A New Community – One Year at St. Andrew’s

On any Sunday at St. Andrew’s, worshipers arrive for the 8:30 service to enjoy the quiet beauty of the Rite 1 liturgy, many stay and others arrive for the Education Hour or fellowship over breakfast and then individuals and families of all descriptions worship together at the 10:30 Rite 2 service. Later in the afternoon a different congregation gathers for St. Andrew’s third service of the day.

One year ago this month, St. Andrew’s welcomed Rhythms of Grace as an alternative weekly service for people of all ages and abilities who want to worship in a different way. Like a handful of other Rhythms of Grace services around the country, Rhythms of Grace in Houston had been offering monthly worship, but we had a vision of a weekly service. We had a committed group of volunteers and worshipers; we just needed a community in which to flourish. St. Andrew’s has provided that community for people who thought they would not be able to find a church home.

Many of those who come and worship with us have been pushed out of traditional services; some of the families have never worshiped together – parents, children and siblings. Others just feel more comfortable with a more informal setting and just enjoy the fun of worshiping with finger paint, play dough and bare feet. “There are people of all ages from infants to young adults having fun together,” said Jere Pfister who struggled with her own son’s learning differences. “For many years I worked in children’s liturgy but never did I experience anything like Rhythms of Grace. I am so happy when I attend the service and see my dream come true.”

Kathy Gallman and her family have been coming regularly since the move service moved to the Heights. “Rhythms of Grace has been such a blessing to our family in many ways — learning about God’s love in a warm and fun environment, we enjoy the message, the activities, the fellowship. My husband likes to go and he hasn’t attended church regularly in a long time!” said Kathy.

Perhaps you know a family who is looking for a way to worship together in a relaxed atmosphere of acceptance. We follow the traditional order of service – gathering, hearing God’s word, response to the story, sharing the Eucharist and going forth in peace. We blend all of the facets of Sunday morning into one short period of worship, formation and community. Rhythms of Grace welcomes everyone, no matter what age, what differences, what limitations. The service is every Sunday at 2 pm in the Parish Hall. To learn more, contact, Lisa Puccio at lpuccio@saecheights.org or 713-861-5596.