NOTE: many in-person events for the
foreseeable future have been cancelled due to
This page is being used for a sort of blog - what is happening with religious groups locally,
and resources that may be useful for members of the community.
The former version of this page is at "Old Events Page" for
This is an experimental version, reporting on on-line events.
I’m still not advocating in-person events, although many houses of worship now have in-person events with limited attendance, normally requiring signing up in advance. I’m not much advocating them since the pleasure I take in visiting other houses of worship is in meeting and talking with the people – and it is really easier and safer to do that by Zoom right now. And of course a great many houses of worship have their services streamed, or recorded on Youtube, Facebook, or other places. Usually you can find these by a simple search on Youtube, Facebook, or on the organizations home page – and many of those homepages are listed on the “addresses" page (link at the top of this page).
Added May 31: Many states are now "reopening" and live events are increasing. Case numbers are dropping as a majority of people in the US have had at least one vaccine shot (although Tennessee, last I saw, was eighth from the bottom among the states in percent vaccinated.) Hospital space is no longer under the pressure it was. On the other hand, the virus is still actively circulating and danger for the unvaccinated has not significantly decreased. (Very informally: if you are unvaccinated, last year you had about a 10% chance of getting the virus within a year; this year, so far, you still have close to a 10% chance if you are out among people.) If you are unvaccinated, get vaccinated if possible. (I do know people for whom it is medically inadvisable due to allergies. If in doubt, ask your doctor.)
said that, I'll start to report at least some "live" events,
urging people to still wear masks, socially distance, and
encourage others to do so. If you are vaccinated, it is
probably OK to visit with unvaccinated grandchildren; but if
you are doing so, probably stay away from large live events as
there is still limited knowledge of whether vaccinated people
can carry the virus from one unvaccinated person to another
(probably not, but be cautious for awhile longer.)
There are still a number of “one-off” or seasonal things that are well worth watching online.
Please let me know of things that should be
added June 1: It is now possible for houses of
worship to arrange covid shots on tthe "bloodmobile" principle.
E.g. the Bloomfield Full Gospel Baptist Church, 123 S Parkway
W, is giving first shots June 6 and second shots June 27, 1-4
PM. (in cooperation with UT Health Sciences Center)
added: May 31, 2021
Many houses of worship (churches, synagogues,
mosques, etc.) now have at least some live services. In many cases these are limited-attendance,
reservation-only. Generally, check the individual place's
website or telephone to find out details. (See our Addresses page for contact information). The
majority of places I am in touch with still have their events
live-streamed, many are recorded so you can watch any time
The Daily Memphian and the
Memphis Flyer have good "to-do" lists of events that are
Lately I have been impressed that the Flyer seems to keep more active in covering Covid than the Commercial Appeal.
The Indian Cultural Center and Temple (Hindu)
in Eads, long closed except for special
arrangements with donors, is now open Saturdays 10 AM to
noon and starting June 20 will also be open Sunday 10 AM to
noon. Conservative dress required https://icctmemphis.org/
Presbyterian Church will be resuming
live worship on June 6. The pastor, Rev. Carla Meisterman,
will be retiring in November 2021.
Church (downtown) is somewhat increasing its
live events. On Sundays they are now having breakfast
8:45-9:45 AM and "Coffee in the Courtyard" after the 10
AM service. They also report significant renovations to
Barth House, the Episcopal Chapel at the University of
A great many past sermons from the Lenten Lecture Series remain online. During June, Calvary will have online programs with discussions of favorite past sermons from this series. June 6: Rev,. Sam Teitels's sermon fromm March 2, 2018. Check https://calvarymemphis.org/event/summer-formation-going-deeper-with-lps/ each week for details.
June 1: CMGLP
(The Catholic Mission to Gay and Lesbian Persons) continues its remarkable (live) speakers series,
first Tuesdays. Not at all restricted to gays and
lesbians, everyone is welcome to this group which
basically is devoted to keeping participation in religious
activities open to as wide a group as possible. Not
too large a group and a great place to meet and talk with
interesting people. Masks and social distancing observed.
They meet in "Marian Hall", the social room under the
sanctuary at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception,
1695 Centtral Ave. (It is easiest to drive around the
block, park and enter from the back.) No potluck
supper these days, but you may bring some food (and
utensils, napkins, etc.) for yourself and eat at 6:30 PM,
or just join 7-=7:45 PM for the talk followed by
questions, discussion, closing prayer.
June 1 topic: Kevin Kimberly, Dr. Geoff Maddox (Rhodes Professor), and their son Aiden- Speaking as a gay couple and family raising a child in the Church
pencil in October 28 for a spoecial event here, with Bishop Talley and Bishop Steib coming!
