St. Andrew's Welcomes The Rev. James M. L. Grace as Rector

I am pleased to announce that we have extended a call to The Rev. James (Jimmy) Grace and overjoyed that he has graciously accepted. He will begin his ministry as Rector of St. Andrew's on April 1, 2014 and officiate his first Eucharist with us on April 6, 2014. 

Throughout the search and interview process, I have been repeatedly struck by two sentiments that have come up in conversation with Jimmy. He truly believes that God has called him to lead St. Andrew's and upon being called, he was, quite simply, speechless. His assured faith in God's plan and humble enthusiasm leading up to this announcement only serve to further reinforce my confidence in our decision.

The Reverend Jimmy Grace

Ministry Statement:
My gift and passion is with ministry in the parish setting. I continue to meet Christ in the people of the parish, the neighborhood it serves, and in administering the resources for which it has been blessed.

Jimmy is a native Houstonian. He graduated from the Episcopal High School in 1994 and went on to complete a Bachelor of Arts in Communication and Art History at Southwestern University at Georgetown. Jimmy served as Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries at Trinity Episcopal Church, Houston from 1999 until 2002. He then began studies at Virginia Theological Seminary, where he graduated in 2005. He was ordained that same year, and served as Associate Rector at Epiphany, Houston from 2005 to 2010. During this time he was also President of the Board for Epiphany Community Health Outreach Services (ECHOS). He is a member of the Diocesan Commission on Ministry and one of the Bishop's Examining Chaplains. Most recently, Jimmy has served at Christ Church Cathedral in Houston as the Canon for Formation and Worship. Jimmy is married to Marla and they have three sons, James, William, and Henry.

In the coming weeks, we will be scheduling a series of gatherings for you to meet Rev. Grace and get to know him and his family. We will communicate details about these events as soon as they are available.

This is incredible news, and naturally you have questions. Please do not hesitate to contact me or any member of the Search Committee or Vestry. 

Greg Caudell, Senior Warden


Search Committee Hard at Work

Our Search Committee met with an Episcopal Diocese of Texas representative in November for training on the STAR interview process. The STAR interview process helps the search committee frame questions that will provide for better candidate evaluation. The team develops the questions in advance based on the results of the parish survey. The goal is to develop questions that will address the things identified as important by the parish.

Since that time, the committee has refined questions and completed a mock interview with The Rev. Ken Fields. The group received a list of prospective candidates and are active in the search for the next rector of St. Andrew’s. Through prayerful thought and parish consideration, the team is moving forward. The Search Committee includes: Kevin Robertson, co-chair; Elizabeth McCormick, co-chair; Collin Ricklefs; Cort Peavy; Elaine Massey; Liz Dennis; Lisa Mustacchia; and Michelle Hitt.


St Andrew’s Vestry Retreat January 2014: Seeking & Sharing God's Gifts

On the weekend of January 24th, the St. Andrew's vestry, along with The Rev. Ken Fields and The Rev. Portia Sweet, met at Camp Allen for their annual retreat. While there they attended discussions led by The Rev. Bill Blackerby of Birmingham, Alabama. Rev. Blackerby put forth a series of questions - questions that each attendee was to answer by the close of their time at Camp Allen. The questions were meant for St. Andrew's as a whole - how we see ourselves and where we feel we ought to be.

Over the course of many hours, ideas, truths, fears, aspirations and all manner of thoughts were expressed aloud, as both the white-board and the large paper tablet were filled beyond capacity. In the end, the notes were refined and turned into statements. They are as follows:


The nurturing and nourishing family of St. Andrew’s is a small-town church in a big city.


We have ambitions of being a larger community but we're limited by mental and physical realities, lack of focus, procedures, structure, and a reactive attitude parish and diocesan levels.


By changing the way we do things and following Jesus’s call, we’re afraid we’ll lose more than we’ll gain.

Core Desire:

An inviting and vital parish that sustains God’s presence through us in our community with a shared vision of our future.


The Men of St. Andrew's & Knights of Columbus at St. Theresa's Catholic Church Give Profound Thanks & Brisket Prepping Tips

The Men of St. Andrew's and the Knights of Columbus at St. Theresa Catholic Church want to give our profound thanks for choosing us to help provide for your Super Bowl party.  We all had a practice run last weekend and believe we will be providing you with a fantastic brisket to share with your friends for the big football game.

As some may know, cooking a brisket is a combination of science and art.  However, one part of a fantastic brisket that isn't discussed very often is that how it is carved is every bit as important to how well it was cooked.  Please take some time to watch the following video prior to cutting your brisket up:

A few points to take into account:

  • Have a very, very sharp knife! This can not be stressed enough. In that video, you can see that he moves almost effortlessly through the meat. There is a reason he is able to do so. I will see about getting a knife sharpener available for sharpening a knife for you this coming Saturday.
  • Don't throw away your fat (at least not immediately). Once everyone has had their tummy filled with brisket, you will most likely have some left over brisket. The best way to use the left overs is to chop it up for future use as a chopped beef sandwich. When you are chopping it up, you will need to add some of the fat into the meet so that the meat isn't too dry when it is reheated. Only you will know how much fat you want to add, but sometimes "more is more" when it comes to good eats. Just put the left over chopped beef in the freezer and reheat when you are hungry!
  • As you can tell in the video: Please, please, please cut against the grain. It's the only way the meat will be tender. Are you getting the idea that cutting against the grain is important????
  • Don't worry if you can't shave your brisket as well as the guy in the video can. He does it for a living it would appear.
  • One last thing on this topic: cut against the grain . . .

