Weekly thoughts from the Rector of Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church in Houston, Texas, where these words remind us that Jesus’ peace goes with us into the world.
Next Sunday, April 9, is Palm Sunday, when we will carry our palm fronds and sing our hosannas, following Jesus Christ and proclaiming him as King of kings. It will also be our first celebration of Palm Sunday as the feast day for Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church. Palmer is not only a family name, which is how this church came into existence, but also has referred historically to someone who had returned from the Holy Land with a palm frond or leaf as an outward sign of having undertaken a pilgrimage. It’s a wonderful metaphor for our life as Christians, and that’s why the image that represents Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church is a cross with a palm frond and why we will reflect on our identity as the people of God on Palm Sunday.
Many of you have seen the photographs down the hallway near the church offices that are snapshots in time of our congregation gathered on Easter Day through the years. We are reviving that tradition this year, assembling for a group photograph not on Easter Day but on Palm Sunday — Palmers together on the feast day that reminds us of who and whose we are. Our congregational photograph will be taken on Palm Sunday, April 9, at 10:15 a.m. on the side lawn between Autry House and Cambridge Street. For those coming to the 9:00 a.m. Choral Eucharist, we will simply process out of the church together during our final hymn and walk there. For those coming to a different liturgy that morning, plan to meet us there at 10:15 a.m. We want as many people as possible to be present for this family portrait, including friends, neighbors, and first-time guests — all God’s children. Hosanna!
— The Rev. Neil Alan Willard, Rector