is a long time Deerfield institution and Rev. Bill Roberts has been its spiritual leader for 24 years. Rev. Roberts took the time this week to answer five questions for Patch.
What do you like most about living and working in Deerfield? Deerfield is both a village and part of the global village. Some of the same people who greet me as I walk-and-read around the village are also traveling for business or pleasure to the far reaches of the world. Home to global corporations, Deerfield also boasts a Farmers Market and an annual Memorial Day parade to our own cemetery. I also appreciate Deerfield’s many parks scattered throughout the Village.
What do you find most fascinating about the people in Deerfield? People here have a capacity to reimagine themselves. Since our family’s arrival here twenty-four years ago the downtown, the Brick Yards, the library, and our schools have all been transformed into something better.
Most important is the transformation from the 1959 village of But Not Next Door to the 2012 village of “Trio Honored by Interfaith Housing Center.”
What has been your most uplifting experience in your current position? As a parish priest, I am blessed with uplifting experiences in abundance. I would say that my most poignant experience came on September 11, 2001.
As many other faith communities did, we gathered as a church that evening to pray and reflect on the day’s tragedies. One of the people who attended the service was from out of town—and she had lost her brother in one of the Twin Towers. It brought the horror of that day right into our own sanctuary and demonstrated how “the global” is always “right here” as well.
Why is Deerfield a good community for St. Gregory's? I’m more concerned that St. Gregory’s is a good community for Deerfield.
What brought you to your current position in Deerfield and how long have you been here? I was minding God’s own business at St. Bartholomew’s in New York City when the people of St. Gregory’s called me to mind God’s own business in Deerfield. That was back in 1988, and I’m still waiting for the honeymoon period to end.
We keep doing exciting new things, like empowering children in worship, creating an outdoor labyrinth, filling care packages for our troops, providing a pumpkin patch, offering a preschool “where little learners are big thinkers” and establishing a companion relationship with a church in Madagascar.