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

Adult Christian Formation 2017-2018: A Sense of Place, A Base for Pilgrimage

The theme for Calvary’s 2017-2018 adult formation is “A Sense of Place, A Base for Pilgrimage.” As Calvary enters an exciting new era with the Rev. Scott Walters as our rector, this fall is a good time for us to examine our sense of place as an urban downtown church in the city of Memphis. We will look back at the interesting and surprising history of our block and will get to know our neighborhood and city better. We will explore opportunities to engage with the built environment around us through shared relationships and ministries. In the winter and spring, we will look at Calvary as a base for pilgrimage as we join our city in commemorating the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. We will examine the concept of pilgrimage locally and globally as we seek Christ’s direction on where, when, and how we are called to walk with him.


Aug. 6: Founder’s Day—Celebration of Calvary’s 185th Birthday

Aug. 13: New Rector’s Forum with the Rev. Scott Walters
Join the Rev. Scott Walters for his first rector's forum. This will be a chance to get to know a bit more about Scott —his past and present, his theology, his thoughts about the church, and his hopes and dreams for Calvary as he is coming to know and love it.

Aug. 20: History and Developments in Calvary’s Block and Neighborhood
Rhodes history professor Tim Huebner 
will present the surprising history of Calvary’s block and neighborhood, describe the things that are happening and not happening around us, and suggest some things Calvary members can do to become more aware and make small improvements.

Aug. 27: Celebration of New Ministry and Institution of the Rev. Scott Walters as Calvary's 22nd Rector
A festive reception will be held in the Great Hall to celebrate this joyful occasion. 

Sept. 3: No Formation Classes

Sept. 10, 17, 24: Urban Christians—What's a Theology of the Built Environment? 
When Christians speak of being stewards of creation, we almost always have only the natural environment in mind. But God's creative process continues through us. The things we build—houses, churches, neighborhoods, cities—have a great deal to do with the health of the natural environment. But the built environment also shapes human lives. It affects the health of our bodies, what strangers we encounter (or not), and the most basic rhythms of our lives. For three weeks, the Rev. Scott Walters will lead us in reflecting on what Christian faith and tradition might have to say about life in the environments we build. 

Oct. 1 and 8: Calvary’s Place in our Journeys
Panels of parishioners will share their personal stories of how Calvary has provided a sense of place and touchstone in their spiritual journeys. 

Oct. 15: Finding Your Place at Calvary
A panel of leaders of Calvary ministries will talk about how the work of our parish is impacting lives and the built environment around us. They will help us discover ways we can each find our sense of place through loving service to others.

Oct. 22: Lessons from the Rappel and Persons Tragedy
One hundred years ago in Memphis, a young girl was brutally murdered and a black man was burned to death on suspicion of having been the murderer. Judge Jennie D. Latta will tell the story of Antoinette Rappel and Ell Persons, and the persons and events surrounding their deaths. It raises questions of violence, justice, mercy, and forgiveness. Jennie D. Latta, J.D., Ph.D., is a United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Western District of Tennessee who holds degrees in law, theology, and philosophy. 

Oct. 29: Addiction: The Church’s Role in Recovery
Sometimes we find ourselves, our family members, or our neighbors in a dark place yearning for a glimmer of light and hope. The Rev. Stuart Hoke will speak with us on the spirituality of addiction, using his own experience as a springboard for considering this cunning, baffling, and powerful illness along with the spiritual and emotional gifts that come in recovery. Dr. Hoke serves as an adjunct professor at General Theological Seminary where he teaches two courses of study on the spirituality of addiction and recovery.

Nov. 5: Spencer Reese
Spencer Reece, acclaimed poet and Secretary to the Bishop of Madrid, will be at Calvary Sunday morning for the release of Counting Time Like People Count Stars, a book of poems by the Girls of Our Little Roses orphanage in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Come hear Spencer tell his story and read poems by the girls who changed his life forever.

