Staying Connected to St. Mary's

Sunday Worship and Daily Musical Offerings

Although we cannot be physically together for a time, the church still gathers. Join us each week to find God's peace and connect through St. Mary's love! Click here to view this week's offerings which are published on our Worship page.

While we cannot gather for in-person services, the talented musicians of St. Mary’s deliver joy through daily videos, under the direction of Director Dennis Janzer. These hymns reflect the messages of the lectionary Psalms and readings of the day. We welcome you to connect with the Cathedral community through these selections created to bring you hope, strength and peace. Click here for today's offering!

 

Spiritual Resources

The National Cathedral will be streaming their Eucharist on Sundays at 11:15 AM. 

Presiding Bishop Curry will offer 'Habits of Grace': video meditations that will be posted every Monday through May. Come here for some inspiration to start your week!

You can pray the Daily Office here, or visit https://pray-as-you-go.org/

Help & Support

We are here. Our clergy and pastoral care teams are active and available to you. 
Please call the church (901-527-3361) or email Patrick Williams (pwilliams_at_stmarysmemphis_dot_org), Eyleen Farmer (efarmer_at_stmarysmemphis_dot_org) or Drew Woodruff (dewverger_at_aol_dot_com)  

Click here for a list of local & national groups offering support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

New to St. Mary's?

Christian Formation

All in-person adult and youth programming is halted at this time. Online Christian Formation materials will be made available here soon!

Social Justice & Community Engagement

Social Justice & Outreach is a hallmark of ministry at St. Mary's.  From Wednesday Eucharist and Breakfast to Walk with 901 to Pop-Top Ministry to the Servant Ministry Team, we have a variety of programs and events that work to bring the Kingdom of God alive.

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Music Ministry

The Cathedral has a long tradition of musical excellence, and our worship and music reflect this while being flexible to remain vibrant and living. Our music is rooted in the great Anglican choral tradition while we sing joyfully from other traditions. The Choir is comprised of volunteers and paid section leaders.  

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News

An Announcement from the Vestry

June 01, 2020

An Announcement from the Vestry

Monday, June 1, 2020

Dear People of St. Mary’s, 

As you know, May 31 was Laura Gettys’ last day at the Cathedral as Interim Dean. Many of you participated in giving her and her family a heartfelt sendoff on Sunday. We had a drive-through farewell for Laura and family in the St. Mary’s parking lot under a festive Pentecost-decorated tent lined with red carpet and white chairs. Between 40 and 50 cars, including Bishop Phoebe as the last car, drove into the lot; we all stayed in our vehicles and said our farewells at a safe distance. 

Although you may have heard this already, we want you to know that your vestry approved an agreement with the Rev. Patrick Williams to be our Interim Dean from June 1 until August 31. It is possible that this agreement could be extended by a couple of months, depending on circumstances. To assist Patrick, the vestry approved an agreement with the Rev. Eyleen Farmer to be with us part time as long as Patrick is Interim Dean.  

The Search Committee is back in high gear, sifting through applications for the permanent Dean position. The job opening for the Dean’s position closed on June 1. We are excited to see this process move forward.  

We appreciate your support and prayers for our beloved community during this time of coronavirus and transition. If any of us – vestry, clergy, or staff – can assist you, please let us know. If you become aware of any needs of our fellow parishioners, let us know that as well. 

For the vestry, 

Scott Morrell, Sr. Warden

Julie Byrd Ashworth, Jr. Warden

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COVID-19 Update from Canon Patrick Williams

May 29, 2020

Dear St. Mary’s Community, 

As closures and other restrictions are being lifted or modified around the country, including here in the City of Memphis, we are aware that you have more questions about a specific date of return to in-person worship at St. Mary’s Cathedral. As you may have already read in previous communications, a “Committee of Return” (COR), comprised of both clergy and lay leadership from our community, has been assembled thanks to the strong leadership of our outgoing Interim Dean, Laura Gettys, to whom we are extremely grateful. This COR has been formed to thoughtfully work through the logistical and practical issues associated with a return to in-person worship. As a member of the COR I can say that we approach this task from the standpoint of trying to follow what Jesus called the greatest commandments - love of God and love of neighbor. The way that we seek to live into these commandments is by keeping YOUR health and safety as our utmost priority. To state it plainly, YOUR health, safety, and overall well-being is our highest concern in our decision making process. 

We understand that for so many of us, the Cathedral has served as a source of inspiration and great hope. It has been the place that we turn to, especially during the most troubling times in our lives. That is, at least in part, why being away from the Cathedral has been so painful. We long for the beauty of the building and even more for the warmth of the fellowship that exists within, during what is undoubtedly one of the most challenging times that any of us have ever had to face. 

