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UUMA CENTER Institute for Excellence in Ministry: Worship
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Worship Leaders:

Cheryl M. Walker - Minister, Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington, NC

 Cheryl has been serving as the Minister at the Wilmington Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Wilmington, North Carolina since 2009.  She came to Wilmington after serving at All Soul's Unitarian Universalist Church in New York City.   She has served on the UUMA CENTER team since 2010 and is currently co-chair of the committee.






James Forbes - Senior Minister Emeritus, Riverside Church, New York, NY

James Alexander Forbes, Jr. is Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church, President of the Healing of the Nations Foundation and the Harry Emerson Fosdick Distinguished Professor at Union Theological Seminary . Dr. Forbes is known as the preacher’s preacher because of his extensive preaching career and his charismatic style. He was named by Newsweek magazine as one of the 12 "most effective preachers” in the English-speaking world.




Mark Belletini - Senior Minister, First Unitarian Universalist Church, Columbus, OH

Mark Belletini began his ordained ministry by serving as Assistant to Rev. Diane Miller at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco. He moved on to serve as minister of the Starr King Unitarian Universalist Church for 18 years. He has been senior parish minister at First Unitarian Universalist Church of Columbus since August 1st of 1998. Mark served as the chair of the Hymnbook Resources Commission which produced the present hard-bound worship book for the Unitarian Universalist Association, and he has served four two year terms on the Ministerial Fellowship Committee of the UUA. Mark has also taught in a number of seminaries, including Meadville-Lombard in Chicago, which awarded him a Doctor of Divinity in 1994, and Starr King School for the Ministry, which is his alma mater. He has taught worship and celebration, Unitarian Universalist history, gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans-gender studies, and the Gospels from a Unitarian Universalist perspective. In addition, he has written papers for conferences and study groups, including a paper on radical theology for the Unitarian Church in Prague, a paper on Jesus as a Torah based Prophet, and a historical study on our Unitarian ancestor, Arius of Alexandria. He has also written a number of song texts and hymns for various occasions, and writes poetry for both his ministry and himself.

Vanessa Southern - Parish Minister, The Unitarian Church in Summit, NJ

Vanessa Southern has served at Summit since August of 2001. In 2010, her congregation was named a "Breakthrough Congregation" by the Unitarian Universalist Association, was awarded the first ever Congregational Social Justice Award by the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee and in 2011 was a part of the fledgling "Leap of Faith” program. She also currently serves as part of the five-person 50th Anniversary Task Force of the UUA. Vanessa graduated from Stanford University in 1990, with a degree in philosophy and religious studies, and from Harvard Divinity School in 1995. She is the author of This Piece of Eden, published by Skinner House Books in 2001.


Music Directors:

Keith Arnold - Minister of Music, Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden, CO

Keith Arnold has served at Jefferson Unitarian Church since 1997. He earned a Doctorate in the History and Performance of Choral Music from the University of Colorado, and has led Unitarian Universalist music ministry programs in Nashville, TN; Boulder, CO; and Golden, CO. Under his direction, the JUC Choir was invited to represent Colorado in Washington DC's National Cathedral in 2005, and members of the JUC Choir sang at Carnegie Hall in 2010. At the denominational level, Keith conducted the General Assembly Choir (2001) and Singers of the Living Tradition (2007), co-chaired a UU Musicians Network Conference (2005), and served as President of the UUMN (2008 - 2010).  Keith has also served as Music Director of the Arvada Center Chorale from 2001 to 2010, and he currently conducts the One World Singers, a chorus dedicated to promoting understanding through performance of music from many cultures.  Keith studied Renaissance music in England with Peter Phillips and conducted choirs on tour to Bulgaria, England, Scotland, Wales, Ireland, Canada, and China.

Lia Davis - Worship Musician, First Unitarian Society, Denver, CO

Lia Davis began playing piano by ear at age five, has fourteen years of classical training, and is an accomplished musician across many genres, including jazz, Argentine tango, folk, and pop. Piano is her native instrument, though she also sings and plays accordion, organ, electric bass, folk harp, and drum set. Fascinated by learning and how to facilitate others' learning, Lia teaches piano to students of all ages and skill levels. Her other interests include dancing, cooking, architecture, and improvisation (in all areas of life). A Colorado native, Lia returned to Denver in 2007 after having lived in Boston for six years.

Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association, 24 Farnsworth Street, Boston, MA 02210-1409
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