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Announcing our new Developmental Minister, Rev. Roberta Finkelstein

The Board of Trustees is pleased to announce they voted unanimously to accept the Transitional Minister Selection Task Force's (TMSTF) recommendation to hire Rev. Roberta Finkelstein to serve First Unitarian Church of Wilmington as Developmental Minister beginning August 1, 2015. Rev. Finkelstein traveled to Wilmington on Friday, April 24th and met with Board and Task Force members. She will return in May to meet with lay leadership and staff. 

“We had four excellent candidates, yet every member of the TMSTF felt strongly that Rev. Finkelstein had the ministerial and organizational development skills and the type and depth of experience that would enable us to create a vibrant new way of being here at First Unitarian,” said Board President Suzanne Perry. 

During her interview, Rev. Roberta said her most rewarding work in ministry is “being with people at critical times in their lives. I am honored to be asked to be involved.” She also talked about “bringing people to a high point in worship together” as another rewarding area of ministry for her, although she noted that no minister can do this for all people all the time. 

In describing her skill set for our developmental goals, Rev. Roberta said “I have helped other congregations successfully transition from two ministers to one minister. Shared ministry is how I work. And I love to tweak policy governance into something more workable. When reading your application for Developmental Ministry and all the background materials, I felt immediately — this is for me!”

Rev. Roberta is an Accredited Interim Minister with 20+ years of experience. She earned her Masters of Divinity from Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. She has served in consulting ministries, a new congregation start up, and several settled ministries. 

Ministry is her second career. Her first career was nursing and midwifery. She has a BSN from Binghamton University and her MSN from Georgetown University. Her midwifery practice focused on high-risk pregnant adolescents in Washington, D.C.  During her nursing years Roberta and her husband Barry were active lay leaders in the UU Church of Arlington, VA. Her call to ministry emerged out of those years of professional care-taking and church volunteer work. For more information about Rev. Roberta, click here for her biography and here to visit her ministerial website You may also view some additional photos, here. 

Many thanks to members of the TMSTF for meeting since January to conduct a selection process for our next minister: Chair, Ostin Warren; and members J.H. Feldman, Cindy Cohen, Steve Cohen, Paul Pinson, Tracey Spinka-Doms, Dale Megill, Richard Speck, Doyle Dobbins, Pat McGee, Leslie Dickerson, Becky Laster, Suzanne Perry, and Linda Sanders.