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Meet Our Staff

We are blessed to have a very collegial and creative staff. We spend Tuesday mornings working together on worship and program planning. You can reach any of us by using our first initial, then our last name @firstparish.net, e.g. mbaard@firstparish.net

The Rev. Mary E. Baard | The Rev. Geoff Parker | The Rev. Dr. Leslie FoleyDr. Jane Hagness | Ray Cornils | Becky Wilkoff | Amanda SimilienJane Connors | Steve Williams | Peggy Mast

The Rev. Mary E. Baard
Mary began serving as Senior Pastor of FPC in 2009. Mary grew up raking blueberries, playing sports, and becoming a life long learner. These days she enjoys reading, walking, and watching TED talks. Mary delights in sharing the journey of faith with people of all ages. A Maine native Mary grew up in Waldoboro and attended the University of Southern Maine. After graduating from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1983, Mary served churches in New Jersey, California, and Arizona. Mary and her spouse, The Rev. Dr. Ron Baard, have two adult daughters and a son-in-law: Karin and Lauren & Jay. | mbaard@firstparish.net
The Rev. Geoff Parker
Geoff Parker was called as Associate Pastor in 2010. Geoff is a graduate of the writing program at Sarah Lawrence College and of Yale Divinity School. Growing up, he traveled extensively with a national touring music group, finding and learning much through music, as well as the stories and lives he encountered on the road. Transformed by experiences of welcoming meals as a traveler, Geoff loves to share God’s gifts at table by feeding people: through worship and the arts, or through his love of food and cooking. He lives in next-door Bath, Maine with his spouse, Julia.
Geoff’s ministry with the wider church and the ecumenical community helps connect FPC with neighbors in the United Church of Christ and other faith communities. Currently, he serves as a member and discernment advisor of the Church and Ministry Committee of the Cumberland Association of Churches, and as a leader and Vice-Chair with the Council of the Maine Conference, United Church of Christ. | GParker@firstparish.net

lfoleyThe Rev. Dr. Leslie Foley
Leslie Foley began serving as our Minister  of Visitation in April 2016. Leslie is a graduate of the University of Tennessee, Lancaster Theological Seminary and Andover Newton Theological School. After graduating with with a Master of Divinity, 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. She loves working with people and is most passionate about pastoral care, education, worship and spiritual care education.

Not quite a complete empty-nester, Leslie lives in Falmouth with one of her three sons. Leslie is an animal lover who enjoys gardening, reading, building, creating, walking, being near water, spending time outdoors, as well as with her family, friends and pets.  Since 2005, Leslie and her children have attended the UCC Family Gathering I on Star Island, off the coast NH.  Combined, these people, places and interests create a sense of balance in an otherwise full life.

Like Geoff, Leslie currently serves as a member and discernment advisor on the Church and Ministry Committee of the CUMBERLAND ASSOCIATION OF CHURCHES. | lfoley@firstparish.net

Dr. Jane Hagness
Jane Hagness joins the staff in 2017 as Minister of Music. Jane is a conductor, organist and lyric soprano. She has earned a Master of Music from the University of Kentucky, a Doctor of Musical Arts from Shenandoah Conservatory, and a second Master of Church Music/Organ from Shenandoah Conservatory. An active recitalist in both voice and organ, Jane has presented at the National Association of Teachers of Singing National Conference and at the International Congress of Voice Teachers. She has composed several vocal pieces with varying instrumental accompaniment and especially enjoys hymn writing. In her spare time, Jane enjoys agility training with her American Hairless Terrier, “Moose,” the sparkle of her eye. She also enjoys painting and walking in nature. | jhagness@firstparish.net

