Mitzvah Day for Stop Hunger Now

Over the past four years, St. Paul's Family has packaged approaching half a million meals to be sent primarily to schools all over the world, building educational opportunity for children. Studies have shown that when children are fed at school, they are more likely to attend. We believe in the power of education and are excited to support our brothers and sisters through Stop Hunger Now for a fifth year.

On Saturday, October 10, come to Fondren Hall once again pack 120,000 meals (or more!) in one day. See how we did it in 2013.

Roles are available for everyone of any age and ability. It is always a great day for us to join together as a community — invite friends and all your family members to participate with you in a shift: 9 a.m. to noon or 1 to 4 p.m. and/or or set up from 8 to 9 a.m., clean-up 4 to 5 p.m.

Each of the 120,000 meals costs 30 cents. So $1.20 = 4 meals. $60 = 200 meals. For the price of one trip to Starbucks or a lunch out you could provide a meal for 25 schoolchildren. The church’s financial goal is $35,000. Mitzvah Day funding is from outside the budget. 

Although this is the fifth Mitzvah Day on behalf of Stop Hunger Now, the Mitzvah Day name and tradition was begun several years prior as an homage to our Congregation Emanu El neighbors.

To register, or give, stop by the table on the Plaza today or use the form below:


Name *
Select which shift *

Garden Tool Drive

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Help start a community garden for SEARCH clients who have recently transitioned into housing. A variety of tools -- new or gently used -- are needed from small gardening implements and gloves to larger shovels and more. Please bring your donations to the Plaza on Sunday, October 11. Because the church does not have the space to store the tools, they will be taken to the site that afternoon or soon thereafter.

More information about the  SEARCH clients who have recently transitioned into housing.

Questions? or 713-528-0527

Christmas Wish Tree

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

The After-School Program Christmas Wish Tree will be on the Plaza on Sunday, October 11 and 18. Please come by and select an item to brighten the Christmas of the children in the After-School Program.

Congregational Care Update

On the Jones Plaza this Sunday, October 11, will be living evidence that the Congregational Care Ministries at St. Paul’s are active and growing — more than 40 volunteers serving on 11 teams.Congregational Care’s overall objective is to minister to the needs of St. Paul’s Church members and their families. 

The Visitation teams include those who visit members who live in their homes (and are no longer able to come to church or who need some occasional assistance) and those who live in senior communities. They also visit members and family in hospitals in addition to the visits made by St. Paul’s clergy.

An active Call team works closely with the visitation teams. They keep in touch with members who have been released from the hospital as well as others who are at home or in senior communities and who may benefit from a call.  Any need for further assistance or a visit from a clergy member is passed along to the appropriate team leader and to Rev. Bill Gandin. They also call new members to welcome them to St. Paul’s.

In the area of Bereavement Support, a team sends cards at specific intervals to members who have lost loved ones. A seminar to provide support in this area in the next year is also being considered. 

The Divorce Recovery team has begun planning a seminar to be held in the first half of next year for children and their parents who are going through this transition. 

The other area that is in the process of development is support for cancer patients beyond the support provided by the visitation and call teams.

Other important and active teams include the Prayer Quilt, Intercessory Prayer, and the Meal Service Hospitality Ministries. 

A coordination and communication team strives to ensure that needs are being communicated among teams and to the appropriate volunteers.

For more information about serving on any of these teams, or if you know of someone in our church community who we can support with one of the Congregational Care teams, please let us know by stopping by the table on the Plaza or via any of these contact points:

In additon to her missional responsibilities, Rev. Eleanor Colvin,, coordinates the care team’s intercessory prayer ministry. 

Each staff person also can be reached via 713-528-0527.




St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Artwork by Jan Richardson

Artwork by Jan Richardson

Con-spire in the Latin (com-spirare) means to ‘breath with’ and is an intentional ministry of spiritual formation and the contemplative practices.  Each week we spend time learning, reflecting and practicing ways in which our interior life can be more rooted in grace. Join us at 11.05 in Fondren Hall. The topics through December 27 are listed below. .

