Christian formation is the lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation.
It is about growing in discipleship and discovering how faith is relevant to all aspects of our lives. At GSL, we strive to offer a menu of learning choices in large and small group settings led both by clergy and lay ministers. Classes for adults are held in various locations, including the Parish Hall (Trezevant), Peete Room (LeMaster Street door entrance), The Chapel, Parlor (Lounge), McClure Hall, and Room 212 (beyond Trezevant in the Evans Building). Youth and children gather in designated rooms located on the basement level of the Parish House. Specific locations are posted in the weekly eNews, worship service leaflet, and on information tables.
Sunday morning classes begin at 9:15 a.m.
“Giving Up the Alleluias”: Moving from Rejoicing at the Light to Contemplating How We Become the Light with Dr. Dan Pigg
During the Sundays after the Epiphany, we have been exploring various facets of Jesus’ early ministry, in particular moments related to the call of Jesus. In Lent, through our internal reflections, our study, engagement with scripture in various environments, and participation in additional opportunities to worship, we learn and experience how we can become that light to the world. Lent is our call to ministry, and that begins by going inside so what we may re-emerge to be the people God has called us to be.
Reconciliation: Love As The Most Powerful Force Of Change In The World with The Rev. Becca Stevens
Join Nashville priest and entrepreneur, the Rev. Becca Stevens, for a time of conversation around the importance of reconciliation through the power of community. Twenty years ago, Becca founded Thistle Farms, an organization that provides sanctuary, healing, and employment for women survivors of prostitution, trafficking, and addiction. Come and hear about this thriving ministry of healing and hope and explore how love truly is the most powerful force for change in the world.
Reconciliation: The Sacrament of Reconciliation: No Future Without Forgiveness with The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher
In the baptismal rite of The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion, we pray to be delivered from the way of sin and death, recall Jesus leads us from the bondage of sin into everlasting life, bless water to cleanse from sin, and are bestowed with forgiveness of sins. We vow that whenever we fall into sin, we will repent and return to the Lord. Gather with the Rector and fellow parishioners for a close look at one of our less-familiar sacraments, Reconciliation of a Penitent. Its outline helped to inform the work of South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission and Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s 1999 book No Future Without Forgiveness.
Conversation with the Clergy
Join the clergy for fellowship and a relaxed discussion about life, faith, and whatever is on the mind of the clergy on this day. If there is a certain topic or maybe a current event you may wish to discuss with others, there might be time to add it to the conversation.
Reconciliation: Lynching Sites Project Memphis with John Ashworth, Executive Director
Holly Springs native turned Memphian, Ida B. Wells, prophetically offered, “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” The constantly evolving Lynching Sites Project of Memphis is a world-renowned initiative committed to assisting the human family with remembering the painful past, unpacking the complicated present, and finding hope for a future in freedom based on racial equity, justice, and healing. John Ashworth and peers will share insights to transformation work being done and ways GSL might support the cause.
Building Compassion and Resilience in Beloved Community: A Conversation with Dr. Susan Campbell on the Methodologies of Dr. Brené Brown
Susan K. Campbell, PhD, is a psychologist, certified Daring Way™ and Dare to Lead™ facilitator, and fellow Episcopalian from Charlotte, North Carolina. The conversation will focus on the call to love our neighbors as ourselves, and on the links between self-awareness, self-compassion, resilience, and our ability to care for others. The focus is on us as adults, and how important it is to show up confidently and full of grace as the people God created us to be, and to be generous with others as they do the same. If you have enjoyed or heard of Brené Brown, Dr. Campbell is certified according to Brown’s experiential methodologies and gifted in offering inspiration.
Palm Cross Making with GSL Heart and Hands Fellowship
On Palm Sunday, join the ladies of the GSL Heart and Hands Fellowship for a time of learning about the tradition of Palm Cross Making. The Parish Hall will be set up with work stations, supplies, and instructors to lead us through this ancient practice. GSL parishioner Charles Chandler will also host an exhibit of intricate Palm Crosses he has created. Folks of all ages, experience, and craft skills are welcome!