Nov. 12: A Sense of Place from Literature and Beyond
Parishioner and author Suzanne Henley
will draw on sources from literature and other media to explore our spiritual rootedness in a sense of place as Southerners. Suzanne is a teacher, author, volunteer, and designer who once spent two years in Europe learning, hitchhiking, and working in a German car radiator factory! Her story, “Beyond This Point There Be Dragons” is included in the recently published anthology of women writers, Second Blooming, and her book Bead by Bead is to be released by Paraclete Press in January.

Nov. 19: Preparing for Advent
The Rev. Katherine Bush
will help us pack for our pilgrimage through Advent by sharing poetry and wisdom to prepare our hearts for this coming season of waiting and expectation. Katherine is the chaplain at St. Mary's Episcopal School. She is a graduate of Rhodes College and Virginia Theological Seminary, and she has served as a priest in West Tennessee for 14 years. Katherine and her husband Stephen were married at Calvary and are the parents of Henry and John.

Nov. 26: Advent Wreath-Making Festival

Dec. 3: Reception for the Rev. Eyleen Farmer
The Rev. Eyleen Farmer is retiring from her work as associate rector of Calvary. Come celebrate her time with us and send her forth with love and prayers at a festive farewell reception. 

Dec. 10: The Search for the Healthy City
Physician, author, and Calvary parishioner 
Jim Bailey will share how our connections with our built environment contribute to healing us in body, mind, and soul. Jim is the author of the novel The End of Healing, a look at America’s health care system through the lens of Dante’s Inferno. He and his wife Sharon led a pilgrimage to Italy last year to explore the life-giving impact of art and architecture in healthy cities.



Oct. 1 - Dec. 10: Bible Study 
Each week join the Rev. Paul McLain and Rhodes history professor and Calvary parishioner Tim Huebner as they lead a series of discussions centered on the biblical basis for finding our sense of place and preparing for pilgrimage. We will look at Bible passages related to place and pilgrimage in the Holy Lands using N. T. Wright’s The Way of the Lord: Christian Pilgrimage Today as our guide. 



Welcome Classes
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  

Sept. 6 - Oct. 18: Sidewalks in the Kingdom
The Rev. Scott Walters
, our new rector, will lead us in finding our sense of place by exploring our tangible and spiritual relationships with the built environment around us. While not required, participants are invited to read Eric Jacobsen’s Sidewalks in the Kingdom: New Urbanism and the Christian Faith as we join Scott on this mutual journey.

Sept. 6 - May 23, 2018: Education for Ministry
Education for Ministry (EfM) is a four-year intensive learning experience for adults, offered Wednesday evenings from 6:15-8:30. 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 co-mentors Betty Jo Dulaney, and Richard Hendricks,

Nov. 1-Dec. 13: Discovery
Join Scott Walters for six weeks of conversation about how Episcopalians view prayer, the Bible, Church history, ethics, worship, and more. Discovery serves as preparation for Confirmation but anyone curious about what Presiding Bishop Michael Curry calls, "the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement" is welcome. 

Nov. 15-Dec. 13: From Sidewalks in the Kingdom to Sidewalks in Memphis
For folks that participated or were interested in the Sidewalks in the Kingdom discussions, these sessions are designed to continue looking at both Memphis and at trends within urban thinking, and attempting to view these discussions as a part of a larger discernment of how we can act on our faith within downtown and our parish. For the first two meetings on Nov. 8 & 15, we’ll review and discuss the Preston Lauterbach article ‘Memphis Burning,’ that discusses housing and racism in Memphis. After Thanksgiving, we’ll look at recent trends in urban planning and examples of how people have changed urban environments in ways that could be considered just. November 29 we’ll look at tactical urbanism, and December 6 we’ll discuss ‘placemaking’ and the project for public spaces. Finally, on the 13th of December, we’ll try to find a bridge between urban economy and holy currencies. No pre-reading or book-buying needed. See you in the Emison room on Wednesday nights at 6:30!

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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 Ebet Peeples.

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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