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The ministry I hope for, is one in which we help one another discover our gifts, and support one another in the unfolding of our well lived lives…I have chosen to become a UU minister because for me, that choice is the choice for the gifts I have to offer, and the well lived life I want to live and give. It is the work of a lifetime and I hope for a ministry in a congregation that wants to go deep, living well lived, transformational lives, together.”



The Rev. Carmen M. Emerson was born and raised in rural Arkansas, Carmen began questioning the discrepancies between Sunday morning religion and Monday-Saturday religion at an early age, especially with respect to the poverty, racism and sexism oppressions prevalent in her Delta community. After graduation from high school she moved first to Tennessee, where she was a typesetter for a local newspaper, then to Oklahoma, where she was a receptionist then legal secretary and closing agent for a law firm. After a brief stint in New Orleans she moved to Florida, where she met and married her husband, Jim. Soon after, she became a paralegal in an international law firm based in Florida.


In Florida, Carmen discovered Unitarian Universalism. At the First Unitarian Church of Orlando she found a spiritual home and an outlet for her desire to make a difference. Taking the banner into the workplace she teamed up with her Haitian-American mentor to open a law practice that relied on real teamwork and truly valued its employees.


The new millennium brought with it the courage to answer a persistent call to UU ministry. Carmen finished her undergraduate degree at Leslie University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 2004 and went on to graduate with honors and a Masters in Divinity from Andover Newton Theological School in May 2009. She completed a year-long internship as a member of the ministerial team at the 800 member First Unitarian Universalist Church of Albuquerque, New Mexico, and has served as a ministerial intern at the UU Service Committee and as intern chaplain at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and Franciscan Children’s Hospital. She began her ministry at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Meadville in July 2010.


Office Hours: By appointment Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday between 9:30 AM and 4:30 PM. (Carmen has Thursday off and is away from e-mail on that day. Friday is reserved for study and sermon-writing.)