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Rev. Emily C. Heath
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The Rev. Emily C. Heath is a United Church of Christ (UCC) minister serving as a pastor in southern Vermont. She is also a member of the national United Church of Christ Board, and a speaker and writer on Christian faith and social justice.

After growing up "spiritual but not religious", she joined the church as a young adult. Originally ordained in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she transferred her ordination to the UCC in protest of Presbyterian policies which excluded LGBT people from the full life of the church. Prior to serving as a parish pastor, she served as a hospital and hospice chaplain specializing in trauma.

A displaced Southerner, Rev. Heath lives in southern Vermont with her wife Heidi, a UCC seminarian.

Heath's personal website can be found here: here.

Entries by Rev. Emily C. Heath

A Prayer for Good Friday

(0) Comments | Posted April 18, 2014 | 12:45 PM

Prince of Peace, redeemer of us all, crucified God, we have gathered at the foot of the cross, and at the entrance to the tomb, and we have rolled the stone across it.

The world sometimes does its worst, even to those who don't deserve it. You know that, because...

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An Open Letter to Sunnie Kahle (and Christian Tomboys Everywhere)

(15) Comments | Posted March 26, 2014 | 11:52 AM

Dear Sunnie,

You don't know me, but this morning I read an article about you. Ever since then you keep crossing my mind. As I went around town today in my jeans and men's Oxford shirt and sweater, I thought about you. As I came home from the gym tonight,...

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Dreading Lent: An Alternative Proposal

(3) Comments | Posted March 5, 2014 | 11:01 AM

A few weeks ago I was standing in the check-out line of our village market. The selection of cards by the cash register had just made their changeover from Valentine's Day to Easter, despite the fact Lent had not yet even begun. That's not a huge surprise, of course. The...

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The 'Religious Liberty Quiz' and Why I Wrote It

(2) Comments | Posted March 3, 2014 | 3:44 PM

It's funny when you write something that you think is timely, and you find out that, sadly, it is not. Let me explain what I mean. About 18 months ago I wrote a piece about religious liberty. It went up on Huffington Post and it seemed to resonate with a...

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Falling: Recovery, Silence and the Church

(2) Comments | Posted February 3, 2014 | 1:59 PM

Twice in my life I have competed in contact sports. After a childhood spent envying the boys on my block who could play on the football team, I joined my college's rugby team. It was a club sport at my school, more adventure than varsity, but it was one of...

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No One Remembers the Name of the Inn: A Christmas Eve Homily

(1) Comments | Posted December 23, 2013 | 9:39 AM

When we tell and retell the most important stories of our life, we often find that every time we tell it, there are a few details that we can't leave out of the story. Whether it's the name of the hotel where you stayed on a honeymoon, or the hospital...

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10 Ways to Support Your Congregation's Pastor

(56) Comments | Posted November 20, 2013 | 6:16 PM

Recently another of my clergy colleagues told me they were thinking about leaving the ministry. This happens more often than you might think. At least a few times a year a clergy friend tells me that they are considering leaving ministry, or even the church entirely, behind. These are not...

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Redskins and Respect: A Lifelong Washington Fan On Tradition

(34) Comments | Posted October 30, 2013 | 5:33 PM

Some of my favorite early memories involve the Washington Redskins. For as long as I remember, I've watched games on Sundays. My father is a Washington, D.C. native who has been a fan of the team since they moved to town from Boston in 1937. I've watched the 'Skins play...

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Emory's Controversial, Not-So-Gay-Friendly, Award

(100) Comments | Posted September 23, 2013 | 12:34 PM

Emory University has a history of opening its doors to voices of faith strongly in favor of LGBT equality. Visiting professors like Archbishop Desmond Tutu and President Jimmy Carter have talked on campus about why they believe all should be treated as equal by the church. The university has also...