  • October 11. How to live in “flow” (Sensus Divina)
  • October 18. How to live with less stress (Basic Meditation Practice)
  • October 25. Odyssey Service*
  • November 1. How to Nurture Gratitude (Awareness Practice)
  • November 8. How to Move through Fear (Rewriting Psalms)
  • November 15. Letting Go of Judgment (Basic Meditation)
  • November 22. How to Stay with Joy” (Sensus Divina)
  • November 29. Learning to Respond, Not React (Art)
  • December 6. Odyssey Service*
  • December 13. The Sacred Art of Listening (Basic Meditation)
  • December 20. Opening to God’s Flow (Walking the Labyrinth)
  • December 27. Living into the Moment (Yes Meditation)

*At approximately six-week intervals, Dr. Bill Kerley preaches at the 9:45 Sunday morning worship service. Then the congregants from that service plus the Con-spire class and others who wish to join them in community, dine together at 11:05.



Why We Are United Methodists

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Senior Minister Rev. Tommy Williams will teach a three-part series with the Journeys class from October 11 through 25. The series name is "Why We Are United Methodists," and the sub-topics for each week are

  • October 11: Bible and Creed
  • October 18: Personal and Social Holiness
  • October 25: Our Understanding of the Sacraments

The Journeys class meets at 9:45 a.m. in the Fellers Room (S-312), on the third floor, Binz side of the Sanctuary building.


St. Paul's and the EAC: Partners for Over 35 Years

Many of you know that the Emergency Aid Coalition is an interfaith collaboration that provides temporary assistance in the form of food, clothing, and school supplies to those in need, but did you know how it began?

During the economic downturn of the early 1980’s, many people who had come to Houston to work in the oil industry during the “boom” found themselves without work, without money, and without enough to eat. They would walk along the Main Street corridor and ask for food from the congregations. Dr. John Fellers, then St. Paul's senior minister, was profoundly moved one day when a man who was obviously hungry asked him not for money, but for a sandwich. Dr. Fellers went to his office and could find only a package of cheese crackers to offer the man, who was very grateful to receive it. 

The incident weighed on Dr. Fellers for days afterward, such that he mentioned it to some of the ladies of St. Paul’s, who were persuaded of the need for a sandwich ministry.  The sandwich ministry began shortly thereafter.

Staffed initially by St. Paul’s volunteers, that one act by Dr. Fellers evolved over time into the multi-congregation Emergency Aid Coalition, which was officially formed in 1983.

Today, 14 congregations of different faiths are actively united to feed and clothe those caught in economic crises. Each of these congregations brings its unique perspective and experience to the effort, and all contribute immensely to serve EAC clients with respect and compassion.

From the early days of providing sandwiches from the sanctuary basement to today’s space in Abraham Station for the EAC at a discounted rent plus many supportive volunteers, St. Paul’s has helped make the EAC happen. But St. Paul’s does not support the EAC through the church budget. Contributions toward the church’s annual congregational goal of $16,000 come only by direct donation from individuals.

EAC Information Sunday at St. Paul’s is Sunday, October 18, followed by EAC Donation Sunday on October 25. Please stop by the table in the Plaza either Sunday to learn more about ways to support and be involved in this St. Paul’s outreach mission. To donate, please make checks payable to the Emergency Aid Coalition with “St. Paul’s” on the memo line. 

In a perfect world, every family would have the food and clothing they need and no one would live on the streets. Until then, many thanks to all of you who support this partnership between St. Paul’s and the EAC to help our neighbors in crisis. 

UMW Used Book Sale

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

The United Methodist Women's annual Used Book Sale will be on the Jones Plaza Sunday, October 18. 

Suggested donations begin at $1 per book, increasing depending on condition, publication date, and other intrinsic value. 

Proceeds will go toward Fe y Esperanza and St. Paul's discretionary fund, earmarked for special aid to women and children.

Parents Matter: The Four "R's" of Present Parenting

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Michele Russell will present "The Four R's of Present Parenting." Her talk will be on Sunday, October 18, from 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. in the Parlor. It is open to parents of children of all ages, though children from ages 0 to fifth grade will be the primary focus.

Russell is the Social and Emotional Program Director of Small Steps Nurturing Center. She is married to St. Paul's senior associate minister Rev. Dr. Matt Russell with whom she parents three sons.