Hope: Crosstown Arts & Co-Founder Todd Richardson: An Outcome of Faith in our Community
Formed in 2010 to create a vision for the redevelopment of the historic Sear Crosstown building and to help cultivate Memphis’s creative community, CrosstownArts shares in the extraordinary and ever-increasing vibrancy of Crosstown Concourse. Made possible through vital community partnerships, vibrant spaces (diverse art galleries, a music venue, a café, a bar, artist residency studios/apartments, a theater) are broadening the livelihoods of all sorts and conditions of people. Join Crosstown Arts Co-founder Todd Richardson for a conversation with GSL rector, the Reverend Ollie V. Rencher, about how faith can bring unimaginable change. Explore crosstownarts.org today!
Hope: The Faith, Impact, and Ministry of Church Health with The Rev. Dr. Scott Morris
Since 1987, Church Health has provided comprehensive health care and health services to individuals with little or no access to health care. In the past year alone, it had 62,861 patient encounters. Its scope offers training, education and outreach to countless individuals and organizations with the goal of fostering physical, emotional and spiritual well-being among patients, participants, families and the community at-large. Join founder, physician, and United Methodist clergyman, Dr. Scott Morris to learn about its mission to reclaim the Church’s biblical commitment to care for our bodies and our spirits, and purpose to improve health and well-being so that people can experience the full richness of life.
Music, Storytelling, and Hope - A Concert with Andy Gullahorn, Nashville Singer/Songwriter
A native from Austin, Texas and a graduate of Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, Andy Gullahorn writes and performs songs that are all-in-one humorous, compassionate, and wise. During this time of music and storytelling, Andy will share tunes that cover the breadth of the human experience, waking us up to our identities as beloved children of God. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear one of Nashville’s finest songwriters right here at GSL!
Hope: More Than A Band-Aid For Good Friday, Part I with Dr. Mitzi Minor
Memphis Theological Seminary Professor, Dr. Mitzi Minor returns to GSL for a two-part series for participants to delve uniquely into New Testament teachings about the Resurrection. Minor suggests there are opportunities for the Western Church to consider improved and new ways, in the way of other Christians, to show more appreciation for the resurrection narratives and the hope associated with them for followers of Jesus. Spread the word about this Eastertide conversation and plan to bring your own Bible.
Hope Out Of No Hope: Finding Hope In the Aftermath of Grief and Loss with The Rev. Anne Carriere
In times of death and loss, we might naturally think there’s no light at the end of the tunnel. Join the Rev. Anne Carriere for a conversation about what our faith can teach us about resurrection and hope in the midst of pain and grief.
Episcopal School Identity Conversation with The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, and Thor Kvande, Head of School
Join Father Ollie Rencher and Mr. Thor Kvande for a conversation about the ministry of Grace-St. Luke’s Episcopal School (1947), its partnership with Grace-St. Luke’s Church (1940), and highlights of what makes GSL a unique and important community in Memphis.
Wellness and Recovery Sunday Conversation with The Rev. Stuart Hoke and The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher
Father Stuart Hoke and Father Ollie Rencher have been connected since their mutual years in New York City and in North Carolina. Now a resident of Little Rock, Father Hoke will be our guest to reflect on his personal experience as a recovering person and the Christian belief that all people are called to wellness, which includes paying attention to any addictions that may be occurring in our lives or the lives of others. His topic will be “The Infinite Value of a Painful Past.” Spread the word about this important conversation.
Breakfast Extended and Fellowship
Join us in the Parish Hall for an extended hour of good food and all-ages fellowship. If you’ve never before had a chance to attend our weekly parish breakfast, this is your chance!
Rally Day: Celebrate Life at GSL
Trezevant Hall will be transformed into a space to celebrate life at GSL. In this new season of parish life, all households are encouraged to come and to learn more about our parish vision, worship, formation (learning offerings for adults, youth, and children), fellowship, and service (in-reach and outreach) opportunities, and how to get involved and connect with others. This grand event will include live music, a slideshow, and ministry area leaders. Spread the word!
Memphis at 200 with Dr. Tim Huebner (Session I & Session II)
This year marks the bicentennial of the founding of Memphis. But what does the history of Memphis have to do with how we live as people of faith in our community? Join Dr. Tim Huebner, Calvary Church parishioner and Professor of History at Rhodes College as he explores the deep and long history of Memphis. In this two-part session, we’ll think about how the city’s history—particularly its history of race relations—challenges us to envision a greater Memphis as we begin our third century.