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When Being a 'NALT' Christian Ally Isn't Enough

(164) Comments | Posted September 17, 2013 | 2:19 PM

When I was in college I was involved in some anti-racism discussions. I had been born and raised in the South and, though I had plenty of examples of everyday racism surrounding me, I had always believed in racial equality. I believed that I was a good anti-racism ally.

One...

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Flying Out Over Boston: Some Thoughts on the End of DOMA

(25) Comments | Posted June 27, 2013 | 4:16 PM

We are flying out today, over Boston, the city where marriage equality got its start. We are flying out over Old South Church, the place where we were married. We are flying in to California, a place where yesterday morning our marriage wasn't legal. And we are flying to General...

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The End of Exodus Doesn't Mean the End of 'Ex-Gay' Movements

(135) Comments | Posted June 23, 2013 | 5:20 PM

Alan Chambers, president of prominent ex-gay ministry Exodus International, made headlines this week with his public statement of apology and the announcement that his organization will close. The closure of Exodus has elicited celebrations from the LGBTQ community and allies who have long known the harm being done in God's...

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Five Tips for Ministry after a Natural Disaster

(8) Comments | Posted May 22, 2013 | 9:43 AM

In August of 2010, Hurricane Irene brought very heavy rains to southern Vermont. In the aftermath, the community where I serve as a pastor was heavily flooded. For the next few weeks we worked together to rebuild the towns. Even today, nearly two years later, we still are regrouping.

...
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Jason Collins, Chris Broussard and the Faith of the Guy in the Arena

(47) Comments | Posted May 1, 2013 | 11:13 AM

On Monday NBA player Jason Collins made history by being the first gay man to come out while actively playing in a major American professional sports league. Collins' statement was courageous and historic, and it will change things in ways we can't imagine yet. And most importantly, whether he knows...

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Live Into the Gospel: Stand Up Against Anti-Muslim Hatred

(92) Comments | Posted April 19, 2013 | 12:04 PM

Today I am praying for my Muslim friends and extended family. Because I know they are afraid.

We don't have any official confirmation yet whether or not the two brothers who Boston Marathon bombers are Muslim. There are many reports, though, and already anti-Muslim statements are being made.

It doesn't...

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God's Love Wins: Reflections on Boston Marathon Bombing

(307) Comments | Posted April 15, 2013 | 8:03 PM

I often park on the finish line of the Boston Marathon. 364 days a year it's just a paint-worn line on the pavement on Boylston Street. It's right in front of Old South Church, my wife's home congregation, and I sometimes joke that it is the closest I will ever...

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What Growing Up 'None' Taught Me About Church

(211) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 11:36 AM

I was raised a "none." That is, I was raised outside of organized religion, in a spiritual-but-not-religious home. I hear that "nones" are all the rage now, so I just want to point out for the record that for once in my life I was ahead of the fashionable curve.

...
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Maundy Thursday and the Love Mandate

(13) Comments | Posted March 28, 2013 | 2:30 AM

The most common question I get asked during Holy Week is about this night, the Thursday before Easter. People get Palm Sunday, and Good Friday, and Easter, but tonight, Maundy Thursday, is unclear. And the one thing people want to know the most, is this: What does "Maundy" mean?

It's...

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The Religious Liberty to Support Gay Marriage

(1226) Comments | Posted March 26, 2013 | 5:56 PM

"Religious liberty" is the buzzword of those who are trying to stop the now nearly inevitable legal recognition of same-sex marriage. Recognition of same-sex marriages, they argue, will constitute a real and immediate threat to the religious liberty of people and churches who oppose it.

I'm not sure what...

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St. Francis, Pope Francis and Being 'Right Sized'

(7) Comments | Posted March 20, 2013 | 11:22 AM

The cardinals appeared on the balcony of St. Peter's Basilica on Wednesday, and announced that they had chosen Jorge Bergoglio to be the next pope of the Roman Catholic Church. And then they announced his newly chosen name: Francis.

The symbolism was not lost on those of us...

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