|Rev. Darrell Berger
“A New Shared Ministry Committee”
Rev. Darrell Berger, UCSI. January 2015
When I arrived in the fall of 2013 as an Interim Minister, the Board appointed a Transition Team: Tom Seluga, Jill Hueckel and Mike Stein. When my designation was changed to Developmental Minister, the Transition Team decided to transition themselves into something appropriate to this new form of ministry.
This began as a reconstituting of a Committee on Ministry, but as we discussed how this has functioned in the past, we decided to go a different way, based on current UUA best practices.
We are thinking of a Shared Ministry Committee, dedicated to only two functions: Trust and Transparency. Its primary ongoing task will be to administer a congregation performance survey every two years, covering developmental goals, evaluation of paid ministry and overall shared ministry. This moves to a more “We are all in this together” mode.
This Committee would also support respectful relations within our congregation and also mission, vision and attention to UU principles, anything that moves us toward trust and transparency. We hope to discuss this at the upcoming congregational meeting.
None of this is written in stone and congregational conversation on all these issues is essential, including how the committee is appointed. Transparency requires not just clean windows, but the willingness to look through the windows to see what is going on. Let’s make the congregational meeting an opportunity for cleaning windows and looking through them.
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About Our Minister
Rev. Berger was born in Toledo, Ohio and attended Vanderbilt University and Divinity School. He has over 25 years experience as a UU minister, mostly serving on a full-time basis. He has served churches in North Carolina and Massachusetts.
Closer to Staten Island he has served the Fourth Universalist Society in Manhattan and until now as a Halftime Consulting minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Essex County in Orange, NJ. He has experience with smaller congregations and historical buildings.
"This will be the fourth congregation I've served with an historic church building," Rev. Berger said. "The task of ministry to the building and the congregation is the same: carefully maintain what still works and renovate what doesn't."
He enjoys preaching and his topics range widely, always returning to the central themes of social justice equality. "Theologically, I'm a Transcendentalist," Rev. Berger said. "Emerson used Buddhism and poetry to help realize an American spirituality that bends toward justice. I try to follow that path."
He is also an expert on baseball history and memorabilia and has co-written books with former players Roy White and Mitch Williams. He has been a featured speaker at the New York City Chapter of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), speaking on "Baseball Players as Human Beings."
He lives in Jersey City with his wife, two dogs and two cats.
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Contact Rev. Berger:
Church Office: 718-447-2204
Email: minister -at- uucsi.org
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