Christian Formation at St. Mary's is each Sunday morning from 10apm-10:50apm. Our education is aimed at lifelong growth in the knowledge, service and love of God as followers of Christ and is informed by Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
Adults meet in Martyrs Hall or the Sisters' Chapel. Children meet in the Moody Wing, and Youth meet in the Youth Room off the Crypt downstairs.
Spring 2018 Classes
April 2018 Series
“The Living, Laughing Waters of Resurrection” with Sharon Pavelda
April 8th: Hydrological Flo is a minor water spirit who says to just call her WaWa. Although a minor water sprite, she is nevertheless fully licensed and credentialed to offer Toasts and Blessings! WaWa leads an interactive experience of offering Toasts to the things all human beings long for, i.e. water, peace, love, justice, meaningful work, and to splash Blessings of clean water for Life.
She facilitates exploration of the watery places on the earth that hold special meaning to our hearts and helps us remember that water is a sacred gift to be shared by all living things and not a commodity to be privately owned and sold back to the commonwealth. WaWa embodies our connections to the fragile water resources of the world and honors our deepest thirst for Living Water. Understanding the power of intention and prayer, WaWa leads groups in singing on behalf of healing the waters within and around us.
Glasses of water will be needed for toasting, and seating around tables is preferable, but not required.
April 15th: The Rev. Dr. Toolie Rogers is an ordained Minister of Tea. She is a member of The Church of the Everyday Sacred whose only membership requirement is a belly button. Her Ph.D. stands for Pretty hot Dame, and she did her thesis on “The Intrinsic Healing Qualities of Large Jewelry and Anything Leopard.” She is the creator of The Purple Tea Ceremony and uses it to spread the good news that all are welcome at the Tea Table, and to invite everyone to come as they are with an empty cup. Toolie celebrates the River of Tea that moves through our lives from Nativity to Eternity, and offers the opportunity to share whatever is poured into our cups with each other, be it Calamity or Vitality, Insecurity or Hilarity, knowing that when we share it at Love’s Table, it becomes the Unity of our Humanity. The Rev. Dr. knows this Tea is brewed with Living Water and the leaves of the trees that are meant for the healing of the nations. It is only when the dried leaves surrender to the transformative power of the spirit-fired water that resurrection occurs in the form of a healing tea.
Paper “Tea Leaves” will be available for all as playful, prayerful reminders of the experience. Whether or not actual tea is provided for participants will be at the discretion of the pastoral staff. If so, table seating is preferable
April 22nd: Mortina DeKay is a Death Midwife who facilitates lively discussions on death and dying, asking the questions, “What if the Reaper isn’t grim?”and “What can I do in order to die smiling?” No stranger to sorrow herself, she believes that grief and praise are inseparable and that in the River of Grief is a strong current of living water meant to move us from death into resurrection. She hosts The Mortality Party where losses are honored and the love that never dies is celebrated. Mortina invites participants to finish two sentences anonymously and uses them in her interactive presentation. Participants are invited in advance to bring small, tangible items in honor of loved ones who have died and given time as people gather to create an altar together.
Mortina always paints a heart painting as her way of preparing and praying for each gathering, and displays it during their time together. At the end, she ceremoniously rips it into pieces in honor of the impermanence of our living experience as music is played or sung. The pieces are then distributed to all who wish to take them as a prayer card.
The sentences and pens will be provided by Mortina and asks that they be explained and then gathered as people arrive and before she makes her entrance. A table in the center of a circle of chairs is the preferred seating and the invitation to set up an altar of remembrance needs to be given by a pastor or staff person as people arrive.
WaWa, The Rev. Dr. Toolie Rogers and Mortina DeKay are the original teaching characters created by Sharon Pavelda. Each of them comes out of areas of study and life experience and are offered in her belief that the holy and the hilarious are one in the spirit of love. Sharon believes that “humor is the truth, only quicker,” and knows the power of laughter to disarm and to “crack us up.” In her years of performing these and other humor-based characters, she has learned that the Holy Spirit of Play only needs the slightest crack to enter and do her work. Over thirty years of plying her play, Sharon has witnessed that when we play from the heart, we meet in the very heart of God. We know we are there when our words dance, our silence sings, and our laughter heals.
Sharon Pavelda holds an M.A. in Culture and Spirituality from Holy Names University. She is trained as an Expressive Art Therapist and as a Level Three Death Midwife Practitioner. She grew up drinking her grandmother’s Grape Juice Tea at every family gathering and loves being a grandmother now, herself. Sharon is married to Randall Mullins and lives in Memphis, TN, where they are founding members of The Lynching Sites Project of Memphis.
February 2018 Series on Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community"
We invite you to read with us for this series: you can get the book at the Episcopal Bookshop!
Feb 4-Alison Wetter, from "WatchLoveWork"In memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., watch our films, allow them to open your heart, share them with others, and add your own stories of love.
Feb 11-Vahisha Hasan, from MCUTS
Feb 18-Vahisha Hasan
Feb 25-Larry Lloyd
January 2018 Series
January 7-Dean Andy Andrews “Unlocking Your Heart in 2018”
Jan 14-Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Temple Israel—10 am Adult Formation, Martyrs Hall on “Finding and Sharing the Light”— 11 am, Preacher
Jan 21-Marcos Villa, Latino Memphis, “Let’s Help Others Dream”
Jan 28-the Rev. Alvin Jackson, retired former pastor at Mississippi Blvd Christian Church— 10am Adult Formation, Martyrs Hall on “What the 50th anniversary of Dr. King’s assassination means for Memphis— 11 am, preacher
Children & Youth
CATECHESIS OF THE GOOD SHEPHERD - Sundays 10 am
A beautiful, experiential Christian Formation process for children age 3 through first grade. Catechists explore with children our relationship with Jesus through parables, prayer, liturgy, and Church practices. Located in Atrium I, in the Moody Wing.
SUNDAY SCHOOL - Sundays 10 am
The Children's Sunday School class serves children in grades 2-5, offering them an opportunity to explore scripture and prayer through discussion and art.
YOUTH CLASSES - Sundays 10 am
Grades 6-8 meet in the Moody Wing.
Grades 9-12 meet in the Moody Wing.