Conversation with the Clergy: Living as Christians of Inclusion and Welcome with The Rev. Amy George and The Rev. Meredith Jane Day
On this Memphis Pride weekend join the Rev. Amy M George and the Rev. Meredith Jane Day for a conversation about inclusion in The Episcopal Church. Come learn more about our history as a welcoming denomination, as well as explore and discuss ways that we can become more open to all in our community.
The Spirituality of Giving: Time, Talent, and Treasure to the Glory of God with Stewardship Associate Chapman Morrow and Stewardship Team Leaders
Join our staff stewardship associate and lay leaders to reflect on the essential three-fold ministry of all individuals to give of their valuable time, talent, and treasure to the glory of God and to support life at GSL. This follows the launch of the GSL 2020 Stewardship Campaign and will include insight into parish ministry operations and finances.
Conversation with the Clergy: Deconstructing the Nicene Creed
Join the clergy for a laidback conversation about the Nicene Creed. We say the Creed Sunday after Sunday, but rarely consider where it comes from and why we recite it at every service of Eucharist. Come and learn more about this ancient tradition and ponder its relevance in the Church today.
BRIDGES Impact on Young People, Memphis, and the World with President Dana Wilson
Episcopalians were influential in creating a leader of transformation in Memphis: BRIDGES. BRIDGES unites and inspires diverse young people (a generation of leaders committed to reconciliation, restoration, and unity) to become confident and courageous leaders committed to community transformation. Join BRIDGES president and associates to learn more, including how GSL Church and School can partner
Reflecting on “An Unforeseen Life” with Author Mary Ann Connell and The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher
An Unforeseen Life is a powerful memoir about a woman who embraced what she could and tried to make the most of her life, despite an underlying sadness. Her story is a funny, touching account of a life “most richly blessed” if sometimes in unexpected ways. When she was eight, fire took the life of her younger brother. She blamed herself for the accident, and guilt became a motivator for the remainder of her remarkable life. Join Episcopalian Mary Ann Connell and our rector for a conversation about her faith journey and the writing of her book (April 2017).
Poems on Gratitude with The Rev. Katherine M. Bush
At the start of this “gratitude-centric” month, join the Rev. Katherine Bush for a time of reflection on poems of gratitude. She will explore the works of various authors and poets, guiding us on a path towards thankfulness.
Faith, Jesus, and Journalism: A Conversation with Otis Sanford and Dan Conaway
Join noted local journalists Otis Sanford and Dan Conaway as they explore and reflect on their experiences reporting and reflecting on the world through the lens of faith. Enjoy a time of humor and heart as they discuss the intersection of journalism and Jesus.
Lasting World Changes by Episcopal Relief and Development with Episcopal Church Programs Vice President, Josephine Hicks
Episcopal Relief & Development facilitates healthier, more fulfilling lives in communities struggling with hunger, poverty, disaster and disease and it is committed to demonstrating a measurable impact in three transformative program priorities: Women, Children and Climate. Episcopal Church Programs Vice President Josephine Hicks will shed light on this almost 80-year-old ministry, provide ways for GSL Church and School to partner, and serve as the lay preacher at the 8 and 10:30 services.
Annual Meeting of the Parish
All members and newcomers are invited and encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting of the Parish in Trezevant Hall. This one-hour occasion will undertake key business matters, including the election of the Vestry Class of 2022, parish life highlights since the last annual meeting, review of a 2020 operating budget draft, and a state-of-the- parish address from the Rector.
Gospels at the Crossroads: Navigating Where Gospels Converge and Diverge
Join us for a discussion about the differences and similarities between the four Gospels. Each telling the story of Jesus, discover how they differ in detail and perspective guided by the audience they were written to reach.
Bookends of Gratitude: The Countdown to Christmas and Chanukah with Rabbi Micah Greenstein
Rabbi Micah D. Greenstein, D.D. is the eighth senior rabbi in Temple Israel’s 165-year history in Memphis, and a close friend of the GSL parish community. Join Rabbi Micah and our rector for an insightful two-week session. Greenstein upholds, “Chanukah is not the “Jewish Christmas,” and it didn’t make the final cut of the Old Testament in Protestant and Jewish Scriptures, but Chanukah has timeless and powerful messages. It all comes back to gratitude.”