Therefore, the task of planning for a return is not one that I nor anyone on the COR takes lightly. As such, we have discerned that the best course of action at present is for St. Mary’s to NOT begin in-person worship in June but rather to continue our online, virtual worship for the near term. Our decision has been made as a result of thoughtful discussion from the COR about our particular context as a faith community, ongoing conversations with other area faith leaders, attention to guidance and research from the healthcare community, and in consultation with the Bishop and her staff. Over the coming weeks, we will continue to monitor the trends and overall impact of COVID-19 on our city and region. We will also continue our conversations with the broader faith community about what is being learned about the virus, how we might best mitigate its impact upon us, and ​when it is actually as safe as it can be for us to make an in-person return​. Again, your health and safety is our highest priority. 

While this decision may be deeply disappointing for some, you have our word that we will continue to work diligently on developing as safe and as effective of a plan as we possibly can, for that future date when we joyously return to our beloved Cathedral and can see one another face to face again. Even still, we expect that those gatherings will begin with very limited capacity. In the meantime, we hope that you will continue to join us online for virtual Sunday worship and daily musical offerings and continue to read our Thursday e-news for more information about parish life and beyond. 

St. Mary’s, despite the challenges that we are facing, it is because of your sustained prayers and devotion to this community and by God’s grace that we continue as the body of Christ, now scattered yet also gathered online, via telephone, or even old-fashioned hand written letter communication. In all of these ways and more we are reminded that the Spirit of God lives on between us and will carry us until it is safe for all of us to meet together again in-person. 

Finally, stay tuned for an update from us by early July about our timing and process for return and know that whatever decisions we can make will necessarily be subject to revision based upon what happens with the pandemic. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to me or any of the clergy team, including the Rev. Eyleen Farmer, who officially joins us on June 1. 

As we continue to pray for one another and for the world, I offer this prayer - A Prayer For These Uncertain Times, written by ​the Rev. Canon Dr. Ellen Clark-King. 

Holy God, who created us for and from love, in this time of social distancing, hold us close in your arms.​ ​Comfort those who are afraid, enliven those who are bored, give courage to those who are distressed, and warm those who feel the cold touch of loneliness. Breathe in, with and through us as we walk through uncertainty into a new future knowing that you are with us now and await us there. In the name of Christ the Beloved we pray. Amen.

Wishing you God’s Peace,

Patrick+

The Rev. Canon Patrick J. Williams 

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A Letter from the Senior Warden

May 08, 2020

Friday, May 8, 2020

Dear St. Mary’s Parishioners:

I bring you greetings on behalf of our Cathedral community – vestry, clergy, and staff. I hope you are well in this unprecedented time and making it through as best you can. 

We’ve been in transition for over a year, and we have a bit more transitioning to do. As you can see from her letter, Interim Dean Laura F. Gettys is responding to a new call which will take her away from us. As Senior Warden I cannot thank her enough for her leadership, abilities, and love for all of us, over her ten years here. In her year and a half as Interim Dean, she has worked hard to impose order on the running of the Cathedral, instituting procedures and helping us get our finances in order. The Bishop shared these thoughts: “I would like to thank Laura for her faithful, dedicated service to St. Mary’s Cathedral and the diocese. During this period of transition, the diocese will continue to provide support for the clergy and lay leadership of the Cathedral.”

I’ll admit that change isn’t easy for me, and I’m sure many of you feel the same way. But change we must and change always brings with it new opportunities. Let’s take things a piece at a time: 

Laura’s last day with us will be Sunday, May 31, the day of Pentecost. We will not be in the Cathedral on that Sunday, so that will make saying good-bye hard. We’ll have to do it in person later. Laura won’t be far down the road – we know where to find her!

Canon Pastor Patrick Williams will complete his 3-year term with the Cathedral at the end of August. He may be able to stay a month or two longer, but he is in the process of seeking new calls, and we certainly wish him the best in his search and thank him for his service to our Cathedral.

Deacon Drew Woodruff will continue to be with us, as he has for over forty years. Thank you Drew!

To assist Patrick and Drew, we are very blessed to have the services of the The Rev. Eyleen Farmer. She is retired, and her resume is very impressive. She has served as Associate Rector at Calvary and Grace-St. Luke’s. Many of you know her as the founder of Thistle and Bee. This organization’s mission is to help women who have survived prostitution and trafficking to thrive. It began with a social enterprise based on beekeeping and selling honey, and they provide each woman services based on her needs. 

The vestry has spoken with Bishop Phoebe about these changes and the next phase of our transition. She is going to allow the search for our new dean, which had been unofficially suspended during the COVID-19 event, to go forward. Our hope is to have a new dean in place by Advent.

We will continue to have online services on Sundays, other online events during the week, music from choir members and others every day, and our food ministry weekly. Bishop Phoebe and the clergy of the diocese are formulating plans to reopen our churches. We won’t do it until it can be done safely.

I know this is a lot of information to digest at one time. Please reach out to me, the clergy, the staff, or any vestry member if you have any questions, or if there is anything you would like to discuss. 

Together, we will march forward, as St. Mary’s has for over 160 years, listening to God’s call to us and doing our best to discern and fulfill it. We’ve been there through good times and hard times. We’re still standing, and we are always the better for the experience. It is a pleasure to serve with you.

Faithfully yours,

Scott Morrell

Sr. Warden

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