We will begin cooking the briskets around 3:00 to 4:00 am Saturday morning (only the Pit will let us know when it's ready to begin cooking) so that they have plenty of time to properly cook over wood (as our Father in Heaven intended!!!) so that they have a nice smoke ring and the meat tenderizes.  They should all be ready by no later than 5:00ish pm Saturday (February 1st), but ask that you call any of the following about 2:30ish pm so that we can give you a progress report:
Todd Saha at 713-299-7502
Jack McCormick at 832-661-7400
Jerry Gallagher at 713-530-4132
Also, feel free to stop by during the early morning and throughout the day.  This cookout is really more about fellowship and getting to know each other than it is about raising money for each church.  We would love for you to come and stay as long as you want!


The Men of St. Andrew's and St. Theresa Catholic Church are Taking Brisket Orders for the Super Bowl!

The Men of St. Andrew's and the Knights of Columbus at St. Theresa Catholic Church will be smoking briskets the Saturday before Super Bowl Sunday. 

They'll be preparing these BBQ beauties from sunup to, probably well beyond sundown - making sure you get approximately 9 lbs. of smokey, cut-with-a-butter-knife beef for your big game party.

Please put a check made out to St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church along with this order form in the alms collection. If you want to pay with cash, please give your payment and order form to Todd Saha or Jack McCormick.

Forms are Due by:

Sunday, January 26, 2014 at the 10:30 AM Service


February 1, 2014; from 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM ONLY


St. Andrew's House, 1811 Heights Boulevard


Our Windows are Back!

With the installation of our beloved stained glass windows, another major church renovation project is complete. The restoration began in early September with work being done by Freebird Glass, a stained glass restoration contractor in Cypress, Texas. The windows were originally designed and produced by Judson Studios of Los Angeles, California, in the 1950s. After more than 50 years of service, the windows were in need of attention. Not only have these treasures been refurbished, but they also have been protected with laminated and ventilated clear glass so that they can adorn St. Andrew's for decades to come.

For more information on our stained glass windows, view The History and Meaning of Our Stained Glass Windows.


Gratitude to Those Leaving the Vestry in 2013

We wish to thank those who are leaving the St. Andrew’s vestry after their years of service. Deidre Grawl, Priscilla Burroughs, Dorothy Yannuzzi and Chris Barker are retiring from official duty, but will continue to serve St. Andrew’s in many ways. In fact, Priscilla will stay on as vestry clerk and Chris will continue to serve as parish treasurer. Our newly elected vestry members—Anne Jones, Sarrah Moseley, Kim Ogg, Ben Park and—will continue to lead the parish with gladness and singleness of heart.

We thank them all for their dedication and devotion to St. Andrew’s!


Support the Food Pantry with Time & Turkeys!

The pantry will be closed on December 28, so please mark your calendars for Saturday, December 14—that’s when the St. Andrew’s team will work. 

Volunteers are needed to pack and distribute boxes of food for Christmas dinners to food pantry clients. Packing will take place in the morning from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM 

and distribution to families arriving in cars will be from 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM. All this will take place at the Food Pantry pavilion at Pecore (11th St.) and Beauchamp. If you can help at any time during the day, please show up and lend us hand.

A light lunch will be served to volunteers. Help us know how many people to expect and check out and sign up at for whatever amount of time you are able to serve. to schedule if you can only come for a short time or 2 hour slot that is great. Or, if you can only bring sandwiches, chips or drinks for lunch, that’s great, too!

All the food and fixings for the Pantry’s holiday boxes are provided except turkeys. If you can donate one or more frozen turkeys, please take them to the pantry any Thursday evening or Saturday morning, or deliver them on the morning of December 14. Watch your grocery ads to take advantage of turkey sales!


Thanks for Your Support!

The Fall Bazaar on November 2 was a wonderful success—thanks to fabulous weather and your tremendous efforts.

At the end of the day, the event raised quite a bit for parish ministries and activities. Thanks to everyone who volunteered, baked, donated, shopped or contributed in any way!

And special thanks to Brian Harrison and Ward Birkett for opening their home and hosting a wonderful party for the choir and the parish on November 9. The event was well attended and the event was a great way to spend time together and get to know one another better.


The Daughters of the King—Celebrating a Century of Commitment

DOK Transfiguration Chapter would like to thank St. Andrew's vestry & church members for the wonderful reception on November 3 which celebrated their first 100 years of prayer, service & evangelism at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church!

Texas Diocese DOK Vice President, Erika Anzaldua-Callison skillfully presented their rich history of strength, courage and devotion. 

Speaking for all present and future Daughters, the opportunities are our blessings and we will always be grateful.  

