Death of a Parishioner

Anne Von Oehsen, a Palmer parishioner and the mother of Suzy LaForge, died in Houston on Saturday, February 28. A Celebration of Anne’s time with us will be held in the Palmer Church Nave at 11:00 AM on Saturday, March 7. A reception in Parish Hall will follow the funeral service. Please keep Anne, Suzy, Bob, and their family in your prayers during this time.

Stations of the Cross every Friday in Lent

The Stations of the Cross is a devotion that goes back to the 4th Century, when Christian pilgrims would re-trace the route that Jesus took on his way to Golgotha. When the Muslims captured Jerusalem, the Medieval Church adapted the Stations so that worshippers could walk the Way of the Cross in their own churches. This year, during Lent, all who desire to participate in this ancient rite can walk the fourteen Stations of the Cross every Friday at noon in the nave of Palmer Church. Parishioners are warmly invited to take part.

Clocks spring FORWARD on March 8!

Daylight Savings
You’ll want to think about going to bed early this weekend: Daylight Saving Time starts at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 8. That means you’ll “spring ahead” and move your clocks forward one hour—and, unfortunately, lose that hour of sleep.

The benefit is that we’ll get more sunlight later in the evening and it’s a pleasant sign that spring is just around the corner. (Spring 2015 officially starts on Wednesday, March 20.)


Lenten Organ Series | Sundays in March

2015 Lenten Organ Series

Download/view this flyer


Death of a Friend of Palmer

Dear Palmers,

On November 23 of 2014, a beautiful family who have been patients of mine for many years, made 200 individual servings of Noah’s Pudding to distribute at Palmer to symbolize peace and interfaith community. The Tanis family are not strangers to Palmer, as Mr. Mehmet Tanis spoke at an interfaith dialogue panel and dinner a few years ago at Palmer representing the Muslim faith.

Two weeks ago, I was shocked and saddened to learn that Mehmet’s wife, Mrs. Aynur Tanis died of cancer at the young age of 49. She leaves behind four beautiful children and her husband. The Noah’s Pudding project for us last Thanksgiving was one of the last projects she and her family did together. I attended her Memorial Service and learned what an amazing person she was, how many hearts she touched with her gentle and humble nature and strong convictions for peace among all religions. She was an engineer by training from UT Austin, but one of her friends called her an engineer for hospitality and community. She was a tireless volunteer at her Turkish Community Center, called The Turquoise Center. I learned that she often traveled hundreds of miles in a day to visit prisons around Texas, opened her home on many occasions to people new to Houston, volunteered at UH Clear Lake, and baked many, many meals for friends and neighbors. At the Memorial Service, it was announced that there will be a water well built in her honor in Chad, Africa through the “Embrace Relief Water Well Project”.

I would like to invite Palmers to donate to this relief fund in her honor. The website address is and her name near the bottom of the page is Aynur-Mehmet Tanis.

Thank you, and God’s Peace,
Kathy Herrin

Houston AIDS Walk–March 8

For the seventh consecutive year, Canon John Logan, Secretary of the Diocese of Texas, is organizing JOHNNY’S WALKERS to participate in the Annual AIDS Walk in Houston. This year’s walk is scheduled for Sunday, March 8 at 1:00 pm. JOHNNY’S WALKERS is the only Episcopal team in the walk and it is diocesan-wide. You can register to participate as a donor, walker or both at and select JOHNNY’S WALKERS as your team. You can donate to individuals from Palmer, such as our very own Hal Gordon. JOHNNY’S WALKERS have raised more than $88,000 in the past six years in support of the AIDS Foundation and related organizations.

Important Financial Note

If you donated shares of Verizon Communications, Inc. (VZ) to Palmer early in February, please contact Tom Matchett and identify the number of shares, and advise the fund to which you are donating. Thanks very much.

The Palmer Holy Spokes need YOUR support!

Every hour, someone is newly diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system. The Palmer Holy Spokes ride the BP MS 150 because we want to do something about MS now. Please support our efforts with a tax-deductible donation.

Children’s Choirs Hymn Sing March 11

What’s better than dinner and a movie?

Dinner and a Hymn Sing, of course!

Please join the Palmer Children’s Choirs for an old-fashioned Hymn Sing
during the Great Wednesday Dinner on March 11 from 6:30–7:00 pm.

The choir will sing a selection of hymn favorites and we hope that you’ll join in!
All free-will donations will go to the Children’s Choir Summer Camp Scholarship Fund
and are greatly appreciated.

Contact Brady Knapp at for more information.


Dinner & Discussion March 13

Our next Dinner & Discussion gathering will be on the March 13 from 7:00 to 9:30 pm at the home of Margaret Mitchell, 6629 Stroud Dr. (77074). The topic to be launched by Dr. Ric Stoll of the Political Science Department at Rice University is “ISIS and Syria: the Latest Developments.” Please come with the usual—salad, main dish, or dessert to serve six—and $2.50 for beverages and hosting expenses. Hope to see you on the 13th!

“Renewal”— A New Art Exhibition

Palmer Creative Artists Community

“Renewal,”a new exhibition of paintings, photographs, and textiles, is currently on display in the Fra Angelico Gallery and will run until May 15.

