News – May 13, 2022

Dear Members and Friends,

I’m off to Denver Monday for the Festival of Homiletics, essentially a sermon con for people who geek out over really good preaching. Not everyone’s cup of tea, but I love it.

The last time the Festival was in Denver, I was a few minutes early to an event, and began chatting with the woman next to me in the pew. During the pleasantries, she let me know she was from one of the Dakotas, I don’t remember now which. I told her my profession, and she exclaimed, “Oh, I’ve never met a Unitarian before!” I felt so exotic.

You probably have heard me talk in a sermon or three about one of the ways we are different from many churches, in that we are covenantal, not creedal. Which means we agree on how we will treat one another and the world, not that we will all agree to believe the same thing.

          In the words of Melissa Harris-Perry, “Unitarian Universalism is not attached to particular beliefs: rather it is committed to specific work – striking a balance between openness to differing viewpoints on one hand and fierce advocacy of shared ethical claims on the other.”

          Periodically, it is good to re-covenant as a church, and remind ourselves of the promises we make to one another. Since we encourage growth in ourselves and one another, we sometimes look at ways that growth may be reflected in a new covenant.

          Successful churches, whether covenantal or creedal, know what they’re doing and why. They are intentional, have a vision for their future, and know what their mission is in the world.

          This upcoming year, we’ll begin a re-covenanting process to craft a mission, vision, and covenant that are common knowledge to those in our church and inform congregational life and decision making. Dr. Bossen will be speaking Sunday on “Success and the Beloved Community: The Importance of Covenant.”

          Also Sunday, we will have our New Member Ceremony. If you have joined the church recently, but not participated in the ceremony during a service, please let me know.

          This is an active and thriving community; there are more and more in-person activities planned at the church. Read the entire newsletter and check our website to keep up with them all!

          If you were not able to join us at either of the rallies last week protesting the imminent dismantling of Roe v. Wade, you will have more chances. The next is tomorrow (Saturday) at Discovery Green at 9:00 a.m. It’s sponsored by the Women’s March and called Bans Off Our Bodies. Get more information here.

          Later in the day, you can enjoy the Concert and BBQ fundraiser for Voting Justice at the Bay Area UU Church at 6:00 pm.

It’s so good to see more and more of you in person on Sundays. Mask-wearing in the building remains optional, but rest assured, the staff and Health Advisory Group are carefully monitoring the uptick in cases.

Please take care of yourselves and others, be mindful of your health, and be blessed.

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