A Message from the Rector: Unauthorized Bank Transactions

Dear Friends,


Over the last few days, Church of the Holy Communion has received reports of unauthorized bank transactions being made in the church’s name. As of this writing, none of the reports have come from people who are known to be affiliated with our parish in any way.


We investigated this matter promptly and thoroughly. Our bank has confirmed that there have not been unusual transactions of any kind in any of our accounts. Further, our network administrators have confirmed that our networks and data remain secure. We suspect that someone is committing acts of fraud while pretending to be Church of the Holy Communion.


Let me underscore this important point: Church of the Holy Communion is not aware of any suspicious activity in any of our financial accounts, nor are we aware of any intrusion into our networks or databases.


We encourage anyone who has been a victim of this scam to report the fraud to their bank immediately. We will be filing a report with federal law enforcement later today.


I wish that I could say this is the only scam that has targeted Episcopalians in Memphis recently, but is not. We all need to be careful users of the internet and vigilant guardians of our private information. Here are a few tips that may help you identify potential scams:


  1. Church of the Holy Communion will never ask you to send donations to any place other than the parish office.
  2. Church of the Holy Communion will only ever write to you from an official, church-owned E-mail address.
  3. Church of the Holy Communion proofreads its correspondence carefully; typographical and spelling errors are unusual for us.
  4. Church of the Holy Communion aims to communicate in a consistent way. Be wary of messages that seem unusual to you.


Jesus says in his Sermon on the Mount, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be children of your Father in heaven…” This is just the sort of situation that he had in mind. Wherever you may be as you read this message, please pause and say a prayer for those who would defraud others in the name of the church. Please pray that the brokenness of our world will soon be healed.


I am available to speak with anyone who has questions or concerns about this unfortunate situation.


Yours in faith,


The Reverend Sandy Webb

Posted by The Reverend Sandy Webb at Monday, Aug 30
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20 Religious Groups Work Together to Help Families in Crisis

By Emily Woodside

In 2019, Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association – better-known as MIFA – received 11,000 requests for help with utilities and rent. That number tripled to 33,000 during 2020, due to the pandemic.

Both years, MIFA was able to keep people in their homes by providing more families with utility assistance, in part through funds donated by individuals and organizations through its Plus-1 Program. Plus-1 is a partnership between MIFA and MLGW that provides utility assistance for individuals and families in financial crisis. MLGW customers fund the program by adding a dollar or more to their utility bills each month, or by making a onetime gift directly to MIFA. MLGW collects Plus-1 funds through customer bills and makes monthly disbursements to MIFA. MIFA screens clients for eligibility and priority.

This spring, Holy Communion joined with 20 other faith communities throughout Shelby County to promote and contribute to MIFA’s Plus-1 Campaign. We used our front lawn banner, social media, yard signs and The Communicator to spread the word. The Reverend Hester Mathes, along with other community faith leaders, was featured in the video Plus-1 Community Giving Challenge.

Rosalyn Nichols, MIFA’s new Interfaith Officer, led the campaign and was excited about the response and the opportunity to meet faith leaders in our community. Due to the campaign, over $11,000 in cash was raised, in addition to many sign ups to the monthly program. I am proud of Holy Communion’s continued support of MIFA and its mission: Supporting the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through highimpact programs. In addition to raising awareness of this important program, Church of the Holy Communion has become a partner organization by adding a donation to our MLGW bill each month.

I am proud of Holy Communion’s continued support of MIFA and its mission: Supporting the independence of vulnerable seniors and families in crisis through highimpact programs. In addition to raising awareness of this important program, Church of the Holy Communion has become a partner organization by adding a donation to our MLGW bill each month.

at Sunday, Aug 1
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Signs of Hope

Dear Friends,


Bishop Phoebe and the CDC have each come out with exciting announcements recently, so I want to take this opportunity to clarify our next steps as we integrate the new information and plan our next steps for reentry as a church gathered.



New Beginnings on Pentecost, May 23:  


  • Congregational Singing: The Bishop has invited singing with masks on for up to three hymns with up to three verses each. Our final hymn on Pentecost will usher back in our joyful noises as we sing our praises together!

  • Hymnals, Prayer Books & Liturgical Movement: Our beloved books will return to the pews as well as the invitation to kneel or stand during our liturgy. 

  • Outdoor Coffee & Fellowship: We can remove our masks when outdoors and enjoy refreshments once again after our 10:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. services.



