Reverend Roberta Finkelstein
Interim Senior Minister
Rev. Roberta Finkelstein is a life-long Unitarian Universalist. She was raised in the Community Church of New York where she was in the "Cradle Roll" as an infant and remained active through high school. She taught Sunday School with her mom and was inspired by the brave example of her youth minister, Rev. Richard Leonard, when he answered the call to join the civil rights march in Selma. Her early UU experiences taught her that the church could and should be a place of prophetic witness, courage, and transformation.
Ministry is a second career for Rev. Roberta. She was a nurse and certified nurse-midwife. She has a B.S.N. from Binghamton University and her M.S.N. from Georgetown University. Her midwifery practice centered around 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 in all aspects of congregational life.
She earned her M.Div. from Wesley Seminary in Washington, D.C. While a student she served as an extension intern minister for the Bull Run Unitarian Universalists for two years. At graduation she accepted the invitation to serve as their part-time consulting minister for another five years. At that point they had grown from fewer than 50 members to 125 and they entered the Extension Ministry Program of the UUA.
Rev. Finkelstein then became the New Congregation Minister for the Unitarian Universalists of Sterling, Va. where she remained for the five years of that appointment and then was called to be their settled minister. Following that settlement she was the Interim Minister in Frederick, Md. for a year, then went to Portsmouth, N.H. She is now an Accredited Interim Minister in Training (AIMIT), having completed two more years of interim ministry in Orlando, Fl. and Ridgewood, N.J.
Roberta has served our UU movement in a variety of ways. She was on the UUA Commission on Appraisal for six years and the Continuing Education Network for Training, Education and Renewal (CENTER) for four years. She has been Continuing Education Representative in several chapter execs, and was president of the Chesapeake UUMA. She was the chair of the UU Action Network of New Hampshire, a state-wide UUSC affiliated social justice organization and is currently on the slate for the Nominating Committee of the Unitarian Universalist Minister’s Association.
Rev. Roberta has been married to her husband Barry since 1974. They have one son, Danny, a product of the Religious Education program in Arlington, Va. Danny and his wife volunteer in the literacy program that he started working with while in UU Youth Group. They are also active in a dog rescue group. Danny recently joined Barry in his consulting business.
Roberta and Barry have two badly behaved cats named Bonnie and Clyde and one well behaved dog named Pepper.