In Memory of Ken Begalke



Beloved and faithful Palmer parishioner, Ken Begalke, died on Sunday, May 1.
A service in celebration of Ken’s life will be held Tuesday, May 17 at 10:00 AM in the Palmer Nave. Please keep Ken’s family close in prayer during this tender time.


“Fiesta Follies—Nacho Average Concert!” on Saturday, May 7

The Palmer Choir fundraiser, “Fiesta Follies—Nacho Average Concert!”, is scheduled for Saturday night, May 7, 6:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall. A TexMex dinner will be prepared and served by choir members. Great musical entertainment will follow the dinner! Tickets are now on sale at Great Wednesdays and Sundays in the breezeway between the 9:00 and 11:00 services and following the 11:00 service. Ticket prices are $20 for adults, $10 for students. Childcare and kid-friendly food is available. Proceeds will fund the choir trip to San Antonio in July.

The NEW Palmer CD is now available!

So the Night Fall-David Ashley White
The Palmer Music Department announces a new CD for purchase. “So the Night Fall: Music of David Ashley White” is a compact disc that has been newly published on the prestigious Gothic records label. The CD features the Palmer Schola Cantorum: a chamber group of choristers, conductor Dr. Brady Knapp, organist Dr. Sigurd Ogaard, and instrumentalists from the music faculty of the University of Houston Moores School of Music.

Named the American Guild of Organists’ Distinguished Composer for 2016, David Ashley White was also awarded the 2015 Esther Farfel Award from the University of Houston, the university’s highest honor for teaching and creative work. In July 2015, he was awarded the Raabe Prize for Excellence in Sacred Composition. Dr. White is composer-in-residence at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston.

This is a second recording of David Ashley White’s sacred music featuring members of Palmer’s music ministry. The first CD, “Praise the Sprit,” features the Palmer adult choir and is also published on the Gothic label and available in the music office for purchase.

The newest CD is available through the Palmer music office for purchase: $20 per CD or $15 per CD for two or more. Please email Brady Knapp, Director of Music, for information or to reserve/purchase copies.

View the beautiful booklet that accompanies “So the Night Fall: Music of David Ashley White”


Two Church Staff Retirements & Transitions

As has recently been mentioned in the Rector’s Forum, in the weekly email from the church, and in the written announcements on Sunday, Tom Matchett, Palmer’s part-time financial manager, and Steven Patterson, Palmer’s full-time business administrator, have both made plans to retire later this summer. So earlier this year I appointed a personnel committee to work with me on these transitions, especially since those two positions are interrelated.

Former Senior Warden Greg Hambrick serves as the chair of that committee. Other members include Laurel Rutledge, Vice President of Human Resources for Covestro LLC (formerly Bayer Material Science LLC); Bet Hunter, a member of the Finance Committee; Jim Mercurio, our Junior Warden; and, ex officio, Courtney Daniell-Knapp, our Senior Warden.

More details about all of that will be provided in a letter to the parish in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I want to make sure that the members and friends of our congregation know about these upcoming retirements because these two job descriptions were posted last week:

Click here to read the job description and application information for the full-time Business Administrator.
Click here to read the job description and application information for the part-time Financial Manager.

I invite you to help in this search process by encouraging outstanding candidates to apply. You can also pass along the names of potential candidates to Greg Hambrick and Laurel Rutledge by sending an email to
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector

Episcopal Night with the Astros

Ken Hoffman’s April 12, 2016 column in the Houston Chronicle lists this season’s provocative concessions at Minute Maid Park. It sounds like we’re in for a treat when we partake as we watch the Astros play the Chicago White Sox Friday, July 1 at 7:10 p.m. If $10 and up specials like Sweet Potato Waffle Chicken Sandwiches, Korean Fried Pork Belly Sandwiches, or Irish Nachos don’t tempt you—try the free hot dogs at the cookout at Christ Church Cathedral before going to the game!

