I’m a United Church of Christ pastor serving a small church in Hallowell, Maine. I graduated from Colby College and Harvard Divinity School. I grew up in Wakefield, Massachusetts, where I was an active member of First Parish Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. And that’s where I was ordained in 1995. I’ve lived in Maine since 1997, in a busy household with my husband and two teenage children (my daughter just off to college!).
In this blog, I explore issues regarding the future of the church, especially in my little corner of the world. Churches in Maine face many challenges. Maine is the oldest state in the country, in terms of the age of our population. By at least one measure, we are the least churched. In central Maine, many communities have experienced significant population declines, especially in the late twentieth century (in Augusta, Maine, which is the largest city near Hallowell, the population of children under the age of 18 declined by 25% between 1980 and 2000). In Hallowell, the population has remained stable over the past thirty years, but it remains Maine’s tiniest city with around 2500 people.
Like other parts of the country, Maine churches (especially in the Mainline) grew substantially in the 1950s and 60s– in terms of numbers of people and in terms of physical spaces. Old South, for instance, built a separate Parish House in the late 1950s, to accommodate the church school which had grown to over 200 children. Now, we rarely have more than ten kids on a Sunday.
So, what to do? This is the question I’ve been wrestling with over the last few years, at Old South and through this blog.
You can reach me at: firstname.lastname@example.org