Click here for information about online worship this Sunday.
Click here for a complete list of our weekly Bible Studies.
Click here to listen to last week's sermon.
A Message From the Rector
Dear Palmers and Friends,

Although many businesses throughout the State of Texas are reopening today as part of a phased exit from the social distancing measures that are meant to mitigate the community spread of COVID-19, there will not be in-person worship or other gatherings at the moment for Houston churches in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas, the Union Baptist Association, the Presbyterian Church (USA), and the United Methodist Church. These churches, including Palmer, will continue to offer online worship services during the month of May, and in doing so, we have the unanimous support of the leaders of the Texas Medical Center who have strongly recommended this course of action for religious communities in Greater Houston. Decisions about when and how to resume in-person worship will be guided by advice from medical experts, the rate of new COVID-19 cases, and the availability of testing within our communities.

Next week and going forward, this weekly email from Palmer will be split into two parts. Information about online worship services, classes, and events will continue to arrive in your in-box on Fridays. Earlier in the week, on Tuesdays, a separate email will arrive with this weekly message from me, prayers and spiritual resources, and stories from Palmers and others who are fulfilling our mission by sharing the love of Jesus Christ.

My message for next Tuesday will include an overview of the phased approach for reentry into our church buildings that we will be following in the Episcopal Diocese of Texas. In the weeks to follow, there will be more details about what that will look like here at Palmer in the near-term, the medium-range future, and the long-range future.

And if you missed the Wardens' Report that was sent out earlier this week, click here to read that important update. It includes information about what we are doing to sustain our ministries and the church staff, and how you can help.

Faithfully yours,
The Rev'd Neil Alan Willard
Timely Prayers
O God of love, we ask you to give us love: love in our thinking, love in our speaking, love in our doing, and love in the hidden places of our souls; love of our neighbors, near and far; love of our friends, old and new; love of those whom we find it hard to bear, and love of those who find it hard to bear with us; love of those with whom we work, and love of those with whom we take our ease; love in joy, love in sorrow; love in life and love in death; that so at length we may be worthy to dwell with you, who is eternal Love, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.

Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love's sake. Amen.

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive you, diligence to seek you, patience to wait for you, eyes to behold you, a heart to meditate upon you, and a life to proclaim you, in the power of the risen Christ. Amen.
ONLINE WORSHIP AND CLASSES
10 AM SUNDAY SERVICES ON FACEBOOK
This Sunday we will continue to worship together, not in person, but by watching a recorded service that will be posted simultaneously to  Palmer's Facebook page and  Palmer's YouTube channel. Thank you to all who joined us this past Sunday online and in spirit.   Click on this link to download a copy of the bulletin for this Sunday. To participate via Palmer's Facebook page, which does not require having a Facebook account,  click on this link and scroll down until you see an image of the outside of the church and a notation that says "The Third Sunday of Easter | April 26, 2020." That post will first appear at 10 AM. But you will be able to watch it either there or on YouTube at any time thereafter.
 

THIS SUNDAY: PALMER COFFEE HOUR ONLINE
Join your fellow parishioners and clergy on Zoom at 11 AM this Sunday for Palmer's virtual coffee hour. No agenda, just a chance to visit with other Palmers. You can watch the pre-recorded service at 10 AM, then join this Zoom gathering at 11 AM, or come to the coffee hour first and then watch the service later. A link to the coffee hour will be shared by email the day before  and the morning of the event. Contact   the Rev'd Liz Parker  for any questions.  

7PM ON TUESDAYS - FILMS ON ART AND SALVATION 
Join Roger Hutchison, Director for Christian Education and Parish Life, for this special formation offering. We will watch short films together about art and salvation and then discuss them. Please contact Roger Hutchison  for the Zoom link. 

"Art...is a means of union among [humans], joining them together in the same feelings, and indispensable for the life and progress toward well-being of individuals and of humanity." -   Leo Tolstoy, adapted for inclusion from his essay 

What is Art?  We create to emulate.  We create to resuscitate.  We create because we bleed.  We create to heal.  We create to both die and rebirth.  We create because we cannot help it!  Humans happen to be so creative that we manage to create in as many ways as there are of us! Use this time to consider all the ways your creativity is a pathway to your growth and healing and movement towards being connected not only to the rest of humanity but also to God.

SESSION TITLES AND FILMS
  • The Artisan Soul with Erwin Raphael McManus - May 5
  • Crucified for All with Malcolm Guite - May 12
  • Creation Heals with Lanecia Rouse Tinsley - May 19
8 PM WEDNESDAY COMPLINE ON FACEBOOK
Each Wednesday evening, a short service of Compline will be recorded and posted to   Palmer's Facebook page. Scroll down until you see words about Compline above a video. That will first appear there, however, only at 8 PM. You can also follow along at home by turning to page 127 in the Book of Common Prayer, which is where those prayers begin, or by clicking on this link to see the words onlineYou do not need a Facebook account to watch this service.

