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The Rev. Emily C. Heath The Rev. Emily C. Heath is Senior Pastor of the Congregational Church in Exeter, New Hampshire (UCC), and a writer and public theologian. She is the author of 'Glorify: Reclaiming the Heart of Progressive Christianity' (Pilgrim Press).

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United Church of Christ

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The Congregational Church in Exeter UCC, Exeter, NH

The Rev. Emily Heath

United Church of Christ

The Congregational Church in Exeter UCC, Exeter, NH

 

Rev. Emily C. Heath, Pastor

Pastor Emily began as the senior pastor of our church in July 2014. A native of Virginia, she grew up in Winter Park, Florida. After majoring in English and Religion at Emory University she went on to Columbia Theological Seminary. At Columbia Emily received a Master of Divinity and a Master of Theology and then served as a chaplain specializing in trauma. Before coming to Exeter, Emily was the pastor of a UCC congregation in southern Vermont, as well as the chaplain and volunteer firefighter on the local fire department.

Outside of the parish Emily is pursuing a Doctor of Ministry in leadership at Andover Newton Theological School. In the wider church she serves on the national Board of Directors of the United Church of Christ. She is also a writer whose work is regularly featured in the UCC's Still Speaking Daily Devotionals, as well as the blogs of the Christian Century and Huffington Post's Religion section. Her hobbies include fly fishing, golf, watching the Red Sox, and managing a fantasy football team that manages to regularly implode spectacularly during the first round of the playoffs. But, most of all, she enjoys spending time with her wife, Heidi Carrington Heath, an ordained UCC minister and the associate pastor of First Parish Church in East Derry. They make their home in downtown Exeter and are thrilled to be serving this community.

 


Latest Content by The Rev. Emily C. Heath

The Rev. Emily C. Heath

Emily C. Heath: A Culture of Character

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

"Finally, all of you be of one mind, sympathetic, lovers of your fellow believers, compassionate, and modest in your opinion of yourselves." - 1 Peter 3:8



I

n her book Quiet, Susan Cain points out an interesting phenomenon. In one century we have gone from a culture that celebrates character to one that celebrates personality. Cain argues that it was what we did in our private lives that was understood to truly define us in the past. But now it's who we are in public that gets us noticed.

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The Rev. Emily C. Heath

Emily C. Heath: Child of Blessing, Child of Promise

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

"And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High; for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people by the forgiveness of their sins. By the tender mercy of our God, the dawn from on high will break upon us, to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace." - Luke 1:76-79

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Other Recent Content by The Rev. Emily C. Heath

The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

November 13, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Getting there…eventually

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

I have an older and wiser friend who gives good advice. I routinely ignore it. At first, anyway.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

November 06, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Do Justice. Love Kindness. Walk Humbly. And Vote.

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

This election has exposed an underbelly that has lingered undetected for too long. Any national light we may have has been obscured by the baskets that we ourselves have put over it; baskets like hatred, inequality, violence, intimidation, and more. In our worst moments this fall, we have become a shining example to the world of what not to be.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

November 01, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Saint Sammy

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Earlier this year my college chaplain died. Sammy was a United Methodist minister who in the 1950's had left his PhD program at Princeton to go to seminary. A son of South Georgia, he turned down offers of big steeple churches in the north in order to return home to serve as a pastor and work for civil rights.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

October 23, 2016

Emily C. Heath: What Do You Want?

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

I've never believed that God is a fairly godmother, granting us exactly what we want when we want it. Our relationship with God should never be one where we ask and just expect to receive, nor should our prayer lives be centered on our own needs or desires. But that's not to say that asking God for help and healing is improper. Even the Bible shows us that.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

October 18, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Lukewarm

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Revelation, the last book of the Bible, often gets a bad rap. Fundamentalists have turned it into some sort of playbook for the end of time, full of hellfire judgement. But the reality is that Revelation was written in the midst of a time of historic church persecution. It's full of powerful imagery that is more metaphorical than literal.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

October 14, 2016

Emily C. Heath: The Joy of Not Knowing it All: Why Christian Education in the Church Matters

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Jesus never told us to become mindless. He never told us to stop exploring. He never wanted a church of know-it-alls who stopped learning. He wanted the curious. And he wanted disciples.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

October 04, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Why I Don't Believe in Karma

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

I don't believe in karma. I don't believe that if you do something crummy to someone else you will pay down the line. Conversely, I don't believe that if you live your life like a saint you will get a good break.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

September 28, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Wonderfully Made

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

The month I turned 22 I was in the middle of a years-long fight against clinical depression. I had my college degree in hand (double major in four years), I was starting a new graduate program (seminary, no less), and I had loving friends and family. I had everything to live for, and yet, I was fighting against soul-crushing feelings of hopelessness and sadness every day.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

August 14, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Entitlement

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

The king didn't know this was happening. In fact, he was still trying to figure out how to help Mordecai. And so he asks Haman a question: What should I do to honor someone special?
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

July 17, 2016

Emily C. Heath: The Privilege of Giving

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

I see giving to the organizations I support as a privilege. In some small way, I get to be a part of work that is greater than myself.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

July 06, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Five Things Mainline Christians Need to Stop Doing

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Without clergy who understand that enormity of this call, we will never have leaders who understand the enormity of what God has called the church to do next.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

June 29, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Plowing Ahead

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Every time we look back to what we've left behind, to the distractions that want us to give up and turn back, we risk losing sight of the one we are following.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

June 10, 2016

Emily C. Heath: A Simple Question

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

There is a common saying in recovery communities used when someone relapses and returns to alcohol or drugs: 'Well, maybe they just needed to do a little more research.'
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

June 05, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Death in the Time of Facebook

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

About two weeks ago my college chaplain, a man who had greatly influenced my faith and life, and who helped set me on the track to seminary and ordination, suffered a serious stroke. I found out on Facebook. Now, before you complain about modern technology, let me say I was grateful I found out that way.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Transcript

June 05, 2016

Resurrection Phobia

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

When Jesus healed the dead man in Luke 7, the Rev. Emily Heath says that Luke noted "fear seized them all." The people had never seen anything like this. And in the same way even today there is a phobia about resurrection. We Christians live our faith knowing of the resurrection--new life is possible, we believe--but we often don't believe it when we see it.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

May 11, 2016

Emily C. Heath: The Next Big Thing--An Excerpt from the new book 'Glorify'

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

The tide seems to have turned in many ways when it comes to the inclusion of people of all genders and sexualities in both our churches and our country. Doors to ordination are opening, marriages are being blessed, and the church is growing more comfortable with talking openly about sexuality and gender. And so the question is already being asked by some: What shall we work on next? What big issue does the church need to face?
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

April 13, 2016

Emily C. Heath: Following the Light

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Have you ever been lost in the dark? If so, how did you find your way? My guess is that you looked for the light, and you followed it back to the path.
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

March 19, 2016

Emily Heath: God, Help Me Not to Mess This Up

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Every Sunday, before I preach, I ask the congregation to join me in prayer and I repeat this verse from Scripture. Maybe your pastor does too. That's because reciting Psalm 19 is really just the pastor's way of saying 'God, help me not to mess this up.'
The Rev. Emily C. Heath Article

March 09, 2016

Emily Heath: Wilderness

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Ever have an incredible spiritual experience? One where you felt the presence of God so close to you? One where you just knew that God had a plan for your life, and God was walking with you?