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.


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.

April 9 – Palm Sunday (Formation classes will not meet)

April 16 – Easter (Formation classes will not meet)

Emerging Structures in Memphis for Church-Supported Agriculture: April 23 
The Rev. Noah Campbell, who is a priest, certified permaculture gardener, and director of the Memphis Center for Food and Faith, will lead us in exploring food justice and creation care. Noah works to invest assets into social structures to support a strong, equitable local food economy and to benefit those whose livelihood and land-tenure demands honest profits over time. He challenges parishes to harness their collective eating power and trade with emergent structures to cultivate a viable pathway for sustained reconciliation with land and neighbor, embodying reconciliation as both discipleship and witness.

Rules of Life: Not Just for Monastics: April 30 
The phrase “rule of life” may evoke images of monks and nuns living in community, holding most everything in common, and praying multiple times each day but there is more to it than just that. Join the Rev. Neil Raman in exploring the spirituality of two ancient “rules of life” and discover how they might still be applicable to us today as we think about crafting “rules of life” for ourselves.

The Sabbath: A Gift to Work For: May 7
According to our biblical texts, the Sabbath is a gift from God.  But the sages of Judaism understood that it would take great effort to truly enjoy it as such. Rabbi Katie Bauman of Temple Israel will lead us in exploring some of the most significant ideas of Jewish tradition on how to find true rest and how these ideas might inform our modern lives. 

May 14 – Youth Sunday and Mother’s Day (Formation classes will not meet)

May 21 – Parish Picnic! (Formation classes will not meet)


Bible Study: Feb. 12 - May 7
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. We continue to mine the practical wisdom offered in the Book of Proverbs. The study is structured so that you may enter it at any time.


Middle East Study Group: March 5 – May 7
This group continues the discussion and exploration of the roots of Islam and the complex issues behind the history of conflict in the Palestinian territories/Israel that began in our Great Hall series in February. Dr. Nabil Bayakly and Alice Shands are leading these sessions.


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


Faith and Current Events: Jan. 4-May 17
Calvary parishioner Matt Seltzer leads a timely discussion that looks at how we as faithful people can both respond to and shape the events happening in our community, nation, and world.

Special Faith and Current Events Class on Preventing Gun Violence: April 26 in Mural Room, 6:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Representatives of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense will offer Be SMART, an educational gun safety and storage presentation for adults. The presentation, endorsed by the national PTA and the TN Department of Safety and Homeland Security, is extremely practical and completely apolitical. As there are 2 million children living in homes with unsecured guns in our country and we have already had an unintentional shooting of a child in Memphis this year, safe gun storage is an important and urgent issue for all adults. We will learn ways to reduce the epidemic of gun violence in our community and country. 


Discovery Class: April 19 - May 17
is designed to give Calvary newcomers and members the opportunity to explore our Episcopal tradition and connect with others in the Calvary community. This course will be co-led by the Rev. Buddy Stallings and the Rev. Neil Raman. This year in the context of the broad conversation about values currently occurring in our society, we will examine what it is that makes us who and how we are as people of faith, looking particularly at how our Anglican faith and practice shape our response to the world. Learn or be reminded of how prayer in the form of common worship informs our actions in the world. Conversation will be lively and open-ended. While some answers will emerge, learning to live creatively and hopefully in the presence of sacred questions is our deepest hope. Dinner will be served in the Great Hall at 6 p.m. ($6) and the class will end by 7:30 p.m. A nursery for children 5 and under will be available while we meet. Contact Ebet Peeples by Friday, April 14, to sign up.


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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