Mission Statement
The Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality and Prayer seeks to facilitate knowledge of and relationship with God by nurturing the spirituality of Christ Church Cathedral parishioners and those who live and work in downtown Houston through spiritual practices, prayer, and opportunities for both Christian and interfaith lecture and conversation.
The Hines Center for spirituality and prayer is a co-created response to the community’s longing for rich spiritual formation and expression. The center provides a wide variety of opportunities to know and experience God. We offer classes, lectures, workshops, and programmed group settings to foster connection, understanding, and compassion for self, other, and the mystery that beautifully and expansively holds us.

Some of our offerings are centuries old practices based on the work of the saints and mystics, such as icon writing, the Ignatian exercises, and Benedictine practices. Others are eastern influenced like yoga, tai chi, and meditation. We will pair many of these practices, old and new, with our curiosities about how to navigate the complexities of modern life. Most importantly, we’ll be holding space to discover God in the city and spirit in the Center of our lives.


Our Foundational Principles

Through lectures, experiential practices, and movement, Hines Center programs will facilitate spiritual and emotional growth.  It is our hope that participants will benefit from a variety of offerings that aim to address the wholeness and variety of needs we share.  Each class will be keyed to the curriculum’s targeted context. Based on Richard Rohr’s “Cosmic Egg” and Cindy Wigglesworth’s SQ21, The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence, we identify these categories as My Story, Our Story, and The Story.   In order to target and evaluate comprehensive programming, we have identified which needs are associated with each category.
My Story

My Story programs primarily focus on self awareness*, individual development, and self mastery.* They help participants meet their needs for meaning and purpose, creativity, well-being, balance, healing, self-compassion, self-connection, self-expression, peace of mind, etc.

Our Story

Our Story programs have a social and relational context. Programs have an emphasis on relationships, community, and social mastery.* They help participants meet their needs for empathy, interdependence, understanding, connection, being seen/heard, belonging, mutuality, cooperation, justice, support, etc.

The Story

The Story programs seek to move us beyond our individual and group awareness to the interconnected and universal truths. These offering allow us to connect with God, with mystery, and expand beyond our world views to universal awareness.* They help participants meet their needs for transcendence, presence, unity,global equality, inspiration, evolution, harmony, celebration, mourning, gratitude, etc.

Rev. Richard Rohr’s Eight Core Principles are at the heart of The Hines Center programming and decision-making

  1. The teaching of Jesus is our central reference point.

  2. We need a contemplative mind in order to do compassionate action.

  3. The best criticism of the bad is the practice of the better. Oppositional energy only creates more of the same.

  4. Practical truth is more likely found at the bottom and the edges than at the top or the center of most groups, institutions, and cultures.

  5. We will support true authority, the ability to “author” life in others, regardless of the group.

  6. Life is about discovering the right questions more than having the right answers.

  7. True religion leads us to an experience of our True Self and undermines the false self.

  8. We do not think ourselves into a new way of living, but we live ourselves into a new way of thinking.

Strategies and modalities we are interested in hosting as ways to address life questions
  • Art Instruction

  • Art Study

  • Benedictine Practices

  • Body/Somatic Coaching

  • Book Study

  • Centering Prayer

  • Community Building Activities

  • Compassion Cultivation Training

  • Compassionate Action/Service

  • Compassionate Communication

  • Compassionate Parenting

  • Contemplative practices

  • Creative Movement

  • Dance

  • Emotional Intelligence

  • Enneagram Personality Type

  • Film Study

  • Forms of Christian Prayer

  • Grief and Healing Support

  • Icon Art

  • Ignatian Practices

  • Interfaith Dialogue

  • Journaling

  • Labyrinth Facilitation

  • Meditation

  • Mindful Self Compassion

  • Mindfulness

  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction

  • Multigenerational Mentoring

  • Music Performance

  • Positive Discipline Parenting

  • Praying with Color

  • Qi Gong

  • Sacred Movement

  • Shame Resilience

  • Spiritual Direction

  • Spiritual Intelligence

  • Tai Chi

  • The Artist’s Way

  • The Grace Process

  • Transformational Coaching

  • Writing Instruction

  • Yoga


Wilson Building

The Hines Center will be located adjacent to the Cathedral in the Episcopal Health Foundation Building (formerly the Wilson Printing Building) at the corner of Fannin and Prairie.

The Vestry of Christ Church Cathedral is pleased to announce the approval of the Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality & Prayer.

Named to honor the legacy of the former Christ Church rector, later the fourth Bishop of Texas and 22nd Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, the Hines Center’s mission is as follows: “The Bishop John E. Hines Center for Spirituality & Prayer seeks to facilitate knowledge of and relationship with God by nurturing the spirituality of Cathedral parishioners and those who live and work in downtown Houston through spiritual practices, prayer, and opportunities for both Christian and interfaith lecture and conversation.”

The Hines Center will offer physical practices that support spiritual growth and appeal to a large cross-section of individuals coming from a broad spectrum of Christian faith. Such physical practices will include a labyrinth, sacred movement, yoga, and more.

Additionally, the Hines Center will offer contemplative practices such as contemplative prayer, meditative visual art including icon writing, one-on-one spiritual direction, interfaith lectures, and film studies.

Dean Thompson remarked, “Just as The Beacon feeds hungry bodies in downtown Houston, the Hines Center will feed hungry souls.”

The Hines Center is a major initiative of the Cathedral’s Vision Action Plan, “A Future Filled with Hope.” It was conceived through last year’s visioning process. The vestry approved the idea of a spirituality center in January and announced it to the parish in March, and a Spirituality Center Task Force spent the past eight months studying the feasibility of such a center. The task force consists of Wayne Clawater (chair), Karen Alston, Ken Brown, Justin DiLauro, Kaki Grubbs, Kay Pieringer, Flo Ray, and Dean Thompson.

Working with consulting firm Firestarter, the task force conducted Cathedral focus groups and surveys, which reaffirmed the Cathedral congregation’s desire for spiritual practices and spiritual formation. Eighty-five percent of those responding indicated that they are interested in learning about ancient spiritual practices as means of connecting with God.

Furthermore, within the next several years more than four thousand new residents will move into downtown Houston. Many of these will be “Millennials” age 20–35, a demographic who increasingly seek spiritual nourishment through spiritual practices other than traditional worship. The Hines Center will be designed with them in mind.

Of the Hines Center, task force chair Wayne Clawater said, “The Hines Center will be an aesthetically and functionally beautiful space. The boundless level of enthusiasm, sense of purpose, and dedication of everyone who has been involved in the Center’s development has been inspirational in its own right, and is reflective of the Hines Center’s awesome potential. The Hines Center will be a wonderful legacy of the Cathedral and yet another example of how God is in the midst of the city.”

The Hines Center will be located adjacent to the Cathedral in the Episcopal Health Foundation Building (formerly the Wilson Printing Building) at the corner of Fannin and Prairie. The Episcopal Health Foundation (EHF) occupies the upper floors of the building, and the Hines Center will occupy the first floor and mezzanine level. Ziegler Cooper Architects will design the space.

The Hines Center will operate on both a membership and fee-per-class basis, and revenues are projected to match expenses by year three of operation. Money will be set aside both to cover the first two years’ projected operating deficits as well as six months’ cash operating reserves.

Total capital funding for the Hines Center, including all operating reserves, comes to $2.4 million, and all funds have already been secured. EHF is a ready and supportive partner for the Hines Center, recognizing that the center’s mission and EHF’s mission complement one another; the Hines Center will be a major tenant in the EHF Building. In keeping with precedent for Cathedral capital projects, the Cathedral’s Endowment is also supporting the creation of the Center. Finally, Cathedral parishioner Nancy Powell Moore is a major benefactor for the Hines Center and even proposed the center’s name to honor the memory of Bishop Hines.

At the Dean’s Forum at 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 14, Dean Thompson will present the Hines Center plans to the congregation. The Hines Center is scheduled to open in the fall of 2015.