Rev. Valorie Kay Gunsch
by Carolyn Warnemuende
In each aspect of her ministry, Rev. Valorie Kay Gunsch expresses her number one desire to assist people in awakening to their magnificence and connect with the sacred. Using her passion for justice and music, she brings others to the recognition of Spirit within.
Valorie’s path to Unity has encompassed a tradition of exploration. From the time she was 10 years old until she entered Brigham Young University as a freshman, she attended the Mormon Church. “I felt disconnected with the idea that God lived outside of me and desired a more mystical spiritual path,” she says. In the 1980s, while in Salt Lake City, she was invited to play music at a Unity Church. She felt at home. This experience resulted in a spiritual awakening leading her to a new spiritual path.
After completing university, Valorie moved to Montana. There she studied Native American traditions and began expanding beyond her traditional beliefs. She found a Center for Spiritual Living and attended regularly. “This began my New Thought path,” she says. She used her musical talents and became the music director.
In 2000, Rev. Valorie left Montana to settle in Richmond, Virginia. There she discovered both a Unity Church and a Center for Spiritual Living. She attended CSL and performed at both CSL and Unity of Richmond. In 2007 she was invited to sing at Unity of Bon Air in Richmond and stayed. She took classes, became a member, and ultimately became a Licensed Unity Teacher.
Upon entering Unity Urban Ministerial School and completing her studies, Valorie did her internship at Unity of Richmond. As part of this experience, she took a community training in a Unitive Justice program, a restorative justice process. In the program, people learned the skills of facilitating Unitive Justice circles that can be used in prisons, schools, and in conflict resolution. The use of the program in schools has proven to result in fewer student expulsions.
Following her involvement in Unitive Justice practice circles, Rev. Valorie applied her skills to the ministry and taught a webinar at UWM and a 10-week UUMS course, Justice Dialogues for Peacemaking in Ministry. She serves on the Alumni Board of UUMS.
Licensed as a Unity minister in 2017 and ordained in 2018, Valorie served as Associate Minister of Education at Unity of Bon Air in Richmond for three years. She was recently selected as the new senior minister at Unity of Richmond and began this new venture on September 1, 2021.
As well as her leadership skills as a pulpit minister, Valorie is a respected singer/songwriter. Her songs reflect connections with people and the awakening to One Presence, One Power. She plays the guitar, keyboard, Native American flute, dulcimer, and drums and shares her musical talent as part of her ministry. “This allows me to share who I am and my passion for music, the universal language, in my ministry,” says Valorie.
When asked what she would most like people to know about her, Valorie replied, “I love seeing people empowered and waking up to the Presence within them; learning that they are divine, worthy, and can break through old thought patterns to live prosperous lives.”
Unity is blessed to have talented Rev. Valorie Kay Gunsch as part of our expanding movement.