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by Crady Schneider


I don’t remember the first time I entered Calvary Church. My mother was raised Catholic, my father Episcopalian, and when they had me, they switched from the Catholic Church to the Episcopal Church because the Episcopal Church offered a nursery (for those that know them, yes, this is really why).


So to say I grew up at Calvary is an understatement. I played soccer as a child for Calvary. I went to Sunday School every week (where, much to my father’s delight, they made me memorize the Lord’s Prayer). Then, I was an acolyte. And participated in Happening and Winter Fest and the Diocesan Youth Council. And made regular trips downtown on Wednesday nights to EYC. And loved every second of it.


When my husband and I moved {back} to Memphis a little over three years ago, we did a little church shopping. We live pretty close to Holy Communion. We had heard that “all the young people are at St. Mary’s.” But when we visited Calvary, it was like coming home. People called me by my maiden name, I still knew how to get around, and, most importantly, there was an elevator for Cooper. Rejoining Calvary after so many years away really made it feel like being back in Memphis was being back at home.


We’ve slowly but surely (as is the “proper” way in the Episcopal Church) gotten more and more involved. Having kids has helped. Cooper is the favorite in the nursery, where they care for him with love and acceptance even though he’s nine and technically far too old to be in there. Semmes is wild and crazy in Sunday School and choir, which means that he is comfortable in the way that I once was. Katherine Cobb LOVES the nursery, and on a recent “All About Me” project at school told her teachers that her favorite thing to do outside of school is to “go to church.” And my husband, who works most Sundays, found himself participating in Forum the other day.


For me, giving to Calvary is not an obligation; it’s a way of saying, “Thank you.” For raising me. For making me the person I am today. For seeing me through all the highs and lows of my childhood. And for accepting me back. For loving my family. For still being there for me as an adult.


Calvary is one of those great places that, though it grows and evolves, also kind of stays the same. If home is where the heart is, Calvary is one of my homes.