Dear Members and Friends,
Those of you who missed me on Sunday, or are friends of mine on Facebook, know Conrad and I just returned from a week enjoying theatre (especially of the musical variety, to no one’s great shock) and good food in NYC.
While the change of pace and lack of humidity was great, I have to admit I could never really get away from some of the themes on the minds of our congregants. Several of the shows we saw directly addressed race relations. To Kill a Mockingbird, based on the iconic 1960 Harper Lee novel, deals head-on with the repercussions of white supremacy. Along with copies of the novel and keychains at the souvenir stand were offered Black Lives Matter and anti-patriarchy t-shirts.
In Tina: The Tina Turner Musical, audience members see the true story of how she and her fellow musicians were treated touring the south in the 1960s. Caroline or Change takes place in 1963 Lake Charles, Louisiana, and sees the African-American maid of a Jewish family negotiate a changing national landscape.
Another theme of Caroline or Change is that of loss. Characters in the musical are grieving the loss of a President, family members and relationships. We also saw Hadestown, which is based on the ancient Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, who lose their chance at love and a happy ending.
Of course, our theme for this month is “Reimagining Loss.” Longing for what was is a common human experience. In a sermon titled, “Mourning the Past,” this Sunday Rev. Colin asks, ”As we re-imagine grief and loss, how can we reimagine our experience of longing for years past?” You can still catch last week’s sermon, “Grieving the Future,” when he wondered “What does it mean to grieve for losses we anticipate having but have not yet experienced?”
You may be wondering about our visiting the Big Apple during the (it is hoped, waning days of a) pandemic. We were required to show both an ID and our vaccination card to enter restaurants and theatres. Salespeople reminded shoppers to wear their masks. People acted as though it was a small price to pay for the joy of experiencing live performances and great food. Not a tantrum in sight.
If you are ready to safely venture out, there are several Community Projects coming soon for you to participate in. Tomorrow and next Saturday you can help refurbish a home with Rebuilding Together Houston. You can sign up to help plant trees or give blood in early November. Go to the CPT page to get more details.
Even if you only venture out to Sunday services, you can help by bringing non-perishable goods for the Food Drive. If you aren’t coming on Sundays, drop off your donations during church office hours. You can find suggestions of foods to bring on the website.
We’re excited so many of you are participating in our Sunday services in person or online. Take care of yourselves and each other - and mask up!
Rev. D. Scott Cooper
Assistant Minister of Congregational Life
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston
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