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GOAL $14,738 Emily has been accepted into United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (attending on-zoom from Urbana, Illinois)! She is ready and eager to heed the call to ministry, but she still needs some financial help to help her get there. This is a UU Religious Professional Credentialing/Development category campaign and all gifts will be immediately processed.
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This is a UU Religious Professional Credentialing/Development category campaign and all gifts will be immediately processed.

Emily begins her seminary journey: September 2021! She will be attending part-time (for 4-5 years), while continuing her position as Director at Channing-Murray Foundation in Urbana as well as her active membership at UUCUC! She is pursuing an inter-religious chaplaincy program, and following her passion for youth/young-adult, social-justice, and music ministries.

A few words from Emily-

“I’m so grateful to my UU community near and far. My childhood congregation and strong circle of elders at Dakota U.U. raised me with confidence and compassion, while my UUCUC family took up the baton, and helped me discover my passion for ministry. Your financial, emotional, and spiritual support means the world to me. Your financial boost will lessen the stress of divinity school while I head heart-first into the huge question of our time- how DO WE, in fact, cultivate beloved community? I feel your love. I’ll be sure to spread it around!”

Emily’s application essay for United Theological Seminary:

Countless converging pathways in my life have brought me to apply to United; feels like divine guidance indeed. My U.U. identity, my Twin Cities roots, my passion for social justice, my calling in music therapy, and my dream jobs I’ve found in youth and young adult ministry — are all key inspirations in my search for seminary. It would be a privilege to continue my education at United.

When I was a teenager I was a part of a planning team for a U.U. youth conference (at YMCA Camp Icaghowan) for 5 years; and I loved to plan worship. One late night we danced under the stars in an open field. The darkness made us feel secure, the song was intoxicatingly jubilant, and our liberation manifested as laughter. I knew then, that moments of freedom were precious, and I know now, it is worth working my whole life to find and share them.

While the majority of my twenties were spent exploring art and activism away from the church, I found a role three years ago as youth coordinator at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Urbana-Champaign, and this job has revealed a calling. I love participating in worship planning, program facilitation, and curriculum building. I especially appreciate the shared-ministry approach UUCUC upholds.

And while I love curating the youth program at UUCUC, my newest job as Executive Director of the Channing-Murray Foundation has brought my passion for ministry to a new level. I came to leadership at this U.U. campus center at a critical time. Just a couple months before pandemic hit, I was tasked with guiding the organization through uncharted waters. Very quickly we reinvented ourselves, not as an event center, but as a mutual-aid coordination hub. Since March, our ministry has come in the form of a food pantry delivery service. This volunteer-driven, intersectional program not only activates our values but is also a grounding ritual for many of our members and young adults who crave a meaningful and connective task to help ease the pain of a hurting world.

I am approaching seminary with a sense of awe and excitement. I’m hopeful it will help me grow my dreams and see beyond. I’m eager to pursue interreligious chaplaincy because of my experience volunteering in hospitals, prisons, and nursing homes and my passion for music therapy. That said, I know that United will help me to discern a calling even more specific and revolutionary! I want my education to help me connect with sacred music social movements and bolster my nonprofit leadership skills, as well as prepare me for U.U. ordination. United feels like the place where all my passions can be free to dance together.”

How to stay connected:

We are UU’s supporting other UU’s! Donate what you are able – all will get a thank-you and an opportunity to opt-in to a newsletter each semester fully of songs, essays, and pictures.

If you’d like something a little more personal- you can choose to sponsor a credit! A full credit is $655 and a half credit is $327.50. Sponsor a half credit and Emily will choose a course and dedicate to your support, and share her findings with you. Sponsor a full credit and Emily will consult with you on dedicating a particular course of interest to you, share any writings/essays, and meet with you once a month during the course to share in the journey!

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