June 4, online event: 11 AM Central time. There will be a major lawsuit starting soon against organizers of the major right-wing demonstration (and riot) in Charlottesville in August 2017. A program about those events and the upcoming lawsuit. Link provided by the Southern Jewish Historical Society,
Join SJHS and our co-sponsors, Integrity First for America, The Breman Museum and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (CCHR), for a panel discussion on the history of racial violence in America and how this Charlottesville lawsuit could serve as a model for holding accountable the forces of violent hate and white supremacy. Details and Registration Here: IFA
added: April 16, 2021
Meritan and MIFA have been active at arranging
covid vaccinations for homebound people. Many houses of
worship have formed committees to help get their members to
vacciantions (or, in some cases, to get their own doctors
together with patients.)
Many of the usual city Farmers Markets will
operate muc has usual this summer.
Calvary Episcopal Church has restarted its
Wednesday evening dinners on a carry-out basis. Order by
Tuesday 2 PM. Take it home or join others for a picnic near
The important immediately upcoming event is
the Annual Iftar Dinner, the major interfaith event sponsored
by the Muslim Community.
Sunday,. April 18, 6 PM. Information and sign-up link at https://www.memphisinterfaith.org/
(you rsvp by the link there, they send a confirmation by email. I assume that the zoom link will be sent later, or appear at that page, but I'm not sure.)
Speakers will Include Bishop Talley, Rabbi Greenstein, Anwar Arafat, Yasir Qadhi.
If you did not listen online
to the annual Vanderhaar Symposium,
the complete recording is online at
It is just over two hours, so you don't needt o watch i tall at one sitting. It contains outstanding introductions to quite a few interesting and important projects.
The main speakers start at about minute 16: keynote speakers Angela Glover Blackwell and Dr. Michael McAfee of PolicyLink.
Topic: Racial and Economic Equity Virtual Summit: The Path to a Just Memphis.
How many of the Calvary Lenten Lectures were you able to
see or listen to? The whole series is available
online, starting at
https://calvarymemphis.org/learn/lenten-preaching-series/ Scroll down far enough there, and click the link on any talk you'd like to hear.
I think most people will enjoy all of the talks, but I have to point out
Jemar Tisby speaking about, among other things, Black Lives Matter
Pádraig Ó Tuama, the Northern Irish poet
Rabbi Micah Greenstein.
(and don't miss the others, either!)
Might I suggest that since these talks are all online, they could be used for a Sunday School or other discussion group?
Several give openings for remarkably good discussions.
From Father Al Kirk and Therese Gustaitis:
We appreciated seeing so many of you on the Zoom screen for
Session 1: Living Nonviolently in a Violent World.
Reminders of opportunities with these sessions:
Sites Project of Memphis continues to have
excellent online speakers, generally twice a month.
If you are not on their mailing list, follow them at https://www.facebook.com/lynchingsitesmem
Many of their past talks are available online, with the links at https://lynchingsitesmem.org/news
The Memphis Theological
Seminary has a variety of free Sunday morning
An unusual virtual tour of Jerusalem is temorarily free online: https://www.tod.org.il/en/holy-city-vr
Temple Israel has a wide variety of recorded lectures, classes, and services online at https://www.facebook.com/TempleIsrael/videos/
March 22, 2021
Major events of the Interfaith Year:
The Vanderhaar Symposium has always been
one of the important interfaith gatherings. It is online this
year., MARCH 25, 7 PM
"Racial and Economic Equity Summit: The Path to a Just Memphis". Register at
From the Muslim community: Due to the
pandemic, we had to cancel our Interfaith Iftar/Dinner last
year. However, this year we are pleased to announce that we
plan to have our 14th Annual Ramadan Interfaith Event on April
18th, 2021 starting at 6 PM.. It will be a virtual event.
The theme this year is - Ramadan: A Time for Unity and Healing
Passover is March 27 - April 3. This major Jewish Holiday
celebrates the escape from Egypt. The most important
celebration is a service called the "Seder", in the home,
includin ga retelling of the Exodus story, with a holiday
dinner. In traditional homes this is done on the evenings of
March 27 and March 28. Temple Israel, for example, will hold a
Seder online on March 28, all welcome. Events can be found at http://timemphis.org
Easter is April 4 Many churches hold special services
the entire week leading up to this, especially on Good Friday,
April 2, and Sunday, April 4. Many will have live services
with limited sign-up-in-advance attendance; For example, Calvery
All Holy Week and Easter
services will be live-streamed on Calvary’s Facebook page, YouTube channel,
In-person worship is available for 32 households inside Calvary during Holy Week and Easter, and 300 people at The Levitt Shell on Easter Day at 11 a.m.
|SIGN UP NOW|
NOWRUZ was March 20 was the Persian (Iranian) New Year "Nowruz", celebrated by many Muslims in areas that have been historically influenced by Persia and Iran, also the followers of Zarathustra. It falls on the vernal Equinox and celebrates renewal.
