Our Ministers

    The Rev. Angela Herrera

    Senior Minister

    Angela has served on First Unitarian’s ministry staff since 2010, and was called as our Senior Minister in September 2017.

    Angela is originally from Oregon, where she was raised in a working class neighborhood in the Willamette Valley. She writes, “In that time, the UU faith of my childhood was tested against some of society’s harder realities, and I developed an early passion for social justice, and a deep love for life and for people.” These experiences continue to inform her ministry and theology.

    “I am humanistic in the sense that I believe humans have the ultimate responsibility for what must be done in the world,” she says. “I also draw inspiration from our Judeo-Christian roots. I want not just to think about God but to experience God: in relationship with other people, in prayer, in the arts and in nature. God as love, as yearning, as the stillness, peace, or power that can erupt into the world even when it seems least likely. I also accept that there are many paths to meaning and ultimacy, some very different from mine, and I honor those.”

    Angela holds a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University. She has completed a chaplaincy internship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, and a parish internship at First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts. She is the author of the Skinner House meditation manual, Reaching for the Sun, and co-creator of Lifting Our Voices: Readings in the Living Tradition.

    Angela is fluent in Spanish as a second language. When she is not at church she can be found biking, hiking, running, or putting green chile on things.

        The Rev. Bob LaVallee

        Associate Minister

        blavallee@uuabq.org

        Rev. Bob LaVallee is white, cisgender, heterosexual, and male. He’s from Buffalo, NY and has lived all over the place. He was an artillery officer in the Marine Corps, served as a civilian contractor in Afghanistan, and trained as a chaplain at the VA in New York City. Prior to the ministry, Bob drove ice cream trucks, lead bike tours, managed a homeless shelter, and did a lot of nonprofit management. He was a founding member of the Buffalo, NY chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice and relishes the memories of disrupting a Trump campaign rally and occupying the county sheriff’s office.

        Bob’s spiritual journey has been less interstate highway and more crooked path. He was raised very Roman Catholic and even wanted to be a priest when he grew up. He’s studied and practiced Buddhism, including stays at the Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills region of New York. He attended Meadville Lombard Theological School and was ordained into Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in 2018. Bob has worked as a hospital chaplain in a substance abuse disorder ward, ICU, ER, and hospice. He served as Interim Minister at South Valley UU Society outside Salt Lake City, Utah.

        Bob is a believer that Unitarian Universalism can make us larger, freer, and more loving.

         

            Matt Pargeter-Villarreal

            Ministerial Intern

            mparg@uuabq.org

            Matthew Pargeter-Villarreal is a 2019 M.Div graduate of Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, with a concentration in Sexual & Gender Justice, and a Candidate for Ministry with the Unitarian Universalist Association. During the pandemic, he’s had an unexpected ministry venture: offering worship planning and making virtual pulpit visits to 22 states across the country, “visiting” UU congregations of all sizes. Some of Matt’s ministerial and social justice interests are LGBTQIA+ ministry, immigrant justice, anti-racism/anti-oppression, and youth/young adult ministry. Although he was born in Massachusetts and grew up in Oklahoma, if you ask him where home is, he will tell you San Antonio, Texas. Matt is married to Gabriel and the proud parent of a 10-year-old calico named Juliette.