Ray Cornils
Ray has transitioned into a Resource Role for our new minister of music, Jane Hagness, through the summer. Please contact Jane for questions about our music program. Ray Cornils began serving First Parish Church as its Director of Music in 1987. In 2007, the church celebrated Ray’s 20th anniversary and changed Ray’s title to Minister of Music. He directs and oversees the church’s extensive music program of five vocal and two handbell choirs and its more than 150 participants. In 1990, Ray was appointed the tenth Municipal Organist for the City of Portland and plays the Kotzschmar Organ. He is also a member of the music faculties of Bowdoin College and the University of Southern Maine.
Ray received his Bachelor of Music degree at Oberlin Conservatory and his Master of Music degree at the New England Conservatory. He has done additional organ study with Dame Gillian Weir. Ray has concertized throughout the United States and in Germany, Russia, New Zealand, Spain, France and Ecuador. He has performed concerts at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, the Wanamaker Organ in Philadelphia and The Spreckles Organ Society in San Diego. He has been a featured recitalist for conventions of the American Guild of Organists and the Organ Historical Society. He appears frequently as soloist with the Portland Symphony Orchestra. He also performs regularly with Musica Tricinia, a group of two trumpets and organ. | RCornils@firstparish.net
Becky Wilkoff10507046_928253377192451_867791815752878695_o
Becky Wilkoff has been the Children’s Ministries Coordinator since October 2014. A member of First Parish Church, Becky has taught Sunday school and has served on the Church Council. She earned a B.A. in American Literature and French from Middlebury College, where she met her husband Nick. They decided to raise a family in Nick’s hometown of Brunswick, where they now have two children in the Brunswick schools. In her spare time Becky enjoys volunteering in the schools, teaching French in the after school program at Harriet Beecher Stowe School, and participating in outdoor sports and activities with family and friends. | bwilkoff@firstparish.net
Amanda Similien
Amanda Similien Youth Ministries Coordinator
In 2015, Amanda Similien joined the staff as Youth Ministries Coordinator. Amanda (Mandy) grew up going to First Parish Church school, confirmation, youth groups and sang in the youth choirs through high school. After attending college at the University of Puget Sound and spending two and a half years in Haiti in the Peace Corps, she returned to Brunswick. Mandy and her husband Harold have made Brunswick their home and enjoy raising their two boys amongst all their sports and activities. | asimilien@firstparish.net
img_4208Jane Connors
Jane Connors joined the staff in June of 2000 as Office Administrator and is a member of First Parish Church. Jane is a bell-ringer, playing with our Parish Ringers. Jane is responsible for compiling and publishing the monthly newsletter, “The Pilgrims’ Progress,” the weekly email and other publications. She also schedules the use of FPC facilities, compiles minutes from boards and committees, provides publicity to local media, coordinates the volunteers who staff the phones and assemble mailings, and tries to keep track of our two pastors, the Children’s Ministry Coordinator and the Minister of Music! In her spare time, she loves being with her grandchildren, cooking and gardening.
Jane and her husband Frank, live in Brunswick. They have two grown children. A son, Miles and his wife, Dina, live in Belmont, MA. They have one son, Jadon, who was born in 2006. Their daughter, Abbie, and her husband, George, live in Brunswick. George is the father, and Abbie the step-mom, to three boys, 25, 23 and 18. Abbie and George have two sons together, Silas (4) and Zander (1) | jconnors@firstparish.net.
Steve WilliamsSteve Williams
Financial Administrator
Steve joined the First Parish Church staff in the summer of 2013. He grew up in the Chicago area. Following an undergraduate education in Philadelphia and graduate school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, he joined the faculty of the University of Michigan’s School of Public Health to do research and teach. That led to consulting activity in the Midwest and ultimately to his 1986 arrival in Maine for a job at the Maine Hospital Association. After returning to consulting work, he became increasingly involved with bookkeeping and financial work for local churches and other non-profit organizations. He also began volunteering in literacy-related activities and serving on various local boards. Steve enjoys reading, travel and sports (especially baseball) in his leisure time. He resides in Brunswick with his wife, Jean.
| swilliams@firstparish.net
img_4655Peggy Mast
has served since 2010 as the Church Collector.  Born in Augusta, Peggy lived for 33 years in Edgecomb before moving with her husband to Brunswick in 2005.  As a member of the Edgecomb Congregational Church she served in many capacities and was the Treasurer of the church for a number of years. As Collector, her job is to receive and process all church income, from pledges and regular donations to event receipts and special gifts. | fpcaccounting@firstparish.net
© First Parish Church | 9 Cleaveland Street, Brunswick, Maine 04011 | 207.729.7331

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