Questions or RSVP to Jane Williams via email or 713-528-0527 x 134.

Parents Matter is a periodic series for parents of children at St. Paul's.

Parenting Teenagers & Technology…Know When to Say When

Parent P.R.A.Y. presents “Parenting Teenagers & Technology…Know When to Say When" by Dr. Jo Beth Hawkins, a clinical psychologist in private practice, specializing in child, adolescent, and family therapy.

The program will be sunday, October 18, in the Fellers Room (S-312) after an optional supper in the Youth Center that begins at 5 p.m.

Dr. Hawkins has provided workshops at local, state, and national conferences. In addition, she frequently offers parenting classes, informational seminars, and in-service training for universities, organizations, schools, and churches. Dr. Hawkins also has served as a consultant in the development of children’s Sunday School curriculum for Cokesbury, the  United Methodist Publishing House.

Parent P.R.A.Y. is St. Paul's group for parents of teens, providing the parents opportunities for networking and learning together.

Chapter One Book Group

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Tonight's book for discussion will be The Night Guest by Fiona McFarlane.

Chapter One Book Group is open to anyone who enjoys reading and discussing a wide variety of books. The group meets at 7 p.m. the third Tuesday of the month in J-202. To be added to the email list, please contact Linda Harmes at

A new reading list for the next several months is being compiled. To submit your suggestions, please email Lind Harmes at

Perkins School of Theology classes at St. Paul's

Another Perkins School of Theology Extension class will begin at St. Paul's in October. Individuals may audit classes taught through the Perkins Extension offices here. For information about registering, please contact Rev. Lisa Beth White at

The next Perkins class at St. Paul’s will be Theory and Practice of Evangelism, taught by Dr. Robert Hunt. Thursdays, October 22 & 29 and November 5 & 12, from 5:30 to 8:45 p.m.; Fridays, October 30, from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m.; and Saturday, November 14, from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

The class will meet in either S-301 or S-312, locations varying in relation to other activities here. The Saturday class may meet at Moody Memorial UMC in Galveston. 

For information about the professors, please see the Perkins Faculty Directory at

Women and Poetry....from across the divide

Iconoclast presents another evening of poetry at St. Paul's on Thursday, October 22, in Fondren Hall. Presenting will be

Robin Davidson 2.jpg

Dr. Robin Davidson
Houston’s Poet Laureate; Associate Professor, University of Houston - Downtown

Upon being named Houston’s Poet Laureate in May, Davidson said, “One of Poetry’s greatest strengths is its capacity to engender human empathy in the reader, the listener, the writer. As Poet Laureate, I hope to serve all Houstonians by listening to the stories they have to share and promoting the art of Poetry — its thrilling engagement with language — as deeply relevant to each of our lives.”

Davidson has published two poetry chapbooks, Kneeling in the Dojo and City That Ripens on the Tree of the World, and one collection, Luminous Other. Her poems and translations have appeared in literary journals including The Paris Review. She has served as a visiting Fulbright professor in Kraków, Poland, and as president of the board for Houston’s Writers in the Schools program.

Jasminne Mendez.jpg

Jasmmine Mendez
Performance poet, actress, teacher, and published writer 

Born from immigrant parents of the Dominican Republic, Mendez learned both English and Spanish at a very early age and has used this asset by performing, reading and writing poetry, short stories, and plays in both languages.

While earning her B.A. in English literature and M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Houston, she played leading roles in plays including A Raisin in the Sun, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf, and Yerma. She also spent many of those years writing and performing poetry, captivating audiences through the passion and energy of her words and voice. Mendez has been published both nationally and internationally, and her first multi-genre memoir, Island of Dreams. was published by Floricanto Press in November of 2013. 

Three New Poets

Three young women from the creative writing program hosted by St. Paul’s for youth from all over the city. Youth are involved from seven different sites, including Sharpstown high school, incarcerated youth, and St. Paul’s spiritual youth group. 
The goal of the program, led  by poet Marlon Lizama, is to create writers and published young authors.

Iconoclast the name of the Artist-in-Residence program hosted by St. Paul’s. It is an outgrowth of ProjectCURATE, a program that seeks to enflesh learning through the diverse body of the city and church, helping to bring people together to build faith and kinship, in order to realize God’s expansive embrace in the lives of all of God’s people.