In Person Summer Formation:


  • Stay tuned for a full line up of fabulous face to face summer formation beginning June 6 from 9:15-10:15 a.m. each Sunday. Virtual classes will continue to be offered as well. 



New Beginnings in June with YOUR Help:


  • Nursery Reopens: Although we were able to pay our caregivers throughout the pandemic, for various reasons many are unable to return as we reopen. We are busy recruiting a team and need your help. Please contact Mary Beth Darrow at the church (901-767-6987) if you or anyone you know would be willing to lend a hand and help us care for our youngest ones during the 10:30 am service. 
  • In-Person Children’s Chapel: We will once again invite our young children for a service tailored to their age that will take place in the new Playscape outdoors or in the adjacent Cheney Parish Hall in inclement weather. We need adults and youth to help us offer this safely. Please sign up here Children and Family: Summer Children's Chapel (signupgenius.com) or by clicking the button below:

In-Person Children's Chapel Signup

Masks for Indoor Worship: 

  • “We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord!” Until we can all remove our masks for indoor worship, we will stand in solidarity in caring for one another and continue to wear them for the time being. 
  • There are still some in our church family who are not or can not be vaccinated. As an example, we do not want our children under 12 to feel like they are being treated differently from our adults. In keeping with our spirit of hospitality, compassion, and welcome, we will all wear masks until we can celebrate the day of inviting everyone to take them off together. We are getting closer by the month, so hang tight for just a little while longer! 


Posted by The Reverend Hester Mathes at Friday, May 14
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2021 Parish Meeting

Posted by Emily Austin at Sunday, Jan 24
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Nominations are now being accepted for Church of the Holy Communion's Vestry

Running a church is no easy task.

On the one hand, Church of the Holy Communion is the religious home base for more than 1,200 people. It provides worship and fellowship opportunities for disciples of all ages, weddings and funerals, community service and Christian formation. And, lately, it has been doing all of these things online and in other new, socially-distanced ways!


On the other hand, Church of the Holy Communion is a non-profit organization with almost $2 million in annual revenue; 31 employees; 50,000 square feet of facilities; and a multi-dimensional partnership with St. Mary’s Episcopal School, one of the largest and most prominent independent schools for girls in our region.


Jesus said that one hand should not know what the other hand is doing, but Holy Communion’s vestry makes sure to keep track of both. Members of the vestry are spiritual leaders and temporal leaders all rolled into one. They make sure that Holy Communion stays focused on its core mission while also ensuring that its business practices are sound and sustainable.


“Serving on the vestry is not an easy job, but it is a hugely rewarding one,” said Fr. Sandy Webb, reflecting on the eleven different vestries with whom he has served as a priest. “Any one parishioner can have a huge impact on the future direction of her parish by serving on the vestry.”


Vestry members with experience in philanthropy set the stage for success in our recent capital campaign. Vestry members with experience in business developed the strategy that let us expand and enhance our staff in recent years. Vestry members with experience in listening and reflection discerned our statement of mission priorities and the strategic plan that followed.

“The vestry is also my closest group of advisors,” Fr. Sandy added. “They are the people to whom I turn when I need advice, or when I need to get a sense of what the congregation is thinking and feeling.” 


Vestry member Liz Crowder is serving as chair of the 2021 vestry nominating committee. “In the coming year, Church of the Holy Communion will be thinking a lot about reentry, health and safety, and technology. If you are someone who has a special skill set that lends itself to these issues, we need you to consider serving on the vestry.”


The work of the vestry nominating committee is to assemble a list of parishioners that would serve our church well on the vestry, either now or in the future. All parishioners are able to recommend themselves or others for this important work. Vestry nominees must be members on the rolls, givers of record, confirmed, and eighteen years of age or older.


Vestry members serve for three-year terms and five seats come available every year. The vestry will draw from the names assembled by the nominating committee to create a slate of five people who will bring the particular suite of gifts and skills that Holy Communion needs at this creative and challenging time.


The slate that is curated by the vestry will be presented for election at the Annual Parish Meeting in January. In accordance with Holy Communion's by-laws, additional nominations from the floor can be made at the Annual Parish Meeting.


Important Considerations


  • Parishioners are encouraged to nominate themselves as well as others to serve on the vestry.


  • The nominating committee seeks diversity of perspectives among its vestry members. We are looking for a cross-section of people of diverse age groups, genders, and Sunday service attendance. We also encourage the nomination of parishioners who have recently joined Holy Communion from other faith.


