Welcome to Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church
We are delighted that you are visiting us via the web, and hope you'll join us in person as well. Please browse through our website, and if you have any questions, please call our office or contact us by .
We are a community worshiping in the Episcopal tradition, which has its roots in the oldest of Christian practices. We are a place where important questions are valued as much as eternal answers. Searchers and settlers, those who celebrate and those who mourn, those who doubt and those who believe - Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church is always striving, in the name of Christ, to welcome all people.
First Sunday – Are you new to Palmer? New to the Episcopal Church? New to Christianity? You may have a lot of questions or want to find out more about what goes on here. A good starting point is to attend First Sunday. It meets on the first Sunday of every month after both the 9:00 and 11:00 am Choral Eucharists. Look for the person with the First Sunday sign for directions.
Medical Center Guests - Please click HERE for more information.
Welcome to Palmer!
We are a community of Christian faith on a journey to discovery, growing, advancing as we go. Please join us.
Our heartfelt thanks goes to our neighbors at Rice University for their invitation to parishioners to park on campus at no charge on Sunday mornings. Here is how you can take advantage of this offering:
1. Enter the Rice campus at Entrance 2 on Main Street south of Sunset Boulevard and north of the Palmer Church property (see campus map at https://www.rice.edu/maps/Rice-University-Color-Campus-Map.pdf).
2. At the first intersection inside campus, turn left to the Founder's Court (FC) parking lot.
3. At the entrance kiosk, press the intercom button. BE PATIENT: It may take several rings for the operator to answer.
4. When the operator answers, say you are there for Palmer Church; the gate will be opened for you.
5. When leaving, press the intercom button again and tell the operator you were at Palmer Church.
Please note that this arrangement is for Sunday mornings only. And please be careful crossing Main Street; WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU USE THE CROSSWALK AT THE CAMBRIDGE STREET TRAFFIC LIGHT.
Where is the church located?
We are located at 6221 Main Street, immediately north of the Texas Medical Center and across the street from Rice University. We are bordered to the east by Hermann Park.
Where do I park?
To park on the south end of the campus, enter from Fannin Street; to park on the north end of campus, enter from Main Street. On Sunday mornings, we have additional parking in the Hermann Professional Building which is immediately south of the church. The garage 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. Punch the green button for a ticket. You will NOT be required to pay as you exit.
What should I expect when I get inside?
As you enter the main doors of Palmer church, an usher will hand you a worship leaflet. This booklet contains directions for page numbers for the Book of Common Prayer (red) and the Hymnal or Hymnal (blue). If you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to ask a fellow worshipper or watch and follow others’ lead.
Where do I sit?
You can sit anywhere that you feel comfortable. If it’s crowded, the ushers will help you find a seat. If you arrive once the service has begun, an usher will be happy to assist you to a seat.
How long will the service last?
The services generally last about an hour.
What if I have children?
Children are welcome at all Sunday services. While it may not seem that they understand all aspects of worship, they do experience the rhythm and beauty of the building and the liturgy. Liturgy Preparation (Liturgy Prep) is offered each Sunday as an integral part of the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services. The children are led out of church behind the children's cross during the Gospel hymn and return at the exchange of the Peace. During this special time, the children have an opportunity to worship and learn about the gospel lesson for the day. This special time is spent singing together, praying together, and talking about the gospel. Liturgy Preparation is offered to all children. Childcare for ages 5 and under is available in the nursery during services.
How do I take Communion?
All baptized Christians are welcome at the Lord’s Table. Come forward to the altar rail as the ushers direct you and take the next available place. You may kneel or stand. If you wish a blessing instead of communion, please indicate by crossing your arms across your chest. For those coming for communion, receive the bread from the priest in your open right palm. You may choose to receive the wine directly from the chalice by gently guiding it to your lips as the Chalice Bearer presents it to you, or you may “intinct,” or dip the wafer into the wine. If you choose not to receive the wine, simply cross your arms across your chest after you have received the wafer. You may then return to your pew following those around you. For the benefit of those who require gluten-free bread and/or those who prefer grape juice, we offer both. For either, please go to the altar rail in front of the pulpit and state to the person offering the bread or the chalice your preference. If it is physically difficult for you to come to the altar rail, please indicate this to an usher and a priest will bring communion to you where you are seated.
