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Roger Reed - Minister of Pastoral Care

Roger Reed Back to Staff Profiles

Roger talks about Roger

Family of Origin. I grew up in a German Jewish neighborhood in Elmira, NY during and after World War 2. We lived with my mother’s parents who were German immigrants and who spoke very little English. We attended the First German Evangelical and Reformed Church. I experienced the prejudice of others for who we were and where we worshipped. We lived on the Eastside of Elmira, NY; the poor section of town. We experienced the disdain in Junior High and Senior High School of those from the “better off” sections of the city.

Family. I have two sons, a daughter-in-law and a grandson (Michael Reed, Churchville, NY; and Stephen, April and Gavan Reed, Laurens, NY ). I am in a committed relationship with my life partner of 10 years, Michael Green.

Education. In my youth I had to come to terms with my own self worth. In order to do so I followed my pastor’s advice and attended Heidelberg College (an E&R school) in Tiffin, Ohio. It was there that I got in touch with the fact that I had gifts and abilities. It was also there that I was encouraged to consider the Christian ministry as a vocation.

Again, following the advice of my home pastor, I entered Colgate Rochester Divinity School rather than a denominational seminary, for a broader perspective than the denominational schools at the time would offer.

In 1985 I received my Doctor of Ministry degree in Spiritual Care and Counseling from Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.

Professional Life. I served four congregations during my ministry prior to coming to Webster  UCC in 2005:
- Christ UCC, Portland Avenue, Rochester NY (1963– 1966)
- Glen Ridge Congregational Church, Glen Ridge NJ (1966-1969)
- Union Congregational UCC, Churchville NY (1969–1995)
- St. Paul’s UCC, Hornell NY (2000-2005)

I also served the New York Conference of the UCC for five years as Interim Associate Conference Minister with specific responsibilities for the Genesee Valley Association. (1995 – 2000).

Roger says he loves his job because...

I enjoy people.

My job ‘gooses me’ out of thinking only about myself.

It provides me with many opportunities to share love and experience love as well.

My job expands my horizons and clarifies my values

My job never stops inviting me to deepen and expand my faith.

Roger reflects on his gifts and talents

God continues to provide me with occasions in which I am made aware of perspectives I have never before encountered. Consequently, humility is a frequent companion; it enables me to not always have to have my way and to encourage others’ “lights” to shine.

I want to believe I am a good listener. The scriptures tell us to “be still and know that I am God;” that is true for periods of prayer and silent meditation. It can also be true regarding what God may be saying to me through others.

I care about what is happening in others’ lives and in the world as well. My caring motivates me at times to take action.

I see my ministry as that of an enabler. I trust that the way I conduct myself and relate to others will be such that others feel invited to explore and become who God has created them to be and to engage in ministries themselves which make possible what we believe is God’s will for the world to become closer to being true.

What others say about Roger

Roger has a great gift for communication. Obviously, with many years of professional experience and a strong academic background, he possesses a wealth of religious knowledge and life experience. Perhaps more importantly, he also has the ability to share this with others. Roger’s sermons are thoughtful and well-articulated. His written ruminations (found in our newsletters) are always interesting and insightful.

Roger has the gift of being able to bring words of comfort, encouragement, and counsel to others in a way that they are helped. One several occasions, Roger has helped me put things in perspective. Roger doesn’t “give me the answers.” He talks me through situations and waits patiently as I figure it out myself.