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Mercer Island calls recent head of UK Reformed Church

By Megan Chenovick - Mercer Island communications chair

Mercer Island Congregational UCC Church recently called as their pastor the Rev. Roberta Rominger, who  is the first woman and first American to serve as General Secretary of the United Reformed Church in the United Kingdom.

roberta rominger

Roberta Rominger, left, greets a parishioner at a U.K. church.     Photo courtesy of Mercer Island UCC

Roberta, a Silicon Valley California native was ordained into the United Church of Christ in 1982 and served a congregation in Tombstone, Ariz., before leaving the United States 30 years ago to serve as a UCC mission associate in the United Kingdom.

In the U.K., she served in local churches and in regional leadership before becoming general secretary. 

While there, she reconnected with a Pacific School of Religion classmate, Dale Rominger, also a UCC minister, and they married in 1990.  They lived in Newcastle upon Tyne in Northeast England, where they each had ministries.

In 2005, Roberta joined 600 women ministers from across the U.K. in a march to Make Poverty History.  They gathered at Trafalgar Square and marched to No. 10 Downing St., the home of Prime Minister Tony Blare, where she was one of 12 who personally argued for an end to poverty.

After serving as moderator with the Thames North Synod for 10 years, she was called in 2008 to a seven-year term as the general secretary of the United Reformed Church (URC).

While in office, she sought a greater partnership between the URC and the UCC by joining in the “God Is Still Speaking” campaign.

In that role, she was also involved in ecumenical movements, including “Fresh Expressions,” a church collaboration between the URC, the Church of England, the Methodist Church of Great Britain and several other Protestant denominations.

Her work there, however, did not mute God’s call for her to return to the United States after she completed her term. Roberta’s parents moved to the Northwest five years ago.

She follows Mercer Island UCC’s interim pastor, the Rev. Mark Miller, previously PNC’s transitional interim minister.

Since calling her in February, the Congregational Church of Mercer Island’s office has received emails of congratulations from around the world.

One was from Keith Bradley of the URC in Woking, Surry, England.  He said that although she may have been “rubbing shoulders with archbishops,” he thinks she will be at home “sharing your joys and sorrows, and inspiring, leading an enabling you to serve God in your community.”

The Rev. John Proctor, acting URC general secretary, said, “Roberta leaves with many friendships, our warmest thanks and high respect.  She will make an outstanding contribution in her new post, as she and Dale settle amid new friends and responsibilities.

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Copyright © April 2015 - Pacific Northwest United Church of Christ Conference News


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