Ministers Messages

a MESSAGE FROM
THE ASSISTANT MINISTER OF CONGREGATIONAL LIFE

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston - Chalice
September 10, 2021

Dear Members and Friends,

 Tomorrow, on September 11th, the names of all the victims who died on, or as a result of, the attacks on September 11, 2001, will be read. Our ministers, church members, other local ministers, and local elected officials will be among the readers. The readings will take place in the sanctuary and begin at 7:46 am, the time (in Houston) the first plane flew into the North tower. This ritual of lamentation is being held to mourn the loss of life resulting from not only the attacks, but also the many lives lost in the subsequent wars. It will continue until all known names of the dead have been read.
     There are still times available for you to read names. Please go to this link and sign up for a time you would like to read.
      If you’re not comfortable reading, you can still participate. At any point during the vigil, please come to the sanctuary, meditate, and listen to names being read. Please keep in mind that wearing a mask is required inside the building. While reading victims' names from the pulpit, members and guests will be exempt from this requirement. If you prefer to join us online, the vigil will be livestreamed on our website.

The next day, on Sunday, we are very excited to have Kye Flannery as a guest in our pulpit. Kye (she/they) is a metal sculptor and board-certified chaplain living in Austin. Kye practices at the intersection of humanist, Buddhist and UU values.

Kye will continue reflecting on the concept of change that I began on Sunday. Change, as Octavia Butler underlined for us, is inevitable, and often uncomfortable. In Jewish tradition, the days between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are the days of awe. They are a time which reminds us that change is an energetic process, big changes are rooted in small. How do personal change and social change fit together? Our lenses for exploration will include family stories and Chinese philosophy.

We’ve had the first round of our weekly Spaces for Reflection and Sharing get-togethers, one in-person and one virtual. The next will be Tuesday at 7:00 pm in Channing Hall, and the week after that will be virtual.
     The intention of these is to support members and friends who are experiencing difficulty with effects of the pandemic. It is intended simply as a safe space to talk about feelings and be supported. If you are interested in joining but have questions, email Rev. Scott at
scott@firstuu.org.

I sometimes don’t hear about upsetting or joyous events in the lives of our congregants until well after the fact. I’d like to be a resource – to lend an ear if nothing else. Please contact me to let me know about these events, even if I’m not needed right then.
    If you have a joy or concern that you would like included in the Wheel of Life and mentioned in the Pastoral Prayer during the Sunday service, please email to
wheeloflife@firstuu.org. For concerns you may not want made public, please email ministers@firstuu.org.

Some of you know one of my pet peeves is directories that are out-of-date before the ink is dry. People’s contact information changes often and without notice! So, I’m a big fan of congregants learning to find others’ info (safely) online. Until we can make that happen, we’ll have a soft copy of the directory, which will be updated often and sent to those who request it.
          Alma has just updated the latest version and on Monday, she will be sending digital copies to those members who have requested them. If you would like a copy, contact her at alma@firstuu.org.

We’re excited so many of you are participating in our Sunday services in person or online. Take care and mask up!

Rev. D. Scott Cooper
Assistant Minister of Congregational Life

First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston

scott@firstuu.org