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Reverend María Uitti McCabe – Committed to Justice Skip to main content

Reverend María Uitti McCabe

The greatest gift we can give ourselves and the generations to follow, is to re-imagine human community that is guided by love and justice.



Pastoral Care

Pastoral care is the most important part of my work. It’s an honor and joy to journey with others. To hold that care is an act of radical hospitality and sacred trust. When embraced by a faith community, it becomes a source of healing and growth. Our Unitarian Universalist faith tradition, with its acceptance of a wide range of religious belief and practice, allows us to accompany one another in our joys and sorrows with unconditional compassion. Every act of ministry carries pastoral responsibility.

What Love Looks Like in Public

My faith calls me to act.

Some of us take to the streets in protest. Some of us choose civil disobedience and accept the consequences of arrest. Others persistently visit legislators and advocate for social justice within the legal system. “Faith in action” can look very different, depending on who we are and where we find ourselves in our lives. It can mean a commitment to learning to sing hymns in Spanish. It can mean offering radical hospitality to visitors and members of our communities. It can mean sharing our gifts for leading worship or financial stewardship. “Faith in Action” calls us to return over and over again to our guiding values and covenant, whether we serve on a Committee on Ministry or reaching out to our communities.

Called to Ministry

When I came to Unitarian Universalism, I knew that I had come home. Our religious movement can make a transformational difference in these challenging times of global anxiety and seemingly insurmountable divisions within our families and communities. With the courage and commitment born of our history, we can re-imagine community together. We can love the “hell”  out of one another and usher in peace and comfort into the world that we live in.

Lifespan Faith Development

One of my favorite writers, educator and activist Paulo Freire says:

‘We make the road by walking.’

When it comes to faith in action, I know this to be true. We cannot imagine how we will grow and change until we put our faith into action. Imperfectly. Even haltingly. We will make mistakes. But if we allow our hearts and our courage to lead us, we will learn. And the road we ‘make by walking’ will be there for others to follow.

María McCabe brings a passion for justice and the inclusive welcoming spirit that speaks to her Unitarian Universalist faith and to her ability to reach across all religious communities for the great good and God’s Presence in our lives. Shawn Zevit Rabbi, Mishkan Shalom I have heard María in the pulpit for the past three years, and I have come to appreciate several hallmarks of her preaching. María brings her whole self before us, heart and soul and mind. Her message is always well researched and supported, evidence of her reporter’s chops. Unfailingly, María orients us toward the meaning and impact of our actions and inaction on human suffering, especially born from oppression and injustice. Most importantly, she embodies her message through her leadership in our church, in Philadelphia, and, I suspect, beyond.

Personally, I have grown from her example and working as a worship associate with her. María’s words of inspiration call me to listen with every fiber of my being. María’s community and social justice ministry, rooted in her own rich and diverse heritage, has been a revelation at UUCR, a congregation with a deep history of activism. María’s leadership has been timely, heart-led and strategic, such as sustaining a weekly vigil since 2014 in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. She has also produced an invaluable social justice newsletter, disseminating information and commentary on critical events and developments in Philadelphia and the nation, as well as spiritual resources and poetry to nurture our commitment to UU principles. María is also a skilled group leader, whether she is facilitating Beloved Conversations, a Social Justice Council meeting or a book discussion of Just Mercies. In addition, María has advocated for gender equity in leadership of a city-wide interfaith organization and emerged as a strong clergy voice. She is always open to joining with individuals and organizations outside our church in the movement for social justice, broadening and deepening our engagement with the web of life and the true work of the world.

Catherine McCoubreyUUCR Congregant

It is my joy to recommend the leadership, compassion, pastoral presence, and advocacy/activism for justice that is embodied in Rev. Maria Uitti McCabe. I have known of her giftedness and wisdom since she was a student in my classes at Lancaster Seminary in 2011-2012; and then as an intern to the nonprofit I helped found and lead, WomanPreach!

She is kind and knows how to lead through conflict as well as through organizational change. I have been privileged to be a sounding board for her and in that capacity to hear how she cares for the health and wellbeing of people with whom she is called to be in community. I've heard from people in Philly when she served as a chaplain that they were pleased when she came into the room as the chaplain. Her presence is calming and authentic. She "sees" people and they know it.

Reverend María is a consummate leader.

Rev. Valerie Bridgeman, Ph.D.Founding President & CEO WomanPreach! Inc.