Rev. Amy Zucker Morgenstern
Amy is on sabbatical June 12, 2023 - January 6, 2024. The Rev. Peter Farriday joins us for most of that time as a sabbatical minister. If you have questions, please see the Sabbatical Guide.
Amy (she or they) grew up in Hamden, Connecticut, in a Conservative Jewish family. Her parents say she asked questions about God from toddlerhood, usually when riding in the car. The big questions continued to fascinate her, and 20 years later, one of her undergraduate majors at Wesleyan University was religious studies (the other was studio art). She focused on Buddhist philosophy and traveled to India and Nepal on a Buddhist Studies semester. After graduating, she taught for two years, then entered the M.A./Ph.D. program in religion at Syracuse University, thinking to bring together her love of teaching and her favorite subject.
Along the way, she had had early thoughts of being a rabbi. What a great way that would be to do community-building, counseling, community organizing, working for justice, learning, teaching, and pondering those big questions! However, she stopped believing in God; having been raised to question everything, she questioned her way out of Judaism. It was not until several years later (around 1992), when she read about Unitarian Universalism and started attending a UU church, that she realized that there was a faith community whose approach to spiritual questions was a good fit. This was a religion within which she and others could keep changing; it encouraged people to find the beauty and wisdom in numerous traditions (including, but not limited to, the Judaism of her upbringing); it also perceived the sacredness within the arts, science, and the natural world; and she could be a leader there with a clear conscience. With that realization, she left Syracuse (having received her M.A.) and began the training to become a Unitarian Universalist minister.
She graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 2000, was ordained the same year, and served as minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Rutland, Vermont, for four years, after doing her internship at the Champlain Valley Unitarian Universalist Society up the road in Middlebury. She was called to the parish minister position here in 2003.
Amy's favorite non-ministry pursuit is being with her wife Joy and their teenage daughter. Aside from that, she enjoys making art and visiting art museums, reading (especially sci fi, mysteries, general fiction, essays), watching movies, learning to speak Spanish and play the piano, puttering in the garden, cooking and enjoying good food and conversation with friends, and admiring her cat. She is also pursuing a D.Min. in Theology and the Arts through the United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities.
On her blog, Sermons in Stones, Amy occasionally writes about religion, politics, and culture, posts pictures of her art, and once shared her vision for our congregation.
To make an appointment with Amy, use her Calendly calendar; if there isn't a good time there for you, please e-mail her and you can arrange a different one. The pastoral emergency line will always get you in touch with a minister – 650-494 0541 x25.