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the Unitarian Church of Staten Island The Rev. Darrell Berger, Minister
312 Fillmore Street
Staten Island, NY 10301
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Rev. Darrell Berger

“A Conference for Developmental Ministers,”

Rev. Darrell Berger, UUCSI. Dec., 2014

Last month I attended the first national conference for UUA Developmental Ministers, in Denver. About twenty-five Developmental Ministers were present, as well as UUA staff from the Department of Ministries and Faith Development. It was the first of its kind.

The first Developmental Ministry is now concluding its sixth year, at the UU congregation in Boulder. It was here that the UUA decided that some churches, working with long-standing issues, could benefit from a ministry that focused on these issues. The attending ministers serve churches of all sizes, with vastly different issues, in ministries both full and part-time. There are about forty of these ministries across the country.

One thing became clear: no matter what goals a developmental ministry has, they all come down to being true to our UU Principles. This, in turn, is what makes for respectful relations, creates vision and motivates mission. Back to basics.

This reminds me of the story of the sea captain who, while navigating through a terrible hurricane, often glanced at a small piece of paper he held tightly in one hand. When the ship was safely in harbor, the first mate looked at the paper. It said, “Left is port. Right is starboard.” Back to basics.

It is good to be reminded of what UU churches strive to be, and what members owe to themselves and each other. Then when we navigate rough waters, we know there is a safe port in sight.


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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-

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