Current DOK Members at St. Andrew's: Cathey Harrison, Kathleen Galbraith, Gina Nicole Tuttle, Georgia Kirk, Deidre Grawl, Chris Barker, Erika Anzaldua-Callison, Elaine Massey, and Addie Smith, Michelle Hitt, Ann Belleri, Bonnie Fairbanks, Francine Farmer, Betty Hayes, Marianne Haynes, Olivia Jordan, Cecile McCurley and Anne Hulme Sloan


Give Christmas Flowers

During December, you can share the joy of this Christmas season by contributing toward flowers to decorate the church.

While the costs of poinsettias are $15 each and altar arrangements are $40 per vase, gifts in all amounts are gratefully accepted and will be acknowledged. If you would like to participate in the adornment of the church, please complete the enclosed Christmas flower form place it in the alms basin along with your contribution (specify Christmas flowers on your check).

You have until December 18, 2013.

Donate Altar Flowers

Throughout the year, sponsoring altar flowers is a wonderful way to honor loved ones, commemorate a special occasion or simply give back to the glory of God. 

There are still a number of Sundays available for sponsorship on the Altar Flower calendar, located on the bulletin board in the rear entry hall. After the flowers adorn the church during Sunday services, the two vases are moved to the chapel and St. Andrew’s House to be enjoyed for the remainder of the week.

Giving flowers is so easy:

- Sign up on the calendar for a specific week(s)

- Drop your $80 check in the alms basin or mail to the church office (specify altar flowers on your check)

If you have questions, please contact Elizabeth McCormick at 832-661-7300 or


Recognize the Recently Baptized, Confirmed and Received

The Right Rev. Andy Doyle visited St. Andrew's on November 10, 2013 to confirm and receive those that sought membership in the Episcopal Church. 

We would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest members: Laura Beyers, Steven Scott Runner, Rashni Saikia and Catherine Runner


The Honor of Performing Five Baptisms

The following were baptized on November 3, 2013:

Presley Michael Barker
Son of Christy Lynn Barker

Rebecca Diamond Brigman
Daughter of Isabel Brigman

Samuel Lee Runner
Son of Scott & Catherine Runner

Elle Olivia Williams
Daughter of Heather & Michael Williams

Steven Scott Runner

Rashni Saikia

Welcome to Christ's family!


Sack Lunch Program Needs You!

A committee was formed  in mid August to facilitate the parish Sack Lunch Program. Pat Caver, Pat Gentry, Rex Hall, Elaine Massey and Jere Pfister agreed to work  together to  make the program a church-wide effort. Michelle Hitt is also considered part of the committee because of her family’s extraordinary efforts each month in seeing the sacks are placed in the kitchen at St. Andrew’s House for distribution.

What can you do???

We need church members to continue to sign up and bring the needed products to fill the sacks. Once your  items  are  placed in the Parish Hall kitchen, please put a check mark by your name to let us know your items have been delivered. Items for sack lunches are still due by the first Sunday each month. You may get a phone call from time to time requesting  desperate help (not enough folks signed up to bring items) or simply to thank you for your dedication to the cause!

Hope you have had a great summer and that you will continue your support of this worthy outreach endeavor. Monetary donations are still welcome—simply write sack lunches in the memo line of your check and place in the collection plate on Sunday—or direct your  cash donation to one of the committee members.


Changing of the Guard!

Teri Jo Nicholson has handed the reins of two of St. Andrew’s key ministries to a couple of willing volunteers. After more than 10  years, she  is stepping  down  as  chair  for  the  parish’s ushers & greeters and passing that important job on to John Stephenson. In addition, Chris Barker will take over as coordinator for our monthly Holy Folders sessions.

Thanks to the energy and commitment of Teri Jo, both these ministries are going strong and will continue to serve the parish  well. We  appreciate  all  her  hard work and know she will enjoy a bit of time off!

The English Dance Group Is Mentioned In The Houston Chronicle

The Houston Area Traditional Dance Society gets together at 8:00 PM, the second and fourth Saturdays of every month in the Parish Hall.

Here are few key quotes from the article: 

“The Houston Area Traditional Dance Society provides members a safe atmosphere where they can forget the pressures of daily life and dance to melodies brought to the United States by settlers from England, Ireland and Scotland. Sessions of contra dance, which is an American type of social dancing with roots in European traditions.”
“‘I love the sense of community that comes from dancing as a group. I have an idyllic image of all the members of a picturesque English or French village 200 years ago coming together as an extended family for the pure joy of dance,’ said Jose Figueroa, 35, a special-education high school teacher from the Sixth Ward area who has attended the dances for two months. ‘It's reflected in the big smiles on everyone's faces. It's a wonderful tradition.’” 
“‘I had some friends in college who were really into contra; so I decided to check it out. I got hooked instantly,’ said the group's secretary, Ben Hornstein, 24, who is the second youngest person on the board of directors.
Hornstein said he is drawn to contra dancing because even the uncoordinated can enjoy and excel in it.
‘If you can walk and tell your left from your right, you can contra-dance, and you can fake knowing left and right,’ Hornstein said.”  

 The article may be found here.