The Rev. Dr. Emily Melcher
Our minister, Emily, is a Unitarian Universalist minister and a singer and songwriter. She began her part-time ministry with UUCWI in September of 2018.
Born and raised in southern California, Emily was active in a youth circus, choirs, and musical theater. A year in Sweden as a high school exchange student significantly shaped her future, and in the ensuing decade, she married a Swede she’d met during her year as an exchange student; earned both a B.A. and an M.A. in Scandinavian Languages and Literature; lived and worked in Sweden for several additional years; and became a noted translator and performer of music by Swedish troubadour, Evert Taube.
Emily’s own songwriting emerged at the intersection of creativity, psychology and spirituality. She describes singing and songwriting as contemplative and creative practices that foster and inspire wholeness and a deepening connection to the spirit of life and love.
Emily’s call to ministry came, and was nourished, in her home congregation, the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin. She earned a Master of Divinity degree at Andover-Newton Theological School in Massachusetts and was ordained to the UU ministry in 2010.
Emily found her first ministry position, and what was to be her calling for several years, in intentional interim ministry. She served as interim minister with congregations in Vermont, Connecticut, and Washington, then earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Spiritual Renewal, Contemplative Practice, and Strategic Leadership. In the process of working toward her degree, she discerned a new direction for her ministry, which led her to accept our invitation to serve part-time in a shared ministry with us.
In addition to her ministry with us, Emily serves as a Good Officer to colleagues in the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, mentors new ministers, preaches at other UU congregations, and engages in justice issues in the wider community.
Emily loves living here on Whidbey Island with her spouse, Anders, and their delightful Old English Sheepdog, Teddy.