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.

The Rev. John Allen

John is our Senior Pastor. He began his ministry in Brunswick on October 25, 2021. Before arriving at FPC, John served as the Minister at the First Congregational Church of Milton, MA, United Church of Christ. He has also previously served as a Pastoral Resident at Village Church in Wellesley, MA. The Pastoral Residency is a full-time two-year ministry which seeks to build on seminary education in order to equip leaders for a lifetime of ministry. John is a graduate of Davidson College and received his Master of Divinity in New Testament from Union Theological Seminary. While at Union he worked in the chapel, planning daily worship for the community, and coordinated a lecture series on “Theology and Economics.” Before attending seminary, John worked as a firefighter and EMT in North Carolina. John with his wife Molli, and daughters Cora (3) and Lydia (1) are excited to join FPC’s many ministries. He is a violinist and a sailor who loves to cook. | jallen@firstparish.net

Francesco Marshall

Francesco serves FPC as our Minister for Pastoral Care. Francesco was born in northeastern Ohio. Beginning a career as an elementary school teacher, Francesco taught for 12 years, ending his teaching career in the high school classroom. During his teaching career, he majored in language arts, theological studies, speech, and drama. After attending seminary in San Antonio, TX; Francesco added spiritual care chaplaincy to his resume. Completing two Residencies in Clinical Pastoral Education; Francesco worked 13 years as a chaplain. Francesco’s last spiritual care assignment was in Seattle working with the residents of Horizon House, a multi-level assisted living facility founded by the United Church of Christ. Francesco and his spouse, Ron Sepielli, live in Dresden with their two Golden Retrievers. | fmarshall@firstparish.net

Dr. Jane Hagness

Jane Hagness joined 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

Sarah Mills

Sarah has recently joined our staff as our Office Administrator. She is originally from Scarborough, Maine and has a B.A. in Theatre and Religion from St. Olaf College. She also holds two Master’s degrees, one in Drama from the University of Kent in Canterbury, England and another in Educational Theater and Social Studies Education from NYU. She is currently pursuing a Certificate in Christian Studies and Leadership through the Maine School of Ministry and is a Member in Discernment with the Living Water Association. She lives in Waterville with her 6-year-old rescue dog, Buddy, who helps keep the squirrels away from the vegetable garden but isn’t quite patient enough to go on birding walks with her. | office@firstparish.net

Church School Staff

We are very fortunate to have a nurturing and dedicated staff of teachers and caregivers throughout the church school year, with nursery care continuing through the summer months.

Bridgette Hodgkins: Children & Youth Ministry Leader and Teacher, Grades 5-7

Bridgette was born and raised in Waldoboro, Maine. After attending Taylor University in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where she received Elementary Education and Early Childhood degrees, she moved to the Chicago suburbs where she lived and worked for almost 20 years. While in the Chicago area Bridgette worked as a nanny and served in a local church leading junior high small groups and working part time for the junior high ministry. Currently, Bridgette is working as a nanny and loving teaching church school. Bridgette also leads a Brownie Girl Scout troop and loves to knit. | bhodgkins@firstparish.net

Jocelyn Hooydonk: Infants & Toddlers

Jocelyn, a Brunswick native, earned her BA in Early Childhood Education from UMF. She has worked in various childcare and early childhood education centers, and is currently an ed tech in an elementary school functional skills classroom. Jocelyn lives in Topsham with her husband and daughter.

Erin Scott: Preschool – Kindergarten

Erin has lived in the mid-coast area for much of her life. After moving away for college and work she decided to return here to raise her family. She and her husband have two daughters. In her spare time Erin loves to craft and sew, especially quilts. Along with teaching church school, Erin has a professional organizing business and is the president of the Friends of the Topsham Public Library and vice president of the PTO at Woodside Elementary School. She is looking forward to being a substitute teacher now that both of her kids are in school.

Teri Gill: Grades 1-4

Teri grew up in Massachusetts. She moved to Maine with her husband who is a Brunswick native in 2014. Teri has a bachelor’s degree from UMass Amherst with concentrations in Early Childhood Education, Business and Exercise Science. While in Massachusetts she was the Assistant Director of a Preschool. More recently she was working in Human Resources for a National Childcare Company. She has 3 young girls. Teri enjoys taking walks, going to the beach to look for sea glass, yoga and playing video games.

© First Parish Church | 9 Cleaveland Street, Brunswick, Maine 04011 | 207.729.7331

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