Governance

 
Board Photo(1)


Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen (Senior Minister: ex-officio)
Ron Cookston (President)

Lauri Zuchlewski
Chris Scott
Forrest Johnson
Sheryl Abrahams
Beth McCracken
Drew Stawar
P.D. Wadler
Toni Holland – not Pictured
Don Poole (Treasurer: ex-officio) – not Pictured
Tawanna Grice (Secretary: ex-officio) – not Pictured

Also Pictured:
Connie Acosta (Immediate Past Vice President)
Earl Dredge (Governance Committee Representative)


Ministerial Search Committee Slate

Steve Braun
Member since 2006

Steve Braun - Search Pic

Steve Braun has been attending FUUCH regularly for over 22 years and formally joined 18 years ago in 2006.  He has served First Church as a Board member, member & former long-time Chair of the Adult Programs Committee, and recently as Co-Chair of FUUCH's “Vision/Mission/Covenant sub-committee.

Steve is a retired attorney and recently helped FUUCH successfully negotiate its contracts for Energy-saving solar panels.  He feels selecting a “good fit” as our settled minister is a vital task for the health and future of FUUCH and that it is critical that the minister have a clearvision of Houston's great need for a Liberal Religious/Spiritual Community/Church.

Finally, he has over 20 years of experience professionally in the "Search/Recruitment" industry and hopefully could use skills learned there on FUUCH's Minister Search Committee.

Johanna DeYoung
Member since 2022

Johanna DeYoung - Search Pic
Johanna DeYoung has been a member of First Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church of Houston since 2015. She became a member when the Thoreau UU Congregation merged with First UU Church of Houston. Since 2015, she has served as a Board Member and co-chaired the Vision, Mission, and Covenant Committee. Currently, she is one of four leaders with the Religion Education YoUUth (middle school) Group and serves as the chair of the Personnel Committee. She is also on the Welcome Team and the Governance Committee,

She said it will be an honor and commitment to work together with the Search Committee in identifying First UU Church of Houston’s next minister.

Ruth Hoffman-Lach
Member since 2006

Ruth Hoffman-Lach - Search Pic
Ruth has been a member of First UU for 18 years. She has served on the Board as both Vice President and President, on several teams and committees including Healthy Communications, Nominating, Auction, Stewardship, and Capital Campaign. She also has been a member of the choir, taught summer RE, mentored youth in Coming of Age, and raised three children in the church.  She is currently involved with the Justice Coordinating Council and mentoring for Coming of Age.

She is committed to the FUUCH community and looks forward to helping call a minister who will work with us to widen love’s circle.

Marilyn Knight
Member since 1999

Marilyn Knight - Search Pic
As a 25-year member of First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, Marilyn Knight has served in a variety of capacities including on the Nominating, Stewardship, Endowment and Links (calling congregants during COVID) Committees, as well as on the Endowment Fund Task Force and the first Care Team. Marilyn chaired the inaugural Legacy Gifts Committee which launched the Chalice Society.  She has also been an RE instructor, off and on, for about 10 years. Through her volunteer activity, she has had the opportunity to meet many church members and develop friendships that endure beyond the committee service. Marilyn has worked with five different ministers (including 3 interim) and understands effective layperson/clergy dynamics.

Before she retired Marilyn worked as a nonprofit fundraiser for 35 years in Houston and is used to working in a collaborative fashion to accomplish specific, usually time-sensitive, goals.

As a fundraiser, Marilyn  has learned to do her homework, ask exploratory questions, listen more than speak, follow-up in a timely manner, respect people’s time, values and opinions, and express gratitude often.  

Mary Koch
Member since 2001

Mary Koch - Search Pic
Mary Koch and her husband, Ron Cookston, have been members of First UU Houston since 2001.  They have one son, Emery, who lives in Houston and Ron’s son and Mary’s stepson and his family live in San Francisco and are members of First UU San Francisco.
Mary is on the Justice Coordinating Council (JCC), the liaison to The Metropolitan Organization (TMO), the JCC representative on the Shared Offering Committee, serves on the Welcoming Team, and is part of the support group for Afghan immigrants.  Mary also helps the Garden and Flower teams. Recently, Mary chaired a Board Committee to evaluate options for parking and was a member of the Mission, Vision, and Covenant Committee.  She chaired our most recent Search Committee in 2009-2010 and before that had served as President of the Board.

Lydia J. Luz
Member since 2005

Lydia Luz - Search Pic
Becky Smith has been a First UU Houston member since spring 2022, and an active church participant for a couple of years Originally from Salem, Mass., Lydia moved to Houston with family in September 2005 for work. Concerned about the negative influence conservative families could have in their son’s elementary school, she enrolled him in First UU Church Houston’s Religious Education classes, which he attended through the Coming-of-Age program.
During her 18 years as a member, she has served in numerous roles, including Religious Education teacher, Board of Trustees member, Stewardship Team member and leader. She has been a longtime member of the String Band and currently serves as coordinator.
Lydia retired in 2023 after 30+ years as a non-profit executive and consultant in higher education, health care and the arts. Her early career was in law. Lydia cherishes First Houston as her spiritual home and community, as each inspires us to be our best selves. She views the Ministerial Search as vital to the church’s continued success and would be honored to serve on i on the Search Team.
, including on Climate Action Team, Social Justice Coordinating Committee, Worship Associates Team, and a short-termed board committee to help analyze the economics of greening our building using the PACE Loan program.

What motivates her to serve on the Search Committee is wanting to have a great minister.  She is good at connecting with people and has a lot of professional and personal experience doing so with diverse audiences. She is persistent and doesn’t mind productive confrontation.  She likes to work hard and also enjoy herself and, thus, she brings genuine personality to her work and volunteer roles. She loves people. She seeks to act from the “8 c’s” as much as possible across all areas of her life: compassion, creativity, curiosity, confidence, connectedness, courage, clarity, and calm.

Her daytime job is working as Texas director of the national non-profit organization Clean Water Action.

Becky Smith
Member since 2022

Becky Smith - Search Pic
Becky Smith has been a First UU Houston member since spring 2022, and an active church participant for a couple of years longer, including on Climate Action Team, Social Justice Coordinating Committee, Worship Associates Team, and a short-termed board committee to help analyze the economics of greening our building using the PACE Loan program.

What motivates her to serve on the Search Committee is wanting to have a great minister.  She is good at connecting with people and has a lot of professional and personal experience doing so with diverse audiences. She is persistent and doesn’t mind productive confrontation.  She likes to work hard and also enjoy herself and, thus, she brings genuine personality to her work and volunteer roles. She loves people. She seeks to act from the “8 c’s” as much as possible across all areas of her life: compassion, creativity, curiosity, confidence, connectedness, courage, clarity, and calm.

Her daytime job is working as Texas director of the national non-profit organization Clean Water Action.



Board Minutes

Access to the First UU Church Board Minutes is restricted to Church members only per Board Resolution approved on January 20th, 2021.

Please send an email to minutes@firstuu.org to request a copy of the most recent minutes.
Your request will be answered as soon as possible.


Important Governance Documents

Office of the Secretary of State Certificate of Filing of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston / Articles of Incorporation
BYLAWS
PRINCIPLES OF GOVERNANCE
DEVELOPMENTAL MINISTRY REVIEW
SAFE CONGREGATION POLICY
RULES FOR CONDUCT OF ACTIVITIES OF THE BOARD
BOARD COVENANT

 

 

questions? concerns?

If you have any questions and/or concerns you would like to submit to the Board of Trustees, please send an email to the Healthy Communications Team: hct@firstuu.org