Meet Our Co-Ministers
Our Co-Ministers, Becky and Mark Edmiston-Lange, began serving Emerson in August of 1999. They moved here to Houston from the Northern Virginia area where each had been serving separate Unitarian Universalist congregations. Married in 1993, they had for several years nurtured a dream of serving one congregation together as a team. While Emerson originally searched for only one minister, when the Search Committee met the Edmiston-Langes, they were convinced that Becky and Mark would be a terrific match and the congregation ratified that decision in a near-unanimous vote to "call" them to Emerson. Though unique individuals, together they bring a complementary depth and breadth of experience and talent that have energized and deepened our religious community. Their commitment to our faith and their love for this congregation are palpable.
As individuals, their backgrounds differ. Mark grew up in Newburgh, New York, and spent summers in Vermont with his grandparents. He received his undergraduate degree from Marlboro College in Vermont in 1973. Mark was raised as a Unitarian Universalist and knew from the time he was a young teenager that he wanted to be a minister. After college he went to Andover-Newton Seminary in Boston. He interned at First Unitarian in Provincetown, Rhode Island. He graduated with his Master of Divinity in 1978 and was ordained that year. He has served congregations in Reading, Pennsylvania; Akron, Ohio; Williamsburg, Virginia; and Rockville, Maryland before coming to Emerson. Mark has two adult children, Kara and Aaron, from his first marriage.
Becky grew up near Richmond, Virginia and received her Bachelor's from the University of Virginia in 1975. She was basically "unchurched" as a child and unsure of her vocation at first, but her quest for meaning and purpose in life led her to Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she received her Master of Divinity in 1978. Upon graduation she trained as a Pastoral Psychotherapist and later received a PhD in Counseling from Catholic University in Washington, D.C. When she discovered Unitarian Universalism after seminary, she felt she had "come home" spiritually. She interned at the UU Church in Fairfax, VA, was ordained in 1986, and then began a thirteen-year ministry at Accotink UU Church in Burke, Virginia, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
The preparation for Unitarian Universalist ministry is a long, demanding process. Most Unitarian Universalist ministers have a Master of Divinity, as do Becky and Mark. There is a three-or-four year degree program that includes study in philosophy and theology, Old and New Testaments, church history, world religions, Unitarian Universalist history and polity, ethics, and practical courses in the arts of ministry. In addition, in order to be "fellowshipped" by the Unitarian Universalist Association and thus recommended to UU congregations, candidates have to complete a chaplaincy requirement, a year-long internship in a church setting, and then pass an arduous interview by the Ministerial Fellowship Committee.
Since Becky and Mark arrived in Houston, Emerson has thrived, growing every year in depth of programs and commitment to a vision of a "world more fair with all her people one." We invite you to speak with either of them after worship or call them at the church office: 713-782-8250.