FROM THE BOARD: What do you want for this church?

By Don Ordway

Board Trustee-at-Large

What do you want for this church?

For myself, when I first came to Emerson three years ago, the list was short and, I suspect, fairly common:

  • A place where I could find people who share most of my values
  • A place where I could exercise whatever creativity I could find
  • A place with some people who might become close friends, and most others who could become good acquaintances
  • A place where I might find some people who are rather like me, and some people who are rather unlike me
  • A place with a vision of what the world should be like, and the commitment to work toward the vision
  • A place where you can see the future embodied in the children


All of these things were evident almost from the beginning. The people were and are affable, even if we as a congregation find it easier to engage with our old friends than our new friends. We as a congregation find a place for the novel and the adventurous. I know some people at Emerson rather well, some somewhat well, and some not well at all, although time continues to charge my memory banks about my fellow Emersonians. Diversity is not what it might be, in spite of what we might want. And social justice has been re-invigorated by the Justice Advocacy Ministry (JAM). And, of course, you can watch the children growing into whole moral adults under the gentle leadership of Emmalinda MacLean.


All of these, as well as the new friendships that I have cultivated over the years, constitute the basis for my commitment to Emerson. And my commitment in turn manifests both in the volunteer time that I direct toward the community, and the financial support that I pledge to Emerson as part of the church’s annual stewardship drive. It is how I make my commitment concrete.


I hope that you hold a special place in your heart, as I do, for the kaleidoscope that is Emerson UU Church. I hope that you share with me a love of the church as it is now, as well as the community that it may grow into in the future. And I hope that your love of this, our church, leads you to grow your commitment.


We are nearing the end of the first year of the newest chapter in the life of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, with our new settled minister, Matthew McHale. And we are approaching the end of this year’s stewardship campaign. The stewardship campaign is when we as a community make a collective commitment to the near future of the congregation, when we define how we may realize our dreams and visions of the church, and for Unitarian Universalism. If you have already made a pledge to Emerson, I thank you for your generosity. If you have not yet, I hope that you will find it in you to show your commitment to the mission and vision that is Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church.