Lenten Preaching

Lenten Preaching Series 2016

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February 11 – March 18, 2016
Tuesdays – Fridays 12:05 pm-12:40 pm

Waffle Shop

Tuesdays – Fridays 11:00 am-1:30 pm

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If there’s one thing I know for sure, Memphis likes a good party, and the best party of the season is at Calvary’s Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop. The joy that fills Calvary Church during Lent is infectious and spreads well beyond the members of this community to friends and neighbors from around the Memphis region. Each year, thousands gather in our church to be inspired by the words of great preachers from around the country. And after our spirits are filled with God’s word, we fill our stomachs with scratch-made food that celebrates our Southern roots. No matter where you come from, Lent at Calvary feels like home. I invite you to join me for the wonder-filled experience that is Lent at Calvary, to listen up and eat up the joy of the season as we dream for the future. This Lent, take a ride that will inspire and transform you from the inside out. I hope to see you at Calvary!

Download this year's speaker lineup


February 11-12 ~ Thursday & Friday

The Rev. John Pitzer 

Saint James Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, LA 

A former Roman Catholic priest in Memphis, John Pitzer was received into the Episcopal Church in June 2014. He served as director of the Center for Spiritual Formation at St. James in Baton Rouge, and is now attending Seminary of the Southwest in Austin, Texas to receive his diploma in Anglican Studies. In May,  John will have his Orders received in the Episcopal Church, and will return to St. James as an associate rector.   


February 16-17 ~ Tuesday & Wednesday
February 17 at 6:30 p.m.: Waffle Shop After Dark

The Rt. Rev. Robert C. Wright 

Episcopal Diocese of Atlanta 

“Faith is the gift that helps us see the ocean of grace we’re swimming in,” says Bishop Wright, who was recently named among the 100 Most Influential Georgians by GeorgiaTrend magazine. Bishop Wright was born in a Catholic orphanage in Pittsburgh, PA. Before his ordination, he served in the U. S. Navy as a helicopter crew-chief and search and rescue diver, and has worked as a child advocate, first for the Children’s Defense Fund and later for two mayors of Washington D.C. 


February 18-19 ~ Thursday & Friday

Dr. Maxie Dunnam 

Christ United Methodist Church in Memphis, TN 

Widely known as an evangelist, leader, and pioneer in small-group ministries, Dr. Dunnam has authored more than 30 books, including The Workbook of Living Prayer, which sold over one million copies. His latest book is The Intercessory Life.


February 23-24 ~ Tuesday & Wednesday
February 24 at 6:30 p.m.: Waffle Shop After Dark

Dr. Tony Campolo 

Eastern University in St. Davids, PA 

Over his many years of Christian service, Dr. Tony Campolo has boldly challenged millions of people all over the world to respond to God’s boundless love by combining personal discipleship, evangelism, and social justice. More recently, Dr. Campolo has provided leadership for the Red Letter Christians movement. 


February 25-26 ~ Thursday & Friday

Rabbi Micah Greenstein 

Temple Israel in Memphis, TN 

No matter what our path to God, Greenstein urges, “we should be building a better tomorrow for Memphis and the world. Remember in the Bible where God tells Abraham, ‘Go to a land that I will show you’? A lot of us think that land is Israel. But it doesn’t say that. Maybe what God is saying is, ‘You and I will create a land together, one that I will show you based on our mutual work.’ Maybe that land is Memphis.” 


March 1-2 ~ Tuesday & Wednesday 
March 2 at 6:30 p.m.: Waffle Shop After Dark 

The Rev. Daniel Matthews, Sr. 

The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine in New York, NY  

Dan Matthews is one of the Series’ perennial favorites. His feisty and inspirational stories give great insight into the role of a Christian and leave listeners on the edge of their seats. Since 1972, Matthews’ work has been concentrated in larger, inner city parishes, but he also has been influential in bringing together faith groups and clergy through the Hallmark Television Channel, the Clergy Leadership Project, and the publication of Spirituality and Health.  


March 3-4 ~ Thursday & Friday
March 3 at 7 p.m.: Church of the Holy Communion

Dr. Walter Brueggemann 

Author and Speaker from Cincinnati, OH 

Walter Brueggemann is surely one of the most influential Bible interpreters of our time. He is the author of over one hundred books and numerous scholarly articles. Words matter to Brueggemann, and one can tell that by listening to him speak as he hangs on to particularly theologically significant words. 


March 8 ~ Tuesday

The Rev. Dr. John Kilzer 

St. John’s United Methodist Church and Memphis Theological Seminary in Memphis, TN 

A songwriter, composer, and singer, John Kilzer knows, personally and professionally, how music can move, can shake, can heal us. In 2010, he began The Way at St. John’s, a music-driven Friday-night recovery ministry service. 


March 9 ~ Wednesday

The Rev. Cheryl Cornish 

First Congregational Church in Memphis, TN  

A gifted preacher, Cornish’s sermons have appeared in a number of publications, and she is in demand as a worship leader and preacher. In 2005, Cornish received Women of Achievement’s “Courage” award for her advocacy for peace and justice. 


March 9 at 6:30 p.m.: Waffle Shop After Dark 
March 10-11 ~ Thursday & Friday

The Rev. Marianne Borg 

Preacher, Teacher, and Retreat Leader in Portland, OR 

The wife of the late Marcus Borg, Marianne has established The Marcus J. Borg Foundation, marcusjborgfoundation.org, a non-profit organization, for healing and renewal and what Marcus called “re-education.” The Foundation engages the heart of Christianity as we continue conversations and concerns Marcus so deeply engaged; Jesus, the Bible, non-violence, justice, empathy, gratitude, and what it means to be Christian in an ever-evolving world. Marianne makes it clear that she comes to us this year, not as a substitute for Marcus: “that is mission impossible,” but she joins us in his honor and tribute to his great respect and affection for the community of Calvary Episcopal Church. 


March 15 ~ Tuesday

The Rev. Virzola Law 

Lindenwood Christian Church in Memphis, TN 

Virzola Law is the first elected female and African-American to serve as senior pastor of the historic Lindenwood Christian Church. Law’s passion for justice and community is why she identifies with the biblical narratives of Esther and Ruth. Additionally, she has a strong commitment to building bridges between the wide gaps that exist among race/ethnicity, generations, and gender. She serves as a mentor to millennial in ministry and is a consultant for the National Benevolent Association Xplor program, which provides programming for millennials discerning a vocation.  


March 16-17 ~ Wednesday & Thursday
March 16 at 6:30 p.m.: Waffle Shop After Dark

The Rev. Becca Stevens 

Thistle Farms & Community of Magdalene in Nashville, TN 

Becca Stevens proclaims 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 employs residents and graduates and houses a natural body care line, a paper and sewing studio and the Thistle Stop Café. She raises millions of dollars annually for the organizations she runs. 


March 18 ~ Friday

The Rev. Richmond Webster 

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Birmingham, AL 

Rich Webster, AKA “Preacher Man,” as he is affectionately called by many families in the inner city of Birmingham, exemplifies a deep love and concern for those left behind. He serves as rector at one of the largest Episcopal churches in the United States where he encourages opportunities for personal relationships with each other and the greater Birmingham community. Rich is known for his interactive teachings styles and his love of jazz. His message is, “Love God and love your neighbor. Everything else is improv. That’s Jazz. That’s life.” His current formation series, Jericho Road, uses pictures, music, and video to cover the lives and message of the Hebrew prophets as he explores how those stories point us to Jesus.