Sunday Morning ClassesWednesday Evening Classes | Small Groups

Faith formation classes are offered on Sunday mornings following the 10 a.m. worship service and on Wednesday evenings beginning at 6:30 p.m. during Koinonia. All adult classes are open to the adult community as a whole. This openness allows people to choose classes rather than be placed in them.

Sunday Mornings

Giving our souls and bodies

The theme for Calvary’s 2016-2017 adult formation is “Giving our Souls and Bodies.” It is based on a line in the Holy Eucharist, Rite I, Prayer I, "and here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee.” As Christians, we are called to seek wholeness, wellness, and holiness in the totality of our lives—heart, soul, strength, and mind. We do this by intentionally seeking God in our daily lives —allowing God and our faith to be our compass in all dimensions of that life. When our Christian communities focus on wellness and healing and people within those communities speak honestly with one another and support one another, we all have a better chance of being whom God dreams us to be. We also contribute to the wholeness and wellness of the community and world around us. 

Over the next academic year, we will explore ways to dedicate our souls and bodies to Christ. For each topic, we will pair several weeks of Bible study together with several weeks of application of the Biblical theme to our lives. To be a worthy offering, our souls and bodies need healing from conflict, weakness, and grief to become healthy and whole. We will first look at Corinthians, paying special attention to what Paul tells us about resolving conflicts. We will then look at conflicts and reconciliation within family relationships and contemporary society. A second series pairs the Biblical notion of our body as a temple with a discussion on true wellness. For the third series, we will look at life transitions, grief, and how we can search for spiritual meaning and growth out of loss.


New Year’s Day: Jan. 1 (No formation classes)

Reception for Bishop Don Johnson and Confirmands: Jan. 8

The Rev. Buddy Stallings: Jan. 15 & 22
In the dead of winter when the nights are as dark as they get, we will take Sunday, Jan. 15, to engage in an honest discussion of prayer. The practice lives at the heart of who we are as people of God; and, yet, most of us when asked, say that our prayer lives could be better. What does that mean? Join the Rev. Buddy Stallings, our priest-in-charge, as he talks about why we pray, how we distinguish it from primal superstition, whether it works and what its working actually means. Then on Jan. 22, two days after the new president is inaugurated, Buddy will offer some reflections on the spiritual condition of our country, albeit a micro view from the eyes and heart of one priest, one common journeyer. Join us as we talk about seeking unity and goodness in a country that is so deeply divided and among families and friends who find themselves on opposite sides of a deep political chasm. How does our faith keep us in Communion?

Priest-in-Charge Forum: Jan. 29
The Rev. Buddy Stallings, our priest-in-charge, will present Calvary’s annual report.

Praying the Psalms: Feb. 5
Join the Rev. Milton Winter, retired Presbyterian pastor and Calvary choir member, as he guides us through the joy and power of praying the Psalms. The psalms were hymns for the ancient church. They also were the Church's first prayerbook. No part of scripture is so transparent, so easily allowing us to make its words our own. The psalms help us find just the right words to express our feelings before God.

Understanding the Middle East: Feb. 12, 19, 26
This three-week series will delve into understanding the Middle East from different perspectives and our relationship to the Middle East via the Episcopal Church and Memphis. Each week will build on the last: The first session will survey Islam and its core beliefs, taught by Memphis' own Dr. Nabil Bayakly, an Imam and teacher at Memphis Theological Seminary. The second week will examine the core conflict in the Middle East, via a panel discussion with local people with connections to the Middle East. The panel includes Dr. Bayakly and Sherry Joyce, an elder in the Presbyterian Church and a long time advocate for Middle East understanding. The third session, led by parishioner Alice Shands and clergy, will reflect on the Episcopal Church's resolutions concerning the Middle East and Calvary's potential to support an ongoing dialogue about the Middle East. 

Facing History and Ourselves: Mar. 5, 12, 19, 26
Facing History and Ourselves is an international organization that works with young people to examine racism, prejudice, and bias through history and nurtures a more tolerant and humane group of citizens. Their Memphis presence has been very involved in schools and the community and has prepared educational resources for over 3400 teachers in Tennessee and Kentucky. Andrew Reese, a program manager with the local Memphis office, along with parishioner and historian Tim Huebner, will lead this series on bias and prejudice examining Memphis in the Reconstruction Era, using the Memphis Massacre as a case study. The final session will focus on our responsibilities and opportunities for action and reconciliation in Memphis today. Although the series will be held in the Great Hall and it will be perfectly acceptable for parishioners to sit in for individual sessions, the sessions will build upon one another, and anyone interested in the topic will benefit greatly from committing to/attending all four sessions.

