News – January 13, 2023

Dear Members and Friends,

Social Action is the practice of people taking action by coming together in community, or as part of an organized group, to solve problems and create positive change.

The Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., the minister and social activist, will be observed Monday. On Sunday, his actual birthday, Dr. Rocke and I will remember his life and work. Described as the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, King led protests against racial discrimination in federal and state law.

Churches have often been the heart of social action in the community, and music has invariably been the pulse of the activity. Fifty-five years after the death of Dr. King, we will look at the history – and future - of social action and its musical accompaniment.

I now follow up on my sermon from last week, which was my annual reflection on some who died the previous year. More than one person commented, given my topic, that they would have liked to have seen some suicide-prevention resources in the Order of Service. I agreed, but it hadn’t occurred to me until after they had been printed.

Help is as close as your telephone. In cases of immediate danger, call 911 and tell the operator that it is a ‘mental health emergency’ and ask for emergency responders with Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) training. The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides free and confidential 24/7 support nationwide for people in distress.

Mental Health America of Greater Houston’s webpage has many local hotline numbers, including The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD 24 Hour Crisis Line at 713-970-7000 and the LGBTQIA+ Switchboard of Houston 24 Hour Helpline at 713-529-3211. For depression and bipolar support in Houston contact re:MIND. The national organization is the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance.

Those who have lost a loved one to suicide may want to get information about International Survivors of Suicide Loss Day.

It’s hard to believe that we’re well into 2023! Have a blessed week, and I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.

Rev. D. Scott Cooper
Assistant Minister of Congregational Life
First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston