Supplies for Unaccompanied Central American Children, Refugee Families Arriving in Houston

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

As unaccompanied children and refugee families fleeing Central American violence are now arriving in Houston for scheduled detention hearings, St. Paul’s will be prepared to help in diverse ways. Attorneys will be trained at St. Paul’s on August 9 to provide legal aid. Supplies also will be needed for support during this period; collection barrels will be at the church entrances to receive them through the month of August. Suggestions:

  • Non-perishable food & beverages (ex: juice boxes, snack bars)
  • Toiletries (ex: soap, deodorant, toothbrush/paste)
  • Spanish & bi-lingual children’s books, (small) toys, coloring books, crayons
  • Baby formula, diapers 
  • Small blankets for children
  • Small Bibles in Spanish or bi-lingual
  • Clothing  (ex: t-shirts, sweatshirts)
  • Duffle bags 

For more about this situation, please see the video by Jesuit Refugee Service/USA, Central American Refugees Flee Violence.

Register for St. Paul's Fine Arts Academy

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St. Paul's Fine Arts Academy offers high-quality instruction with classes in dance, art, Musikgarten, and handbells plus individual lessons in piano, guitar, and voice.

Registration is now open for the new school year, and there's something for all ages, talent, and interests.

Some classes in art, dance, and music are held at 2:30 for the convenience of St. Paul's School families; other times vary through the week.

Musikgarten offers classes for newborns (with a parent or caregiver) through younger elementary ages.

Older children and adult learners are welcome to sign up for piano, guitar, voice, or handbells.

If you don't see your area of interest on the brochure, please ask. New times or classes may be arranged to fit your needs. For more information about the program, schedule, or fees, please contact Helen Reynolds at

Nursery Tours Sunday Mornings August 24 + September 7 and 14

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Families with infants and toddlers are invited to tour the nursery rooms and playground, visit with other families, and meet St. Paul’s professional childcare staff. Information will be provided about the care of the children and activities for them, along with the policies designed for safety and hygiene. Staff members also will answer your specific questions and get to know your child.

Enter the Jones Building and look for the signs. 

Expectant parents and extended families are welcome, too.

Questions? Ellen Edwards at

Volunteer Training for Spanish-English Interpreters

The Texas Annual Conference (TAC) is providing a volunteer training opportunity for bilingual Spanish-English speakers to interpret for pro bono attorneys during detention hearings in Karnes County, Texas. The training will be Saturday, September 6, at First UMC, 1320 Main, from 10:30 a.m. to noon. Lunch provided. For more information, or to register: see the TAC website or contact shirley Broome at or 713-521-9383

Wedding Guild Sign-up

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To help with St. Paul's weddings or learn more about the Wedding Guild, stop by the Wedding Guild table on the Plaza the morning of Sunday, September 7.

Wedding Guild members are friendly, informed, competent faces to those being married and their families. Their role helps St. Paul’s put its best foot forward in this key worship experience.

St. Paul’s could not offer joyous,  beautiful weddings without the Wedding Guild’s well-planned and thorough assistance.    

Weddings occur throughout the year on most weekends. Exceptions are designated holidays. Working in pairs, including married couples, Wedding Guild volunteers usually are involved in three weddings a year.

Membership in the Guild is always open, and on-the-job training is required prior to service.

The Guild normally holds sign-ups three times a year, usually in January, May, and September, when Guild members choose the dates they would like to serve for the next few months. 


Labyrinth Walk for the After School Program - New Beginnings

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

To celebrate "New Beginnings," children and parents in the church's After-School Program are invited to walk the Labyrinth on the Bankston Green. Hattie McKinley and Karen Kelley will lead the celebration.


Canine Companions Visit Salt and Light

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

Canine Companions for Independence® is an organization that trains dogs from puppyhood to provide assistance to the hearing impaired and people with certain other disabilities, also as skilled companions and facility dogs. 

To learn more about how “Man’s Best Friend” is trained for these responsibilities and how they help improve human lives, come to the September 11 Salt and Light meeting when Charlene (Chicky) and Dennis Fowler with Canine Companions for Independence will talk about their roles as volunteer puppy raisers. They also will bring a couple of Canine Companions with them.

The group gathers in Fondren Hall around 10:30 a.m. with the program at 11 and an $8 lunch served to those who RSVP by September 9 to 713-528-0527 or Meetings are open to all.

Master Miao Tsan

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Venerable Master Miao Tsan

Venerable Master Miao Tsan returns to the Ordinary Life class on Sunday, September 14, from 9:30 to 11 a.m. In his latest book, Living Truth, he explains why we have problems and teaches us how to resolve them. Similar to the philosophy of the Ordinary Life class, he says that "before we can begin to think of bettering any aspect of life, we must accept reality as it is, not as we have chosen to define it."

Bankston Green Dedication September 14

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Bankston Green - from 4th floor

St. Paul’s gift to the city — the Bankston Green — that also honors our retired senior minister, Dr. L. James (Jim) Bankston, and his wife Sandy, will be dedicated on Sunday, September 14. The service will be held on the Green at 12:15 p.m. 

Connecting with the City’s Museum Walk, this provides another place for spiritual renewal in the heart of Houston. With its wider sidewalks, better lighting and seating area, the walk also has encouraged pedestrian traffic into the church. St. Paul’s use of the Labyrinth on the Green also has expanded for worship, prayer, and other programming.

This project has been designated to receive the Landmark Award in the 30th Annual Mayor’s Proud Partners program of Keep Houston Beautiful. Awards will be October 27. Last year's winners.

Thanks to all who made this possible. Planning committee members: Dottie Burge, Camille Cunningham, Vic Driscoll, Judy Leatherwood Smith, Sherry and Roy Ogburn, Karen Peck, Dick Rentz, Richard Spaw, Rev. Tommy Williams, and Rev. Gail Williford. Merriman Holt, represented by Jim Powell, was the architect, W.S. Bellows the contractor, and SWA Group landscape architects.

Chapter One Book Group

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Tonight's book for discussion will be The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein..

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

Labyrinth Walk for the After School Program - New Beginnings

St. Paul's United Methodist Church (map)

To celebrate "New Beginnings, children and parents in the church's After-School program are invited to walk the Labyrinth on the Bankston Green.  Hattie McKinley and Karen Kelley will lead the celebration.