About the Rev. Robin L. Zucker

The Rev. Robin L. Zucker, was ordained to the Unitarian Universalist ministry on May 20, 2000, and received the Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University on June 8, 2000. She is in Final Fellowship with the Unitarian Universalist Association. Robin also holds a Bachelor of Arts in English (1978) from Chatham College, located in her hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

From 2000-2003, Robin served as the Minister of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Reading, MA, a vibrant program church of 400 adults and youth. From 2006-2009, Robin served as part-time consulting minister to the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Storrs, CT, a 50-year-old family-sized congregation of 40 with tremendous energy and a big heart.

In both ministries, Robin helped shepherd the congregation through a process of both reflection and action regarding growth, congregational covenants, membership and programs. She also lead meaningful worship, collaborated with lay leaders,  served as a pastor and community builder, and offered a variety of spiritual and personal growth programs.

Since 2003, Robin has developed her ministry in a larger society context. Following a full-time stint as a hospital and hospice chaplain in 2003-04,  Robin began channeling her energy and spirit into her community ministries: Flowingforce, Radiant Vows, and Divorce Without Destruction. She is a member of the UU Minister's Association, the Massachusetts Collaborative Law Council, an affiliate of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy, and of the Coalition for Family, Marriage, and Couple Education.

Robin is a graduate of the professional training program for the Authentic Happiness coaching method. This life-changing approach is the first evidence-based coaching model based on the pioneering work of Dr. Martin Seligman in the field of positive psychology.

As a Professional Marriage and Family Life Educator, Robin has been certified by the Gottman Institute to facilitate their marriage strengthening program for expectant parents, Bringing Baby Home: From Couple to Parents. She is an approved provider of the Parents Apart program for divorcing parents in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Robin is also a professionally trained mediator with advanced training in conflict transformation, and a seminar director for training clergy and counselors in PREPARE-ENRICH pre-marital and marriage counseling programs.

Prior to answering the call to ministry, Rev. Zucker had several other careers, all of which drew on her natural curiosity and creativity, her zest for experience, and her interest in exploring the many dimensions of "truth and meaning." After college, she worked as a print journalist for several local publications, and then as a Producer at WGBH-TV, where she developed and produced several national PBS programs (including an outdoor adventure show). With a partner, she also created several board games!

In 1992, following a six-year hiatus for full-time motherhood to her children, Robin deepened her professional involvement with Unitarian Universalism by serving as a religious educator at First Parish in Concord, MA.  Subsequently, she created and ran a successful Coming of Age (spiritual journey) program for the senior high youth.

The rewards of spiritual growth work with youth lead Robin to serve for four years as the Director of the Teen Life Issues conference at Ferry Beach in Saco, Maine. (1993-97). Robin has also held many leadership positions in churches and associations. She has created and facilitated numerous retreats, seminars and workshops for individuals and couples of all ages, one of which is based on her Masters thesis at Harvard, which is entitled “Word for Word: Writing as a Tool for Self-Discovery and Spiritual Renewal.”

In August 2009, Robin served as the theme speaker at the Ferry Beach (Maine) UUU Family and Friends Conference, offering a five-part presentation entitled, “Thoreau’s Three Chairs: Sitting Well with Covenant.” Robin has been invited to return to the conference in August 2010 as Minister of the Week.

At Harvard Divinity School (HDS) , Rev. Zucker served as a member of the Board of the Harvard UU Ministry to Students, as the Student member of the Faculty Committee on Ministry, as the HDS delegate to the national program, "Seminarians Interacting," and as a moderator for Diversity workshops and Orientation programs.

Robin also launched and chaired a project on Interreligious Dialogue at HDS, which resulted in the publication of a collection of faculty and student essays entitled "Experiment and Experience." She was a finalist in the prestigious Billings competition in preaching (1999) and the winner (in 1997) of the Billings Scripture Reading prize.

Robin lived for 33 years in the Boston area, mostly in lovely Concord, MA, and now resides in her hometown - Pittsburgh, PA. She lives in a brick house on a steep hill (totally Pittsburgh!) with her rescue dog, Billie. Her personal interests include: practicing yoga, singing and guitar playing, creative writing, outdoor recreation such as hiking, cross-country skiing, cycling, kayaking, and horseback riding, reading, knitting, movies and theatre, cooking simple but delicious peasant meals and then enjoying them with family and friends. She attempts to live by her motto: “I’ll try to be joyful…even if I’ve considered the facts.”

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About my personal “theology”
Although I try, whenever possible, not to define myself as an "ist," I would be most comfortable identifying as an "open or mystical humanist;" that is, one who employs reason to the fullest , but who also explores and celebrates life's exquisite wonder and mystery.

My dominant theology is one in which we are called into relationship (or "thou-ness") with other humans to "co-create" goodness in the world, with the inspiration of whatever source each of us finds ultimately meaningful or sacred in life. If there is a "God," he/she/it does not make bad things happen, nor does he/she/it clean up the mess afterwards. In my view, "religion" is made from people, not from ideology. It's my belief that we co-create either a "beloved community" or a "humanized hell" here on earth, in our lifetimes, through our human choices and actions. Evil is real, and although we possess the free will to unleash it, we should exercise our moral and ethical impulse not to. The flexible framework of Unitarian Universalism can help us in this endeavor as we strive to co-create constructive outcomes and energy in the world.

There are no UU theologies which I find repugnant. I'm a strong supporter of our fourth principle, "the free and responsible search for truth and meaning," although I believe this freedom requires integrity and a clear covenant of genuine goodwill for theological variety . We should be honest about who we are while striving to touch points all along the theological spectrum, This is where our third principles becomes real: "Acceptance of one another and encouragement to spiritual growth in congregations."

In all, I agree with Gandhi that "all religions are true," except for those that depend on oppression in order to exist, and that we should strive to experience "a conversion to our own paths." Along the way, as we navigate the twists and turns, brick walls and blind alleys of our spiritual journeys, we might help one another hold onto whatever form of faith comforts and empowers us -- that is, a faith in ourselves, in one another, and/or in mysteries beyond ourselves. A faith that we are never alone, and that life and humankind are essentially good.

Read Robin’s sermons and reflections

Read what others say about Robin's ministry and presence

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