  • Time Commitment: The vestry meets once a month, and meetings last from 1-2 hours. Vestry members are expected to prepare thoroughly for vestry meetings and participate actively. Vestry members are also expected to serve on the committees and task forces that advance the vestry’s work in between meetings.


  • Vestry Retreat: The vestry historically gathers for a retreat at the beginning of each year. Attendance is required. While the pandemic may require a change of plans, the dates for next year’s vestry retreat are currently set for February 5-6, 2021.



To make a nomination, please contact any current member of the Church of the Holy Communion vestry at your earliest convenience.


2021 Vestry Nominating Committee


Liz Crowder, Chair

Mike Driscoll

Dale Jones

 Tracy Killen

Anna Rojas

Marlene Shaw

Richard Williamson

at Sunday, Nov 8
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Moving In Faith Challenge

Join Holy Communion as we team up with Grace-St. Luke’s, Saint John’s and other churches in the city to offer Moving In Faith.  This is a 6-week journey to a healthier mind, body and spirit through exercise, weekly prayers and scripture readings.

More than ever, it’s important to find ways to stay healthy.  Be a part of our Holy Communion team as we challenge other congregations, friends and neighbors to work towards common health goals through daily exercise!  Friendly team competition is a great way to stay connected and motivate one another. 

The Basics:

Moving In Faith starts June 1 and is for everyone, regardless of age or fitness level. 

  • Each church will be a team.  The Director of Recreation from each church will serve as its team captain. 
  • Teams will compete for the most points accumulated throughout the journey (highest team average based on # of participants per team).
  • Individual team members accumulate points for his/her team for each minute of exercise completed. (Run, walk, dance, yoga, tai chi, Zumba, row, bike, elliptical, strength training, tennis, golf, etc.)
  • Team captains will email team members weekly scripture readings, prayer and motivational quotes for reflection and team updates.
  • Team members will email team captain weekly with number of individual points earned for his/her team.
  • Once registered, training logs and more information will be emailed to you.

You don’t have to be a member of the church to participate so please invite others to join the journey.  There is NO fee to participate.   Register today for our Moving In Faith 6-week health journey by sending an email to juliefike@holycommunion.org.

Posted by Julie Fike at Monday, May 4
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Join the CHC Praise Pals!

Hello all, My name is Megan Johnson, the Minister of Welcome.

Along with implementing our weekly Zoom calls for the Young Adults, I am starting a Pen Pal group at Holy Communion, called THE PRAISE PALS. We are welcoming all ages, individuals, and families to join! We are looking to connect parishioners across all service times.

If you are interested, the first step is to email me at mjohnson@holycommunion.org, with your Name, Age, and Address.

The second step, is to commit to one short letter per week, once you are paired with a pal. Please contact me by Sunday May 10 if you are interested! Then once we get things started we would love for you to share photos of your fun letters you have received, directly on our Facebook page or send to Emily to get posted in the Communicator! This is such an amazing way to stay connected and get your creative juices flowing through handwritten words, drawings, and/or little tokens! I can’t wait to hear from all you future Praise Pals! 

at Monday, May 4
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Young Adult Zoom Check-Ins Planned

Hello Young Adults! I know these times have been uncertain, which is why we all need to stay close and connected. My name is Megan Johnson and I am the Minister of Welcome here at Holy Communion. I will be hosting weekly Zoom calls for the Young Adults in our church community. This will be a fun opportunity to quickly touch base with individuals and families that are at a similar stage of their lives.

The times, secure passcodes, and zoom IDs will be provided via a weekly email! I look forward to getting to know everyone more so that when we return we will be stronger as a group. Please email me mjohnson@holycommunion.org with any questions about how to get more involved.

With God’s Love,


at Monday, May 4
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Home Obstacle Course Challenge

Join the Home Obstacle Course Challenge! 

Posted by Julie Fike at Sunday, Apr 26
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Calvary Waffle Shop Servers Needed!

Waffle Shop Servers

 Join our Holy Communion crew serving Fridays during Lent at Calvary. Servers work from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. You get a free meal when the shift ends. Calvary’s free shuttle from St. Mary’s Cathedral runs every 15 minutes.

Contact Lilie Hudson to sign up at lilie@me.com or 803-917-6768.

Posted by Emily Austin at Sunday, Jan 26
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