Rev. Marti Keller Appointed UUWF’s Affiliated Community Minister
The Board of Trustees of the UU Women’s Federation is pleased to announce the appointment of Rev. Marti Keller, Decatur, GA, as the Federation’s Affiliated Community Minister, effective October 1.
UUWF President Dr. Kirstie Lewis said she and the board are especially excited at how the affiliated ministry parallels the UUA’s “Congregations and Beyond” initiative, which refocuses the UUA as both an association of congregations and the epicenter of a liberal religious movement.
“The affiliated ministry will extend beyond UUWF’s individual and group members in local congregations,” Ms. Lewis said. “While they will benefit from the ministry’s work, Rev. Keller will also build connections among the many other women who identify as UUs and see themselves as a community within the UU movement.”
Rev. Marti Keller brings to this work 30 years of experience in secular public policy and ministerial justice work. She was most recently associate minister at the UU Congregation of Atlanta, focusing on social justice, denominational work, small group ministry, and adult education. She has served as both a parish and community minister in congregations in the Mid-South for over a dozen years. Prior to her ordination, she worked with several non-profit social change organizations, including 12 years as a director of public affairs, community and government relations for Planned Parenthood in California.
Structured to support UUWF’s mission of advancing justice for women and girls and promoting their spiritual growth, Rev. Keller’s affiliated ministry will focus on three areas.
Her legislative ministry will center on UUWF’s key public policy priorities: reproductive justice, immigration reform, economic justice, domestic violence, and sex trafficking as these issues impact women and girls. She will join with the UUA and other partner organizations in public witness and grassroots organizing of UU women around these issues, contribute a blog to UUWF’s website and a column to the newsletter, and provide ongoing information and advice to the president and board on advocacy initiatives.
The affiliated ministry also aims to deepen the work of the Federation’s three funding programs. Rev. Keller’s proactive professional connections with UU seminaries and theological schools, as well as with UUMA, LREDA, UUMN, DRUUMM, and her colleagues on staff at the UUA, will strengthen the application pool and funding panel membership.
Rev. Keller’s third goal references Dr. Cynthia Grant Tucker’s groundbreaking book “Prophetic Sisterhood,” which told the story of the mid-19th century female Unitarian ministers who became the voice of liberal religion in the Midwest until after World War I. Rev. Keller seeks to create and sustain a New Prophetic Sisterhood, ideally comprising 100 or more ordained and fellowshipped UU women ministers.
She envisions these women supporting her ministry’s other goals and participating in a new demographic study of women in UU ministry today, which will explore positions, mobility, opportunities, pay, and theological preferences. This group may also develop a greater diversity of gender specific rituals, stories, and educational materials.