Emerson offers many opportunities for you to get involved. Participation is open to everyone. New ideas are always welcome. Join the monthly meeting of the Social Action Council on the third Wednesday of the month; check the Emerson calendar for details. For more information about us and what we do, contact socialaction@emersonhouston.org.

English Class Program (ESL)

The Emerson English Class Program  provides free English classes to English language learners from Basic to Intermediate level. All classes meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Emerson Church. There are many opportunities to become involved with this vibrant and rewarding outreach program. For more information about registering for our classes or volunteering, please click a link below.

Reaching out to adults with limited English skills is one way we can fulfill our mission to “build a better world.” This work also honors the Unitarian Universalist’s first, second and sixth principles which guide us to protect the inherent worth and dignity of every person, work for justice, equity, compassion, and liberty for all. Come join us in sowing seeds of compassion in the world.

Our afghan families are doing well, Thank you!!

In November 2021, Emerson, First, and Northwoods UU organized the Houston UU Afghan Team to assist 2 Houston Afghan refugee families. We raised $15,000 dollars and helped both families buy used cars. We have also helped with medical and rental expenses, bought clothes, shoes, diapers, etc., and donated TV’s, phones, and laptops. We’ve organized outings for the families and provided support as they learn a new culture. Both dads have jobs, we are tutoring the moms in English at home, and the children are doing well in school.

Supporting voting rights

Emerson shows up again!! Emerson is collaborating with Houston area UU churches and Texas UU Justice Ministry in our 2022 UU the Vote Campaign. The coordinator, Jordan Ostrum (in the yellow shirt), joined us on October 9 to reach out to inactive Texas voters in marginalized communities.

We asked Emersonians to participate in text and phone banking. See TXUUJM’s website on how we made a big difference in 2022!!

Acting for Justice

We address institutionalized and systemic discrimination through education, advocacy and witness. Much of our work is carried out in conjunction with other Unitarian Universalist congregations through regional or national programs:

Through the UUA’s Side with Love campaign we amplify our work and our voices by collaborating with multiple organizations locally and nationwide, seeking justice for the oppressed, equal rights for all, and a liveable planet. Our partners have included Citizens Climate Lobby, Texas Impact, Reclaim Our Vote, and many more.

We also lobby legislators and government officials on these 4 intersectional priorities: Climate Justice, Racial Justice, Electoral Justice and LGBTQIA+ Gender Justice. We often join with other UU congregations on racial justice initiatives such as the UUA’s worship resources for Black Lives Matter

Speak up for UU values with Texas UU Justice Ministry (TXUUJM)

TXUUJM is an association of UU congregations in Texas that provides a vehicle to express and advocate for statewide public policies that uphold Unitarian Universalist values. TXUUJM focuses on themes of racial justice, environmental justice, healthcare, economic justice, and voting rights.

Emersonians marched for women’s rights!

Emerson proudly supported the Houston Women’s March on October 2 in downtown Houston. Many Emersonians were there to make sure Austin politicians hear our demand that they repeal laws passed in 2021 to curtail our freedom and rights. Thank you to those who represented us – Lydia Chasen, Dori Wolfe, Ellen Norton, Em O’Dell (in photo) and also Edna and Larry Kelly, Beryl Kaminsky, Jane Zachritz, and Mark Holt.

Reproductive Justice – Emerson UU Church Trusts and Respects Women

Emerson is one of four churches in Houston, TX that has made a pledge to Reproductive Justice Congregations.

Reproductive Justice Congregations publicly affirm three principles:

  • We trust and respect women.

  • We promise that people who attend our congregation will be free from stigma, shame, or judgment for their reproductive decisions, including abortion.

  • We believe access to comprehensive and affordable reproductive health services is a moral and social good.

Join the Houston Pride Festival and Parade

Pride Fest has long been supported by the UU Network of Houston, UU congregations in the greater Houston area. Members of all UU congregations walk together to support the LGBTQ community.

Justice Forward

Help support Justice Forward (formerly Harris County Drug Court Foundation) and the Success Through Addiction Recovery (STAR) Program. STAR is an alternative to incarceration for long term drug addicts who have been arrested for a drug or drug related offense. Emerson was instrumental in the formation of the Drug Court in Harris County.

Work for Environmental justice

Join with Emerson’s “green” team, Ministry for Earth and local partners Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Interfaith Environmental Network of Houston to learn about and fight climate change.

Contribute to the Share The Plate collection

Each month, the entire plate collection is donated to a non-profit organization nominated by a member of the congregation. 75% goes to the recipient listed in the weekly e-blast. See the Share The Plate page for details.

Meals on Wheels (Interfaith Ministries of Greater Houston). Each Sunday, 25% of the Share-the-Plate collection is donated to Meals on Wheels. This longstanding program delivers a meal to home-bound seniors over 60 and their spouses. The drivers deliver breakfast and weekend meals to the most frail and isolated seniors. This nutritional support helps seniors stay independent and in their own homes.

“Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.”

~ Martin Luther King Jr.