News – September 16, 2022

Dear Members & Friends,

      FotoFest is upon us. This morning I entered the church excited to see banners laid out being prepped for hanging. The church is bustling with the exhibit installation in process and meetings in preparation, and I’m trying to get every event noted in my calendar so I don’t miss anything. If you haven’t heard the news before, here it is:

     Houston’s international FotoFest Biennial 2022 will take place September 24 – November 6, 2022. As one of FotoFest’s Participating Spaces exhibitions throughout Houston, First Church will be presenting “Libuše Jarcovjáková: The Photographer as Dissident.” Czech photographer Jarcovjáková, who labored in relative obscurity for nearly 40 years, achieved international recognition when she showed “Evokativ,” a decades-long personal documentary odyssey exploring her life, sexuality, and various marginalized communities at 2019 Les Rencontres d'Arles. The book, with the same name, was short-listed for the Paris Photo—Aperture Foundation Photobook Awards best photography book in 2019. “Libuše Jarcovjáková: The Photographer as Dissident” presents her study of the T-Club, one of two LGBTQ+ clubs in Prague in the early 1980s. The exhibition was co-curated by our Senior Minister Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen and his father Dr. Howard Bossen.

     First Church is privileged to present for the first time Jarcovjáková’s project to an American audience. This is not an exhibit you will be able to miss if you enter the building. Part of the exhibit will be hung in the sanctuary and another segment in the Fireside Room. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to welcome a wide range of visitors. The church will be open daily 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM and extended to 9:00 PM on Thursdays.

     We are still recruiting volunteers to serve as Docents. Sign up to be a docent at this link. Docent training will be held on Wednesday, September 21, 2022 from 5:30 - 6:30 PM.
The exhibit opening reception is on Friday, September 23, 2022 at 6:00 - 9:00 PM in the Fireside Room.

     Arts Forum returns on Sunday, September 25, 2022 with Dr. Howard Bossen, Professor Emeritus of Photography and Visual Communication, School of Journalism, Michigan State University. Professor Bossen will provide an overview of the project and discuss its importance as a pathbreaking personal documentary study and as an exploration of the LGBTQ+ community from the viewpoint of an insider.


     The Arts Forum will take place in the sanctuary 10:45 - 11:15 AM and is open to the public and will be livestreamed. Donations are appreciated.

     This is one way that First Church is showing its commitment to the arts. We recently decided to expand the Music Team to the newly formed Arts Team. The Arts Team will focus on increasing creative arts programming and arts volunteerism at First Church. Look for exciting news in the next months about upcoming events and activities. If you are interested in being an Arts Team member or serving occasionally as a volunteer for arts events, please send an email to


     We are up, out and engaged. We encourage you to find ways to actively participate. Find your niche and let’s continue to work together building this awesome community in exciting new ways.

Dr. Jolie Rock
Director of Music