I'm Rev Mariela
I’m a lover of life/nature; a mother of two beautiful beings; a partner; a friend; a sister…
Professionally, I’m multi-passionate, playing many roles:
I’m a writer, a speaker, a teacher, a soul healer, a creator, and an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister.
My work speaks about the social systems that harm not only our psyche but the whole web of life, and I also teach about the practices and lifestyles that are life-giving to our bodies, souls, communities, and the planet.
I use She/Ella pronouns.
I was born and grew up in Cuba and have a mixed ancestry (Indigenous, African, and Spanish).
I grew up during a time when religion was forbidden in Cuba, which instilled in me a commitment to the freedom of individuals to seek truth and meaning on their own terms.
I have been writing since I was seven years old, trying to make sense of life and my inner world.
My family and I became political refugees in the United States in 1995.
My educational path
In Cuba I studied Education, and in the United States I began my education journey by attending community college as a single mom at 21. Later, I received two graduate certificates from Duke University (Communications + Creative Writing).
In 2006, I received an MFA in Writing and Literature from Bennington College in VT.
And in 2020 I received a Masters of Divinity from Meadville Lombard Theological School in Chicago, where I was honored to receive 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.)
I was ordained in Tulsa, Oklahoma after three years of seminary and a lengthly process before ordination.
I currently live in Michigan with my family, where we love to explore the outdoors.
We are grateful to be living here, and we acknowledge that the land we occupy was stolen from The People of the Three Fires: the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi people. We honor their presence and wisdom as well as their ancestors.