Reverend Matthew McHale


Rev. Matthew began his Ministry at Emerson in August 2016. He was raised as a Unitarian Universalist and has been active leader in the denominations as youth and young adult, particularly in work around racial and climate/environmental justice, which are two of his deep passions.

Rev. Matthew grew up Long Beach, CA and has also called Oakland, Berkeley, Cleveland and England home. Rev. Matthew attended seminary at Starr King School for the Ministry, and has BA and MA in American Studies.

Rev. Matthew loves creating worship services that touch the head and the heart, and a compelling prophetic vision grounded in history of justice work in UUism and the wider world. He believes that a church should serve those within and beyond its walls, and equip others to live lives of meaning and purpose.

Rev. Matthew has a daughter, River Grace, with his wife, Anna Wagner.


Reverend Rebecca Benefiel Bijur
Affiliated Community Minister

As Emerson’s Affiliated Community Minister, Rev. Rebecca Benefiel Bijur works with St. Joseph Center to advance social and economic equity for people experiencing homelessness. She leads worship at Emerson several times a year and also serves as additional support to our Pastoral Care Committee. A graduate of Harvard Divinity School and Yale University, Rev. Bijur has served UU congregations and social justice communities in Southern California since 2010. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband and three children.  Her work as a nonprofit and social justice leader is an important part of the mission and ministry of this church, and supports the movement of Unitarian Universalism beyond the walls of the congregation. Her website:

Rebecca LaScala,
Office Administrator

Rebecca is originally from Kansas City. She lives in Simi Valley with her husband, 2 step-children and dog. She enjoys hiking, the beach, watching sports, adventure vacations, arts/crafts and supporting her community.



Kevin Mathie

Music Director

Kevin Mathie is a professional pianist and composer who has more than a decade of experience in the music and entertainment industries. He has garnished several awards and recognitions both as a composer and as the music director/conductor for The Grand Theatre and Salt Lake Acting Company based out of Salt Lake City, UT. Kevin has increasingly been involved in composing for film/tv/commercials. This transition has brought him to sunny LA, a city that he has absolutely fallen in love with. Kevin is currently a freelance composer, and is also a composer with the Los Angeles based music production collective He is also an accompanist for the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. You can read more about Kevin’s experience and hear his music at

Kevin began his association with Emerson UU Church as pianist in July 2017, and became our Music Director in October 2018.

Eloise Porter

Choir Director

Eloise is a native of Los Angeles and a product of the Los Angeles Unified School District.  She holds a Master of Music degree from the University of Illinois in Vocal Performance and a B.A. from Occidental College in Choral Music where she studied choral conducting and voice.  She also received Artist-Teacher Certification through the Choral Music Experience Institute where she studied with Doreen Rao. Trained in the Kodaly method of music education, she has over 30 years of experience in the schools teaching young people from Kindergarten to college.  Singing is her first love, and she continues to maintain a private voice and piano studio and to sing in various choral groups around the city.

Luccia “Lucy” Graham

Religious Education Childcare Assistant

I have a degree in Child Development and I specialize in children with special needs, offering comprehensive and personalized care tailored to the specific needs of children. My role at Emerson is to look after children during the church service and the Religious Education program and offer a nice and safe environment where kids can be themselves and have fun. I have all current certificates required by law when working with children. In my free time I like dancing, cooking, and everything that has to do with nature.