Christian Formation

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Christian Formation

Christian formation is the lifelong process of growing in our relationship with God, self, others, and all creation. Every experience in our lives can provide us with the opportunity to express our faith; the challenge we face is recognizing these opportunities and learning ways to live a sometimes countercultural life in a secular world.

At the heart of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church is a dynamic, growing faith community of children, youth and adults! Our programs aim to foster God’s love in a progressive, inclusive setting.

For more information, please contact Roger Hutchison, Palmer's Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life.

Sunday Morning Classes
Sunday Evening Classes
Tuesday Classes
Great Wednesday Classes

Click HERE for a list of weekly Bible Studies.


  Christian Formation - Fall 2018

Beginning September 9

Sunday Morning
10:15 - 10:50 am

The Palmer Faith Forum

September 9 & 16 - In Living Community: Cultural Productions As Architectonic Texts with De’Anna Monique Daniel
De’Anna Monique Daniels is a doctoral student in the African-American Religion concentration in the Department of Religion at Rice University. Her research interests include Black religion, the intersections of Hip-Hop, Womanism, and gender, Black speculative fiction, visual culture, art, critical race theory and cultural studies. De’Anna earned her B.A. in Religious Studies from Alma College in Alma, Michigan. In 2013, she earned a Master of Divinity and in 2014, a Master of Theology from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia. In 2016, she earned a Master of Arts in American Studies, with a graduate certificate in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. While studying at Lehigh University, she received a Strohl Grant and Award for Research Excellence in Humanities and Social Sciences.

September 23 & 30 - What Literature Knows: Race, Community, and Kinship in American Narratives with Emerson Zora Hamsa
Emerson Zora Hamsa is a doctoral student in the Department of English at Rice University. Her research fields are 19th-Century American Literature and African-American Literature. Zora holds a certificate in Critical and Cultural Theory from the Center for Critical and Cultural Theory at Rice University. Zora also holds Master of Divinity and Master of Theological Studies degrees from Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C.   

October 14  - Community Neighbors: Doreen Stoller, President, The Hermann Park Conservancy

October 21 Community Neighbors - Gretta Boshara and The Houston Museum District

November 11 Community Neighbors - The Rev. Linda Shelton and our Refugee Community

November 18 Community Neighbors - Rabbi Hayon and The Houston Jewish Community

December 9 Community Neighbors - The Rev. Patrick Hall and College Ministry & Rice University

December 16 Community Neighbors - Dr. Shannon Westin and The Texas Medical Center

Where the Wild Things Are – Parenting in an Ever-changing World

Join us on Sunday mornings for Where the Wild Things Are – Parenting in an Ever-changing World. Through the sharing of classic and modern children’s books, children’s literature, and Holy Scripture, we will explore and discuss themes that touch, challenge, and inspire our lives as parents. This class is open to all – dual parents, single parents, stepparents, godparents, prospective parents, adoptive parents, foster parents, grandparents…come one come all! – Facilitated by Kristin Hutchison, Leigh Kent, Catherine & Mark Beebe, Holy Cross Chapel

BIBLE STUDY: PAUL, THE APOSTLE

This returning Bible Study class will continue with its study of the writings of Paul in the New Testament. Room A102 with Allen Sparkman, Adrienne Bond, and others

Tuesday Class
6:30 pm

Palmer Writing Group

Do you journal on a regular basis? Write poetry, fiction, essays, or are you working on a memoir? The Palmer Writing Group is a place for learning about the craft of writing and sharing your work in a community of supportive, encouraging fellow writers. Meetings include a brief writing exercise, discussion of different writing techniques, and--new this year--an opportunity to contribute pieces for critique. Join us Tuesday evenings at 6:30pm in Holy Cross Chapel. Email Emily Gordon at with any questions.

Wednesdays at Palmer
7:00pm - 8:00 pm

Great Wednesday will begin September 12!

