By Bettina Salas, Board Secretary


Dear Emersonians,

New Year’s Greetings from your Board and a heartfelt wish for a healthy and peaceful year 2017!

We left an ambiguous year behind. Happy and sad news seem to have accompanied us at every turn, and we are trying our best to remain upbeat and find solutions to the obstacles we are confronting during these uncertain times.

On a very positive note, we have welcomed our settled minister, the Reverend Matthew McHale, his lovely wife Anne, and their adorable daughter River Grace. And not a moment too soon as the earth-shattering election results have shown us. Rev. Matthew is very much an activist, and immediately after the results became known, called for a meeting to share, grieve, and express people’s fears and anger.

Another positive development is a new group called Justice Advocacy Ministry (JAM), which formed earlier this year by three Emersonians. Many of us, spurred on by JAM, have begun on a renewed path of social activism, which includes immigration reform, gun control, and many other social issues. Please check our website,, regularly to get updates on what you can do to help our congregation and larger community.

We had a very successful fall fundraiser, which offered lots of events to bring people together. I got a bit carried away by all the choices and bid on more gatherings and dinners than I had planned, but that’s okay. I don’t enjoy cooking, so I am now set for weekend meals for the next few months.

On a sad note, we had to say good-bye to three Emersonians—Barbara Tober, Dorothy Lyon, and Burt Siskin—whom we will hold in cherished memory.

In terms of your Board of Trustees, the Trustee-at-Large, Shawn Quinlivan, resigned in December, and we appointed Don Ordway to fill this position until the election next year. A big thank-you goes to Shawn who was instrumental in helping us launch our new website and reminding us that love is the foundation of our lives. Don, welcome to the Board. We look forward to working with you. In addition, we have had the pleasure of seeing Clinton Bench at some of our meetings as he has taken on the responsibility of financial manager.

In the next few months, a new committee will review and update the church’s by-laws, and you will be getting more information on this issue during our congregational meetings in 2017. If your curiosity is great, and you would like to know more now or be involved, please contact Tracy Watson.

We are also in the process of developing policy on solicitations, donations, and fundraisers and are considering how best to get this information to you.

The Board is in the process of designating the front parking lot for people with mobility issues and visitors only during Sunday services. Please be on the lookout for signs to announce this change so that we can accommodate those who need our assistance most.

Finally, please mark your calendar for February 5, 2017, right after Sunday services, when we are planning our next congregational meeting. Hope to see all of you there.

My best wishes for 2017 go out to my fellow congregants and the larger community. Let’s remember that we need each other and are part of the interdependent web of life.


Bettina Salas