Meet our Minister
Rev. Dr. Len De Roche, Interim Minister
Leading us during the interim between settled ministers is Rev. Dr. Len De Roche, who brings a wealth of experience in this highly specialized form of ministry. In addition to providing pastoral care, Len is working closely with our congregation to help us plan for the future and call a new settled minister.
Len is uniquely qualified for this role, having served as an agent for change throughout his career. His professional credentials include experience in the ministry, in military service, and in the business sector.
After completing college during the Vietnam crisis, Len joined the USAF where he flew jets for 12 years, then commanded a maintenance squadron in Caribou Maine. After the Berlin Wall fell, he completed his career in Europe where managed base closings in England, Germany and Turkey.
Returning to the United States, he studied ministry at Lancaster Theological seminary and Chicago Theological seminary and Chaplaincy at the University of Chicago Hospital. His first ministry was a two-year interim minister in Kingston, MA, followed
by a second two-year interim ministry in Charleston, WV. In Charleston, he worked and trained as a Pastoral Counselor and psychotherapist with Kanawha Pastoral Counseling, and there he completed his doctoral work on Interim ministry after
troubled endings with a paper titled "Minister as Lightning Rod."
He served as a settled minister for five years with the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem, PA, where he was an adjunct professor at the Moravian Seminary. He also served as interim minister to the Unitarian Universalist Church of Amherst outside of Buffalo, NY. Most recently, Rev. De Roche served as interim minister at the First Parish of Norwell in Norwell, MA.
Melissa S. Virgin, Ministerial Intern
Melissa is a Connecticut native who most recently served as Director of Religious Exploration at Theodore Parker Unitarian Universalist Church in West Roxbury, MA. She previously acted as the Community Minister for Reproductive Justice at Judson Memorial Church in New York City, while also working as the Director of Children and Family Ministries at Grace Church, and teaching Hebrew Bible at Grace Church School.
Before beginning her theological studies, she managed educational conferences and grants for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy in Washington DC, where she first became passionate about the role religion pays in people's decision-making.
She loves to knit, paint, and spend time outdoors. She currently studies at Andover Newton Theological School where she will finish her Masters of Divinity in December of 2016. She holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish and Education from Smith College.