News April 5, 2024

Dear Members and Friends,

This Sunday we launch our annual stewardship campaign. The theme this year is “United for Love and Action.” We’ll be slightly different tack with it than we have in past years. This time around we’re placing an emphasis on inviting those of you into membership. We’re hoping that you’ll unite with First Unitarian Universalist in love and action to make a difference in both your lives and in the wider community.

Now’s a great time to do so! We have so many new folks engaged in the congregation and we would love to welcome you into membership. First Unitarian Universalist is serving more people than it has in a long time. Consider that:
  • We offer worship, religious education, and adult programs to an average of more than 400 people most Sundays;
  • We routinely mobilize dozens of volunteers for social justice and social service efforts that benefit people throughout the region;
  • We have an arts program that has received national coverage and is unique amongst Houston area congregations;
  • We have built an online social media presence that is one of the largest of any Unitarian Universalist congregation in the country.
We have done all of this with slightly less than 300 members. Imagine what we could do if more of our friends were to make a commitment to join the congregation and support it with an annual pledge?

What is more, membership is not without its benefits. As a community that holds democracy as a religious practice, it is our membership that makes major decisions about the life of our community. Members have the right to vote at a congregational meeting. It is our members who elect our Board and Nominating Committee and adopt statements like our congregational covenant, mission, and vision. In the coming months we will be voting on a settled Senior Minister. Only members will be eligible to participate in the election.

Membership has other tangible benefits as well. Our ministers provide members with rites of passage (memorials, weddings, and child dedications) without cost. Members can also receive pastoral care and counseling. In addition, members are able to rent space in our facility at a reduced cost.

I could write more about the importance of membership but then I would be giving away my sermon! I hope that you’ll join me and the rest of the congregation for it and for what I am sure will be an inspiring service devoted to celebrating our community.

Before I close, I would like to invite you to, if you have not already, take time before or after the service on Sunday to see our FotoFest exhibition, “Wendel A. White: Difficult Histories”. At the end of last month, Wendel White was with us himself to see the exhibition. He gave a fantastic lecture at the Glassel School and shared with us how impressed he was by our efforts. I was delighted this past Wednesday to receive an unexpected visit by FotoFest founder Wendy Watriss and Executive Director Steven Evans. They shared with me how much they appreciated, in Steven’s words, that “year after year” we provide “high quality and important work” for the festival and for the city.

I also want to let you know that we’ll be holding a press conference on Thursday, April 25th to celebrate the installation of our solar panels. Councilwoman Carolyn Evans-Shabazz will be joining us to highlight our work to green our campus and offer a model of how religious communities can be better stewards of our beloved Earth.



Where Are the Ministers

Dr. Bossen will be in the pulpit every Sunday this month. He’ll be preaching a special sermon focusing on our FotoFest exhibition on April 14th and on Grace Lee Boggs as part of our Lives of the Spirit programming on April 28th. On April 21st he’ll be joining Carol Burrus for the annual Earth Day celebration.

Rev. Scott is on a much deserved vacation. He will be back on April 15th.