The Reverend Roger Verse was born in Plainfield, N.J. and grew up in nearby Scotch Plains. As a teen and young adult Roger was affirmed and encouraged to consider a call to ordained ministry both from his home pastor and college professors. His formal education began at Upsala College and continued to Princeton Seminary where he received a M.Div., and Th.M. degrees. He has a certificate in Family Therapy from the New Jersey Center for Family Studies and holds a D.Min., in Marriage and Family Ministry from Eastern Seminary in Philadelphia. Roger has received specialized training in Interim/Transitional Ministry at Montreat Conference Center, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Menucha Conference Center in Portland, Oregon.
Roger was ordained by the Presbytery of Elizabeth, PCUSA. He served two pastorates in New Jersey, Fairmount Presbyterian Church, Califon, and First Presbyterian Church, Iselin, before moving to Florida in 1988. He served interim/transitional pastorates in Pembroke Pines, DeLand, and Jupiter before being called to be the Pastor of the Second Presbyterian Church in Ft. Lauderdale in 1992.
Roger has been married to his wife Selma for 40 years. She is a Nurse Educator and a Certified Parish Nurse with experience in health ministry. Selma’s avocation is church music. They met when Roger was called to the First Presbyterian Church in Iselin where Selma was the Director of Music. They raised four children who made it safely into adulthood.
Both Roger and Selma took early retirement in 2006 to travel and be with family. One of the blessings was the opportunity to be present at the birth of each of their six grandchildren and provide support for infant and sibling care.
They have traveled through Germany, Switzerland, England, and Scotland visiting sites specific to the Protestant Reformation. In retirement they have gained appreciation for other cultures through visits to Canada, Central and South America, the Baltic States, and Southern Europe. Roger is also qualified to serve as Guest Staff Minister for specific cruises on the Holland America Cruise Line.
On August 1, 2014, Roger interrupted retirement to become Transitional Pastor for the First Presbyterian Church, Boynton Beach, Florida. Upon conclusion of that ministry, in May of last year he was called to serve as the Transitional Minister at the Hobe Sound Community Presbyterian Church which concluded in June.
Roger and Selma have been an active part of the Mariner Sands Community since 2004 residing at 5081 SE Burning Tree Circle.
INTENTIONAL INTERIM/TRANSITIONAL MINISTRY
Interim pastors join and build community during congregational transitions by providing:
• pastoral care
• consistent worship leadership
• teaching/leadership training
• administrative guidance
• staff support
• objective reflection
Intentional Interim/Transitional Ministry Process
• Affirm and celebrate the strengths and accomplishments of the congregation
• Recognize and resolve remaining issues related to previous pastor (s)
• Recognize and resolve any conflict, hurt or alienation
• Facilitate the healthy redistribution of power
• Conduct a Congregational Mission Study with a focus on:
Current Identity (Strengths/ weakness/demographics/theological perspectives)
Mission priorities (programs/staffing/ financing)
• Provide support to search committee as it develops church profile, pastoral priorities, and a position description
• Excite the congregation about the future and their new pastor
Standard Development Tasks/Goals for the Transition
• Coming to terms with history
• Discovering a new identity
• Allowing needed leadership change
• Renewing Denominational/Ecumenical linkages
• Committing to new directions in ministry
The interim/transitional minister can provide assistance in the realization/development of specific short-term goals such as:
• Programs for spiritual renewal, older adults, youth, health ministries, etc.
• Stewardship enhancement
• Capital campaign for improvements
• Resolution of staff issues
“Having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart… for it is God who has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ… for we look not to the things that are seen but the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4: 1,6,18