TITHES AND OFFERINGS
Thank you to all who are continuing to give in support of our church during this time. We encourage thoughtful, intentional stewardship that ensures that our parish will continue to be able to "know and to share the love of Jesus Christ" for the greater good of our congregation and of our city and its people. Your support is vital as the clergy and staff stay in touch with you and other Palmers and offer new ways to gather as a community that follows Jesus and that cares for one another, especially those who are most vulnerable, under extremely challenging circumstances.  You can give online by clicking here or visiting  palmerchurch.org/give.

FREE CHRISTIAN RESOURCES FOR CHILDREN
Click here  to be connected to a weekly Sunday School lesson from StoryMakers NYC. StoryMakers, the curriculum our children are using during Easter, is dedicated to creating new ways to share God's redemptive narrative found in the Bible. StoryMakers shares the gospel with children in ways that are meaningful, healthy, and ultimately draws children into God's story. StoryMakers gives children and grown-ups the chance to connect while exploring the greatest story ever told. Please contact  Roger Hutchison  if you need additional StoryMakers support and materials or if you are interested in joining the curated private Facebook Group for Palmer Parents and Guardians of Children, where he is staying connected to households with children and posting a variety of Christian formation resources.

FOUR WEEKDAY BIBLE STUDIES MEETING ONLINE
There are four weekday Bible studies that are meeting online via Zoom. If you would like to join the Noon Wednesday All-Parish Bible Study contact the Rev'd David Wantland, the 7AM Tuesday Men's Bible Study contact the Rev'd Neil Willard, the 7 AM Tuesday Women's Bible Study or the 4 PM Tuesday Women's Bible Study, contact the Rev'd Liz Parker  who will send you information about how to do that.

NEWCOMER CLASS MEETING ONLINE
Our newcomer class "This is Us" will continue to meet on Sunday mornings online via Zoom.  Contact the Rev'd Liz Parker to learn how to join this gathering and specific details.

UPDATES AND UPCOMING EVENTS
PALMER PLACE UPDATE
This past year the demand for Palmer Place apartments, which provide temporary homes for out-of-town medical center patients and their families, has dropped significantly. This has also been true for all of the other churches who provide the same kind of apartment ministries. With the added challenges of the current pandemic, including the health and safety of our Palmer Place volunteers and the strain on financial resources when apartments sit empty, Director Sandra Begalke, in consultation with the clergy, has decided that Palmer Place will go into hibernation until the crisis is over. The leases will not be renewed or will simply be bought out, and the furniture will go into storage until it's safe and fiscally sound to reopen. We thank Ms. Begalke for her faithful service to Palmer Place and the countless numbers of medical center patients who benefitted from her pastoral leadership of this important ministry.

ZOOM MEETING FOR CAREGIVERS
Palmer is offering a Zoom meeting for people in the parish who are caring for elderly members of their families during this pandemic.  Next Wednesday, May 6, from 7-8 PM, you are invited to join Dr. Rita Justice, clinical psychologist and founder and CEO of Master Caregivers, in a Zoom meeting.  If you would like to take advantage of this opportunity, please email the Rev. Liz Parker for the Zoom link.  She will also give you Dr. Justice's email so you can send your questions in beforehand to facilitate the conversation.

2020 CENSUS
If you haven't already done so, you can complete your 2020 Census information online. Just go to  www.2020census.gov.  Many of us have extra time, so it's an easy and very important thing to do. Right now, Texas is   39th   in the country in its response rate. Only about 46% of Texans have participated in the 2020 Census so far.  Remember that the census provides information that's used in legislative redistricting and to determine funding for education, health care, fire departments, disaster response, highways, college tuition assistance, and much more. Be sure to remind others to do so as well! Let them know how important it is so Houston, Harris County and Texas have the representation and funding that reflect our population growth.

CAMPUS CLOSURE AND PASTORAL CARE
The Palmer campus remains closed. We will keep everyone up to date on when we will be able to resume in-person worship services and group meetings. However, that will not be in the near future. In the meantime, if you need to contact the church, please call the church office at 713-529-6196 or email us at  info@palmerchurch.org . If you are in need of pastoral care, please call the church office at 713-529-6196 and follow the instructions for members to leave a message about that or contact  the Rev'd Liz Parker. Also know that the clergy and our trained lay pastoral care ministers are continuing to make phone calls to everyone in our church directory to check on them. If you have not spoken to or received a message from one of them by the beginning of next week, please tell us so that we can make sure that you are on our list and that we have the correct contact information for you.

ZOOM FOR ONLINE GATHERINGS AND MEETINGS
You may have heard that Zoom has very quickly become a meeting place online for Palmer's Vestry and church staff and for many of our small groups and parish councils during this time. If you are new to Zoom or do not know how to join a meeting via Zoom, click this link to watch a short video about using it.

TEXT MESSAGE UPDATES
Palmer now has text message notifications for urgent updates -- and don't worry, we won't spam you! Click here to subscribe to our messaging system and receive timely and important information. Your carrier's standard message and data rates apply. Complete the form at the link above and follow the prompts you receive via text message.

PHARMACY AND GROCERY RUNS
Palmer is providing a service, for those in need, to take trips to the pharmacy or grocery store to buy necessary items and deliver them to their doorstep. If you or someone you know requires this service or you would like to volunteer to help, please contact Laura Van Ness.