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The Passionate Jesus

Day1 host Peter Wallace's new book on the emotions of Jesus is, according to Marcus Borg, “An illuminating and powerful personal meditation." Ideal for personal or group study.

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The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath

The Rev. Dr. 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

Representative of:

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. Dr. Emily C. Heath

The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath

Emily C. Heath: Disagreeable

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

"I urge you to watch out for people who create divisions and problems against the teaching that you learned. Keep away from them. People like that aren't serving the Lord. They are serving their own feelings. They deceive the hearts of innocent people with smooth talk and flattery." - Romans 16:17-18

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The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath

Emily C. Heath: Ready to Move

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

The Lord said, "I've been paying close attention to you and to what has been done to you in Egypt. I've decided to take you away from the harassment in Egypt to the land of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites, a land full of milk and honey." - Exodus 3:16-18

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Other Recent Content by The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath

The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

September 07, 2017

Emily C. Heath: Baking with the Pharisees

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Jesus was trying to tell the disciples to be wary of the false teachings of religious authorities like the Pharisees and Sadducees. He compared them to the yeast that makes bread rise, telling them to be wary of what they end up baking.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

August 27, 2017

Emily C. Heath: Armor

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

If you're like me, Scripture passages about war and armor are difficult. I don't like the idea of violence. I don't want to encourage militaristic ways of looking at the world, and I especially don't want to perpetuate some idea that Christians need to arm ourselves against others. Every time I read this Scripture, though, I wrestle between these fears and something else: hope.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

July 14, 2017

Emily Heath: The Most Stressful Part of Sundays

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

I would rather write five sermons than lead the children's lesson at church. That's not really true, but I can say that I would have a whole lot less anxiety over those sermons than I would about the children's time.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

July 07, 2017

Emily C. Heath: Remembering Grace

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Perhaps this is wrong, but I have a hard time trusting church people who never admit imperfection.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

June 10, 2017

Emily C. Heath: Chosen Family

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

I believe in the idea of chosen family. That's no slight to my family of origin, whom I love dearly. But I love the idea that my family is made even larger by the fact that there are people dear to my heart with whom I share no legally-binding connection.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

June 03, 2017

Emily C. Heath: Learning New Languages

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Every year on Pentecost Sunday I get the feeling that the church misses the point.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

May 05, 2017

Emily C. Heath: Laughable

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Abraham and Sarah had given up on having children together. Years past the age of fertility, they knew it just wasn't possible. So when Sarah heard that she is going to have a child, her response is a natural one: she laughs.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

April 19, 2017

Emily C. Heath: I Was Provoked

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

Have you ever heard someone say, 'I was provoked'? Sometimes you hear it as a defense after a fight: 'He provoked me!' The idea is that whatever response came next, it was somehow justified.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

April 01, 2017

Emily C. Heath: 168 Hours

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

One of the things I find myself preaching about the most is time, and how we choose to use it. In one of the few equalities of life, we all are given 168 hours per week. How each of us uses them varies widely, but few of us ever feel that we have enough hours in our week.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

March 12, 2017

Emily C. Heath: A Time for Something New

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

In the 1960's a band put the words of Ecclesiastes to music, and the world came to know them not so much as Scripture, but as song. Whenever I preach on this passage I see a faint look of recognition in the eyes of the congregation. And after church someone always says to me, 'I didn't know that was in the Bible . . . I thought it was just a song!'
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

February 02, 2017

Emily C. Heath: A Culture of Character

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

In 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.
The Rev. Dr. Emily C. Heath Article

December 15, 2016

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

The Rev. Emily Heath (UCC)

What would it be like if parents proclaimed their children's futures this way? Not in terms of whether or not they'd make the Ivy League or get the corner office, but by blessing them on their journey as children of God?
The Rev. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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?