In a ceremony following Emerson’s Congregational Vote To Call meeting on Sunday May 5, 2019, Reverend Deborah Morgan Bennett accepted Emerson’s call to be our third full-time settled minister. The congregation was unanimous in voting to call Reverend Bennett. RE Students grades 3 – 12 also were given the opportunity to vote in a non-binding straw poll vote which resulted in a very high percentage favorable.
Rev. Bennett was welcomed back to the sanctuary with a rendition accompanied by Kathee Tomlin of “Enter, Rejoice, and Come In.” Emerson President Carol Conchar and Rev. Bennett signed the congregation-ministerial covenant to enter into a shared ministry “to live with the desire to continue to rise up anew together, to inspire in each other inquiry, action, and revelation.” Following the ceremony interrupted by frequent applause, Emerson celebrated with bubbles, hugs, laughter, and a few pictures with Rev. Bennett. It was a joyful day, indeed.
The Ministerial Search Committee is grateful for the communications team’s assistance in making important communication to the congregation available, to the hospitality committee for hosting some amazing events during Candidate Week, to the members of the Board of Trustees and the entire congregation for their participation and support throughout this process. A special thanks to our Interim Minister Rev. Don Cameron for his encouragement and to our Regional Transitions Coach, Rev. Marni Harmony, for her loving guidance.
Our Shared Journey Begins
We celebrate our blessings across our Beloved Community as Reverend Deborah Morgan Bennett has accepted our call to be our full-time settled minister beginning August, 2019.
Our Call to Reverend Bennett is a commitment to enter a shared ministry with her. In Reverend Bennett’s words, together seek to live evolutionary lives, to be changed by the present moment, to honor and listen to our inner flames of curiosity, action, and revelation, to not get up from any time together as the same person we were when we sat down. Reverend Bennett calls us to step into the flame of transformation together, to live with the desire to continue to rise up anew together.
In the Words of Leslie Takahashi Morris:
All that we have ever loved
And all that we have ever been
Stands with us on the brink
Of all that we aspire to create:
A deeper peace,
A larger love,
A more embracing hope,
A deeper joy in this life we share.
We at Emerson are overjoyed at our upcoming journey with Reverend Bennett and look forward to celebrating her return to Emerson this August to begin her full-time settled ministry. We welcome all fellow sojourners to join us at Emerson as we prepare to enter this new path, this new cycle of life that lies before us.
One breath to let go.
One breath to be present.
One breath to ask, “Now what?”
Thich Nhat Hanh, Vietnamese Buddhist monk
Rev. Bennett on Her Ministry: Ministry is many things, Presence being perhaps top among them. Present for the world’s joys and sorrows, present for the work of interrupting oppression, present for the sacred moments of coming together as a community, present for each of our diverse perspectives and identities. In many ways my call to ministry began decades ago as I focused on a ministry of cooking and teaching about the impact our food choices have on our bodies, our minds and our planet. Five years ago in answer to a breath that asked, “Now what?” a call to enter Unitarian Universalist ministry opened my heart and escorted me here. I arrive to this next breath with you, present, ready to explore our shared ministry that will ask us to let go, be present and enter the ‘now what’ together.