The Rev. Deborah Blood brings years of experience in the local and wider church to her role as Conference Minister. Before a 10 year Pastorate at the First Congregational Church of Bloomfield, CT, a multi-racial, multi-ethnic congregation, she was a practicing attorney for 15 years primarily in litigation, Family law and mediation. She has served as Chair of the Wider Church Ministries Board and Common Global Ministries Board of the UCC, on Unified Governance Teams, and has traveled widely with the church to Israel/Palestine, South Korea, Colombia, India, Zambia and other places. She is a singer, loves the outdoors and loves Maine! After vacationing here since childhood, it is a dream come true to live and minister in this gorgeous State, with such wonderful people and churches!
The Rev. Darren L. Morgan has served as our Associate Conference Minister since May 2008. He is a graduate of Southern Maine Vocational Technical Institute in South Portland, ME. (A.A.S. in Law Enforcement Technology) and the University of the State of New York, Albany, NY (B.S. in Liberal Arts). Rev. Morgan earned his M.T.S. and M.Div. (with honors) from Bangor Theological Seminary in Bangor, ME. A native of York Beach, ME, he served in the United States Army as a Criminal Investigator (CID Special Agent) and worked as a Police Officer for the York Police Department before entering seminary. Rev. Morgan has served as a bi-vocational pastor in local church ministry before being called to the Maine Conference. He is an amateur auctioneer and a fan of HGTV home-improvement shows. Together for twenty-five years, Rev. Morgan shares his home in Glenburn with his husband, Mark Baker, and their miniature Dachshund, Oscar.
Very well known to so many in the Maine Conference, Ron Baard is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, Madison (B. S., Education) and Princeton Theological Seminary (M. Div.). He earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology and Personality (with emphasis in pastoral counseling) at Claremont School of Theology. An ordained minister in the United Church of Christ, Dr. Baard is a Fellow in the American Association of Pastoral Counselors, a member of Spiritual Directors International and the Society for Pastoral Theology. He served as the Imes-Lowry Professor of Pastoral Studies and Dean of Students at Bangor Theological Seminary until its closure in 2013. More recently, Ron has taught classes at Andover Newton Theological School and Boston University School of Theology. In pastoral ministry over many years, he has served as a local church pastor of a small U.C.C. church, a hospital chaplain, an associate pastor on a large church staff, a chaplain at a continuing care retirement community, and a full-time pastoral counselor.
Ron currently serves as an Adjunct Professor at New York Theological Seminary, and taught a pastoral care class for the Maine School of Ministry in the fall term of 2018. He is an active member at First Parish Church, United Church of Christ, in Brunswick, where his spouse Mary serves as Senior Pastor. In his free time he enjoys reading, movies, gardening, walking and spending time with his family, including his two year old grandson Caleb.
Renita L. Dehais has been the Treasury Assistant for the Maine Conference since December of 2014. Her responsibilities include: Accounts Receivable, all operations for maintaining the Consolidated Trust of the Maine Conference, some targeted financial reporting for specific projects and groups within the Conference, among other duties as assigned.
Renita’s involvement with the Conference prior to this position was as the Cumberland Association representative to the Coordinating Council (a predecessor of the current Board of Directors) from 2008 to August 2013 when she was hired to work on the Pilgrim Lodge Capital Campaign as the Donor Relations Coordinator. She was also a member of the Pilgrim Lodge Advisory Team from its inception in 2009 to its end in 2018.
Renita had worked in banking for 16 years prior to being a stay-at-home mom raising two wonderful children. During this time, she held various part-time jobs from picking apples at a local orchard to being an aide in a pre-school, to directing the children’s choir at church, all of which allowed her to work during school hours and to be home when her children got home from school. She finds skills learned from all of these to be helpful in her job at the Conference.
Renita has lived in Cumberland with her husband Bill since 1992, and is a member of the Congregational Church in Cumberland where she enjoys singing in the choir and playing handbells in the bell choir.
Communications and Information Technology Coordinator
Nathaniel Blanchard is a University of Maine undergraduate currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science. He has served as a Communications Intern for the Eastern Maine Development Corporation and worked as a Marketing Coordinator for Eastern Maine Community College. Most recently Nathaniel was the Waterfront Director at Pilgrim Lodge. Nathaniel also serves on the Holden Historical Society Board of Directors.
Nathaniel is a member of the Holden Congregational Church where he is the chair of the communications committee. He also is an Assistant Scoutmaster for the Dedham-Holden Boy Scout Troop #21. In his spare time, Nathaniel dedicates himself to helping others by creating and improving community connections across Maine.
Some of his duties as the Communications & Information Technology Coordinator include managing conference communications, administration of information technology systems such as conference databases and resource portals, as well as the website, marketing, and public relations. Nathaniel also handles conference computer and mobile device systems, networking, data, and security. He also serves as the editor of the A.C.E. and other conference publications. We are very excited and happy to welcome Nathaniel and look forward to all of the amazing things that he will bring to and do for the Maine Conference!