With unanimous support from its seven member denominations, the Board of Directors of the Maine Council of Churches has expanded the position of its Executive Director from part-time to full-time, effective August 1, 2021, for a designated term of three years.

“Our enthusiasm for taking this leap of faith is sparked by a deepened vision of our ecumenical [multi-denomination] mission,” said MCC Development Chair Karen Hessel. “The difficult pandemic year and a half everyone lived through has led us at the MCC to reflect on who we are, who God is calling us to be, and what really matters. Our response is to invest in the future through expansion of executive leadership and program development, dedicated to collaborative partnerships working together for ecological and social justice, compassion and peace.”

Board President Rev. Alyssa Lodewick noted that churches in Maine (and elsewhere) are experiencing a threshold moment, living in a landscape that’s in transition.  “As the ways people experience and live into faith change, churches and ecumenical partnerships like ours are called to transform.  Our MCC full-time executive director is in position to help lead us through this journey of discernment.”

With its newly expanded capacity, MCC can be an even more effective voice calling people of faith and goodwill to come together as “repairers of the breach” (Isaiah 58:12), and nurturing a new generation of faith-based activists by:

  • Fostering opportunities for congregations to collaborate as they face the challenges of a changing world
  • Participating in state-wide events where faith and work for the common good intersect
  • Equipping faith-based advocates to engage and strengthen public policies that
    • dismantle systemic racism and race-based privilege
    • reduce poverty and increase equitable access to health care, food, and housing
    • support the sovereignty and well-being of Maine’s tribes
    • protect the rights and dignity of LGBTQ+ and other marginalized Mainers
    • defend and repair the environment.

Expanding the Executive Director position to full-time allows us to have a greater impact and more consistent witness in Augusta,” noted MCC Public Policy Committee Co-Chair and Board member Evelyn Johnson Moore.   A legislature that, as Board member (and former state legislator) Cush Anthony pointed out, considers policies that have a profound impact on vulnerable people across the state. Therefore, advocacy work is key to how MCC lives into its mission, Board member Pastor Christephor Gilbert observed, “The MCC is called to be the voice of God’s people on earth to advocate for the disenfranchised, the downtrodden, and the protection of God’s creation.”

Key to these efforts is a continued and renewed spirit of partnership between MCC’s seven diverse member denominations (Episcopalian, Lutheran, Presbyterian, Quaker, Unitarian Universalist, United Church of Christ, and United Methodist) who do together what they cannot do as well (or at all) on their own.

Of course, leaps of faith usually involve taking some risks, and this particular leap requires a substantial financial outlay.  So, over the course of the three-year designated term, the Board is undertaking a fundraising campaign to secure an income stream that will support the expansion of MCC leadership and programming in both the short- and long-term.

Current MCC Executive Director, Rev. Jane Field, will continue in this new expanded role. While serving part-time for the past six years, she has helped to establish a significant presence for MCC across the state and to strengthen its partnerships.  “I am thrilled to be given this extraordinary opportunity to serve MCC with 110% of my energy and focus.  And while I recognize a great deal of hard and challenging work is ahead, I take courage and comfort from these words Paul wrote to the church at Ephesus: ‘There is a measure of rest and grace when we trust that God’s power working in us really will do infinitely more than we could ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)’” 

“The world today needs the Maine Council of Churches to be at the table where we sit with those who do not look the same or speak the same language but who share the same hopes and dreams,” said Board Vice-President Rev. Carolyn Lambert. “With Rev. Jane Field at the helm bringing us together, faith and secular groups can do the work of creating communities that thrive on justice and compassion and overturning the barriers that divide us.”

As we look forward to the coming three years, the MCC Board of Directors invites you, our faithful supporters and partners, to share in our excitement about what the future holds and what we can accomplish together.