If you want to join the Palmer group, let Suzette Pruit at know as soon as possible. Tickets are $31 apiece, payable to Palmer (designate “Astros” on your check).

Kaleidoscope Art Shows & Receptions

Palmer artists will be participating in a seven-site art show, Kaleidoscope, through May 29. Each of the seven sites will exhibit work inspired by a specific theme, and the Fra Angelico Gallery will show art inspired by The Names of Christ. For directions and more information about these receptions and exhibits, check out  Art for the City.

Dinner & Discussion | May 13

Our get-together for May will be on Friday the 13th from 7:00 to 9:30 at the home of Lesley and Les Douthwaite, 1023 Bayou Parkway (77077). We’re fortunate that Dr. Elizabeth Maynard, Palmer parishioner and University of St. Thomas faculty member, will be presenting “Wisdom, Courage, and Hope: Mobilizing Positive Psychology Principles in Response to Trauma.” The field of positive psychology focuses on the development of human strengths to promote better living. We’ll be considering both improvement of daily life in Houston and the care of traumatized communities in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Everyone is welcome! We all bring a salad, main dish, or dessert to serve six and $2.50 for beverages and hosting expenses. There is no need to RSVP, but if you’d like more information, call Mary Tobin at 713.668.8308.



Bright Spots-small 2

Find YOUR Palmer



Our newest BRIGHT SPOT highlights the

Costa Rica Mission Trip.


Be RADIANT! Register for VBS today

Be Radiant!
The Very Big Story at Palmer
July 11-14, 2016 | 6:00–8:00 PM

• Traditional VBS—All children Ages 3 yrs–5th grade
• Volunteer opportunities for youth in Grades 6-12 and interested adults
• VBS is also being offered for all adults—not just parents of participating children!

From the earliest moments of creation to Jesus’ Transfiguration, light has been a central image in our story as a people of faith.

Join us this summer for The Very Big Story at Palmer as we explore what it means to let our lights shine…to BE RADIANT…to share Christ’s love with the world around us.

Experiencing God’s love is for everyone and so is The Very Big Story at Palmer!

Palmer’s VBS is an INTER-GENERATIONAL VBS, which means the there are formation opportunities for all of Palmer—children, youth, and adults.

In addition to the traditional approach to VBS for the children, Palmer has partnered with the Bishop Hines Center For Spirituality and Prayer and will offer workshops at Palmer for adults that include memoir writing, a meditative art project, and gentle yoga. A special field trip is also planned to The Bishop Hines Center.

Each evening will begin with dinner at 6:00 PM and conclude with a brief worship experience for everyone present.

Register here:

Refugee News

We are excited that our long awaited Congolese family of six will be arriving in Houston on Tuesday, April 26 and we ask for your prayers for them as they make their journey to a new home and community in Houston. We and St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church are preparing to welcome them and introduce them to their new city—school registration, grocery shopping, field trips around the city, social events, etc. Please let us know if you can join us in mentoring them as they get acclimated. We go in pairs and appreciate support. Email both Frances Vonk and Rev. Linda Shelton for more information.

Call for Art

A new art exhibit “Love” is planned for June 5–August 15, 2016. All 2D media is welcome. Please contact Jackie Campbell at or Sherry Byrd at for information on how to submit your entries. Deadline is June 2 for submissions.


Daughters of the King…who ARE we?

The best way to find out is to attend a meeting. The Daughters meet every third Saturday of the month from 9:00–10:30 am in the Family Room. If you feel that there is something missing in your life or maybe you feel there is too much going on in your life…this might very well be the place for you. The Daughters are a spiritual group of women, devout in their faith, and ready to give a warm hug, a smile of affirmation, a word of understanding, and will certainly give you a prayer.

Please understand that we are everyday people, like you, who have found a joy in our hearts that can only be attributed to coming closer to our Lord. We keep prayers in our mind and hearts for members of the parish and others, who are in need (emotionally, physically, and spiritually.) The Daughters of the King are devoted to living a life “For His Sake” and isn’t that why we are here? You are invited to be a guest to one (or more) of our meetings.

