About Our Ministers

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roberta 1

emailButton Rev. Roberta Finkelstein
Interim Senior Minister
con tel (203) 227-7205 ext. 12

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 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 in all aspects of congregational life.

She earned her M.Div. from Wesley Seminary in Washington, DC. She has served in consulting ministries, a new congregation start up, and several settled ministries. She is now a fully Accredited Interim Minister, having served interim congregations in Frederick, MD, Orlando, FL, Ridgewood, NJ, and Burlington, VT. She is the author of a chapter in the newly published book In The Interimpublished by Skinner House in 2013.

Rev. Roberta has served our UU movement in a variety of ways. Currently she chairs the Nominating Committee of the UU Minister’s Association. She was on the UUA Commission on Appraisal for 6 years and CENTER (Continuing Education Network for Training, Education and Renewal)for 4 years.

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.

thompson emberling 80emailButton Rev. Ed Thompson 
Minister of Music
con tel (203) 227-7205 ext. 18

Edward Thompson, D.M.A., has been at this Church since 1978.  He holds a Masters Degree from the Juilliard School and his Doctorate from the University of Hartford.  Dr. Thompson is a past Dean of the Fairfield West Chapter of the American Guild of Organists and has concertized throughout the United States and Europe.  In addition, he teaches privately, coaches, composes and accompanies throughout the area.  He is an active member of the Unitarian-Universalist Musician's Network. 


debrah haffnerThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. The Reverend Debra Haffner,
Community Minister 

Debra W. Haffner was ordained and endorsed as a community minister by this congregation on May 24, 2003. She is currently the Director of the Religious Institute on Sexual Morality, Justice, and Healing.

Debra has a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary, a Masters of Public Health from the Yale School of Medicine, and a B.A. from Wesleyan University. She did her ministerial internship at the First Unitarian Society of Westchester and clinical pastoral education at Norwalk Hospital.

Debra and her husband, Ralph Tartaglione, have been members in Westport since 1989. They have two children, Alyssa and Gregory.

CLICK HERE for information about Community Ministry.

Hall Emberling 80

emailButton Rev. Frank Hall
Minister Emeritus

Frank Hall was called to this congregation in 1984, after serving a Unitarian Universalist church in Attleboro, Massachusetts, where he was ordained in 1972.

He has a Master of Theology degree from Boston University.  His undergraduate degree is from Salem State College, and a Master's in Education from Northeastern University in Boston.  He taught at Wellesley High School from 1962-69, when he entered seminary.

Frank lives in Westport with his wife, Lory Nurenberg.