News – July 8, 2022
A Statement of Gratitude and a
Recognition of the of the Work Ahead to Create the Legacy for the Future of
As I prepared to write the first message to you the Beloved Community of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston as your new President, I was compelled to begin by expressing my profound gratitude to you. That is even greater now that I have attended General Assembly of the UUA where I had the opportunity to interact with over 3,300 others associated with our Faith and learned from them the status of their congregations.
The last three years have been challenging due to the pandemic. Many other congregations have found it difficult to sustain a vibrant and growing membership. You, the membership of First Church, learned to sustain our community over Zoom. You tolerated, at first, frankly inadequate online services after in-person services had to be stopped while the Board and Staff worked to improve the quality of the services. When it did come time to reopen, you stood up to support the Reopening Readiness Campaign and many of you volunteered your time to work to prepare the Church to reopen. Throughout, when called upon to help with social justice issues you responded. When another member of our Beloved Community needed an assist, you were there. Certainly, we have had an outstanding staff lead by Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen and Rev. D. Scott Cooper, but the fact is that the best staff can only be effective if they are leading a committed and engaged membership.
I could go on and on, but the point is that together you laid a foundation for First UU Houston to now be able to create a Legacy for the Future. As your new President and speaking also for your new Vice President Connie Acosta, and your Board including Lauri Zuchlewski, Rachel Naegli, Eva Thibadeaux, Chris Scot, Forrest Johnson, Sheryl Abrahams, and Beth McCracken, I want to thank you for your outstanding contributions of your time, resources, knowledge, skills, and compassion.
This year we can focus our collective energies to address many of the Open Questions you, the membership of First UU, set three years ago which were delayed by the pandemic and other issues. We are on track to work together to create a Vision, Mission and Covenant for First UU that will serve to strengthen our Beloved Community now and into the Future. We have an opportunity to lay a foundation to address white supremacy in ourselves, our Church, and create a pathway to combat it in our community. Through a Capital Campaign this spring, we can create a structure to realize our Vision and Mission. We are well positioned to collectively respond to social justice issues such as voting rights, women’s health and reproductive rights, and immigration justice. We are positioned to grow and diversify our membership.
Thank you for these opportunities.