August 25, 2022
Dear Maine School of Ministry and Maine Conference Friends,
Thank you for the privilege of serving as the Dean of the Maine School of Ministry (MESOM) these past few years. With a grateful heart I announce my retirement effective the end of September, 2022. 
I have enjoyed working together with the MESOM Advisory Team to sustain and grow the Mission and Vision of this important School of Ministry. I’m especially pleased that the Mentored Practice program has been established as a new component of MESOM’s offerings. 
I look forward to full retirement with the opportunities it will bring for sustained rest, relaxation, reflection and hopefully the pursuit of new adventures in travel and learning. It will be good to have more time with family and friends. 
May the Maine Conference United Church of Christ, including its amazing staff and vital churches, be continually blessed in all the ministries it offers so many. 
Blessings all!
Rev. Dr. Ron Baard, Dean, The Maine School of Ministry

August 25, 2022 
Dear Covenant Partners of the Maine Conference of the United Church of Christ,

        This morning, the Rev. Dr. Ron Baard and I shared a sacred conversation. He has discerned a call toward retirement. Ron’s ministry as the Dean of the Maine School of Ministry (MESOM) will come to close at the end of September, 2022.

        Ron has often heard me describe MESOM as the “central artery” of the Maine Conference. We are among the Conferences of the UCC largely made up of congregations served by part-time pastors who very often rise from within the congregations or from the congregation’s neighborhood.  Under Ron’s gifted leadership, MESOM has provided these pastors with excellent educational formation.
Adult learners in our congregations, both pastors and lay members, have also been nourished by MESOM’s rich offerings of courses and workshops. Our congregations’ ministries are surely strengthened by insights gained by MESOM’s adult learners.
Ron’s visits to Maine Conference congregations over the years have not only strengthened financial support for MESOM, but have also been a vibrant expression of the support of the Maine Conference for the congregations in our care.

I am deeply grateful to Ron (and to the Holy Spirit) for the mercies of wisdom, vision, courage, faith, persistence, gentle humor, and passion for learning that Ron has brought to his holy work.  I am equally grateful for the delight of being Ron’s colleague in ministry for these past two years.

        We will gather by Zoom on Saturday, September 24th, from 1:00 – 2:30 p.m. to celebrate Ron’s ministry and to share with him our words of appreciation for his faithful and transformative ministry among us. 

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 829 9146 0405
Passcode: 308284

With great gratitude and great hope,
 Jonna Jensen, Transitional Conference Minister