Remarks Celebrating the Installation of Solar Panels at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston


as prepared for a press conference at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston, April 25, 2024

I am the Rev. Dr. Colin Bossen, and I am the Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston. This morning, I am pleased to be with you to celebrate the installation of solar panels on our campus.

Unitarian Universalism is a this-worldly religion and for the members of this congregation, the installation of solar panels and our efforts to green our campus are profoundly religious acts. Let me explain.

Unitarian Universalism is a this-world religion. We recognize that across human history there has been, and continues to be, a great diversity of beliefs about the nature of the divine, what happens after death, and whether or not this world is our only home. Rather than firmly asserting that one set of beliefs is true for all of humanity we celebrate this diversity and embrace theological pluralism. We organize our communities around the work of widening love’s circle. We invite in all who wish to join us in the great task of building what Martin Luther King, Jr. named the beloved community, the vision of the human family whole, reconciled, and living in balance with all being.

Since we are here, now, living on this beautiful green blue ball of a planet we call Earth, this includes a commitment to address the climate crisis. The seventh principle of our Unitarian Universalist Association calls us to have respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we are a part. This is a religious statement if there ever was one. The word religion comes from the Latin word religare, which means “to tie, to bind.” In this sense, religion is literally what binds us together.

As earthly creatures on an earthly planet, we are bound together by the water we drink, the air we breathe, the soil we till, the plants we eat, and the animals we raise. What impacts one, impacts all, for the water cycle, the carbon cycle, the cycles of life mean that the very matter that composes my body is connected to yours. Warming temperatures, rising oceans, decreasing air quality, effect everyone and bind us together–hold us part of the great family of all souls–religiously.

So, in this way, First Unitarian Universalist’s decision to go solar is a religious act. It is a way in which we recognize that in this moment of profound climate crisis, when action is urgently needed to ensure that the planet does not warm beyond what is truly habitable, that religious communities must be moral leaders in addressing the ecological catastrophe before us. It is a way in which we celebrate our connection to all–we are all bound up together–and that if we do, then we must care for all being. The installation of solar panels is a meaningful expression for that care. It reduces our carbon footprint and demonstrates our commitment to care for the great web of interdependent existence of which we are a part and which binds us together.

Thank you for gathering with us this morning to mark the occasion. We will now hear from others about the importance of going solar.

About the author


1 comment

By cbossen

Follow Me