Rev. Alexis Fuller-Wright has joyfully served congregations in New Jersey, Iowa, Maine, and California. She represents a new generation of leadership within the United Church of Christ (UCC) who have been called by the Spirit to bring new life and energy into the church. Her passions in ministry are helping people deeply connect with the heart of God and empowering congregations to find new and relevant ways to live out their faith in the 21st century. She received her Master of Divinity from Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley, CA .
Alexis is married to Liz, a science writer for Princeton University, and they spend their non-working hours chasing after their two young children, Nora and Will.
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 Member of the Association for Clinical Pastoral Education (Fellow, American Association of Pastoral Counselors), a member of Spiritual Directors International and the Society for Pastoral Theology.
Ron served as the Imes-Lowry Professor of Pastoral Studies and Dean of Students at Bangor Theological Seminary from 2003 until its closure in 2013. More recently, Ron has taught classes at Andover Newton Theological School, Boston University School of Theology, and New York Theological Seminary. 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 taught pastoral care classes at the Maine School of Ministry in the fall terms of 2018 and 2019. Ron is a member at First Parish Church, United Church of Christ, in Brunswick, Maine where his spouse Mary recently retired as Senior Pastor. In his free time he enjoys reading, movies, gardening, bicycling, walking and spending time with his family, including grandchildren Caleb and Sophie.
Anne Hodgman joined the Maine Conference Staff in the Fall of 2001 as a Resource Center Assistant. In the Fall of 2008, Anne became the Director of the Resource Center. After the conference office moved to Augusta in May of 2013, Anne took on the duties of Accounting Assistant which entails processing all of the Conference and Pilgrim Lodge bills, running the bi-weekly payrolls for both, submitting quarterly and annual reports to the State and Federal Governments on behalf of the Conference and Pilgrim Lodge.
In January of 2017, she added Executive Assistant to her duties as the transition away from the Resource Center began. Responsibilities include answering the phones, providing administrative support as needed, coordinates registration for events and the distribution of data, works on annual reporting to the Data Hub/yearbook, provides hospitality, coordinates the arrangements for General Synod delegates, oversees office machine maintenance, office supplies, maintains the Conference calendar, opens and distributes mail, custodial and other duties as assigned.
Anne is a mom to three adult sons, grandmother, to four grandchildren and lives with her husband of 44 years in Fayette, Maine. She is also a member of High Street Congregational UCC in Auburn where she has served on the Board of Christian Education, Board of Deacons, provided childcare in the nursery, the superintendent of Church School and as the Director of Christian Education for almost twelve years.
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.
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.
Margaret, Director of Shalem’s Soul of Leadership, is Shalem’s Executive Director. Prior to coming to Shalem, she ran her own consulting, speaking, training, and coaching business, Executive Soul, helping leaders and organizations nurture their souls and express their deepest values institutionally. At the same time, she taught as adjunct faculty at Andover Newton Theological School in the area of contemplative leadership. Margaret is a Quaker and holds a B.A. in History from Princeton University, an M.A. in Mathematics from Portland State University, an M.A. in Theology from Earlham School of Religion, and a PhD in Spirituality from Catholic University of America. She has written extensively on various aspects of contemplative leadership and spirituality at work, including The Soul of a Leader: Finding Your Path to Fulfillment and Success and Soul at Work: Spiritual Leadership in Organizations.
Susie Craig is a retired minister in the United Church of Christ, previously having served as Associate Conference Minister for the Maine Conference and as Interim Minister for the Wiscasset Church. Currently, she serves as part of the Pastoral Team for the Sheepscott Community Church. Susie lives with her husband, Brad, on a small farm in Jefferson with their black lab, Thacker. It is her joy to work with Doug Dunlap as they uncover and discover the wonderful stories of our small churches.
Doug Dunlap is a retired minister, ordained in the United Church of Christ. Doug and his wife, Mary, a Nurse Practitioner, have lived in Aroostook, Penobscot, and Franklin counties. Currently they reside on their farm, north of Farmington, in the settlement of Fairbanks. Doug is a member of the New Sharon UCC Church. He is a member of the Earth Care and Spirituality Resource Team of the Maine Conference, and Vice-Moderator of the Living Water Association.
A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Lancaster Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Theological School, The Reverend Dr. Leslie Foley is a UCC Minister, Board Certified Chaplain and Teacher. After graduating with with a Master of Divinity degree, Leslie served as a chaplain resident at Yale-New Haven Hospital. From there, Leslie went on to become a board certified chaplain and to serve as a chaplain and minister in a variety of health care and church settings in CT and Maine. Leslie is currently serving on the Advisory Committee for the Maine School of Ministry and as the settled pastor of Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church.
Not quite an empty-nester, Leslie lives in Falmouth with her wife , Cheryl, and one of her three sons. She is an animal lover who enjoys gardening, reading, building, creating, walking, spending time outdoors, and making memories with her family, friends and pets.