Emersonians participated in the first Interfaith Solidarity March in the San Fernando Valley on September 10, 2017. One world!

Organized by Soraya Deen and Marsha Novak, Emersonians joined in to walk about 2.4 miles from Our Lady of Grace Roman Catholic Church in Encino, stopping at Temple Judea in Tarzana, and finishing the walk at the Islamic Center of Reseda, followed by a delicious vegetarian dinner provided and served by Sikhs from the SFV. Featured speakers provided inspiration and emphasized the theme of unity at each location. All in temps close to 100 degrees!

Emerson UU Church members joined close to 500 others, including UUs from UU churches in. Santa Monica, Studio City, Sepulveda & Santa Clarita, as well as folks from many other religious and non-religious groups–all demonstrating, as Deidra Hathor, speaking on behalf of her father, the Rev Dr. Dudley Chatham of the Greater Community Missionary Baptist Church, said so eloquently that “We all belong to the same race, the HUMAN RACE”.


Rev Matthew McHale and Emerson member Eric Schmidt were both quoted in a Daily News article:

Valley residents of many faiths meet and march for unity


Emersonians at SFV Interfaith Solidariy March

Philip Kuretski, Rev Matthew McHale, Tracy Watson & Pat Cosgrove
Marchers line bridge on Victory Blvd near the Islamic Center of Reseda
Meredith Graham, Lynne Masuhara, Spike Dolomite Ward & Linda Morris
Phil Davis & Leslie Reuter
Not pictured: Bonnie Norwood (taking the photographs), Eric Schmidt, Brian Nelson, Barbara Calvi, Adam Nizenholz, Julie Borden, Max Ward, Ken Erbeznik, Barbara Moore, Don Ordway


Link to Facebook page for the SFV Interfaith Solidarity March:{%22ref%22%3A%2229%22%2C%22ref_notif_type%22%3A%22admin_plan_mall_activity%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22}&notif_t=admin_plan_mall_activity&notif_id=1503678621864184


On the Sunday after the 2016 election, junior high and high school students in Emerson’s religious education class expressed their feelings through chalk-writing on the sidewalk around the church. Below are some of the students and their sentiments.img_6092 img_6101




Following the November 2016 election, when emotions ran high, Rev. Matthew McHale opened Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church to the community to come together for support. During an emotional candlelight services, attendees expressed their feelings of disappointment, confusion, anger, and frustration. Then, led by Rev. Matthew McHale, they marched in protest along Sherman Way and surrounding streets in Canoga Park.




Emerson’s Justice Advocacy Ministry (JAM)

JAM logo color

The passions and areas of activism are varied among Emerson’s members – clean water, gun violence, environment, education, democracy, immigration, Black Lives Matter, homelessness, animal rights, disabilities, and interfaith relations, and more.

The Emerson Justice Advocacy (JAM) committee was created to serve as a support system for the many social justice groups that already exist at Emerson.  JAM helps get the word out about what we’re all doing, provides a time and place for everybody to get together to share progress and ask for support, and provide occasional trainings to help us all be better organizers.  Those who are not currently involved in any social justice work are welcome to attend JAM meetings and shop around for a group to join.

JAM meetings are held on the third Sunday of the month at noon in the Sanctuary.

Get Out the Vote (GOTV) Meeting, October 2, 12:15 to 1:15 p.m.


Emerson’s Justice Advocacy Ministry (JAM) is participating in the GOTV effort and is making great strides in registering voters.  Everybody is invited to the next meeting on Oct 2 at 12:15. It’s First Sunday Potluck so enjoy your lunch and then head back into the sanctuary to talk about how voter registration is going, For more information contact Barbara Moore at 818-661-0679 or

Below are photos of some of our volunteers at Pierson College and the Canoga Park Farmer’s Market as they help to register folks to vote in Election 2016.


Renee Lancon and Lillian Brotherson register voters at Pierce College.


Gene Paulin, Bonnie Norwood, and Bettina Salas register voters at the Canoga Park Farmer’s Market.

League of Women Voters Presentation on Propositions

On Sunday, October 23, from noon until 1:30 p.m., Marsha Schwartz of the League of Women Voters, will speak about the propositions that California voters will have to vote on in the upcoming election on November 8.  Some of the issues on the ballot are: who should decide when to try a youth as an adult, the end of the death penalty, expanding the rail transit system, affordable housing, funding for schools and healthcare for low income children and youth.  The wordings of these propositions and measures can be very confusing, and that’s done on purpose.  Marsha will explain what a yes or no vote means on these propositions.


Presented by the Justice Advocacy Ministry (JAM) of Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church, 7304 Jordan Ave, Canoga Park.  Open to the public. Free childcare provided.

For more information, please contact Terry Hassman-Paulin, 818-404-6941;


WELCOME HOME PROJECT: Collection of household items

This coming Sunday, September 4, we are collecting household items for Mayor Eric Garcetti’s “Welcome Home Project.”

This is a program to help formerly homeless Angelenos who have just gotten affordable housing and need basic items.  Here’s what we’re collecting: laundry baskets, pillows, pillowcases, blankets, set of sheets, books (can be used), picture frames, can openers, pots/pans, pitchers, cups, towels/washcloths, toothpaste/toothbrushes, shampoo/body soap, toilet paper, deodorant, comb/brush, bowls, plates, and utensils.  We’re collecting from now until September 10.


There are large boxes under the table in the Pavilion where these items can be stored. We will drop off the collected items September 10 to the nearby collection center, MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism, with which we’re partnering.

For more information, contact Terry Hassman-Paulin at or call her at 818-404-6941.

The photo below shows Terry Hassman-Paulin and volunteers from the MTO Shahmaghsoudi School of Islamic Sufism on September 10 with some of the baskets of household goods collected for the Welcome Home Project.





Several times a year, Emerson Unitarian Universalist Church stages socially relevant theatre or screens films and documentaries related to social justice, which are open to the local community.  The productions offered have included “Vagina Monologues,” “8,” and “To Begin the World Again: The Life of Thomas Paine.”




fighting for freedom 1





Emerson has hosted a number of public information meetings in support of immigrant rights.


May 12 DACA-DAPA Flyer_001

And occasionally you’ll find some of us out on the street, exercising our right to free speech in the name of social justice.


JustWeb: Social Justice and the Interdependent Web

This group sponsors an all-church potluck on the first Sunday of the month and a bi-monthly movie related to environmental issues or ethical eating.

Contact: Tracy Watson (818-346-0902;