For more information, contact Phyllis Svrcek at 713-946-7147 or

Missionpalooza 2016


Missionpalooza will be taking place from July 17-22, 2016 and will be centered on disaster relief in communities surrounding San Marcos, Texas. Any student enrolled in 7th-12th grade for the 2016-2017 school year may attend Missionpalooza 2016. This year participants will be working on cleanup efforts and helping residents recover from the 2015 floods. The Blanco River Regional Recovery Team is coordinating the cleanup efforts as well as all volunteer assignments. We will be housed at the San Marcos Baptist Academy. The cost for this trip is $250.00 per person. Scholarships are available. If you are interested in participating, please contact Roger Hutchison at

Palmer Inter-Generational Costa Rica Mission Trip 2016

Consider the Palmer Inter-Generational Costa Rica Mission Trip in your 2016 Plans… As you start making 2016 plans at the end of the year, please consider including the Palmer Costa Rica mission trip next year. Here are the key planning information you will need:

DATE: May 28–June 4, 2016

WHO: Adults, high schoolers, and 6–8th graders if accompanied by a parent.

COST: $400-$500 for airfare (assuming early booking on Southwest) + approx. $600 for accommodations/meals and local transportation (per person).

HOSTED BY: The local community and the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Costa Rica at the diocesan house in San Jose. QUESTIONS: Please ask Roger Hutchinson, Alex Easley, George Ferry, or someone from this year’s mission trip, Burdette Keeland, Bob Ittner, Cindi Tharpe, Abigail Butler, Scott Follmar, Lynn Morstead, Kip Krause.

Gallery from Bishop Doyle’s visitation | Wednesday, April 13

But continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of
our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
To him be the glory, now and forever! Amen.

— II Peter 3:18

The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle was with us to officiate the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Reaffirmation on Wednesday, April 13, 2016 in St. Bede’s Chapel. This moving service was followed by a beautiful reception in the Canterbury Room.  We are delighted to welcome this wonderful group of exceptional friends into the Palmer family!

Click on the photo below to see more pictures from this special occasion in the life of our church.


George Sayre, photographer



We know this is an early announcement, but we want to let you know that Palmer’s Parish Retreat at Camp Allen is scheduled for October 20–23, 2016 and we want YOU to join us for a special weekend of formation, fellowship and fun!

We are excited to share with you that The Rev. Canon John W. Newton, Chief of Staff to the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Texas will serve as the keynoter for the Saturday morning adult program. John is also the author of Falling into Grace: Exploring Our Inner Life with God and will give a hopeful and realistic look at what losing our life entails, articulating how “growth” in the Christian life is not our ascent to God but the process by which our eyes are opened to the beauty God has already given to us. John will talk with us about descending into God, and into our own inner depths, about the deep waters of the Christian faith. “Put out into the deep and let your nets down for a catch.” (Luke 5:4)

This parish weekend is just that—a weekend for the entire parish—not just families with children.

Situated on 1,100 acres in the serene piney woods of the Navasota area, Camp Allen provides a place to relax, refresh, and refocus. More details to come!

Sunday Morning Parking

Parishioners are reminded that our PRIMARY parking for Sunday mornings is the cool and spacious garage at Memorial Hermann Medical Plaza, located just across Cambridge. Please park here, so that our surface lots may be as welcoming and available as possible for visitors and for Palmers with limited mobility. The MHMP garage is free to Palmers on Sunday mornings and can be accessed from both Main and Fannin Streets. Upon entering the garage, go to the lower level and park in the VALET section. There will be no valet on duty and no fee required. Simply push the green button for a ticket, which will allow you to enter. For a helpful map, please see the parking information on this website.
FIRST-TIME VISITORS and those with limited mobility are welcome to park in one of the two small parking lots on our Church campus. To park in the north lot, enter from Main Street (from northbound lanes only). To park in our south lot, enter from Fannin Street (from southbound lanes only).


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