Dear Brazos UU,
Please help the BOT and the Ministerial Search Committee in welcoming our new minister, Pastor Kiya Heartwood. Kiya will be starting as half-time Contract Minister for the UUCBV on August 1, 2021. If things go as planned, she will become our full-time Contract Minister in January 2022. Kiya will be ordained in March 2022.
Kiya has much to offer our congregation. In 2020, she completed her Master of Divinity at Starr King School for the Ministry including classes in Religious Education. From 2019-2020, Kiya served as Resident Chaplain at Dell Children’s Medical Center and Dell Seton Medical Center at the University of Texas, Austin and as Intern Minister and Temporary Assistant Minister at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Church, Cedar Park, TX.
As many of you know, Kiya is also a professional and award-winning roots rock, and folk singer-songwriter and composer. She received her B.A. in Music Composition at Petrie School of Music at Converse College, Spartanburg, SC. in 2010; her MA in Cultural Studies at Vermont College, Norwich University in 2000; and her B.A. in Honors English (Creative Writing) at the University of Kentucky in 1983. She also studied Graduate Music Composition at Westminster Choir College in Princeton from 2010 - 2011.
Since 1983, Kiya has performed as a professional musician and award- winning singer-songwriter in the bands Wishing Chair and Stealin Horses and also as a solo performer. With twenty recordings, performing highlights include MTV, Farm Aid, South by Southwest, Philadelphia Folk Festival, Bluebird Café, Kerrville Folk Festival, The Kennedy Center and the Edinburgh Fringe.
Many of us remember Kiya Heartwood as our Guest Minister a few years ago when she preached and performed music at our church. That service received many fine accolades from our congregation. Kiya also has experience as the Founder & Artistic Director the People’s Orchestra of Austin, as choir director for a children’s choir, as organizer and instructor for workshops in sound engineering, art, song writing, playing guitar and vocals. She has volunteered as a youth chaplain, as an Our Whole Lives (OWL) coordinator and facilitator trainer, as an auction coordinator, and Prison Outreach Performer. Kiya’s social justice endeavors are many and she received training in many areas such as marriage equality and anti-racism. Hobbies include walking, camping, traveling, film making and organic farming.
Kiya has already presented herself as an engaging, energetic and warm person, as a problem solver and multitasker, and she hasn’t even started working for us. These are the qualities in a minister that I think this congregation needs as we move forward to be a beacon of social justice in our community.
As I mention, Kiya has not yet been ordained. This is scheduled for March 2022. Because of this, we may not call her ‘Reverend Kiya’ at this time; we have agreed on the title Pastor Kiya Heartwood. Because Kiya will be commuting from Pflugerville, TX where she lives with her wife, Reverend Meg Barnhouse, Senior Minister at First UU Church of Austin, and is also working as a 25%-time minister at UU Church of Victoria, we as a congregation, will need to be careful not to over-task Kiya and to make sure, with open arms, that we look after her health and well-being.
Please welcome Pastor Kiya Heartwood as best you can. Kiya will attend remote Coffee on July 18th at 11:30 AM to 12N, the welcome portion of the BOT Meeting on July 13th at 6:30 pm and she plans to jump right into it with a live service on August 1st and 15th.
For more information on Kiya go to:
UUCBV Board of Directors
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