Yuri worked as a musician at Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh from 2003 to 2018. A phone call from a friend led her to this job and the introduction to Unitarian Universalism, which transformed her life. She was raised by anti-religious parents in Japan, and shared her faith journey and racial awakening in the book. She was a pantheist informed by Buddhism and Shintoism, and her most recent faith journey led her to become a follower of Jesus.
Yuri has Ph.D. in Genetics and was a classical pianist and singer for many years. Once she met an improvising musician at a workshop she hosted at her congregation. This encounter completely transformed her into an improvising musician, composer and leader/teacher of group music making. You can listen to her music on YouTube and SoundCloud.
Yuri is a seminarian at the Shaw University Divinity School and is involved in the Gift of Black Theological Education and Black Church Collaborative as one of the Presidential Fellows from Shaw. Yuri also works as a chaplain in a local hospital and was recently commissioned as a Christian minister through Federation of Christian Ministries. Yuri and her husband have six children and two grandchildren.
Yuri incorporates various expressive arts strategies into her ministry. In this video, she is creating a nature memorial for healing using found objects.