Shelby County is trying to roll
out a program to brin gCovid-19 vaccinations to the homebound.
Information is at
Father Kirk, through Pax Christi,
has suggested that people contact national legislators to urge
the US Government to oppose military suppression of democracy
in Myanmar. You may well have other issues in mind (e.g
maltreatment of women, maltreatment of Asians, the problems of
refugees). It is easy to get to e-mail forms for legislators
(or get local contact information)
Here are links to get in touch
If you have not done so, sign up for "The MIFA
Minute", MIFA's newsletter, at http://mifa/org
This is particularly timely now because of problems raeching the
homebound and the growing eviction crisis. I have put a
copy of the current issue online at http://memphisirg.org/MIFA3-18-2021.pdf
Jewish Community Partners of Memphis (the
umbrella charity often called "The Jewish Federation") has quiet
a few online events. Wednesday March 24 at noon is a
talk on "Policing and Mental Health" by Rabbi Schgachter-Gimpel
of the Memphis Jewish Home. The signup link is fairly far down
As we don't hear much about Baha'i, I was
interested to discover an on-line hour lecture, “Bahá’í
Contributions to Interfaith Relations” by Christopher Buck,
There is a March 28 deadline for the Beethoven
Club's Young Artist Competition. https://mailchi.mp/a02e9fab0ff3/beethoven-club-young-artists-competition-march-28-3939970?e=053a4e2a7d
I continue to enjoy the daily brief musical
pieces from St Mary's Episcopal Cathedral, e.g. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzRFkVjkX64
The Memphis Islamic Center http://www.memphisislamiccenter.org/
continues to have interesting online talks almost every day. I'm
particularly excited by a series of talks by Sh. Anwar Arafat,
one of my favorite preachers, Sundays at 9 PM: The Fifty
Top Hadith Every Muslim Should Know. "Hadith" means,
for this puirpose, "sayings of the Prophet Mohammed" and
in a sense correcponds very will with the "Ethics of the
Fathers" Jewish course that Dr. Jope Levy has been doing for
Temple Israel on Sunday afternoons. As I've siad
before, not goping to live meetings gives us all remarkable
opportunities to look in on approaches other religions talk to
the issues of life!
Jewish Historical Society - April 13, 2 PM, author Bess Kalb, "Nobody Will Tell You This But Me: A true (as told to me) story" http://www.jhsmem.org
It is very interesting to observe some of the
reactions in the Roman Catholic Church to the recent Vatican
statement saying that priests may not bless homosexual unions.
Foir example, see
Locally, we mourn the recent death of Roman
Catholic priest Father David Knight.
Calvary Lenten Lectures have been outstanding, as usual. Two
impoortant ones remain, and the earlier ones are available
online anytime if you are not watching them
simultaneously as given. If you have not recently
heard the great Civil Rights leader James Lawson, he is
there. Jemar Tisby gave an outstanding talk linking
Purim and Black Lives Matter. Dan Mathews always
gives oustanding classical sermons. If you have not
done so, go to the Calvary website and listen to several!
Calvary Episcopal has started its Lenten Lecture Series, scaled down this year – Wednesdays and Fridays. Limited live attendance by sign-upo, Waffle Shiop is carry-out only with 24 hour advance ordering. Buit as usual they have excellent lecturers and now live-streamed at 12:05 PM and also recorded for online viewing at your convenience. (You can even listen to favorite speakers from previous years on their remarkable archive.)
lists this year’s speakers; you can click to listen live or after the talk. On the right side of that page is the link to the archive of past years.
Feb 19 Dan Mathews, Feb 24 noon and evening Margaret Renkl
Feb 26 JAMES LAWSON March 3 noon and evening Jemar Tisby
Mar 5 Meredith Day Hearn
Mar 10 noon, and evening and Mar 12 Pádraig Ó Tuama
March 17 noon and evening Rabbi Rami Shapiro
March 19 Rev. Judy Fentress-Williams
March 24 noon and evening
REV. KIRK WHALUM
March 28 RABBI MICAH GREENSTEIN
A few more interesting newspaper articles:
A recent excellent article in the Daily Memphian (paywall)
drew my attention to https://ftkmemphis.com/ "For the Kingdom" which is doin ga major food suppl;y operation in zip 38128
in addition to its other activities.
The Daily Memphian also had an interesting historical piece about the first non-denominational Black cemetery in Memphis:
I’m not going to try to list all the service, musical programs, and Zoom discussions in churches.
(if you feel I should be giving example here, e-mail me.)
But I do encourage looking in on other religions.
Just by way of two examples:
You can scroll across the home page there for links to the talks almost every evening, or find many of them on Youtube (search for Memphis Islamic Center)
TEMPLE ISRAEL http://timemphis.org