Spiritual Direction and Practices for Holy Week and Beyond: April 2
Author and retreat leader Linda Douty Mischke will help us prepare our hearts, minds, and souls for Holy Week by inviting us into spiritual practices as we enter this time of sacred journey with Christ. Linda will also describe the practice of spiritual direction and the benefits of meeting regularly with a trained guide to deepen your walk with God.


Bible Study: Feb. 12, 19, 26
Each week join the Venerable Mimsy Jones and the Rev. Paul McLain as they lead a series of discussions centered on the Biblical basis for wellness and wholeness. On Feb. 12, we begin a multi-week series mining the practical wisdom offered in the Book of Proverbs. The study is structured so that you may enter it at any time.

Welcome Classes – Library

Led by one of our Calvary clergy, this is the best place to start your journey at Calvary. These classes are a great way to get to know Calvary’s history, ministries, and community better. Look for specific dates announced in the weekly bulletins and our electronic newsletter, the E-pistle.

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Wednesday Evenings: Koinonia

Koinonia will resume on Wednesday, January 4


Book Study of The Power and the Glory: Jan. 4-Feb. 22

Calvary parishioner Alex Wise and the Rev. Paul McLain, associate rector, will lead a seminar on Graham Greene’s classic novel, The Power and the Glory. It is the story of a “whiskey priest” on the run in Mexico and his unexpected journey to overcome what he believes to be his moral and physical cowardice and, ultimately, to find God.


Faith and Current Events: Jan. 4-Feb. 22, 6:30-7:30 p.m.

Calvary parishioner Matt Seltzer leads a timely discussion that will look at how we as faithful people can both respond to and shape the events happening in our community, nation, and world.


Education for Ministry, Sept. 7-Dec. 14
6:15-8:30 p.m.

Education for Ministry is a four-year, intensive learning experience for adults. In a seminar setting, participants study the Bible, church history, theology, and contemporary church issues. Learning to think theologically is also a core component of the program. EfM was created at the University of the South, and its curriculum is a distillation of that which is used in the Seminary at the University. Participants learn the theological disciplines as well as the application of this knowledge in their lives. Students are asked to commit to one year at a time. To learn more, contact Betty Jo Dulaney.

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Small Groups

Small groups at Calvary provide an opportunity to connect with others in a more personal setting than Sunday mornings typically allow. There are three types of groups: study, sanctuary, and ministry. Study groups read and reflect on the Bible or other theological texts, or follow various academic curricula. Sanctuary groups meet primarily for fellowship, although the presence of God in members' lives is often a topic of conversation. Ministry groups gather around a particular service opportunity. These groups are facilitated by a member of the parish and meet weekly in various locations around the community. For more information about participating in one of these groups, contact Liz Browne.

Calvary Book Group
This lay-led group is open to all members and friends of Calvary. The group meets on the last Tuesday of the month from January through October to discern and discuss theological themes in contemporary fiction and non-fiction. Recent books have included Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore, Blue Like Jazz by Donald Miller and the first book/movie combination – Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosay. To learn more about the group or suggest a book, please contact Molly Polatty. The Calvary Book Group meets at a Calvary parishioner’s home, last Tuesday of the month, 7 p.m.

Men's Bible Study: La Baguette Bible Brothers – Time 7:30-8:30 a.m. 
Every Thursday morning, a few good men – Calvary men – gather at La Baguette on Poplar Ave. for coffee, prayer, Bible study, terrible jokes, and perhaps a gooey pastry breakfast.  It's a "Pre-Game Show", as they study the Gospel lesson for the upcoming Sunday service. At the very least, it makes them pay attention to the sermons. It is now in its 20th year, so the jokes must not be that bad. A great class with open book exams – join us! Contact Hal Crenshaw or Bill Haltom to learn more.

Women's Bible Study: Coffee with the Curate – Time 10:30-11:30 a.m.
On Thursdays from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m., Curate Neil Raman leads a weekly women’s New Testament Bible study group in the Crook Auditorium. The group is studying the parables of Jesus and the Gospel of John, combining a look at the scripture with the study of William Brosend’s book Conversations with Scripture: The Parables. Each week, the group walks with one another through scripture, uncovering the deep truths that still speak to us today, and growing in friendships along the way. Contact Neil Raman if you are interested in joining this group.

Women's Bible Study: Thursday Theological Thinkers – Time 12:15-12:45 p.m. 
Women of various ages and stages of life gather on Thursdays in the library at St. George's Episcopal Church in Germantown for a brief discussion of the upcoming Sunday Gospel lesson. These Thursday Theological Thinkers enjoy applying the text to their lives and supporting one another in their efforts to make a positive and loving difference in the world around them. Praying the weekly collect both before and after the Gospel discussion is always an enlightening moment and highlight for those gathered. Contact Laura Trott to learn more.

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