Fall Family Festival

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

One of our most popular annual events is the Fall Family Festival. this year it's Sunday, October 26, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the Jones Plaza plus playground and the Jones Building.

There will be plenty of great activities for all ages -- games,moonwalks, pony rides, face-painting, pumpkin decorating, prizes, and food. Children, youth, and even adults are encouraged to wear costumes to add to the fun.

Activity and concessions tickets will be available for purchase at the door.

A large number of volunteers are needed to help with set-up and 40-minute shifts at the game and craft booths. Sunday School classes and other groups or families are invited to decorate and staff a tent or canopy for trick-or-treating or to sponsor an activity booth. To support this event, please use the sign-up poster in the Jones Building foyer or email Ellen Edwards at eedwards@stpaulshouston.org.

This festival unites the whole St. Paul's family for fellowship and fun. Bring your friends and neighbors, too. Monetary donations help defray the cost for the children of St. Paul's After-School Program to attend as our guests. 

To see photographs from last year's Fall Family Festival, scroll down to those photo galleries.


All Saints Sunday/El Día de los Muertos

The names of the St. Paul’s Family members who have died since All Saints Sunday 2013 will be read during each of the morning worship services on November 2. 

Also on November 2, members of St. Paul’s Fe y Esperanza congregation will erect El Día de los Muertos ofrendas (altars) on the Plaza for all to remember our deceased loved ones and to pray for them. The congregation will hold a Spanish-language All Saints service at 1 p.m. in the chapel.

To conclude the All Saints observance, the St. Paul’s Choir will sing an Evensong service at 4 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

More about these observances

All Saints Day goes back to the early history of the Church, and today Protestants use it to remember all Christians both past and present. 

In the United Methodist Church, it is celebrated not only to remember Saints, but also to remember all those that have died that were members of the local church congregation, particularly those deceased since the previous All Saints Sunday.

When the Spanish conquistadores landed in the Western Hemisphere, the indigenous people in what is now Mexico and South America were practicing a ritual that was at least 3,000 years old. Although it was in honor of the dead, the Spanish thought it mocked the dead and tried to eradicate it.

Eventually, the Spanish moved the Day of the Dead observance to the day of the Christian observance of All Saints, incorporating this indigenous tradition into the Christian liturgical calendar, although the day also is celebrated as an indigenous cultural tradition.

This Day at St. Paul’s

The altars, or ofrendas, designed by the Fe y Espearanza community, are a reminder that death is not the end, it is the beginning of new life. Stop by and light a candle to celebrate the memory of your loved ones.

To learn more about the celebration, visit with Fe y Esperanza members at the altars or watch the video on the Jones Building monitor, Día de los Muertos: A Brief Overview by the National Hispanic Cultural Center in Albuquerque, NM. 

The community also will be serving  sweet tamales, cheese jalapeño tamales, pan del muerto, and Mexican hot chocolate.

A Spanish-language All Saints/El Día de los Muertos worship service will be in the Sanctuary/Chapel at 1 p.m. Everyone also is invited to attend, whether or not you can speak or understand Spanish.  All are welcome! ¡Son bienvenidos!


All Saints Choral Evensong

St. Paul’s Choral Scholars will join St. Paul’s Choir to offer Choral Evensong for All Saints’ Day at 4 p.m. November 2.

The repertoire is drawn from the rich body of work inspired by this principal feast of the church year that celebrates all Christians and the spiritual bond between those in heaven (the “church triumphant”) and the living. 

The Choral Scholars will sing Alice Parker’s thrilling arrangement of Hark, I hear the harps eternal, and St. Paul’s Choir will offer music of Herbert Sumsion and Richard Shephard. 
The choirs will combine to sing a resplendent polychoral work, Alleluia, in resurrectione tua Christe by Jacobus Gallus (1551-1591), also known as Jacob Handl.

The service of Choral Evensong has its origins in the ancient custom of marking the hours of the day and night in prayer, all in an effort to fulfill the Lord’s precept to “pray without ceasing.”

The basic form of the liturgy as currently practiced was devised in the 16th century to provide a form of daily evening prayer common to clergy and laity alike. The service features singing of the Psalms, Canticles, Hymns, Scripture readings, and prayers for the Church, the world and those in need.

Poetic Faith

On Sunday, November 2 at 5:15 p.m. in the Chapel, Rev. Eleanor Colvin, St. Paul’s Associate Pastor of Community and Global Ministries, will share “Poetic Faith,” readings of her creative works inspired by scripture and faith. 

This is the second in a series of events giving parishioners the opportunity to engage new staff and clergy and learn more about them. The hour with Eleanor will include a time for Q&A.

Willing Friends Annual Luncheon

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

The annual Willing Friends luncheon honors individuals who have included St. Paul’s Foundation or St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in their estate plans. 

This year’s luncheon in Fondren Hall at noon on Monday, November 3, will feature a special treat by St. Paul’s Director of Music Dr. Paolo Bordignon. He will share his experience traveling to Leipzig and Berlin where, as part of his doctoral studies he examined Johann Sebastian Bach’s 1724 autograph and original performance materials of Cantata, Halt im Gedächtnis Jesum Christ, BWV 67.    

Current Willing Friends and those interested in learning more about the Willing Friends Society are invited to attend this special event.    

Prior to coming to St. Paul’s in the spring of 2014, Dr. Bordignon was Associate Director of Music at St. Bartholomew’s Church in New York City, where he helped oversee one of the nation’s pre-eminent church music programs.

In performance through three continents, Dr. Bordignon has received critical acclaim ranging from “outstanding... lively and distinctive” for his interpretations of early music to “compelling” for performances of avant-garde repertoire. His engagements have included organ recitals at The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York) and St. Eustache (Paris), and conducting appearances on NBC’s Today.

Dr. Bordignon earned Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from the Juilliard School, studying organ and harpsichord, and he was the first person to graduate Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music with a degree in harpsichord (a double major with organ).


Being One: A Marriage Seminar

St. Paul's United Methodsit Church (map)

A marriage seminar, “Being One,” for engaged and newly married couples, will be conducted at St. Paul’s on Saturday, November 8 , from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

Seminar leaders are Dr. Sherry Beeman and Dr. Bill Kerley. Married to each other, each also is a former president of the Houston Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

This seminar fulfills the “Twogether in Texas” marriage education requirements. It is free of charge for couples who have been or who are scheduled to be married at St. Paul’s. For others, the fee is $60.  Lunch included.

For more information or to register, contact Kat Denton via 713-528-0527 or kedenton@stpaulshouston.org 

Brochure with more information.


Get to Know Bill

The minister for Congregational Care and Senior Adults — Rev. Dr. Bill Gandin — will present the November 13 Salt & Light program. But the program will be as much about those attending as it will be about him.

“This will be a time for sharing ideas,” he said, “to explore together the possibilities of what we can do together with each other and for each other as well as the community.”

The meeting will be in Fondren Hall, gathering at 10:30 followed by the 11 a.m. program and an $8 lunch for those who RSVP to 713-528-0527 or info@stpaulshouston.org by Tuesday, November 11.

Save the date for the December 11 meeting when a singer and pianist from Houston Grand Opera who will present a 45-minute performance of opera excerpts and some conversation/Q & A about opera.