Adult Formation Classes

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Adult Formation Classes

The Adult Christian Formation Committee (ACF) is a lay-led group that seeks to nurture the faith and spiritual growth of the Calvary community through inspirational and challenging formation offerings for adults. The ACF plans classes for adults for both Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings at Calvary. Classes are led by clergy, lay volunteers, and guest speakers from local colleges, seminaries, churches, synagogues, and non-profit organizations. All adult classes are open to the adult community as a whole.

For this academic year, Calvary’s Adult Formation Committee settled on a one-word theme: reconciliation. In what ways are people reconciled to God, their neighbors, the earth, their city, their families, their pasts, or themselves? Our speakers this season will seek to delve into this question from these angles and more.

Sunday Mornings

Faith formation classes are offered for adults, children, and youth on Sunday mornings, following the 10 a.m. worship service. See children and youth classes.

Sept. 8: Camino Recap

Katy Leopard and Betty Jo Dulaney

This summer, two groups from Calvary set forth on a pilgrimage to Spain. Join us to relive some of the ups, downs, pains, accomplishments, and a glimpse of the grace found on a week of El Camino de Santiago: the Way of St. James.

Sept. 15-29: Reconciliation

Calvary Clergy

Our forum theme for the year is “Reconciliation”—so before we begin to hear the stories of reconciliation all around us, the clergy of Calvary will lead a 3-week series to lay the foundation. What does our faith tell us about this topic? Explore with us as we consider the apostle Paul’s words: “All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation” (2 Cor. 5:18).

Oct. 6: Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Steve Haynes, Professor of Religious Studies at Rhodes College

Professor Haynes will speak on his most recent book, The Battle for Bonhoeffer: Debating Discipleship in the Age of Trump (Eerdmans, 2018). The book traces the ways German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer has been used by various sides in American political debates up to and beyond the 2016 presidential election.

Oct. 13: Creating Spaces in our Churches, Neigborhoods, and City to Become Multi-abled

Daniel Aaron Harris

Harris has spent his life inspiring folks with disabilities to pursue their dreams. Born with cerebral palsy, he sees people through a lense of hope and possibility—and he wants to help churches become spaces where people of all abilities can find a place to minister. The Rev. Amber Carswell joins him in conversation about his life and ministry.

Oct. 20: Community Cafe: A love for people, passion for life-giving food, and a thirst for justice

Kristin Fox-Trautman

Opened in January 2019, Inspire Community Cafe is on a mission to nourish community change by providing living wage jobs, life-giving food and a gathering place that inspires and connects people for the sake of a more just and compassionate Memphis. Come meet the founder/owner, learn the story of Inspire Community Café’s coming-to-be and explore themes of economic justice, food justice, inclusion and hospitality.

Oct. 27: Repaying the Carbon Debt

Mike Larrivee

Larrivee, Memphis’ own Compost Fairy, will lead a discussion of how responsible organics management practice and regenerative agriculture solve some of the most urgent problems facing us today. From climate change, biodiversity, environmental hazards, to food security, we can solve these issues together #onebucketatatime.

Nov. 3 and 10: Reconciliation in Scripture

The Ven. Mimsy Jones

You think YOU’RE mad at someone? Bible stories from both Old and New Testaments offer powerful, poignant, and even amusing insights. Mimsy Jones will lead an exploration into dicey family dynamics and volatile personal relationships in Scripture.

Nov. 17: Collaborative Divorce

Scott Crosby

Collaborative Divorce is a term to describe a healthy framework for divorce. Scott Crosby is an attorney who practices family law with a specialty in collaborative divorce. Collaborative legal practice is a voluntary dispute resolution process in which parties settle without resort to litigation.



