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In Memory of . . . Margo McKenna (1960-2014)

Posted By Administration, Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Rev. Margo Rae McKenna died on February 16, 2014 at the age of 53.  Margo was born in Ontario, Canada on November 22, 1960 to Henry Mattson and Frieda Mattson. She graduated from Andrews University with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1983, and from Loma Linda University with a Masters of Social Work in 1988. She studied at Princeton Theological Seminary, and graduated with a Master of Divinity in 1988.

Rev. McKenna was ordained to the Seventh-Day Adventist Ministry on July 6, 1996 at the Garden Grove Seventh-Day Adventist Church, of Garden Grove, CA. She served as Associate Minister at Paradise Valley Seventh-Day Adventist Church, of San Diego, CA, from 1988 to 1989; Associate Minister at Tierrasanta Seventh-Day Adventist Church, of San Diego, CA, from 1989 to 1993; and Associate Minister at Garden Grove Seventh-Day Adventist Church from 1994 to 1998.

In 1998, Rev. McKenna left the Seventh-Day Adventist ministry and began to explore Unitarian Universalism. She served as the Director of Religious Education at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Riverside, of Riverside, CA, from 1999 to 2000. Fellowshipped as a Unitarian Universalist minister in November 2000, Rev. McKenna was called to the Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation, of Escondido, CA, in 2001. She served as minister there until 2010. From 2010 to 2014, Rev. McKenna spent time creating art, and working as a social worker in hospice settings throughout Southern California and Michigan.

Rev. McKenna was very active in both the Seventh-Day Adventist Church and Unitarian Universalism. She founded the Women Minister’s Association in 1988; served as the President of the North Park Christian Service Agency of San Diego in 1990; President of the North Park Ecumenical Ministerial Association in 1991; Co-organizer of the Orange County Interfaith Council in 1995; and member of the Orange County Chapter of the National Conference Commission on Justice from 1995 to 1998. She maintained membership with the National Association of Socially Responsible Organizations, the National Organization for Women, the Liberal Religious Educators Association, and the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association.

She enjoyed hiking, mountain climbing, reading, and painting. Throughout the last five years of her life, she developed an avid interest in photography. Rev. McKenna is remembered as “very outgoing” and “loved by everyone.” She is described by her sister as “a beautiful person,” who was “a blessing to so many people.”  

She is survived by her sisters Melodie Mattson-Bell (Chuck) and Marlene Harris (Robert); her brother, Morris Mattson (Sayaka); and her mother, Frieda Mattson. She is also survived by eight nieces and nephews.

A memorial service was held on March 15th, at 11:00 AM, at the Chalice Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 2324 Miller Ave, Escondido, California 92029. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Heifer International, 1 World Ave, Little Rock, AR 72202.

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