From the Rector

The blog of the Rev’d David O. Browder, Rector of St. Thomas’. Law and gospel, grace, pop culture, links to interesting articles and videos.

Church Restoration and Master Plan Update

church restoration

Work proceeds apace on both our Church restoration and master plan work. The master plan itself is complete; the school produced this video (which includes a view of a covered drop-off for the church from Endicott and of the planned church interior renovation): A fact sheet with 3-D renderings can be viewed here. The church…

An Invitation from David Browder!

We are about to have a really good time — I mean a REALLY good time. Some of your most dedicated brothers and sisters in Christ have been working very hard to put together our Boots and Bling Western Shindig! There will be music, dancing, craft beer, fajitas, wine — and even a mechanical bull.…

See the Whole Game: Holy Week, Easter and Alabama Football

Paul Bear Bryant

My identity is no longer defined as being “In Crimson Tide” but “in Christ”. It seems at first like ascetic self-denial but it is really the case that I enjoy other things more. I can now enjoy watching Alabama and not be cast down for two months if we lose to Auburn or Tennessee. Jesus Christ as the proper marker for my identity gives me a healthy relationship to good but lesser things like football, money, relationships, politics, and even family. Being “In Christ” is that from which human flourishing emanates.

Against Despair in a Time of Trouble

We are reeling from the violent events of the past few weeks. The school shooting in Florida, the mail bombs in Austin, and the most recent school shooting in Maryland are all sad and painful reminders of the broken and often evil world in which we live. What is going on? Is this too complex…

Parish Status Report

We are approaching seven months since our community, our church and our school were visited by Hurricane Harvey. Most of us have been affected one way or another by the storm and its aftermath. I’d like to bring you up to date on the work going on at the church as we, too, work to…

Shouting from the Rooftops

shouting from the rooftops

We know, by the very definition of the word “Evangelical”, that we at Saint Thomas’ are in the communication business — more so than any other stream of Christianity. How so? “Evangelical” literally means “Gospeller” or “One who proclaims the Good News of the Gospel”. This proclamation is our mission to Southwest Houston. To be…

Highs, Lows, and the Future of Our Children

highs lows

by David Browder: I looked at my children and had a bit of a revelation: one day, those tiny little growing people will be adults. They will go to school and go into careers. They will meet young women, get married, and have grandchildren for Kari and me. They will be adults, husbands, fathers, and…

Depending on Dependence

I had lunch with a good friend of mine today who recommended a book entitled An Invisible Thread, written by Laura Schroff. It tells the story of a chance encounter between an upwardly mobile sales executive and a 11 year-old African-American panhandler. As the sales executive walked by him, the boy asked her for some…

Going Out in Mission

If you look closely at the pulpit of St. Thomas’, you will see two carved figures featured prominently. On the left, there is the great theologian and bishop St. Augustine of Hippo. On the right, is a man who came over a millennium later, the Rev. George Whitfield. Whitfield was a part of the mid-eighteenth…

Rector’s Notes from the Vestry Retreat

The Belltower at St. Thomas;

by David Browder: This past weekend, your new vestry had a momentous retreat with your clergy. This was an especially important time to be together in the wake of the last several years of oil price drops, floods and, finally, hurricane Harvey ravaging our community. We did not minimize the task before us. Our church…