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 25, 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

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. 

"History and Significance of the Labyrinth," a community-wide lecture

Rev. Dr. Kay Mutert presents the history and significance of the labyrinth to the greater Houston community.  Registration is requested for the dinner and/or child care.

This is part of a series of spiritual formation events at St. Paul's from October 29 through November 2. For more about this series, including a comprehensive brochure, please follow this link.

Cost:  $5.00 for dinner (payable at the door); lecture is free

Where:  Fondren Hall, Jones Building, St. Paul's United Methodist Church

Registration form

Name *
Age of child if child care requested

Spiritual Formation Events with the Labyrinths

Note: Most of these events are described elsewhere within this website, including registration forms for them. This is a summary of these related events focusing on spiritual formation with the Labyrinths at St. Paul's.

"Taking Our Place," a series of spiritual formation events, most related to the Labyrinth, will be at St. Paul’s United Methodist Houston from October 29 to November 3.

This particular weekend is a significant time to come together, “taking our place” as a part of the generations gone before in the great celebration of saints and looking toward the transitions of life into the future. This transitional time in the calendar is recognized in many traditions — the Christian practice of All-Saints Day, the Hispanic community’s traditional Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos), the Celtic tradition’s Samhain – as a time to remember and renew. 

The events at St. Paul’s over these several days will include

  • Two free lectures, Thursday evening and Sunday morning
  • A workshop on Saturday about using the Labyrinth in rituals for life. This workshop also will qualify attendees for Labyrinth facilitator training
  • An All Saints Choral Evensong service at 4 p.m. Sunday with Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in its original version with chamber orchestra of strings, horns, harp, and organ. A candlelight Labyrinth walk will follow.
  • A two-day Labyrinth facilitator training workshop

All but the evensong will be presented by the Rev. Dr. Kay Mutert, Veriditas Master Teacher, below.

More information about each Labyrinth-related event is provided below in chronological order:

“History and Significance of the Labyrinth,” a free lecture, will be Thursday, October 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. To register for the $5 dinner and/or childcare, please follow this link.The $5 for dinner will be taken at the door.

The Saturday workshop, Taking Our Place, will be from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and focus on the theme of compassion, memory, love, and healing. It will include a labyrinth walk, art expression, and reflection time. To register, please go to and scroll down to "Add to Cart."

“Role of the Labyrinth along the Road to Reconciliation,” a free lecture in St. Paul’s Ordinary Life Class, will be Sunday, November 1, at 9:45 a.m.

Veriditas Facilitator Training will be Monday and Tuesday, November 2 and 3, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. For more information about Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator Training, please see To register for this training, please go to

The Labyrinth seems deceptively easy to introduce to others; yet, if a person does not have a satisfying first experience walking the labyrinth, they do not easily return to walk again.  The Veriditas Facilitator Training, which began in 1997, remains the most rigorous and comprehensive training available. Some people take this two-day course to deepen their knowledge of labyrinths. Others take it with the goal of becoming a Veriditas Certified Labyrinth Facilitator.

For more information about any of the other events or St. Paul’s, please email or call St. Paul’s at 713-528-0527.

Taking Our Place - Veriditas Qualifying Workshop

Taking Our Place is the theme for the workshop that precedes the Veriditas Labyrinth Facilitator Training. It is important for you to attend a qualifying workshop first so that you can have an embodied experience of the labyrinth as Veriditas presents it, which will give you a solid experiential foundation from which to share the labyrinth with others.

This is part of a series of spiritual formation events at St. Paul's from October 29 to November 3. For more information about this series, including a comprehensive brochure, please follow this link.

Date/Time: Saturday, October 31, 2015.  9 am - 4 pm

Place: Fondren Hall, Jones Building at St. Paul's United Methodist Church

Cost: $100.00  includes lunch

Click Here to Register for the event

The Role of the Labyrinth along the Road to Reconciliation

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Rev. Dr. Kay Mutert will speak in the Ordinary Life class about the role of the Labyrinth along the Road to Reconciliation. All are invited to this free lecture in Fondren Hall, second floor of the Jones Building.