The Prayer Team of the Order of St. Luke is available for prayer and unction in the narthex during communion, and at the altar rail after the service.
May my children receive Communion?
Children are welcome at the Lord’s Table at their parents’ discretion.
How do I receive a blessing?
If you, or your child(ren), would like to receive a blessing from a priest at the altar rail, come forward just as you would to receive communion and cross your arms across your chest, and/or instruct your child(ren) to do the same.
What time is education on Sundays?
Every Sunday at Palmer we set aside the 10 o’clock hour for education and fellowship. During the program year (September–May) you will find classes for adults, youth, and children of all ages.
What are “Great Wednesdays”?
During the program year (September-May), St. Andrew’s guild cooks a wonderful dinner ($5 per person). Dinner is served in Fellowship Hall on the 2nd floor above the Welcome Center beginning around 6:15 pm immediately following the 6:00 Healing Service in St. Bede’s Chapel. At 7:00 pm, a variety of classes and opportunities for fellowship are provided. It’s a great time where Palmers can break bread, learn, grow, and strengthen their sense of community.
How do I find out more about Palmer?
As our guest we encourage you to ask questions and seek information. Please fill out a visitor card (found in the pew) and place it in the offering plate so that a member of the staff may contact you. Please stop by our welcome table outside the main sanctuary on Main Street before and after services. There you can pick up a seasonal brochure and ask questions of our greeters. Of course, we also invite and encourage you to introduce yourself to our clergy and staff. We’ll be happy to see you.
How do I become involved in the Palmer community?
Palmer is a large and diverse community that brings people of different backgrounds, ages, and interests together. Some are simply involved on Sunday mornings, others come for programs during the week, and still others choose to envision and plan new programs and directions for Palmer to grow. Whatever your desired level of involvement, whatever your interests—we invite you to talk to members of our community, browse the pages of this website, subscribe to our upcoming events e-news, and ultimately, to find yourself at home at Palmer Church. We’re glad you’re here!
A Joyful Place for Children!
Our ministry to and with children tries to embody all aspects of our parish mission statement: to know and share the love of Jesus Christ. All children are welcome at Palmer Church, and we see and embrace them as an essential part of our community. In our interactions with our youngest members, we strive to live out the baptismal covenant and teach our children the tenants of the Christian faith.
This begins with worship. Liturgy Preparation (Liturgy Prep) is offered each Sunday as an integral part of the 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services. The children are led out of church behind the children's cross during the Gospel hymn and return at the exchange of the Peace. During this special time, the children have an opportunity to worship and learn about the gospel lesson for the day. This special time is spent singing together, praying together, and talking about the gospel. Liturgy Preparation is offered to all children.
The Nursery is provided for children ages 3 months to school age. Childcare is available from 7:30 am until 11:30 am on Sundays and from 5:30 to 9:00 pm during Great Wednesday offerings. We also offer childcare for special events.
There are two classrooms available, but children may participate in the classroom where they are most comfortable (with siblings, etc.) Toddlers 18 months to 3 years old are provided a Sunday school lesson and activity in the nursery from 10–11 am.
All children are provided light refreshments if they choose. Special needs children are welcome and parents are encourage to meet with Candice Floyd, Nursery Director, to discuss accommodations.
The Nursery is located just off of the courtyard and a few steps from the large oak tree.
Palmer uses Weaving God’s Promises as the framework for Palmer's Sunday Morning Christian Formation classes for children PreK-Grade 5. Weaving God's Promises is a comprehensive, three-year Christian education curriculum written exclusively for the Episcopal Church. Click HERE to learn more.
Youth Ministry at Palmer calls for passion, patience, and faithfulness – pointing out the sacred in the midst of the chaos of adolescence and walking faithfully with young people as they transition from child to young adult. Youth Ministry at Palmer is a bridging ministry of education, connection, formation, and hopefully, transformation. Click HERE to learn more.
If you are interested in serving as a volunteer or you have questions or concerns related to the children's or youth programs at Palmer, please contact Roger Hutchison.