|Rev. Darrell Berger
As Above; So Below”
by Rev. Darrell Berger. UCSI. June, 2014
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A recent email exchange with a member of our congregation reminded me of the phrase “as above; so below.” It is one of the fundamental doctrines of many esoteric philosophical systems. Christianity expresses it “in earth as it is in heaven.” The deist Unitarians of New England in the eighteenth century would have considered it part of Natural Law. Demons and angels, princes and paupers, galaxies and neutrinos, all wander amongst each other according to the same rules.
The material aspects of a congregation run in parallel with the emotional and the spiritual. Our recent inspection of our buildings, all over a century old, show that the basic structures are sound, but suffer from varying degrees of deferred maintenance. The same is true about our group processes; the way decisions are made, the way we treat each other, how well we fulfill our mission. We have good bones, but are taking in some water.
In the immediate future we can begin catching up with some of this deferred maintenance, both above and below. The process isn’t really cause and effect. It is more all of a piece. An improvement in one level improves all. The small group ministries, for instance, have just volunteered to spruce up the vestry and library. This will have spiritual resonance for us, as well as clearing some dust. Your kind word, your helping hand, will cause a positive vibration for us across the universe. As above; so below.
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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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