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. Please join us virtually for the formation offerings listed below, 9:15-9:45.

Download Life at GSL — Fall 2020 Guide, a comprehensive publication with fall Christian formation, worship, and music offerings.

Video and audio recordings of past classes may be found at and

September 27

Resilience in Times Like These with The Rev. Dr. Bill Harkins
Facebook Live and YouTube Live
Download Accompanying Document

Resilience has been demonstrated and celebrated by the people of God since the beginning of time to navigate hardships and changes to life by being stronger than before and finding a new positive way forward. Atlanta-based pastoral theologian and Canon Priest Associate at the Episcopal Cathedral of St. Philip, Dr. Harkins will offer a presentation on resilience psychology and wisdom to support individuals and households through pandemics.

October 4

Feast of St. Francis of Assisi 
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

Join the clergy for a presentation to commemorate the commitments of love, simplicity, care for the poor, and animals, commonly attributed to Francis, who prayed that we might become instruments of the peace of God for the world. The day also will include an intentional way to acknowledge the blessing of animals.  

October 11


On Politics and Faith Values with Professor Otis Sanford
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

In our Baptismal Covenant, we vow to strive for justice and peace among all people, and to respect the dignity of every human being. Sharing in political processes is a part of our Christian responsibility. Tune in for a conversation with Otis Sanford, University of Memphis Hardin Chair of Excellence in Economic and Managerial Journalism and political columnist, about the present issues associated with politics and challenges faced by people of faith.

October 18

Commemorating the Feast of St. Luke, Physician & Evangelist, through Conversation
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

In memory of our patron saint and to honor all who serve through the healthcare profession, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the clergy will facilitate a time of reflection with parishioners and special guest workers about their recent experiences on the “frontline.”

October 25

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Dragonfly Collective, The Hospitality Hub & The Hub Hotel with Jarad Bingham
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

Dragonfly Collective’s mission of simplifying the flow of philanthropic capital to energize solutions for the common good recently assisted the Hospitality Hub with opening the Hub Hotel. The Hub Hotel is the first-of-its-kind transitional shelter where women experiencing homelessness can safely practice social distancing. Join the clergy for a conversation with Dragonfly principal Jarad Bingham about the development group and its community impact.

November 1


Exploring The Saints Through Poetry with The Rev. Katherine M. Bush
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

From generation to generation, poetry is one of the greatest art expressions to which people of faith turn for delight, wisdom, comfort, inspiration and remembrance. Join GSL member and St. Mary’s School Chaplain & Director of Religion, the Rev. Katherine Bush, on an exploration of poetry to commemorate our annual observance of All Saints’ Day (November 1). The Rev. Bush also will offer the homily at the 10:30 a.m. service.

November 8


Building Compassion and Resilience in Beloved Community:
A Conversation with Dr. Susan Campbell and The Rev. Laura F. Gettys on the Methodologies of Dr. Brené Brown
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

Susan K. Campbell, PhD, is a psychologist, certified Daring Way™ and Dare to Lead™ facilitator, and fellow Episcopalian from North Carolina. The interactive conversation will focus on the call to love our neighbors as ourselves and on the links between self-awareness, self-compassion, resilience, and vulnerability. The focus is on us as adults, and how important it is to show up 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.

November 15

Racial Healing: A Lifelong Journey, Part 1 with Grace-St. Luke’s Social Justice Committee Leaders and the Clergy
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

How well do we know our own history? Philosopher George Santayana famously wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Mark Twain disagreed, offering the opinion that “history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” Regardless of whether history repeats itself or merely rhymes, we must first know it to recognize it. Join GSL’s Social Justice Committee for a look at the history of civil rights and justice in the Bluff City—you just may see some familiar faces and learn something new!

November 22


Racial Healing: A Lifelong Journey, Part 2 with Dr. Tim Huebner
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

Reflecting on the importance of storytelling, reconciliation, and justice, Episcopalian and Rhodes College history professor Tim Huebner will reflect on individual and community journeys with more deeply engaging matters of racial healing. Area initiatives such as the Lynching Sites Project of Memphis remind us of Memphis’ history with race relations and endless opportunities for people of faith to work toward creating “beloved community.”

November 29


An Advent Like No Other with The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

Advent marks the annual occasion for the church catholic (universal) to “begin again” on the journey with Christ beginning in great expectation of his birth. This new season also is perfect for members of the body of Christ to reflect on the past, present and future. It is more and more obvious every day that life, especially for the Church, will never be the same again. The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher will highlight societal and spiritual matters that may resonate with those who tune in for the presentation.

December 6

Annual Meeting of the Parish

All members and newcomers are invited and encouraged to attend the Annual Meeting of the Parish via Zoom. This one-hour occasion will undertake key business matters, including the election of the Vestry Class of 2023, parish life highlights since the last annual meeting, review of a 2021 operating budget draft, and a state-of-the-parish address from the Rector.   

December 13 & 20


Unpacking the Gospels in Advent with The Rev. Dr. Mitzi Minor
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

Memphis Theological Seminary Professor, Dr. Mitzi Minor returns to GSL for a two-part series focused on the Gospel lessons appointed for the third and fourth Sundays of Advent (John 1:6-8,19-28; Luke 1:26-38). Spread the word and tune in to this Advent teaching series by one of the finest biblical scholars and a longtime friend of GSL.

Past Fall 2020 Formation Offerings

August 30

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Wellness and Recovery Sunday with Dr. Monty Burks

Christians and all people are called to strive for wellness of mind, body and spirit, which includes paying attention to any addictions that may be occurring in our lives or the lives of others. The worship service will highlight the significance of this day. At 9:15 a.m., join us online for a conversation with Dr. Monty Burks, Tennessee State Director of Faith-Based Initiatives.

Watch Video.

September 13

Celebration Sunday: Are you Ready??! Formation, Stewardship, & Connections
Facebook Live and YouTube Live

The Rev. Ollie V. Rencher, Rector, will introduce an exciting season of events. The clergy and lay leaders will reflect and invite members to a connective, creative, and spiritually rich life this year at GSL through a lively and engaging video to lift a tired heart, thrill an eager mind, and center a beautiful soul. Plan on seeing familiar faces, laughing a bit, and becoming encouraged that COVID has only made us even more conscientious about remaining connected and resilient as a faith community.

September 20


Sacred Storytelling and Deeper Connections during COVID with The Rev. Laura F. Gettys, Associate Rector,
Facebook Live and YouTube Live
Watch at 9:15 a.m. Sunday!
Link to poem

Yes, we think of the Holy Scriptures as our Sacred Story, but have we ever considered your journey as Sacred Story as well? If holy ground is everywhere, then each of our paths is ripe with the Divine’s handprint. Journey with Associate Rector Laura F. Gettys as she shares some of her own sacred story and invites us all into the ways deeper healing and transformation can come when we live more deeply into our communal relationships.