Our ministers Becky and Mark † were on their sabbatical from March 28th through mid-August in 2016. They investigated the intersection of landscape, spirituality, and environmental morality as they visited different areas of the US.

Some highlights of their journey:

Yosemite National Park, May 22nd- 39⁰ at 5 AM.


We watched the sunrise over El Captain and ½ Dome on the horizon. We are reminded of the Flower Communion Sunday we missed at Emerson and wished that we could share the sight of the profusion of wildflowers that have graced us here – yellow poppies, purple milkweed; fields of the blue-purple lupines interspersed with bushes we can’t identify laden with nodding racemes of white blooms profligate in their abundance – and so many more we can’t name for certain. (High spring here-and yet it snowed yesterday.) We are overcome with gladness and gratitude at this beautiful planet and the life we have been given. May you all know you are “part in parcel” of that grace.—Becky and Mark


From the Grand Canyon, May 9, 2016

Grand Canyon Vista
Grand Canyon Vista

The Grand Canyon really is this magnificent and it changes endlessly with the angle of the view and change in light. A hundred years of looking would not exhaust its intrigue or interest -epiphanies at every turn!!! It is staggering-at times we just had sit down and advert our eyes we were so overcome with the vastness and complexity of it all-too many emotions to describe.
What a wonderful gift it is to have this time to experience this.
In gratitude
Becky and Mark Edmiston-Lange



Grand Canyon cliffsNot the one we climbed – we did Cathedral Rock but an impressive sight as well. We visited all the “Vortex” areas but, had to say, did not feel anything particular. But then it was an extremely windy day – so maybe the energy was just too dissipated. But who needs vortexes when the scenery “takes your breath away” spectacular!
In faith and affection
Becky and Mark Edmiston-Lange



Postcard from Everglades National Park,  April 22, 2016

Roseate Spoonbills, Everglades National Park

Roseate Spoonbills, Everglades National Park

Awe inspiring and yet heart rending to study this Ecosystem of ecosystems up close enough to see its amazingly complex and yet fragile diversity and beauty — and to know that, for example, 95% of the birds are GONE!  So much that needs to be restored.

Much love,

Becky and Mark

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about the ministers’ sabbatical

What is a sabbatical?  
The sabbatical is a tradition for Unitarian Universalist clergy as it is in universities.  It offers an extended time for study, reflection, rest and renewal.  The word sabbatical comes from the word sabbath, the Hebrew term for a day of rest.  The sabbatical will benefit both our Co-Ministers, Becky and Mark Edmiston-Lange, and the congregation because Becky and Mark will return with new ideas and rekindled energy for their ongoing ministry at Emerson.

Can I still email or call them during the sabbatical?
Sorry, but the Co-Ministers’ sabbatical is a time for a break from the normal duties and routines of ministry.  The staff, the Board, and other Emerson volunteers will deal with all routine church matters.

What about Pastoral Care?
Routine Pastoral Care and pastoral support of congregation members will be provided by the Lay Pastoral Ministry Team. which is coordinated by Kay Bergen.  If you have a pastoral concern, please call the church office, 713-782-8250.

What if I still have questions or concerns?
Contact the church office. They will be happy to put you in touch with someone who can help you with your questions.