The Gallery is located in the first floor hallway on the north side of the campus.


Easter Flower Dedications by March 30

The Flower Guild is making its initial plans for Palm Sunday and Easter. If you would like to make a donation in memory of, or thanksgiving for a loved one, or to commemorate a special occasion, please send your donation to the church or use the flower dedication envelopes located in the pews and mark them for Easter. The deadline for submissions is Monday, March 30. All flower and campus décor are solely funded by your generous donations.

Costa Rica Mission Trip

The Palmer Costa Rica Mission Team will leave for San Jose, Costa Rica on Saturday, May 30th and return Saturday, June 6, 2015. We encourage anyone going on the trip to watch ticket prices every few days and purchase as soon as possible. One participant purchased a ticket on United for $657, leaving May 30 on United flight 1098 at 10:20 AM and returning June 6 on flight 1490 leaving at 12:36 PM, but the price varies widely from day to day. Contact George Ferry ( for more information.


Vestry Confirmations & Appointments

As previously announced after last month’s Annual Parish Meeting, Tim Driggers has been appointed by the Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector, to serve as Palmer’s Senior Warden for 2015. Last night Tim led this year’s first meeting of the Vestry since new members were elected at the Annual Parish Meeting. In accordance with Palmer’s Code of Procedures, the Rector and Senior Warden appointed – and the Vestry confirmed – the following: Courtney Daniell-Knapp as Junior Warden, Jim Lober as Clerk, and Dick Viebig as Treasurer. Additionally, in accordance with Palmer’s Code of Procedures, the Senior Warden appointed Tom Van Arsdel as Palmer’s Chancellor. When you talk with these folks, please congratulate them on being asked to fill these important roles and thank them for their willingness to serve the people of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church.

Ash Wednesday 2015… “We were not alone”


On this beautiful Ash Wednesday, 45 volunteers from Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church imposed ashes, said prayers, opened their hearts, and shared God’s love with 1,594 souls who were walking or driving through the Texas Medical Center and Rice University area. Palmers were found on every corner of Fannin and Cambridge, imposing ashes by reaching into cars, climbing onto Metro vans, and blessing those walking by. Connections were made, people were blessed and hope, comfort, and faith were passed one to another.

We looked into their eyes, said their names and reminded them: “Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return”.  You are blessed and you are marked and you are not alone…

Reaction of our Palmer Laity:

  • “I felt the Holy Spirit on me.”
  • “This is the first time I have put on vestments – wow!”
  • “This is the best thing I have ever done!”
  • “There are so many people here who are in need and have so little. Makes my problems seem so small.”
  • “I feel a connection with all these people. This is what love looks like.”

Reaction to ashes imposed:

  • “You people are so nice. I did this last year. Thank you.”
  • “This is a blessing that can’t be washed off.”
  • “Why do Episcopalians do so much for other people?”
  • Many said, “I couldn’t go to church today. Thank you.” One young woman said she was on her way to therapy and would miss church. Her mother would have been upset if she didn’t get ashes.
  • A small boy responded to the words, “You are not alone,” by saying, “I know.”
  • One woman said, “I’m a Quaker and we believe the same things you believe. You look like you should sing a beautiful song.”
  • One woman said her daughter was having a blood transfusion and asked if someone could bring ashes to her. A Palmer followed her to the daughter’s room.
  • After receiving the ashes and hearing the words, a homeless man named Jason said, “That’s just what I needed to hear.”
  • Some asked to receive a blessing or a prayer without the ashes – including a Buddhist.
  • “My special needs son is in the hospital – can you come to him?” Yes we will.
  • A young man came over to the church corner looking distraught. He said he didn’t know what was happening, but he just needed prayer. His baby daughter had just died. A Palmer took him into the church to meet with a priest.

Today, maybe some met God for the first time. Maybe some reconnected with a God they felt they lost a long time ago. Maybe some found a little peace and comfort during a difficult time in their lives. Maybe some wandering the Medical Center needed a reminder of their mortality and of a God who is present with them. Maybe some just needed love.


The Palmer Choir was featured TWICE on NPR February 22!

Palmer graphic
Music of the Palmer Choir is frequently featured on National Public Radio broadcasts. In fact, they were featured TWICE on Sunday, February 22, 2015!
With Heart and Voice presents sacred music that spans the full range of Western classical music, from the Gothic period through the 21st century, with occasional surprises from the non-western tradition.

