In the Interim, June 2019


My column this month marks a transition of sorts. This is the last issue of First Church’s paper newsletter. Going forward we will be using our web-site, email, Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media to communicate with members. You can still anticipate monthly letters from the senior minister, Board President, and the Director of Religious Education. It is just that they will be sent out electronically and posted on the web-site. Our new Membership and Communications Coordinator is working on developing a plan and schedule for when our communications will go out.

Overall, it is a very busy month in the life of First Church! We are approaching the annual meeting. The Board is considering the 2019-2020 budget. And we are in the midst of multiple staff transitions. Kyna Taylor has stepped down from her position as Congregational Administrator. We are hard at work searching for her replacement. The Rev. Dr. Dan King will also be leaving First Church at the end of the summer. The Assistant Minister search committee has not yet found his replacement, but has interviewed several promising candidates. We hope to have an announcement about the new Assistant Minister by the end of June.

For my part, I have been busy both with the work of the church and with my Minns lectures on American Populism and Unitarian Universalism. The first two lectures are now available to view online at The final lecture will be at General Assembly and UUA President Susan Frederick-Gray will be serving as the respondent. The lecture will be live streamed on the Minns web-site. I hope you’ll tune in!

I will admit that as summer approaches I find myself missing the Northeast. I am a consummate forager–mushrooms, berries, leafy greens. I know many of the edible ones that grow in Massachusetts, Michigan and Ohio. One of the difficult things about moving to a new climate is learning what is edible all over again. I admit that I haven’t had the time. And so, I close with a fragment from Sylvia Path that reminds me of the joys of summer. I share it with you knowing with full confidence that in the coming months I will discover the summer pleasures of Houston.

Nobody in the lane, and nothing, nothing but blackberries,
Blackberries on either side, though on the right mainly,
A blackberry alley, going down in hooks, and a sea
Somewhere at the end of it, heaving. Blackberries
Big as the ball of my thumb, and dumb as eyes

Ebon in the hedges, fat
With blue-red juices. These they squander on my fingers.
I had not asked for such a blood sisterhood; they must love me.
They accommodate themselves to my milkbottle, flattening their sides.

(from “Blackberrying”)



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