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Wednesday Evenings

Calvary’s Wednesday evening program of dinner, worship, classes, and choir rehearsals is offered during the fall, winter, and spring. Check the calendar for updates and come and enjoy these Wednesday evening offerings:


 5:15–6:15 p.m. Dinner/Mural Room
 5:30–7:30 p.m. Childcare for children ages 0–5/Orgill Room
 6:15–8:30 p.m. Education for Ministry (EfM)
 6:15–7:00 p.m. St. Cecilia Choir (Grades K–2) and
Boys and Girls Choir (Grades 3 and up)
 6:15–7:15 p.m. EpiscoPals (Grades K–5)
Wed. Night EYC (Grades 6–12)
Adult Classes
Calvary Ringers (handbells)
 7:00–9:00 p.m. Calvary Choir
Sept. 4-Oct. 9: Flannery O’Connor: Grace & the Grotesque

The Rev. Scott Walters

One would be hard pressed to find a literate southern Christian who’s not quick to claim Flannery O’Connor as one of our own. But this devout Catholic from Georgia could be as difficult and cantankerously funny in her writing about Christian faith and art as one of the unforgettable characters she imagined into being. Join the Rev. Scott Walters for a six-week walk through selections from Mystery and Manners, a book of occasional prose, and Everything that Rises Must Converge, her last collection of stories, published the year after her death. Participants are encouraged to purchase Everything that Rises Must Converge, or The Complete Stories of Flannery O’Connor. (If the cost of the book is prohibitive, contact Scott.) Selections from Mystery and Manners will be provided. All are welcome. The only prerequisite is a good humored tolerance for the strange.

Sept. 4-Nov. 20: Courage through Yoga

Michelle Fulmer, Ardelle Walters, and more

A fall yoga series on Wednesday nights at Calvary for all levels. Consider joining us in the Great Hall at 6:15 as we practice yoga. Each class will have a different theme based on chapters from Joan Chittister’s new book, The Time is Now: A Call to Uncommon Courage. Chapters include Risk, Paradox, Awareness, Audacity, Failure, Voice, Insight, Confidence, Tradition, and more.

Sept. 4-Nov. 20: Parent Quiet Hour

Join other parents in Room 208 for quiet conversation or bring your book or laptop and enjoy a space to read or work.


Oct. 16-Nov. 20: Humanity and the Whirlwind: a Study of the Book of Job

The Rev. Amber Carswell and Bill Craddock

Reading the Book of Job is not easy. Not only does it touch on some of the most difficult experiences of human life, but at first glance, it offers some confounding and troubling insights into the nature of God and suffering. Join the Rev. Amber Carswell and Bill Craddock for a 5-week study of Job as we take a deeper look into the text and its place in this world where bad things happen to good people.

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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. 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
Fourth Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. in a 
group member’s home

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.  The Calvary Book Group meets at a Calvary parishioner’s home on the last Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m.

Young Adult Bible Study
Every Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Crosstown Brewery

All young adults are invited to Crosstown Brewery Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. to discuss Sunday’s gospel. Contact the Rev. Amber Carswell for more information.

Education for Ministry
Tuesday or Wednesday Evenings, 6:15–8:30 at Calvary

Education for Ministry (EfM) is a program of theological education-at-a-distance of the School of Theology of the University of the South. Students sign up one year at a time for this four-year program. It covers the basics of theological education in the Old and New Testaments, church history, liturgy, and theology. There are EfM classes on both Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Calvary from 6:15 to 8:30 during the months of September through May.

Men’s Bible Study: La Baguette Bible Brothers
Thursdays, 7:30–8:30 a.m. at La Baguette 

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!

Women’s Bible Study
Thursdays, 10:30–11:30 a.m. at Calvary

The Thursday morning women’s Bible study continues with a study of Ecclesiastes. Found in the Hebrew scriptures, Ecclesiastes is probably most well-known from the chorus of the Byrd’s hit ‘Turn, Turn, Turn’. But there is much depth to be explored in this philosophical book — study along with us as we find modern truths in ancient words. Led by the Rev. Amber Carswell Thursday mornings at 10:30 a.m. in the Emison Room.


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