A Message from Emily Carduff

Hi, First Church! It’s Emily, your church’s seminarian and UCC Member in Discernment currently studying at The University of Chicago Divinity School.

I can hardly believe that in September 2021, I departed Berkeley and began my Master of Divinity program. Now, I’m currently finishing up my second year. Time flies! 

This school year, I’ve been taking some great classes. In the Autumn 2022, I took a course on public speaking and ritual creation for religious leaders and a class on death, dying, and end-of-life care. In Winter 2022, I took a class on the legacy and thought of Martin Luther King and a course in pastoral care and counseling to learn how to provide spiritual care in congregations and beyond.

As part of my schooling, I’ve also been interning at Hyde Park Union Church here in Chicago, a dual Baptist and United Church of Christ congregation. It’s been a great experience to practice some more preaching and leading worship and continue to build on the skills I learned as your Emerging Leader at FCCB! To learn more about community organizing and activism, I’ve also been part of the Anti-Violence Task Force Interfaith Council in my neighborhood here in South Side Chicago, which seeks to address issues of gun violence in the community.

Lastly, I was recently hired as a part-time chaplain at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. This medical center is a comprehensive care and teaching hospital serving the needs of the diverse communities of Chicago’s North and Northwest Sides. I’ve had the opportunity to provide spiritual care to a wide range of patients, including those in the Emergency Department at one of the highest-level trauma centers in Chicago. It’s been tough and often intense, but a huge privilege and responsibility to get to walk with individuals in some of the most vulnerable and holy moments of their lives.

I look forward to sharing all that I continue to learn. Sending love across the miles to you all during this sacred and beautiful time of Lent.