May: School Year Ends & Summer Begins


We’re coming to the end of the school year and I’m excited about planning for future children’s programs at St. Andrews. First, I know you will join me in saying thank you to those who have taught children’s Sunday school this year, Cindy Babbitt, Elizabeth Elwell, Marla Grace, Michelle and Stephen Hitt, Jennifer Linley, Megan Parks, and Catherine Runner. Our teachers took a leap of faith in September and agreed to help get Sunday school for children up and running. They have done a wonderful job!

While regular Sunday school will take a break this summer, there will be summer story time from 9:30 to 10:20 AM every Sunday in the chapel. This will be a time for lots of hands-on activities and great stories. So, don’t skip the Education Hour! Be there, PreK - 5th graders, for Sunday morning stories, art, music and play.

This summer I’ll also be organizing a Children’s Formation Committee made up of parents and other adults interested in planning and support for Sunday school, parenting forums and other events and programs for children and families. If this is an area of ministry that might be of interest to you, please let me know. Serving on the committee would be a two to three year commitment to meet monthly, a willingness to share your ideas and wisdom and a promise to regularly pray for the children and families of St. Andrews. Please contact me at 713-861-5596 or by email so that we can visit about this new ministry.

April: Rhythms of Grace Celebrates a Great Start


Recently a friend asked me which service I was attending now. I answered that I am a part of the 2 pm Rhythms of Grace service every week. Her reply was “I mean which real service are you attending?”

I have never experienced a more authentic, or more real worship service than Rhythms of Grace. There is a joy in the community of Rhythms of Grace Houston in the Heights. This ecumenical worship experience began services here on February 1 and continues to grow each week. The people who attend are of all ages and abilities who want to be in community with one another. There is a joyful sense of play and interaction with the Holy Spirit that fills the St. Andrews Parish Hall every Sunday afternoon.

I invite you to spread the word about what’s happening here. You can call the church office and ask to be added to our weekly e-newsletter or go to our Facebook page, Rhythms of Grace Houston, or give me a call at 713-861-5596 to learn more. Everyone is welcome to come and play, sing and rest in God’s holy presence at Rhythms of Grace.


February: Will You Witness...


After all have been presented, the Celebrant addresses the congregation, saying,

“Will you who witness these vows do all in your power to support these persons in their life in Christ?” BCP Holy Baptism

Have you ever replied  “We will.”? The witnessing and participation in the service of Holy Baptism is one of the most joyous and serious responsibilities we have as Christians. It is our promise to one another that we will do all in our power to support one another. The first step in that support is welcome, creating an environment where children and their parents are full members of the community. I can feel that welcome here at St. Andrew’s and it is a privilege for me to come and be a part of your church community.

Part of my job is “family formation,” and there is a reason that this title isn’t “children’s minister” or “director of education.” The focus of my work won’t be only children and I’m not planning to direct anyone. I hope to help coordinate ways for all of us to live into our baptismal covenant of supporting one another as Christians on a journey together. A congregation that welcomes families with children is a sign of a community filled with hope and joy.

Each of us has unique gifts to share and different talents for service. It is my hope that some of you may have an interest in exploring your gifts for teaching and mentoring. There is no requirement to be a Biblical scholar, a seasoned teacher, or even a parent. The only requirements are an open mind and a happy heart. The growing St. Andrew’s Sunday School program needs people to share their experience you, so call me and let’s visit about where you fit in—connect with me via email or call the church office at 713-861-5596.

Sunday School classes for pre-K through 2nd grade, 3rd through 5th grade and youth meet from 9:30-10:20 on Sunday mornings. At least four teachers for each class ensures that no one feels overwhelmed by the commitment.

January: A Jouney without End


“Now the Lord said to Abram, ‘Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you.” Genesis 12:1

How often are we offered the opportunity to take an epic “Abraham” journey? Do we recognize when God asks us to leave all that we know and love to follow an unknown path? Perhaps we close our ears to the invitation. Abram loved God, and God recognized his devotion. Would Abram’s love and devotion flow deep enough in his soul for Abram to surrender to God’s challenge?

Formation is journey without end, constantly changing and adapting to the environment surrounding us. There is love, there is devotion and if we are willing accept, surrender. It is a joy to love God, joyful work to be devoted to God, but it must be the most wonderful joy to surrender to God. I pray that when I am called by God to follow, I can have the strength to surrender to His call.

These are the rules I use for leading families in the formation of their faithful lives, to teach our children about the love of God, to be devoted in service to others in His name, and to surrender our will to His will. Helping anyone to know that God is more in charge than we are is difficult. It’s only natural that a parent wants to do everything possible to provide for their family, to make sure their children are safe and to be responsible for creating a happy home. Surrender doesn’t seem like a good vocabulary word for parenting.

As a wife and a parent and a formation leader I’ve taken many journeys that have ended with surrender, we all have. There have been many times that I recognized that I wasn’t in charge and, although I was afraid, I followed the unfamiliar path. Recognizing, and helping others to recognize, the opportunities for surrender seems to me to be an important part of what we should be doing for the church’s children and youth and young adults and older adults. And yet as fundamental as it sounds, it’s difficult to set the example. It’s difficult to relinquish control over what we hold dear or what we feel responsible for in our life and work.

If we’re afraid to let go and step out and go a new way, we’re not being true to who we say we are. I think of the practices that are tried and true for our community, the things that have always worked well – why would we want to follow a new path? The answer is not that we want to increase attendance or respond to a survey or please our vestry – the answer is that we are continually called to follow a new path.

I find myself now on a journey with you. While it may be a journey that I was not expecting, I am overwhelmed with excitement about things to come for us.  What is calling you? Where are you called to go? We are called every day to seize the opportunity to be living a new life in Christ; we are offered the gift of surrender.

“And Abram journeyed on…” Genesis 12:9