The Sequence of Advent-Christmas-Epiphany: How The Poetry of Charles Wesley Helps Us to Understand the Cosmic Events in the Ordinary of Life with Dr. Dan Pigg
The challenge for any hymn writer during any period of time is to find a way to put words to the sublime, the transcendent, and the eminent nature of the relationship between God and humanity. At no time is that challenge more apparent than in describing the theology of the Advent-Christmas-Epiphany sequence. Charles Wesley, the writer of approximately 6,500 hymn poems, helps us to wrap our minds around that great paradox and to live into that reality. We will explore some of his hymns/poems that are familiar and not so familiar.
Evangelism: Why It Matters To Life At GSL with The Rev. Meredith Jane Day
Conversation with the Bishop, The Right Reverend Phoebe A. Roaf
The Beloved Community and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher
Join the Rector for a presentation and conversation about “beloved community,” which was popularized by Dr. King as the vision for a society based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings. First introduced by philosopher Josiah Royce (1855–1916), beloved community also is the name of a program established in 2017 by The Episcopal Church as a path for all persons to address racial injustice and grow as a community of reconcilers, justice-makers, and healers who share a passion for the dream of God.
“Just City” Memphis with Executive Director Josh Spickler
Founded in 2015, Just City was founded with a mission is to advance policies and programs within Shelby County and the State of Tennessee that strengthen the right to counsel and mitigate the damage caused to families and neighborhoods as a result of contact with the criminal justice system. As our baptismal covenant upholds that we will strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being, attendees will learn about the ministry of this initiative through a conversation.
Called to Serve: Grace-St. Luke’s Outreach, Social Justice, and Community Engagement
Join fellow lay ministers and the clergy for a deep dive into our current and future commitment to outreach, social justice, and community engagement. This offering, including a few videos, will be a perfect way to learn more about the weekly operations of and how to serve others through our in-house ministries (The Food Pantry, More Than A Meal) and the eighteen Servant Ministry Partners who received 2020 ministry grants from Grace-St. Luke’s.
Exploring The Imagery of Salt and Light in Scripture with The Rev. Lauren Winner
In Matthew 5:12-20, Jesus said that “You are the salt of the earth…You are the light of the world.” Join Episcopal priest, Duke Divinity School professor, and author Lauren Winner for a stirring exploration of these biblical images and their implication for living as followers of Jesus.
*On this same day, all are invited to attend a Memphis “Lunch and Learn with Lauren Winner: The Impact of Anna Julia Cooper and Frederick Douglass on the American Story” from Noon to 1:30 p.m. in Trezevant Hall. Register and pay for lunch online (tinyurl.com/GSLWinner2020) or contact Parish House Receptionist and Ministry Associate, Abby Huber (901-272-7425, ahuber [at] gracestlukes [dot] org).
Anna Julia Haywood Cooper (c1859-1964) was an educator, advocate, and scholar, born in North Carolina to an enslaved woman and a white man. She was academically gifted and attended St. Augustine Normal School and Collegiate Institute, a school founded by The Episcopal Church to educate African-American teachers and clergy. Cooper stressed the importance of education and advocated on issues of race and gender. In 1925, she became the fourth African-American woman to complete a PhD degree, granted from the Sorbonne when she was sixty-five years old.
Frederick Douglass (c1818–1895) was an abolitionist, women's suffragist, editor, orator, author, statesman, reformer, and clergyman (African Methodist Episcopal Church). Born a slave, he believed firmly in the equality of all people, whether black, female, Native American, or recent immigrant. During the Civil War, Douglass was one of the most famous black men in the country, and after the Civil War, he was appointed to several important political positions, including that of marshal of the District of Columbia.
The Rev. Dr. Lauren Winner, Associate Professor of Christian Spirituality at Duke Divinity School, will engage participants in a lunch conversation (Noon-1:30 p.m.) about the significant impact Cooper and Douglass have made both in American history and on the journey of countless people of all sorts and conditions.
Climate Change and What I Can Do About It with Scientist Dave Rupke & Architect Matt Seltzer of Calvary Church
It’s hard to ignore the latest dramatic headlines about global warming, how it’s affecting our lives now, and what we may face in the future. But amid our complex lives, it’s equally hard to grapple with exactly what’s going on, why we should care, and what anyone can do about it. A scientist and architect, fellow Episcopalians, talk about their understanding of climate change, what some folks are doing about it, and what we all can do next. If you’ve been wondering what’s the big deal about climate change, this time in conversation will offer helpful insight.