   

We are pleased to announce that the Rev. Gregory Han will be facilitating a six-week teaching series this fall entitled:

Having Faith in Houston: World Religions in the Bayou City

In this lively series, we’ll take a look at the religions that help make our area one of the most diverse regions in the country. We’ll explore what we mean by religion, demographic shifts in religious affiliation, and how to approach studying religions. We’ll spend time investigating key religious traditions of the world, comparing and contrasting, learning and discussing what we find.

A pastor and an educator, the Rev. Gregory Han is a “half-Asian, Midwestern-raised, Jesuit-educated, Harvard-trained, Texas-residing, Presbyterian Minister.” Since moving to Houston in 1998, Greg worked for a year as a hospital chaplain before spending eight years pastoring Presbyterian congregations. For six years he was on the faculty at St. John’s School in Houston where he taught electives in the study of religion, English courses at the 9th and 12th level, and directed the chapel program. Since summer 2014 he has directed the interfaith and interreligious dialogue, education, and engagement efforts at Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston as Director of Interfaith Relations. He holds degrees from Georgetown University and Harvard Divinity School.

This will be the single community offering for the first six weeks of Great Wednesday. We hope you invite a friend to join us for dinner and participate in this lecture series as we strive to get to learn more about our Houston neighbors.St. Bede’s Chapel

September 12 - Introduction to Religion
September 19 - Buddhism/Hinduism
September 26 - Islam
October 3 - Judaism
October 10 - Sikh
October 17 - The Future of Religion

October 24 - Following dinner, we will have a special presentation on Christian Formation at Palmer. We will also hear from Archway Academy and The German International School of Houston – two schools that call the Palmer campus home. 

October 31Join us for a Harvest-themed Great Wednesday meal. Children will not have choir rehearsal and there will be no classes offered on this night.

November 7 - December 12 
There will be three Great Wednesday class offerings:

Finding the Heart’s True Home by best-selling author Richard J. Foster 

This book offers a warm, compelling, and sensitive primer on prayer, helping us to understand, experience, and practice it in its many forms-from the simple prayer of beginning again to unceasing prayer. He clarifies the prayer process, answers common misconceptions, and shows the way into prayers of contemplation, healing, blessing, forgiveness, and rest.

Foster shows how prayer can move us inward into personal transformation, upward toward intimacy with God, and outward to minister to others. He leads us beyond questions to a deeper understanding and practice of prayer, bringing us closer to God, to ourselves, and to our community. This class will continue into the new year. – Facilitated by The Rev. Liz Parker, Room A201

At the Crossroads of Art and the Bible 

After an initial overview of biblical manuscripts and translations, we’ll take a closer look at The Saint John’s Bible. It’s the first illuminated, handwritten Bible of monumental size to be commissioned by a Benedictine monastery in more than 500 years and the beautiful product of a collaboration between Saint John’s Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and master calligrapher Donald Jackson in the United Kingdom. The artwork is vividly colorful and each illumination is a powerful and spiritual meditation on a text. Participants will have an opportunity to explore that connection through the practice of Visio Divina, which involves focusing on a single Scripture passage and the accompanying illumination from The Saint John’s Bible.Facilitated by The Rev. Neil Willard and Roger Hutchison, Room A102

Starting at the End: How to Read Scripture

Like an Anglican As Episcopalians, we hear a lot of scripture–every Sunday, at least three readings from it. And yet, whether we grew up in this tradition or came to it later in life, we aren’t always sure how to read it. We may know the stories, but we may not be sure what to do with them. Is violence sanctioned by God? What does divine Inspiration mean? Is it myth? fact? mystery? Over this five-week study, we will explore one Anglican approach to scriptural interpretation: starting at the end.Facilitated by The Rev. David Wantland, Room A202

Tower bell Ringing 101

See what is going on up in the bell tower. Come on up to the Ringing Chamber (go through Sacristy at back of Nave). Available most Wednesdays at 7 pm. For info contact   or text 713-504-2747 Allen Nunley, Ringing Chamber