News – June 24, 2022
Dear Beloved Community,
Portland, where the UUA is holding first ever hybrid in person and
virtual General Assembly. While this may seem to be a minor thing, it
isn’t. In the past, only those with the financial means to travel to GA
were able to be delegates, which limited the options for full
participation in the democratic process of the UUA, so this is actually a
major step forward. Hooray for our progressive religion making progress
toward equity and inclusion!
Election of Officers
We are delighted to announce the election of Ron Cookston to be Board President and Connie Acosta to be Board Vice President. Their terms begin July 1, as do the terms of the three newly elected Board members, Forrest Johnson, Beth McCracken, and Sheryl Abrahams. Joan Waddill and Johanna DeYoung will roll off the Board, after serving three eventful and busy years - including the decision to begin a Developmental Ministry, the pandemic shut-down, and the conclusion of multi-site ministry. They have both demonstrated tremendous dedication and commitment to FUUCH and we are deeply grateful for the gifts, time, and effort they shared with us. As outlined in our governing documents, I will continue as an ex-officio member of the Board and will also serve on the Nominating Committee for the next year. This arrangement helps to create continuity and build the institutional knowledge of the Board.
Clayhead Road Property
officially finalized the sale of the Clayhead Road property to the new
Thoreau congregation on June 14th, thanks to the help of Board members,
staff, and members of the congregation who helped in a variety of ways
over the past year of planning and negotiations. The Board extends the
new Thoreau congregation our best wishes and hopes for success in this
new chapter of their congregation’s life.
annual meeting of members was held June 5th. In addition to approving
the nominations for Nominating Committee and the Board, the members
approved a resolution calling for restatement and revision of FUUCH
Articles of Incorporation to include those sections of the Constitution
that belong there, and the revision of the bylaws to include the
Constitution sections that were not moved to the Articles of
Incorporation. The resolution and related documents can be found here.
is being held in Portland, Oregon this weekend. Ron Cookston, Mary
Koch, Rebecca Throop, Rev. Scott and I are attending in person, and look
forward to sharing what we learn with you when we return. Thanks to the
new hybrid in person/virtual format of GA this year, First UU filled
all six of our delegate positions for the first time in memory. Connie
Acosta, Leslie Morrison, and PD Wadler are attending virtually. This is
an important milestone in our congregation’s progress toward becoming
more involved and developing our relationship with the UUA. Member
congregations are allotted delegates based on congregational membership,
with one delegate for every 50 members (or part thereof). Because we
did not officially have over 300 members before the official spring
count date, FUUCH will send six delegates this year, but we will have
seven slots next year. Why does this matter? Well, just as FUUCH
conducts official church business at our Annual Meeting in June, the UUA
conducts official business at GA. While anyone can attend GA as a
participant, only delegates are allowed to vote on business issues and
UUA Board elections. Filling all of our delegate positions is an
important part of making sure that FUUCH is represented in the decisions
that are being made. To find out more, visit www.uua.org/ga.
As previously announced, Alma Viscarra has resigned. We will miss her in more ways that we can count and wish her all good things moving forward. Also, Carol Burrus has moved to an 11/12ths schedule (as she explained in last week’s newsletter) and will be on vacation June 13 – July 12. This means that remaining staff will be taking on extra responsibilities for the next few weeks, and things may look a bit different for a little while. Thank you in advance for your patience and flexibility!
are delighted to announce that we have hired Jordon Ostrum for the
Voting Justice Coordinator position. You can reach him at VotingJustice@FirstUU.org.
Jordan will be coordinating the Houston UU’s efforts to UU the Vote
for the critical 2022 midterm elections. No matter your personality
type, tolerance for cold calling, skill set, or age, there is something
you can do to help UU the Vote.
the newsletter for invitations to participate in conversation with the
Mission, Vision, and Covenant Committee in the creation of a new
congregational covenant. It is our hope that all members will attend at
least one of the conversations with the committee between now and
January 22, when we will hold a special congregational meeting to vote
on the new covenant. Make sure to mark this important date on your
Greening the building
We have contracted with a second environmental engineer who will review the plans for updating the building’s energy efficiency. This step is required to qualify for funding through the PACE program. We expect this final step to be completed by the end of June, and hope to be able to vote on a recommendation at the July Board meeting. If all goes as planned, we should be able to submit our application for PACE funding in July. It’s a complicated process.
Fortunately, you will have an
opportunity to learn more and ask questions at the July Board Chat,
which will be held at 7:00 pm on July 27th, by Zoom.
JULY Board meeting and Board Chat
Due to scheduling conflicts, the Board will meet at 6:30 pm on July 13th, in the Fireside room, rather than on the 20th. The July Board Chat will take place on July 27th at 7:00 by Zoom, and the topic for discussion will be the PACE program. The link for the Board Chat is the same from month to month, so if you have ever attended one, and still have the link you can use it for any other chat. If you need the link, please contact the front office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It's been quite a year, and it has been a blessing and honor to serve as your president. With a heart full of gratitude for this truly beloved community, I am happy to pass on the Board leadership to Ron Cookston, whose experience is vast, and commitment to this congregation boundless. It’s going to be a terrific year for FUUCH.