Program Playlist

7:00 am | Theme Music: Trumpet Tune in D
Composer: David N. Johnson, Performer: “Peter DuBois, organ”

7:01 am | Prelude & Fugue in C minor
Composer: Felix Mendelssohn, Performer: “John Scott, organ”

7:09 am | “Remember not, Lord, our offences
Composer: Henry Purcell, Performer: Choir of Westminster Abbey, Conductor: Martin Neary

7:12 am | “Morning glory, starlit sky”
Composer: Barry Rose, Performer: Choir of Wells Cathedral, Conductor: Malcolm Archer

7:15 am | Processional hymn for Lent
Composer: Richard Proulx, Performer: Choir of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Conductor: Brady Knapp

7:19 am | “Jesu, lover of my soul”
Composer: Joseph Barnby, Performer: Huddersfield Choral Society, Conductor: Owain Hughes

7:24 am | Choral Dorien
Composer: Jehan Alain, Performer: “Marie-Claire Alain, organ”

7:29 am | Create in me a clean heart
Composer: Dan Locklair, Performer: “Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham, NC”, Conductor: Rodney Wynkoop

7:34 am | None other lamb
Composer: Robert Burroughs, Performer: Choir of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, Conductor: Courtney Knapp

7:37 am | Dear Lord and father of mankind
Composer: C H H Parry, Performer: “Choir of King’s College, Cambridge”, Conductor: Stephen Cleobury

7:42 am | “Lord, let me know mine end”
Composer: Maurice Greene, Performer: Winchester College Chapel Choir, Conductor: Malcolm Archer

7:50 am | “O Lord, support us”
Composer: David Briggs, Performer: “Choir of Trinity College, Cambridge”, Conductor: Stephen Layton

We are proud of our amazing Palmer musicians. Well done!

Kairos Closing

Would you like to see God’s amazing love at work firsthand? Come to a Kairos Closing! Kairos #55 Closing will take place on March 15 at the Carol Vance Prison Unit. If you are interested in attending — or even think you MIGHT be, please send your name as it appears on your driver’s license, the last four digits of your driver’s license number, and the state in which it is issued, to Carole Mather at BEFORE Friday, February 20, 2015. The cutoff date for submitting the names for admittance to the unit is that weekend. This is a wonderful opportunity to see God’s unconditional love working in the lives of these men!

Meet our new staff member!

It is with great joy that we are able to announce today that Roger Hutchison will be coming to Palmer in June as our new full-time staff member for children, families, and parish life.

Roger has served for 17 years on the staff of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Columbia, South Carolina, where he is the Canon for Children and Family Ministries. He is married to Kristin, who teaches kindergarten. Roger and Kristin have a 13-year-old daughter named Riley, and she will be entering the 8th grade next fall. The Hutchison household also includes Scout-the-dog.

In addition to his outstanding work with children and families at Trinity, Roger is a talented artist for whom painting is a form of prayer. This is how he describes it:

“Painting is the way I talk to God. I find joy when I move my fingers through puddles of color and across blank canvas. I am always surprised–and blessed–by the conversation that takes place. It is never the same.”

In the spring of 2013, he was invited to paint with children, families, and teachers at Trinity Episcopal Church in Newtown, Connecticut, where one of the children killed in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School only a few months previously was a member. Here’s one story, as told by Roger, about what happened there:

“A third-grade girl told me she’d had a really bad day. Her painting was dark and frantic. I listened to her for a little while—then encouraged her to paint another one. The second painting was a bit more colorful. She took her two paintings and smashed them together. When she pulled them apart, the darkness had lifted . . . and she smiled. That’s when I saw light and love in her face. I saw God.”

Later that same year, Roger wrote a book titled The Painting Table: A Journal of Loss and Joy, which was published by Church Publishing, Inc. He takes his “Painting Table” out into the community for events that range from birthday parties in the neighborhood to art workshops in schools.

Hutchison-book cover

Last summer, for his community service, Roger received the Order of the Silver Crescent Award from the Governor of South Carolina. It is the highest civilian honor that a citizen of that state can receive and is awarded for exemplary performance, contribution, and achievement within the community.

Look for a letter in the mail this week from the Rector with more details about this exciting announcement. In the meantime, join us in praying for Roger, Kristin, and Riley as they prepare to move to Houston this summer:

O God, watch over Roger, Kristin, and Riley in all their going out and their coming in; keep all evil away from their door; and let them share the hospitality of the Lord’s Table at Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church, that they and all those who are fed there may know your love and peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

HE is our welcome and so we, in turn, welcome ALL.

As a community we need to plan for new people visiting and looking for a church home. We hope that all we do here says, “We were expecting you and we are glad you are here”. If we are to fulfill our mission we must be Radically Hospitable: share your name, get their name, introduce them to another Palmer and invite them back. Every season of your life should include service. Serving as a Greeter or Usher takes less than two hours a month…and it is FUN! Come join this great ministry.

Les + Lesley Douthwaite | 9:00 Ushers
Dudley Van Ness | 9:00 Greeter
Kirk Waldron | 11:00 Ushers
Allison Marek | 11:00 Greeters
Catherine Frazier | Evangelism Ministry

Youth Confirmation Class begins March 1

To confirm means to be strengthened greatly, and this spring Palmer will welcome a new class of youth confirmands on Sunday, May 10 at 9:00 a.m. In order to prepare for Confirmation, classes will be held March 1–May 9, Sundays from 10:00–11:15 a.m. and two Wednesday classes (March 25 and April 22) from 7:00–8:15 p.m. There is one overnight retreat to Austin on April 18-19. If you are in 7th or 8th grade (or older) and you would like to register for Confirmation, email Courtney Daniell-Knapp at or call 832-563-2186 with questions.