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Our Search for a New Rector

Setting a New Course

Almighty and everlasting God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for St. Francis by the Sea, that we may receive a faithful priest and pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The discernment committee has collected information from the parish based on several questions from the Diocese of Maine.  The answers have been collected from surveys and group discussions.  


The most important aspect of discernment is contemplation.  The act of listening to God's guidance takes intentional reverence and time.  Our Committee listens to our reflections on the guiding questions, and then puts together a parish profile that will be published.  

Our Committee

We are a church with a broad liturgical style.  Members of our church family have journeyed from a wide range of religious and nonreligious backgrounds.  We are a mixture of cradle Episcopalians, converts from other denominations, and recent church attendees.  We are open to evolving and yet embrace a style that evokes a sense of reverence.


We seek a Rector who is learned, energetic, creative, compassionate, and open-minded.

Meet the Committee

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Kate Mulrenin, Co-Chair

Kate has been a member of St. Francis by the Sea for about 8 years.  She was raised Roman Catholic but found the inclusivity and spirituality of the St. Francis' community profoundly welcoming.  Kate has long been interested in the meeting points of psychology and spirituality. She wrote her dissertation on women's difficulty praying to a masculine image of the Divine. She works as a clinical psychologist and has lived in Maine for over twenty years.  

Katie MacLeod, Co-Chair

Katie was born in Portland, Maine and has lived with her husband George in East Orland for 40 years. They have four grown children and two grandsons, who all live in Maine. They own a restaurant in Bucksport that opened in 1980, that is still operated by George and their son Connor. When their children were of school age, Katie returned to UMO to earn her degree in School Counseling, and was a high school counselor for 20 years, until retiring two years ago. 

      Over ten years ago, she attended her first service at St. Francis by the Sea, and it has since become her spiritual home. Katie has served on the Vestry for two terms, and presently does the scheduling for altar servers, lectors and ushers, and is a member of the Altar Guild.

P.J. Curtis
Patricia Curtis  “P.J.”  grew up in Cranford, N.J. and attended Colby College in Waterville, ME.  After graduation she married and has lived in Maine ever since. She taught English at George Stevens Academy for three years and substituted there for many years after that.  P.J. worked at Bar Harbor Bank and Trust as a mortgage lender until she retired.  Her husband died in 2008. She has two sons and two grandchildren. She has been a member of St. Francis for about fifty years and presently spends her summers in Blue Hill at Toddy Pond and winters in Englewood, Florida with her fiancé, John Chapel.

Matt Murphy

Matt has attended St. Francis by the Sea for the past ten years, enjoying and valuing his experience as a member of a faith community of so many warm and wonderful people. For the past twenty-two years he has been the General Manager of WERU Community Radio in East Orland, and the President of the Board of Directors of New Surry Theatre and Theatrical Arts School in Blue Hill for ten years. He grew up in Hingham, MA, is a graduate of Holy Cross College in Worcester, MA, and moved to Maine in 1986 to study teacher education at the University of Maine at Presque Isle. Matt and his wife Maureen moved to Bucksport two years ago, after living in Penobscot for many years. He feels honored to be on the Discernment Committee.

Gregory Payne
Greg was born in Los Angeles and grew up there. After earning his B.A. at UCLA and a Ph.D. at Berkeley, Greg landed in academic publishing. He was an editor for about 40 years, publishing textbooks, reference books and manuals in science, primarily microbiology. He and Maribeth were married, in Olympia, Washington, in 1978 and made a home in Norwalk, Connecticut. They have two grown sons, Matthew and Jonathan, who has a home in Penobscot. Greg retired from publishing five years ago, and several years ago he and Maribeth bought a second home in Blue Hill, where to their great joy they discovered St. Francis by the Sea. In Connecticut they are members of Christ and Holy Trinity in Westport, where they have both served on the vestry, the music and arts committee, and racial justice groups. They have also both sung in the choir there for roughly 25 years. Greg enjoys gardening, cooking, painting and playing the piano. 

Heath Wall
Heath moved to Brooksville from St. Louis three years ago. Shortly after arriving in Maine he began his career at the Jackson Laboratory in the animal care division. Heath began volunteering his time to St. Francis by the Sea a year and a half ago by serving at the table. A few months later he transitioned to sound and video tech alongside Bob Publicover where he continues to work each Sunday. When he's not working or volunteering he can be found working outside and spending time with his wife, two kids, and their dog, Luna.


If you have questions for the Discernment committee, please contact us and include attn:  Discernment in the message.  Thank you.  

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