|Rev. Darrell Berger
“A UU Movie”
by Rev. Darrell Berger, UCSI. January, 2014.
There aren’t many movies that clearly reflect a UU sensibility, but "Frances Ha", released last year, is one. Greta Gerwig, who grew up in the UU congregation in Sacramento, is the co-writer and star.
Frances is a young woman struggling to be a dancer in Manhattan. She is also struggling with her boy friend, her old friends, her finances, pretty much everything. Her life seems a jumble. How will she ever get it together?
One scene was critical to me, though it might not be to everyone. Frances returns home at one point and attends church with her parents. I glimpsed the flaming chalice at the altar! There followed a scene with a bearded baby boomer playing guitar, which I correctly assumed to be the minister, Rev. Doug Kraft.
Once I saw her with her parents in that UU church, I knew she would be okay. I didn’t know how. I didn’t know when. But I have confidence in our parents and how we raise our children to follow their passions and gifts. We let them know we will always have their backs. The movie is a fine example of the confusion and difficulty faced by intelligent and creative young people today. Even better, it helps point to how one grows from that confusion into responsible and creative adulthood.
Ms. Gerwig was interviewed last winter for the UU World. The interview can be found on www.uua.org. Search: “Greta Gerwig, UU Film Star.”
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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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Rev. Berger's Sermons
Rev. Berger's sermons from past services can be found here >
Contact Rev. Berger:
Church Office: 718-447-2204
Email: minister -at- uucsi.org
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