RE MATTERS: Get Rich Slow: The Treasures of Community

By Emmalinda MacLean

Director, Religious Education

Treasure shows up in our lives in many ways; it’s just a matter of knowing where—and how—to look. The riches I find here at church remind me of the old Hasidic folktale about the poor man, who dreams that he will find a treasure buried under the bridge in the capital city; he travels for days and days to get there, and when he does, a guard at the bridge tells him he is foolish to have journeyed so far for advice he received in a dream. The guard tells the poor man that he, too, had a dream that he would find treasure buried under the hearth of a poor man—we know who that is—and indeed, our traveler returns home to find riches beyond his dreams buried underneath his very own fireplace.


To me, this story means that the riches we seek are so close—we just have to be willing to make the journey. Or, in modern terms, “to show up.” Our religious community has a wealth of relationships, opportunities, and experiences to offer; the pool is deep and varied, so you might not catch anything that speaks to you on your first dive. But it’s worth coming back.


Relationships are at the heart of our Unitarian Universalist faith, more central to our religion than any dogma or creed, and the slow process of building relationships cannot be shortchanged. It’s amazing how hard it can be, in our fast-paced and ever-busier world, to just show up someplace and BE there. But every time you and your family arrive, to spend some of your valuable time here at Emerson, you make all of us richer. Here are some of the priceless memories and upcoming opportunities that continue to add to the fabulous wealth of our beloved community:



The families who showed up to help us plant the garden a few weeks ago have blessed this church for months to come, and I treasure the excitement and wonder of the children I got to work beside!

Emerson’s annual philanthropic “Easter Egg” hunt was once again a raucous and joyful good time, that enriched the West Valley Food Pantry while welcoming several first-time visitors to the kind of enthusiastic, controlled-chaos that our Religious Education program does best.



Celebrating Earth Day with an all-ages, family-friendly worship service is another beloved Emerson tradition, and this year’s theatrical presentation of Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax playfully lifted up our 7th Unitarian Universalist principle: respecting the interdependent web of all existence, of which we are a part.

Lastly, as summer vacation approaches, I want to remind everyone that your church has very real treasures to offer your family as well: a week at our beautiful UU retreat center, Camp de Benneville Pines, is an unforgettable, transformative experience for a child—and Emerson as plenty of scholarship funds available for the children of church members. Explore de Benneville’s website at and message me for more information about how to send your child to camp!

There is always more magic to come and more treasure to be found, if you are willing to make the journey. Check the church calendar for upcoming events, email me if you’d like to get involved, and keep coming back!