The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Marta I. Valentín as Professional Development Director in the Ministries and Faith Development Staff group. Starting August 5th, she will be working with her colleagues throughout the arc of their ministries. She will also be working collaboratively with the Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association staff and the CENTER committee, on which she has previously served.
Rev. Valentín has always had her eye and heart watching out for those colleagues rising through the ministry and consequently has been a formal mentor to new ministers and many others by association, including religious educators.
“Rev. Valentín brings a wealth of experiences, relationships and wisdom to the UUA staff, and is one of the most respected liturgists in our ministry. It will be a blessing to have her share these gifts in developing religious professionals across the Association in her new role,” said UUA Executive Vice President Carey McDonald.
She has held various parish ministry positions including her first call to the First Unitarian Universalist Church of New Orleans in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, giving her extensive experience ministering to those who've experienced trauma. In addition, she has held various positions at the UUA; most recently in the New England Region. Prior to that she worked in Identity-Based Ministries where she opened the first Latino/a & Hispanic Concerns Office and was staff liaison to DRUUMM (Diverse, Revolutionary, UU Multicultural Ministries); in Beacon Press writing leadership guides for new books; and launching a new position in the Public Information Office that gave her a crash course on everything the UUA was doing at the time and by whom.
Of this new position, Rev. Valentín shares, “I am so excited to be returning full circle in gratitude to where it all began for me, and to be able to share my accumulated wisdom from my various positions with a cadre of ministers venturing into many forms of ministry. I also really wanted to contribute to Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray (President) and Executive Vice President Carey McDonald’s vision for Unitarian Universalism.”
Rev. Valentín leaves her positions in a shared ministry with the UU Church in Medford, MA; as Denominational Counselor at Harvard Divinity School; and as a Centering People of Color Consultant to the GA Planning Committee. At the First UU Church of San Diego she was developing an “accompaniment model” of ministry. This development will continue with her new staff team.
Rev. Valentín is a Nuyorican (Puerto Rican New Yorker), and her poems and prayers have appeared in many Skinner House anthologies. Her meditation manual, A Long Time Blooming, was the first by a sole person of color. She is also the first Latina to speak at the Berry Street Essays (2017) and preach at the GA Sunday Morning Service (2019).
She is a percussionist, a Words with Friends-er and a music fanatic (as a former public radio music producer). She lives in central Massachusetts with her wife Alison, daughter Jaiya, poodle mix Jack, Siamese cat Cleo and a groundhog named Gary.