Rev. Edmund Robinson, Minister
The Reverend Edmund Robinson has been minister of the Meeting House since 2008. He graduated from Harvard Divinity School in 1999 and was ordained that year. Before coming to Chatham, he served churches in Wakefield and Belmont, MA and Staten Island NY. Prior to entering the UU ministry, Rev. Robinson was a trial lawyer in Charleston, South Carolina. He is an avid folk musician and contra dancer and a member of the Meeting House’s All Worn Out Jug Band, where he plays fiddle, banjo, concertina and jug. He serves on the governing board of the Institute On Religion In an Age of Science (IRAS) and is Chatham town representative to the Barnstable County Human Rights Commission. He coordinates a monthly contra dance in Chatham and the Meeting House’s Summer Concert series. He lives in Chatham with his wife, the pianist Jacqueline Schwab, who is best known for her work on the soundtracks of Ken Burns’ documentary films. Rev. Robinson has two adult children from his first marriage, Luke in London and Sally in Brooklyn. In addition to making music, he loves sailing and cycling.
Rev. Robinson’s sermons are posted on YouTube and most are accessible in both video and text format through the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House’s page on Facebook (click here to visit the FaceBook page).
Frank Toppa, Music Director
Frank Toppa is a full-time musician. In addition to his dedicated work as the organist and as director of the adult and now children’s choirs at the Unitarian Universalist Meeting House of Chatham, he teaches music during the week at Belmont Day School outside of Boston, enriching the lives of scores of elementary and middle schoolers.
Frank’s long and varied career has included teaching posts in the Brookline Public Schools, and Nauset Regional and Middle and High Schools, among others; he has served as Choir Director, Organist, and Handbell Director at the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, the Federated Church of Orleans, and many others prior to joining the Meeting House in 2009.
Frank plays string bass with the Arlington Philharmonic Orchestra and tuba with the Chatham Town Band. He also plays piano, organ, and is a wonderful singer.
Frank holds Master’s degrees in Musicology and in Music Education in Organ Performance from Boston University and UMass/Amherst, respectively, and a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education in Choral Performance from Hartt College.
Gail Eldredge, Youth Programs
Gail Eldredge grew up in Chatham. She was baptized at the Universalist Church on Main Street where the current Episcopalian Church sits. When the Universalist Church closed its doors, Gail attended the Methodist Church Sunday School. After graduating from Chatham High School, she attended Westbrook College in Portland Maine earning her Associate Degree in Nursing.
Gail married Terry Eldredge in 1972 and worked as an RN at Cape Cod Hospital until the birth of their first son, J. Thaddeus. After five years on Nantucket and the birth of their second son Jared, they returned to Chatham and opened Eldredge Surveying and Engineering, LLC. Gail and Terry worked side by side in the business, which they do to this day, and which has allowed each of them to participate in community service organizations.
Gail has held many community service positions, including: officer in the Pleiades Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star; President of the Monomoy Branch of the Cape Cod Hospital Aid Association; Superintendent of the Chatham Methodist Church Sunday School; and member of the Chatham Parent’s Council, holding several offices and chairing a variety of projects and activities.
Within the Boy Scouts of America, Gail has been a Cub Scout Leader, Cub Scout Committee Chair, and Cub Scout Training Chair for the Cape and Islands Boy Scout Council. She also served as President of the Chatham Rotary Club from 2013-14, joining in 2010.
At UUMH, Gail has served on the Board of Trustees as Treasurer and Secretary, as well as on several committees, including the Human Resources Committee, co-chair of the Program Council, the Crustaceans, the Gathering and most recently the Religious Education Feasibility Committee, which evolved into the Religious Education Committee.
Gail has worked with past RE Director Cheri Armstrong for the past four years in reviving UUMH's RE program, assisting on Sunday mornings as well as acting as the liaison to the Board. She has a special interest in the RE Program as she brings her granddaughter Emma and soon her grandson Luka to church on Sunday mornings. Now that Cheri has left UUMH to puruse her doctorate, Gail has taken over the helm of the program with a full and active curriculum planned for the 2016-17 school year.
Karen Murdoch, Communications Coordinator
Karen grew up in Acton Mass, spending summers in Ogunquit Maine with her family. In the summer of 2000 she came to Chatham for the summer to visit her older sister, Sue, and that is when she met her husband, Dave. She has been here ever since! Dave is a commercial fisherman here in Chatham. If you find yourself at the Chatham Fish Pier, look for his boat! The name of the boat is Jack Tar. In 2006 Karen founded the Women of Fishing Families – a non-profit group that offers direct financial services to fishing families on Cape Cod. W.O.F.F. brings her great happiness and she is thankful to have to opportunity to support local fishing families on the Cape. Karen and Dave have a (spunky) 7-year-old daughter, Regan, who attends Chatham Elementary. Dave, Regan, and Karen enjoy sunny, summer beach-days and chilly, skiing snow-days together, any chance they get! She is excited to be here and looking forward to meeting many UU friends in the days ahead.
Melissa Clayton, Financial Secretary