The Search is Over

The UU Fellowship of Winston-Salem is overjoyed to present to you the person we have chosen to be our next settled minister. Please meet the Rev. Kayla Parker.

Rev. Kayla will begin serving our Fellowship in mid-August of 2023.

Rev. Kayla (she/they) currently serves as the Interim Minister of the UU Community Church of Glen Allen, VA, and has served congregations in Beckley WV, Indianapolis IN, Charleston WV and Meriden CT. She is also the Ministerial Representative on the Music Leadership Certification Committee of the UUA.

She graduated cum laude from George Washington University with a BA in Religion and International Affairs, with concentrations in Islam and the Middle East. She was elected to Theta Alpha Kappa, the National Honor Society for Religion and Theology. She was a two-time recipient of the Shapiro Public Service award for summer work in public service. After undergraduate studies she worked for the UUA as a Campus Ministry Associate, supporting UU college ministries across the country.

She received her M.Div from Yale Divinity School (YDS) where she was a full scholarship recipient. She served as a Co-Chair of Unitarian Universalists at YDS. During her final year of seminary, she edited an essay collection titled Becoming: A Spiritual Guide for Navigating Adulthood, which was published by the UUA.

She has an impressive history of community activism and engagement, including volunteering with organizations that addressed addiction and recovery services and health care access and equity. While in Charleston, she organized faith leaders for a “Healthcare is a Moral Issue” rally and was arrested at a sit-in at Sen.Shelley Capito’s office in a protest against the efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. She led the opening prayer at the Charleston, WV Women’s March.

If you want to learn more about Rev. Kayla, click here to visit her website.

Rev. Kayla is married to Dan Taylor, a field organizer with the Blue Green Alliance, a non-profit alliance of environmental groups and labor unions. The organization was originally started by the Sierra Club and the United Steelworkers, and now has many other member organizations. Together, they work to ensure that new jobs are green jobs and union jobs. Dan does state-level and national policy advocacy, as well as local coalition-building and community organizing. Dan and Kayla enjoy biking and drinking fancy beer, although that last activity is on hold for her as they are expecting their first child at the end of May.

The MSC was unanimous in their support of Rev. Kayla as our candidate. Every interaction with her had us falling deeper and deeper in love. She is smart, intuitive, caring and funny. She comes to us with glowing recommendations from both the congregations she has served and others she has worked with in the community.

On April 30, the Congregation voted on calling Rev. Kayla Parker to be our next settled minister, with an overwhelming positive vote from our members.

We have a lot of people to thank for their help in this process. First of all, we would like to thank Rev. Ed for his guidance, suggestions and hand-holding. We would like to thank the Board for for its support and willingness to work with us as we negotiated the very tricky final part of this process. We would like to thank the staff, who have provided invaluable help throughout this past year, getting us all the materials we needed for our Congregational Record and helping us keep things confidential. And most of all, we want to thank you for your support and good wishes. We appreciated them more than you can imagine, and they gave us the strength we needed to get to this point.

Your Ministerial Search Committee

Geraldine Zurek, chair
Elizabeth Burner
Truman Dunn
Terri LeGrand
Kathy Orms
Julie Palm
Herman Schmid
Mitch Termotto
Angie Vincoli

On April 30th, Rev. Kayla Parker delivered the following sermon at the end of her Candidating Week and just prior to the congregational vote at which Fellowship members resoundingly called her as our next settled minister.