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 - Winter/Spring 2018

Beginning January 28

Sunday Morning
10:15 - 10:50 am

The Palmer Faith Forum

January 28, 2018
Reconciliation: What does it look like to you? - As part of the process of joining the international Community of the Cross of Nails, Palmer is committed to being a congregation that seeks reconciliation in the world around us. But what does that look like “on the ground” in real life? That’s not alway an easy question to answer, as those who have watched the conversations between Queen Elizabeth II and Billy Graham in episode 6, season 2, of “The Crown” can surely affirm. Of course, the loose ends in our own relationships provide more than enough proof of the complexities involved. We’ll explore this question and also have an opportunity to see — for the very first time — the new statue about reconciliation that will soon grace the rose garden beside St. Bede’s Chapel.

February 11, 2018
Conversation with Palmer’s Composer-in-Residence, David Ashley White - A seventh-generation Texan, White is a Professor of Composition in the Moores School of Music, University of Houston, serving as director of the school, and holding the Margaret M. Alkek & Margaret Alkek Williams Endowed Chair, from 1999-2014. In 2010, Houston mayor, Annise Parker, appointed him to the board of the Houston Arts Alliance, and he continues in that position. He has long played an active role in Houston’s musical scene, composing works for various groups, including the choirs of Palmer Church, St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, and Christ Church Cathedral, as well as Houston Chamber Choir, Houston Masterworks Chorus, the Concert Chorale from the Moores School and the University Singers from the University of St. Thomas. His music is frequently performed nationally and internationally, and practically his entire catalog of works is published, including four collections of his hymns. His hymns also appear in various denominational publications, including the hymnals of the Methodist, Presbyterian and Episcopal churches. The latter, The Hymnal 1982, includes his hymn tune PALMER CHURCH, composed in 1981 in honor of his home parish.

Palmer Faith Forum – Lenten Season 

Making A Home Among Enemies: A Jerusalem Peacebuilders’ Lenten Series
Sundays: Feb 18; Feb 25, March 11, March 18 in St. Bede’s Chapel
The observance of Holy Lent begins with the acknowledgement that the Church prepares for our Lord’s passion and resurrection with a period of penitence and fasting. Many of us take on Lenten disciplines to embody this preparation and to practice penance before God, but what about penance before our neighbors and our family? Before our enemies? Though “notorious sinners” are singled out (BCP 265), all of us are invited to pursue reconciliation through penitence and forgiveness. Our Lenten faith forum invites us, through individual reflection and small-group activities, to take on another discipline: to make a home among enemies. Join our Curate, The Rev’d David Wantland, in the 10:00 hour as we consider what this means for us interpersonally, here in Houston, and as dwellers in a globalized world. 

Palmer Faith Forum – Easter Season

"Prayer and Politics: Ripped Knees, Dirty Hands" with Dr. Dallas Gingles
Sundays: April 22, April 29, and May 13 in St. Bede’s Chapel
Since its inception in the court of Henry VIII, the Anglican tradition has been constituted by the interplay between the practices of prayer and politics. The political realities that enabled Henry to murder his wives, also served as the ground out of which the Book of Common Prayer grew. The interplay between prayer and politics remains an Anglican distinctive to this day. In these three weeks, we'll explore the relationship between these dual practices within the Anglican tradition, or perhaps better put, we'll use them as a framework within which we see a bit more clearly what it might mean to be an Anglican.  

Dr. Dallas Gingles is the Campus Manager of the Houston-Galveston program of Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University. His primary responsibilities involve helping to administer the Houston-Galveston program, forming strategic partnerships within the greater Houston community, and offering support to current and potential Perkins students. His research interests include Dietrich Bonhoeffer, responsibility ethics, political theology, and Christian martyrdom. Along with his wife, Rebecca and their growing family, sons Graham and Silas, a little one on the way, Dallas is a member of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church.

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

Returns January 28th
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! Facilitators for this class are Leigh Kent, Kristin Hutchison, and Roger Hutchison, Director of Christian Formation and Parish Life at Palmer. - Holy Cross Chapel

The Book of John

Returns January 28th
This returning Bible Study class will continue with its study of the Gospel of John. – Allen Sparkman, Adrienne Bond, Jim Key, Room A102

Sunday Evening Class
5:30 - 6:30 pm

Living Compass Wellness Circle for Parents of Teens

Parents and families in the 21st Century are pulled in directions previous generations could never have imagined, and they need support and community. 

When parents engage in the types of learning and discussion created in a Living Compass group, a deeper, more authentic community is created and builds a richer support network at church. This program helps families contemplate how their faith can help them cope more effectively with the stresses of parenting in the 21st century and helps them think of the church as a rest stop in their busy lives.

This offering coincides with our weekly youth group meeting. Bring your teen to youth group and join other parents for the Wellness Circle for Parents of Teens. - John Wallace, Room A201

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 starting on August 29, 2017. Email Emily Gordon at with any questions.

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

Great Wednesday will begin January 10!

   

Anglicanism 201

So you’ve heard about the three-legged stool, but you’re not really sure what it means. Or perhaps you know the list of sacraments, but aren’t entirely sure what makes them sacraments. Better still, you have a Book of Common Prayer, but aren’t entirely sure how to use it. And at the end of the day, you’ve got some lingering questions about what makes Episcopalians different from other Christians, and how Episcopalians have come to the theological, moral, and social positions that define us. This is the class for you. Anglicanism 201 is a chance for long-time and nouveau Episcopalians alike to delve into the riches of our tradition to discover how it can continue to inspire, sustain, and transform our lives as followers of Jesus in the 21st century. Come with your questions, come with your doubts, and join our curate, David Wantland, as we explore the gifts that Anglicanism offers us today.  The Rev. David Wantland, Room A201 (Jan. 10 in St. Bede's Chapel)

The Pilgrim Way

You’ve probably heard Holy Week described as the journey with Jesus toward Jerusalem, toward the cross, but what about all of the other stuff–the sites of healing, the wilderness, the Galilee? And how do the stories of Jesus’ life impinge upon that landscape today? Join Fr. Willard and Jerusalem Peacebuilders co-founder Stuart Kensinger as they lead a journey into the spiritual geography of pilgrimage. This class is meant for those on the Eastertide Holy Land pilgrimage as well as people who seek exposure to contemporary issues in the land Jesus walked. This class will journey through Jesus’ life from Annunciation to Ascension, using contemporary archaeological discoveries, lots of visual media, and the scriptural witness to trace the life of Jesus through the present-day realities of conflict, border dwelling, belonging, and peace. Join us! – The Rev. Neil Willard and Stuart Kensinger, Room A102 

Living Compass Short Courses

Three short courses this fall that focus on different aspects of wellness. – The Rev. Liz Parker, Room A202  

Building Healthy Relationships: January 10-January 31            
Few things affect the quality of our lives more than the quality of our relationships. Everyone knows that we benefit from working on our physical wellness and the same is true when we work on our relationships. Join us as we explore topics introduced here in greater depth and in a group setting.

Living Well in the Midst of Grief and Loss: February 7, February 21-March 7                                                                                      When someone you love dies, you experience grief in a number of ways. Grief is a natural emotion, and each person experiences it differently. Join us as we explore topics introduced here in greater depth and in a group setting.