Reverend Viola Abbitt

Rev. Viola is our settled minister. She joined our congregation in August of 2020 and has been conducting our video ministry faithfully since her arrival. She entered professional ministry after working for ten years as an attorney. She worked as the Director of the Office of the Ombudsman for the New York State Office of Children and Family Services. There Viola supervised a staff whose core mission was to protect and promote the legal rights of youth in the juvenile justice system. She considers that position the most rewarding she has ever held, prior to fulfilling her call to ministry.

She has served in various voluntary and paid positions in congregations in the Hudson-Mohawk cluster of UU congregations in New York State, and she has had the honor to preach at congregations in Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Ohio and New York. Viola sat on the board of Unirondack, a Unitarian Universalist camp and conference center located in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, from 2014 to 2019, contributed to the liturgical materials for the Promise and the Practice of Our Faith Campaign in 2018, and was a member of the President Search Team for Meadville Lombard Theological School. She is also a member of the Journey Toward Wholeness Transformation Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Association and the board of UU Wellspring.

In her spare time, Viola likes to be in nature, and is especially fond of the beach. She enjoys music and dance of all kinds, biographical books and science fiction movies. She also likes to think of herself as an amateur photographer.

Viola was awarded a B.A. in economics from the State University of New York at Binghamton, an M.S. in information science from Long Island University, a J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law, and an M.Div. from Meadville Lombard Theological School.

She has one adult son Taylor, a classical musician who attends Juilliard, and two rescue cats named Cricket and Minerva.

You can find a full biography here:

Lay Pastoral Associates

Lay Pastoral Care is a ministerial program that provides a confidential, caring presence to congregants undergoing stressful life challenges. The program also serves as an extension of the minister’s own pastoral care presence. Please contact the minister or the office to get in touch with a lay pastoral care associate.

Our Caring Team

While our entire congregation is charged with the mission of caring for one another, the Caring Team strives to be the active “heart of the CVUU community.” They see to the direct needs of members and friends in times of crisis. They provide assistance, support and a caring presence while raising awareness of opportunities to support one another. You might see them during the time of reflection in our Sunday service, reading from the Book of Life.

You might call on the team for short term needs for visits or meals, or in times of sudden grief. The Caring Team works with the minister in creating a culture of the heart. The team is run by a central coordinating group with two monthly co-leaders who are listed in the Wednesday Courier email; they are the primary contact for members and friends.
Coordinators don’t work alone; they have a large network of cooks, bakers, people who will offer transport to appointments and more. If you are in need of their assistance or you would like to sign on, contact the CVUU Office: 757-627-5371, or Or fill out our online volunteer form: