the Deaconess Foundation, St. Louis, MO
The Reverend Starsky D. Wilson is president and chief executive officer of Deaconess Foundation, a faith-based grant making organization devoted to advancing a culture of health and hope for children in the St. Louis region, especially those growing up in the grip of poverty. He also serves as pastor of Saint John's United Church of Christ. Wilson completed undergraduate studies in political science at Xavier University of Louisiana and earned a master of divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary. He was certified in non-profit management by American Humanics. He has published sermons and social commentary in Transitions: Leading Churches Through Change (Westminster John Knox, 2011), regional newspapers and national blogs.
Starsky Wilson answers questions about his life, faith and personal journey
The Rev. Dr. Jacqueline J. Lewis
Senior minister at Middle Collegiate Church, a culturally diverse, inclusive and growing community of faith, and the oldest continuous Protestant church in America, New York, New York
Dr. Jacqui Lewis is Senior Minister Middle Collegiate Church in the East Village of Manhattan. Middle Church is a dynamic 800-member multiracial, multicultural, inclusive congregation in which everyone is welcome just as they are as they come through the door. Lewis is also the Executive Director of The Middle Project, an institute that prepares ethical leaders for a more just society. Prior to Middle Church, Dr. Lewis worked as a senior consultant for the Alban Institute. Lewis believes that when we “rehearse” the Reign of God in congregational life, we learn lessons for healing the world. Ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), Dr. Lewis is a nationally recognized author, activist, speaker, and preacher on the topics of racial, economic, and gender/LGBTI justice. She has been interviewed on NPR’s Weekend Edition, WABC, WNBC, CNN, GritTV, in Ebony and Forbes magazines, and The New York Times online. Author of The Power of Stories: A Guide for Leaders in Multi-Racial and Multi-Cultural Congregations and a children’s book that celebrates diversity, You Are So Wonderful!, Lewis has published numerous articles and sermons, and blogs for The Huffington Post. She is working on a spiritual memoir about getting a grown-up God.
Jacqueline Lewis answers questions about her life, faith and personal journey
The Rev. Sarah Taylor Peck
Senior Minister of Community Christian Church, North Canton, OH
The Rev. Peck was called in January 2014 to the position of Senior Minister of Community Christian Church in North Canton, OH. Before accepting the call to Community Christian Church, she served as Associate Minister at Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis, TN, where her work included preaching, leading worship, and pastoral care.
Originally from Spokane, Washington, she attended St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and Harvard Divinity School in Cambridge, MA.
Sarah's husband, Andrew, is also a Disciples of Christ Minister and serves at Lindenwood Christian Church as the Associate Minister for Youth and Families.
Sarah Taylor-Peck answers questions about her life, faith and personal journey
Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel, Memphis, TN
Rabbi Micah Greenstein has served Temple Israel since 1991, first as Assistant, then Associate, becoming Senior Rabbi in 2000. In 2012 and again in 2013, he was named as one of America's Top 50 Rabbis by Newsweek/The Daily Beast.
In December of 2011, Rabbi Greenstein was awarded the Memphis City
Council Humanitarian Award, and in February of 2012, he was awarded the
Memphis Theological Seminary’s President’s Humanitarian Award. Rabbi
Greenstein has been named by Memphis Magazine as one of the city's most
significant leaders. Rabbi
Greenstein is a two-time President of the Memphis Ministers Association,
is on the Executive Board of the National Civil Rights Museum,
and is past-President of the Southwest Association of Reform Rabbis,
covering six states. A graduate of Cornell University and Harvard
University's John F. Kennedy School of Government, he studied and was
ordained at the Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion
in Cincinnati. He received his Master of Arts in Hebrew Letters at the
Los Angeles Campus of HUC-JIR. Rabbi Greenstein and his wife, Sheril,
have three children.
Micah Greenstein answers questions about his life, faith and personal journey