A Call to Faith in Turbulent Times

Marta Valentin

Marta I. Valentín is a minister in a shared ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Medford, MA as well as a published poet and percussionist. Her former shared ministries were with the First Church Unitarian in Littleton, MA, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, VA. Her first settled shared ministry was at First Unitarian Universalist Church in New Orleans where she arrived two weeks before Hurricane Katrina.

Many Unitarian Universalists and other people of faith are challenged by this moment in our nation’s history. The actions of political leaders raise large moral questions that compel many of us to explore what our faith commitments and values require of us. We have learned that it is crucial to stay informed, yet information comes at us from every direction and not all sources are reliable. We are being asked by others to contact legislators, attend meetings, join in protests, have political conversations with friends and acquaintances, in some cases to take public action for the first time ever. Many turn to our congregations and faith communities for help to clarify how our values call us to respond and to strengthen us to act.

Small Group Ministry Sessions

Here are four small group sessions religious professional and lay leaders can offer to help nurture, support, and strengthen Unitarian Universalists to respond to this moment and its significant challenges. Written by the Rev. Marta Valentín, the sessions use a standard “small group ministry” format, known as an effective tool for people to engage in deep discernment rather than in debate. Each session offers different lenses for a group to examine together the call of our faith and our moral and ethical commitments at this extraordinary moment.

Each two-hour session includes readings and audio-visual materials, as well as questions for reflection.

Each session has these intentions:

  • To create a space to explore feelings regarding current events
  • To explore metaphors to sustain one’s spirit for the long haul.
  • To affirm that being in community sustains courageous acts.