News – October 7, 2022
Dearest Fellow Members & Friends,
“Our vision is to co-create a faith that unifies and points to the transcendent, to that which is greater; a faith that is transformational, honors our tradition, is future-thinking, and builds the world we dream about in the spirit of life, love, and the Holy. It will require a tearing away of the barriers created by class society to fulfill this, our free and mutual covenant.
No single concept is more central to our faith understanding than being in covenant. It is how we try to build and sustain the Beloved Community. It is the foundation of our governance structures at all levels.”*
First Houston needs you! We need your insights, your hope, your passion, your dreams, and your love. As we embark upon our future, we have an opportunity to lay the Foundation of our Church Home.
Incorporating your input, the Vision, Mission, and Covenant Committee (VMCC) will craft our Vision, Mission, and Covenant statements – statements that we’ll aspire to and promise to live by in the upcoming years. The VMCC is seeking participation via focus groups and an online questionnaire. From our Religious Education (RE) Spirit Explorers to our most mature members, we’re looking for answers, inspiration, passion, and concerns.
In January 2020, First Houston established four Developmental Ministry Goals for Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen’s 5-year developmental contract. One of the four goals follows:
“Identity - Mission / Vision / Covenant: What kind of a church do we want to become?”
• Discern who we are now, where are we going in the future, how we will behave.
• Build a culture of mutual trust and develop effective ways to have open and transparent communications with each other (members, Board, clergy and staff).
• Craft a Mission, Vision and Covenant that are common knowledge and, along with a Strategic Plan and Annual Vision of Ministry, inform decision-making.”
After reading, discussing, and deliberating with much discernment, the VMCC developed nine thought provoking questions to determine what matters to you. Before our drafts statements go before the Board for approval in mid-December, we are coming to you. On the Sundays, December 4th, and December 11th, we’ll be in Channing Hall excited to hear your thoughts. Our goal is to put our Vision, Mission, and Covenant, that has gone unwritten for so long, into words. On Sunday, 1/22/2023, at a Congregational Meeting, you will have the opportunity to vote on our carefully drafted Vision, Mission, and Covenant Statements.
Having completed three focus groups to date, we have eight additional scheduled opportunities:
• Tuesday, 10/11/2022, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, via Zoom Sunday, 10/16/2022, after the first service (10:40 - 11:25 AM)
• Sunday10/16/2022, RE Spirit Play (11:45 AM– 12:30 PM)
• Sunday, 10/23/2022, RE Parents' Focus Group (11:45 AM - 12:30 PM)
• Sunday, 10/30/2022, Sunday Discussion Circle via Zoom (10:15 AM– 11:15 AM)
• Sunday, 11/6/2022, after the second service (11:40 AM - 1:00 PM)
• Sunday, 11/6/2022, RE High School (11:45 AM– 12:30 PM)
• Sunday, 11/13/2022, after the first and second service
Please share your input today by signing up for a focus group and/or by using the following QR code:
Using the QR code, you can respond to as many, or as few, questions as you wish. If you’d like, you can even complete the form multiple times. You can sign up for a focus on Sundays at the VMCC table, or you can contact the committee at VMC@firstuu.org.
Here’s your opportunity to be heard. Together we’ll create First Houston’s legacy!
In Gratitude and Love,
The VMCC – Sheryl Abrahams, Board Liaison; Sonal Bindu; Reverend Colin Bossen, Stephen Braun; Johanna DeYoung; Mirta Estrada; Mary Koch; Rebecca Throop; and P. D. Wadler
Where are the Ministers?
Dr. Bossen will be preaching on October 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.
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.