News – December 02, 2022
Dear Members and Friends,
Our theme for worship this month is Sun. It is perhaps the most traditional theme we can explore together. We gather on Sundays, days originally named in reverence of the sun, and humans have been worshiping the sun since before our ancestors had language to name the day star.
Sun worship, in some form, might even be an experience that is more universal that humanity. If you live with animals you likely know what I am referring to. I imagine you have seen your dog or cat companion spend the morning chasing warming rays across the floor. Their blissful enjoyment of the light’s heat, especially at this time of year, might not be something that is recognized as worship but it certainly looks to me like a form of communion with the cosmos.
As Unitarian Universalists we are committed to theological pluralism. We believe that there is wisdom found in many forms of religious expression. This often becomes apparent during the holiday season. In our congregation, in addition to our Christmas services, we hold a service influenced by the neo-pagan tradition for Winter Solstice and light a Chanukah menorah.
Over the next two months, our dedication to theological pluralism will also be borne out as we consider adopting new vision, mission, and covenant statements. The Vision, Mission, and Covenant Committee has been hard at work gathering your input. They will be presenting draft texts this Sunday and will be incorporating your feedback over the next two weeks before sharing another draft with the Board at their December 14th meeting.
Their intention is to have a final set of texts ready for the congregation to vote on at a special congregational meeting on January 22nd. It is their hope that the texts that they present will reflect your hopes for the kind of congregation the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston wishes to be. I suspect that they will. The committee’s extraordinary effort to engage the congregation in their process resulted in a total of 166 responses. These came either in the form of participation in a focus group or filling out their survey. For our congregation the size of First Unitarian Universalist, this is a decent representation of your range of opinions. And you can still make your voice heard by responding to the draft texts when they’re finished!
I hope you will do so throughout the course of the month, just as I hope that you will join us in person or online for what I am sure will be a special set of services. I look forward to seeing you Sunday mornings and at some of our holiday celebrations!
Where are the Ministers in December?
Rev. Colin will be leading several services this month. In addition to the Sunday morning services on December 4th and 11th, there are the Winter Solstice service on the 21st and the Spanish and English language Christmas Eve services.
Rev. Scott will be joining Rev. Colin on the chancel on December 4th, and 11th, and for the English language Christmas Eve service on the 24th. On the 18th, he will help present a Unitarian Universalist Christmas Story at 9:30 a.m. and the Pageant at 11:30 a.m.
There is one service on both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, at 10:30 a.m. Rev. Scott will be preaching each of those.
Both ministers are looking forward to the Winter Wonderland Auction the evening of December 10th.
Please note that the office will be closed from December 26th to December 31st. The ministers will be available during this time for emergency pastoral care.