News –September 30, 2022

Dear Members & Friends,

      As your hard-working Board and I consider and work on the promise embedded in the theme of Roots and Branches that Rev. Bossen and Rev. Cooper have adopted for this year, I am reminded of an incident in my life that I would like to share. When I decided that my first son was ready to have the training wheels removed from his bicycle, it took some time for me to convince him he was ready. Eventually he agreed after asking me to promise he would not get hurt. I promised with the assurance that I would be right there with him. We went to an empty parking lot and, with some ceremony, removed the training wheels. All the while, I provided encouragement about his readiness and repeated my promise that I would not let him get hurt. Then, while gently holding the back of the seat he began to ride while I trotted along beside him. Inevitably there came a moment when I had to release my hand that was insuring his stability. He proceeded very nicely for a while but eventually lost his balance and fell scraping his arm. When I reached him and took him in my arms, he looked at me and said, “You promised, Daddy, you promised.” We put the training wheels back on the bike. After several weeks he told me that in spite of being afraid he would fall, he was ready to try again. This time with help from his mother and a neighbor, we formed a triangle and therefore were able to each in turn provide stability until he said he was ready to ride without help. Alone I could not keep my promise. With help I could.

      At First Houston, the promises we have made to each other, our families and our community can not be realized if we expect our Staff and Board to establish deep and lasting roots and branches. We all need to contribute by participating as volunteers and participating in the dialogues needed to achieve our promise. We have a tradition of providing excellent religious education to our youth through dedicated volunteers supported by staff. Our music program is enhanced by volunteers who sing in the Choir and provide additional resources that enhance our services. We have members who serve on Board Committees and Teams that are making significant contributions. I could go on and on. The fact is that there is no function of the Church that can fulfill the promises we make to one another without the involvement of member volunteers. No one can nor should feel compelled to do more than their time or resources allow but if we all contribute just what we can, the difference in ourselves, our families, and our community can and will be achieved.

      And now for the news from the Board. At its meeting on September 21, 2022, the Board issued three Certificates of Appreciation: one to Leona H. for her years of service as Board Clerk; one to The Third Ward Community Cloth for its 30 years of service in the greater Third Ward Area, and one posthumously recognizing Rev. David Keyes for his two years of service as Interim Minister. This Certificate will be sent to his family. This is a new activity for the Board and some of you may have suggestions of people or organizations that you think we should consider recognizing. If so, please contact a member of the Board.

      Also on September 21, Joe Z. was elected to serve as Board Clerk. He has been serving in that role on an acting basis and is making an invaluable contribution to the Church.

      At long last and after a great deal of hard work on the part of staff, we are now able to provide individual hearing assistance during services. Ask a member of the Welcome Team for one of the devices. I tested one and it was very helpful.

      Although the importance of members participation in work of Vision, Mission, and Covenant Committee has been communicated through newsletters and from the pulpit, I think it is important to emphasize this again. The simple fact is that if we want to grow our roots deep and our branches strong over the next 10 years, it is vital we establish a clear understanding of where we are going. Please use this QR code and complete a short survey about your feelings and insights about First Houston.


      Election season is upon us! (1) Remember to confirm your registration at If not registered, complete a registration form BEFORE October 11. Registration forms are available at the Justice Coordinating table; (2) Plan how you are going to vote. Applications for an absentee ballot request must be received by the your county’s Elections Office by OCTOBER 28; (3) VOTE ON NOVEMBER 8!

      I am glad to report to you that the Membership & Communications Coordinator position is posted on Facebook, Indeed & our website. On our website it is under the “Contact Us” tab, and drop down to the Careers line to view: Careers – First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston.

      It is always hard to find a way to end one of these messages as there is so much happening at First Houston where the preachers are eloquent, the music is wonderful, the members are engaged, and the children are all above average, but end I must.

Ron Cookston
President of the Board

Where are the Ministers?

Dr. Bossen will be preaching on October 2, 16, 23, and 30. He will be out of town the weekend of October 7th, returning on October 12th, to attend Albert Woodfox’s memorial service in New Orleans and a friend’s wedding in San Francisco. He will also be out of the office on the 5th in observance of Yom Kippur.

Rev. Scott will be preaching on October 9, and joining Rev. Colin on the chancel on October 2, 16, and 30. He will be in Abilene for Conrad’s
college homecoming on October 23.