Dinner & Discussion


Dinner & Discussion


Dinner & Discussion

For more than 40 years, Palmer parishioners have gathered together to build relationships, enjoy delicious potluck dinners, and learn about current thought-provoking topics.

Many stimulating and interesting issues, selected by parishioners, were presented in recent years. These include: U.S. Healthcare World Ranking, Texas Politics, Palmer's Fisk  Organ & Organist, Buffalo Bayou Park, Middle East Conflict, Texas Medical Center, Episcopal Health Foundation, Early Texas Mapping, Future Plans at Rice University, and much more.

Suggestions of future topics and speakers are welcome.  Contact any member of the Dinner & Discussion planning committee: Don Tobin, Betty Key, Ken Alexander, and Joan Baird Glover.

Dinner & Discussion – 2023-2024

During the academic year of 2023-2024, nine excellent speakers and events were presented to Palmers and their guests.  Much appreciation is due to the Palmer families who opened their homes to crowds ranging from 40 to 65 attendees.

September 2023 –
The Future of Rice University
Speaker:  Professor John Boles

October 2023 –
Vision of Texas Medical Center Innovation
Speaker:  Dr. Emily Reiser, Associate Director of TMC Innovation

November 2023 –
Artificial Intelligence in Hiring and the Workforce
Speaker:  Professor Fred Oswald, Rice University

December 2023 –
Home Eucharist
Celebrated by the Reverend Neil Willard

January 2024 –
Episcopal Health Foundation
Speaker:  Ann Barnes, President & CEO

February 2024 –
Challenges in the Middle East
Speaker:  Professor Kristian Coates Ulrichsen, Rice University Baker Institute for Public Policy

March 2024–
Sailing off the West Coast of Africa
Speaker:  Jim Lober, Member of Palmer

April 2024 –
Early Texas Mapping
Speaker:  James E. Key, MD, Member of Palmer

May 2024 –
Benevolent Missions International (BMI):  Eye Care to Underserved Countries
Speaker:  Nancy Webb, MD, Member of Palmer

Dinner & Discussion – 2022-2023

During the academic year of 2022-2023, nine excellent speakers and topics were presented to Palmers and their guests.  Much appreciation is due to Palmers who opened their homes to crowds ranging from 40 to 65 attendees.

September 2022 –
Making Dreams Reality: My NASA Experience
Speaker:  Ansley Browns

October 2022 –
Hermann Park Conservancy
Speaker:  Doreen Stoller, President 

November 2022 –
Energy Transition
Speaker:  Professor Jim Krane, Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy 

December 2022 –
Home Eucharist
Celebrated by the Reverend Ryan Hawthorne. 

January 2023 –
What is Cohousing?
Speakers:  Lynn Morstead, Kelli Soika, Kip Krause, and the Rev. Liz Parker. 

February 2023 –
Houston Parks & Recreation
Speakers:  Kenneth Allen, Director and Tina Ortiz, Division Manager 

March 2023 –
Houston Food Bank
Speaker:  Brian Greene, President and CEO 

April 2023 –
Houston’s Zoo: History and Future Plans
Speaker:  Audra Jesudason, Sr. Director of Development Operations

May 2023 –
Houston’s Historic 1871 Glenwood Cemetery
Speaker:  John E. Cutler

Dinner & Discussion – 2021-2022

Although restricted to Zoom gatherings during most of 2021-2022, Dinner & Discussion presented many engaging topics and speakers. Below is a list of the informative events that took place during the season –

September 2021 –
Introduction of Palmer’s Curate and Deacon:  Ryan Hawthorne and Jack Karn
Interviewed by the Reverend Neil Willard

October 2021 –
Precision Medicine: Enabling new cancer treatments
Speaker:  Dr. Peter Gascoyne / UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

November 2021 –
Palmer’s Property Development Task Force
Speakers:  The Rev. Neil Willard, Rector and David Robinson, Sr. Warden

January 2022 –
Prison Entrepreneurship Program
Speaker:  Al Massey, Executive Relations Manager

February 2022 –
2022 Politics & Elections in Texas and the U.S.
Speaker:  Professor Mark Jones, Rice University

March 2022 –
Ukraine & Russia: Historical relationship and overview of current conflict
Speaker:  Professor Ric Stoll, Rice University

May 2022 –
U.S. Immigration: Past and current policies, issues and challenges
Speaker:  Charles C. Foster, Immigration Attorney