BLUE HILL — The First Congregational Church of Blue Hill has a new pastor, the Rev. Lisa Durkee, who most recently worked as a chaplain in New Jersey.
Durkee has taught at schools in New Jersey, New York and India. She was a theology student, pastor and musician in Massachusetts, and she adopted her daughters in China. After many moves, she found herself as the new minister of the First Congregational Church on Jan. 1.
“All my life I wanted to live year-round in Maine,” she said. “The calling to this ministry brings together everything I’ve done and hope to do.”
The Maine coast was always a beacon. Her family ties to the Camden area go back at least three generations. Several family members moved to Maine in recent years. Her time came this year, after three years at Blair Academy in New Jersey, where she served as chaplain and chair of the Religion and Philosophy Department.
“While Blair Academy allowed me to be both teacher and chaplain, I missed the pastoral experience of walking in faith with an entire congregation,” Durkee explained.
Earlier in life, she wanted to teach while also being a poet and musician on the side. After graduating with degrees in English and religion from Wellesley, she obtained a master’s from the Middlebury College Bread Loaf School of English.
“As much as I loved teaching English, my religious calling was stronger,” she said, “because I wanted to have a voice in defining what it meant to live a Christian life.” Thus, after obtaining a Master of Divinity from Andover Newton School of Theology in 2007, she became the pastor at the Congregational Church in West Brookfield, Mass., for eight years.
“I came late to the ministry, only after I realized that I wasn’t going to have a career as a poet or a singer with a rock band,” Durkee added with a wicked smile.
Durkee can now be heard on Sunday at 10 a.m. available via Zoom or by tuning in by car radio to 103.5FM within a 400-foot radius of the church in Blue Hill. A midweek contemplative service is also available Wednesdays at 7 p.m.
For more information, visit the church website: bluehillcongregational.org.