Rev. Mariela Pérez-Simons will share her story of going into a church for the first time when she was 18 years old, in Cuba under a dictatorship when religion was forbidden. This intimate reflection explores why we seek spiritual communities; why we have the impulse to come together to “worship” or connect with something larger than ourselves. The service will also feature reflections from the UCM Chalice Circle- Owning Your Religion Past.
Rev. Mariela Pérez-Simons (she/her) is a Cuban-American UU minister who teaches about religious naturalism, soul, social change, and emotional intelligence. Rev. Mariela was born and grew up in Cuba under a dictatorship at a time when religion was forbidden there, which instilled in her a commitment to the freedom of individuals to seek truth and meaning on their own terms and create change in the world. She and her family became political refugees in the United States in 1995. Rev. Mariela earned a Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School where she received the Charles Billings Prize in Preaching (given to a graduating student for excellence in preaching) and the Faculty Prize for Religious Leadership (given to a graduating student whose tenure at Meadville embodies the values of liberal religious ministry.) Her website is www.revmariela.com.