News: June 21, 2024

Cover June 23, 2024
Dear Friends and Members,

I am getting ready for my summer travels. By the time you read this I’ll be in England. I’ll be in residency at Harris Manchester College, University of Oxford, for three weeks. Sadé will be joining me about halfway through my time in Oxford. Afterwards, we’ll be a taking a short vacation before I return to the pulpit on July 21st for my annual Question Box sermon. This year Dr. Rocke, rather than Rev. Cooper, will be joining me as I attempt to answer your queries. If there’s something you’d like to ask me you can send in a question HERE.

July 1st marks the start of the new fiscal year. It often brings changes. This year, Rev. Cooper is moving to half-time so that he can spend more time with his family in Dallas. His half-time arrangement might seem a bit unusual to those of you who are used to the corporate world. Rather than working 20 hours a week, he will be in residency in Houston 22 weeks during the 2024-2025 fiscal year.

When he is in Houston his duties will be somewhat different than they are now. He will be focusing primarily on pastoral care and worship. He will be developing a new Pastoral Care Associates program and continuing to work with the Care Team. He will also continue to either lead or participate in worship 18 Sundays a year.

At the same time, he will be giving up his supervisory duties. All of his direct reports will either be reassigned to me or to Tawanna. He’ll also be doing less social justice work. I’ll be taking over as the primary staff contact for the Justice Coordinating Council. Margarita will also be offering the JCC support. He’s asked the Community Projects Team to select a chair and get their staff support through the JCC, as most other social justice projects do now.

Rev. Scott will be in Houston most of the time I am gone. Please feel free to ask him if you have any other questions about how some of his current responsibilities are delegated. For the week that we are both out of town, July 15th to 20th, the Rev. Dr. Dan King has graciously agreed to provide emergency pastoral care. There will be more information about how to contact Rev. Dr. King in the newsletter in the coming weeks.

One other important note about the upcoming fiscal year. Last night the Board voted to allocate funds to preserve the A/V & Communications Coordinator position as a full-time position. Many of you expressed concerns about the impact that a reduction in that position would have on congregational operations. Board President Ron Cookston will share with you the details in next week’s newsletter. But for the time being please know that both I and the rest of the staff are delighted that personnel cuts won’t be necessary in the next fiscal year.

I look forward to seeing you when I am back in July!