Dear Emerson members,

This week, with my heart in my hand, I gave official notice to Rev. Michelle, and through her the church Board, that I will be resigning from my position as your membership coordinator. In fact, I’m leaving the Houston area altogether, heading back up the river to Fort Worth. I’m moving to my birthplace to attend to mental health and autoimmune struggles. After a surgery to remove a tumor from my thyroid at the end of this month, I will go be with my biological family, so that we can walk through it all together. 

My last day will be 10/26, sooner than I’d like. Many of yall will see me this Sunday! If not, no worries: you can reach me at my personal email, I’d love to stay in touch. The decision to move from H town, where I’ve put down roots, feels vulnerable, bittersweet, and necessary. I feel the same way about leaving this community of faith. In the past weeks several of you, dear people of Emerson, have reminded me that it is okay for me to accept care, to depend on my folks, and to go where I can find the most ease and support. Thank you. 

And yet part of me wishes I could stay if only to be part of the sacred work – your work of midwifing this community as it gives birth to itself again, and again, and again. This is a uniquely important time in Emerson’s life thus far. I’ve been with you as you adapt to hurtling, uncomfortable, inexorable change. New staff, new systems, new questions, new formats, new accessibility requirements, new questions around safety and social justice – and a new minister out there waiting to be called. We’re riding so many different waves at once, as a species and a faith and a congregation. Yall, you, the members, are spinning new and true and challenging stories.

As I step out of the story, know you have my best wishes. Emerson can be a wacky place: please lean into silliness and play. Emerson has such potential in our crew of artists, students, teachers, bakers, caregivers, activists, thinkers, and worshippers: please keep bringing your gifts into the circle. Please listen to the kiddos, listen to the outsiders, listen to the church members you can’t even begin to understand or whose names you can’t remember yet. There’s wisdom there. And please internalize these adapted words from Jill Rose: the day we do it perfectly is the day we’ll stop trying for good.

With love,

Audrey Gale Hall