News – December 3, 2021
Dear Members and Friends:
The winter holiday season has arrived! And with it comes a wonderful set of special services at First Houston. Once again, this year we’ll be celebrating Winter Solstice with a vespers on December 21st at 7:00 p.m. Then, on the 24th, we’ll be offering two Christmas Eve services. The first, at 5:00 p.m., will be in Spanish. The second, at 7:00 p.m., will be our regular service in English.
The theme of the month is Reimagining Possibilities. It is a theme reflected in our growing Spanish-language ministry and increasing online presence. Did you know that First Houston is one of the few Unitarian Universalist congregations in the United States to offer a regular worship service in Spanish? Or that more people now view our services or engage with our social media channels than do so with the Church of the Larger Fellowship, the Unitarian Universalist Association’s congregation without walls?
The success of our programs offers us the chance to reimagine what is possible for First Houston. What are your wildest dreams for our congregation? How might we achieve them?
You can help us realize those dreams by participating generously in Inspiration Sunday. This is an opportunity for you to share generously with the congregation because you are inspired by the work we do, the community we create, and the power of Unitarian Universalism.
This year, we’re hoping to
raise at least $10,000. Sometimes, people ask how are these financial
contributions used. For the 2021-2022 fiscal year, First Houston’s budget is $884,000.
Most of this budget (73 percent) covers personnel costs, which includes insurance and benefits, allowing staff to create
a ministry with you that offers healing and inspiration in the service of
collective liberation. Our next biggest cost is, as you might anticipate, our
facilities, which run at 14 percent of the budget. Program-related expenses
follow —which include our wonderful religious education program and significant
social justice efforts— at 8 percent. Lastly, other financial obligations,
including our membership dues to the Unitarian Universalist Association, at 5
percent. (For more information about the budget, please see last year's annual report).
The majority of First Houston’s budget is funded through your generosity in the form of pledges, Sunday morning offerings, and participation in the annual services auction. First Houston’s reliance on your generosity reflects the truth that it truly is your congregation and that it relies upon you to continue. This Sunday, I hope you’ll be inspired by all the powerful ministry we provide!
The Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen, PhD
Senior Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston
CELEBRATING MARK VOGEL!
Our dear Mark Vogel is
leaving his position of Music Director at the end of the year. While he’s going
on to a wonderful new position at Lone Star College, we’ll deeply miss him!
Please join us in Channing Hall for a celebration of all the musical marvelousness that is Mark.
We will celebrate in the time between the two services on December 12th. (between 10:30 am and 11:30 am)
Music Director Search Update
The Music Director search team will be conducting interviews this month and hopes to have a candidate identified to start by the 1st of the year. We will keep you updated as we know more!