This is part of a series of spiritual formation events at St. Paul's from October 29 through November 2. For more about this series, including a comprehensive brochure, please follow this link.


All Saints Evensong and Faure's Requiem



The St. Paul’s Choir and Treble Choir will sing an All Saints Choral Evensong on Sunday, November 1, at 4 p.m. The service will include Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem in its original version with chamber orchestra of strings, horns, harp, and organ, under the direction of Dr. Paolo Bordignon.

“Churches around the world dedicate November 1 to the honor and memory of All Saints (or ‘All Hallows’) on earth and in heaven,” explained Bordignon. “At St. Paul’s, an annual Choral All Saints Evensong has become one of the most cherished services of our liturgical year.  

“We come together that day to celebrate the work of Christ in the world (that which makes us ‘saints’) and to honor the memory of our recently departed. Members of St. Paul’s and the St. Paul’s family who have died in the past year are lifted in prayer with special music and with the reading of their names aloud.”

Senior Minister Rev. Tommy Williams will be the officiant. A candlelight Labyrinth walk will follow the service.

The day before All Saints, the Rev. Dr. Kay Mutert of Veriditas will lead a workshop on the use of the Labyrinth in rituals for life, and on November 2 and 3, she will conduct a Labyrinth Facilitator Training. On Friday, October 30, the Vienna Boys Choir will present a concert in the St. Paul’s sanctuary. For information about the Veriditas Labyrinth workshops or anything else at St. Paul’s, please contact St. Paul’s via 713-528-0527 or For information about or tickets to the Vienna Boys Choir concert, please see


Willing Friends Luncheon

The annual luncheon honoring the members of the Willing Friends Society of St. Paul’s Methodist Foundation of Houston will be held at noon Monday, November 2, in Fondren Hall. The speaker will be the foundation’s new executive director, Rev. Richard W. (Rick) Goodrich who will speak on “Where there’s a Will, there’s The Way.”

The Willing Friends Society is composed of people who have chosen to remember St. Paul’s foundation or church through a bequest in their will or other instrument of planned giving. The luncheon is a way of saying, “Thank You," to those who have already put St. Paul’s in their will and a way to share information about the Willing Friends Society for those who are interested in becoming a member.

The luncheon is open to all. To RSVP, please contact the foundation’s assistant, Megan Davenport, via 713-528-0527 x 127 or megan or by October 26. 

For further information about the Willing Friends Society and/or planned giving, please contact Rev. Goodrich via or 713-528-0527 x131.

Being One: a Marriage Seminar

A marriage seminar, “Being One,” for engaged and newly married couples, will be conducted at St. Paul’s on Saturday, November 7, 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,please email or call 713-528-0527.

Brochure with more information.

St. Paul's Choir Hosts An Evening for Edinburgh

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

St. Paul’s Choir will host an evening of entertainment featuring Scottish folksongs, favorite arias, and a glint of Broadway. The event, held in Fondren Hall, begins at 6:45 with a silent auction, followed by a seated dinner and entertainment.

Funds raised from the $50/person event will provide scholarships for choir members traveling to Scotland as part of the St. Paul’s Choir-in-Residence at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland, next July 11-17.

Through an intense week of rehearsals and worship, a residency experience reinforces a sense of community, builds musicianship, and strengthens faith. 

The St. Paul’s Choir has served as Choir-in-Residence at Westminster Abbey, York Minster, Ely Cathedral, St. Alban’s Cathedral, and Exeter Cathedral. The choir also has led worship at St. Thomas Church in Leipzig, St. Thomas Fifth Avenue in New York, and the National Cathedral in Washington D.C. 

Serving in these residencies has renewed choir members’ personal sense of purpose in and commitment to the musical heritage that is integral to the choir’s community and the entire St. Paul’s Family. 

The St. Paul’s Family also benefits from the choir’s preparation as they lead six Evensong services here between now and June. The next one will be for All Saints and include Gabriel Fauré’s Requiem.

Tickets for An Evening for Edinburgh will be sold on the Plaza October 18 and 25 and November 8 and 15. For more information please stop by the table or call the Music Department at 713 528-5776.