Calvary Episcopal Church launches its 98th annual Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop Friday, Feb. 19. Lent 2021 breaks with tradition with some speakers participating via recorded messages from a physical distance. Attendees for in-person services will sign up in advance, wear masks, and sit spaced apart from others. A new addition for 2021–a line-up of local musicians specializing in everything from the hammer dulcimer to the harp–will play preludes to a mostly empty house. And Waffle Shop will serve customers through pre-orders and take-out food.
This year’s preaching series will be live-streamed at 12:05 p.m. on Wednesdays and Fridays and features national and local spiritual leaders from a variety of backgrounds and religions, including friend of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the Rev. James Lawson; poet and host of the Poetry Unbound podcast, Pádraig Ó Tuama; and award-winning author of over thirty–six books on religion, spirituality, and recovery, Rabbi Rami Shapiro. The series will be live-streamed on Calvary’s Facebook page, YouTube channel, and website. You can find a complete listing of preachers at calvarymemphis.org/lps.
Calvary’s famous Waffle Shop will serve up homemade waffles, Calvary Salad Plate, the beloved and curiously-named fish pudding, and more Wednesdays and Fridays, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m., and Wednesday evenings from 5:15 to 6:15. Orders must be placed 24 hours in advance on Calvary’s website. All proceeds from the Waffle Shop support outreach ministries in Memphis.
In addition to the noontime experience, Calvary offers LENT AFTER DARK each Wednesday. These live podcast recordings with our guests take place from 6:30 to 7:30 and also will be live-streamed.
“In the decades since Calvary’s Lenten Preaching Series and Waffle Shop began, in peacetime and war, booms and depressions, moon landings and struggles for civil rights and all the events that have shaped our common life in Memphis, Lenten Preaching Series preachers have spoken truthfully, hopefully, and prophetically to the world as it is, and to our lives as they are. They have nourished us when we’ve been depleted and challenged us to be God’s agents of healing, justice, and mercy in a world that has always needed much more of all three.” said the Rev. Scott Walters, rector of Calvary Episcopal Church. “A global pandemic hasn’t lessened those needs. And LPS will go on in 2021, adapting and speaking, as it always has, to the times. I hope you’ll join us.”
In addition to first-time speakers, including author Margaret Renkl and Old Testament professor Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams, the Lenten Preaching Series presents perennial favorites, including minister and grammy-winning saxophonist Kirk Whalum and Rabbi Micah Greenstein, Senior Rabbi at Temple Israel in Memphis. For a complete listing of the Preaching Series schedule, visit calvarymemphis.org/lps. For more information about the Lenten Preaching Series or the Waffle Shop, call 901-525-6602.
Calvary Episcopal Church is a parish of the Episcopal Diocese of West Tennessee and The Episcopal Church, a province of the Anglican Communion. Founded in 1832, Calvary today is a vibrant parish that comprises more than 1,000 baptized members. Although a growing number reside in Downtown Memphis, parishioners come from all across the Mid-South. For more information about Calvary and how the church is making God’s love visible in downtown Memphis, visit calvarymemphis.org or call 901-525-6602.