Rev. Charlie Dieterich is a life-long Unitarian Universalist. He moved to Norfolk in 2015 to work as our Developmental Minister. He uses the pronouns he, him and his. He is a trained Our Whole Lives Sexuality Education facilitator and a member of the Unitarian Universalist Trauma Response Ministry. He says, “On Sunday morning people come to church with spirits in need of welcome. I try to connect with each person attending, whether they are a long time member, a newcomer looking for a spiritual home, or a visitor passing through. Our services can be in different styles but I make sure we are always welcoming.”
He was ordained by the first congregation he served — the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Jersey Shore near Atlantic City. He also has been a Chaplain Resident at East Jefferson General Hospital in Metaire, Louisiana and a ministerial intern at three New Orleans area congregations.
A lover of New Orleans music and traditions, Charlie has returned to the Big Easy for Mardi Gras several times and has ridden as part of a carnival krewe. As Reverend Charlie says: “If worship means recognizing the worth of a thing, celebration is the highest form of worship.” His work as a volunteer on the Battleship New Jersey Museum gave him respect for military organization and sparked an interest in military history. Subsequent chaplain work at a VA hospital made him aware of post-traumatic stress disorder and other post-combat challenges faced by veterans.
In addition to the Master of Divinity which he received in 2010 from Starr King School for the Ministry, Charlie received Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
His is an amateur radio operator and life member of the Kingston Volunteer Fire Company, No. 1 in New Jersey.