Missouri Mid-South Conference Staff
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Transitional Conference Minister, Rev. Mary W. Nelson

Rev. Nelson is a lifelong “UCCer” and comes to us with a wealth of experience in various settings across the United Church of Christ. Most recently, she served for seven years as a Regional Minister (ACM) in the Connecticut/Southern New England Conference. Rev. Nelson is originally from Des Moines. She earned her BA at Grinnell College, and her MDiv at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University. For the past five years, she has split her time between living in New Haven, Connecticut and in South Hadley, Massachusetts. For the anticipated near-term, Rev. Nelson will work remotely from Massachusetts, and will establish a second home base in Missouri Mid-South when travel and in-person gathering are more widely possible.  Mary can be reached at 314-918-2604 or mary@mmsucc.org

Associate Conference Minister, Rev. Damien Lake

Rev. Damien Lake has served three churches as a settled pastor and two congregations as an Interim Minister and worked with churches as a coach, helping them through the search and call process, as well as working with new church starts.  He has helped churches revitalize their ministry in the local community and remains committed to helping churches grow, to rethink church and to continue to focus on the Still Speaking Voice of God. Damien has a strong dedication to serving God and The Church, a deep faith that is always growing and expanding in new directions, and believes in the importance of answering the call of God to stand up for social justice, to help those who are hurting and to Be The Church. Read Damien's full bio here.  Damien can be reached at 314-918-2605 or damien@mmsucc.org.

Office Manager, Kathleen Rainey

Kathie joined the staff in March 2018 as our part-time Office Manager.  Kathie is responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the Conference Office.  Kathie's normal work schedule is Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday each week.  Kathie can be reached at 314-918-2602 or kathleen@mmsucc.org.

Communications Specialist, Julie Darnold Akins

Joining the staff in January 2021, Julie is our part-time Communications Specialist responsible for managing the eCourier, social media, website, and donor development communications. Julie most recently worked at Bethesda Health Group Foundation and the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri. She has a communications background and is a member of St. Paul’s UCC, Oakville (St. Louis). Julie can be reached at 314-606-6069 or julie@mmsucc.org.

Outdoor Ministries Consultant, Bill Bourdon

Bill Bourdon is  the Outdoor Ministries Consultant for the Missouri Mid-South Conference.  In this position, Bill will provide transitional leadership at Camp MoVal Outdoor Ministries April 1-Dec. 31, 2021, overseeing the maintenance required while the Conference undergoes a period of discernment regarding its ministry. Bill also will provide training to the Executive Director of Shannondale Outdoor Ministries. Bill can be reached at 636-583-2730 or bill@mmsucc.org.

Executive Director and Pastor of Shannondale Community Center, Nathan Fulk

Nathan Fulk, serves as the Executive Director and Pastor of Shannondale Community Center as of October 1, 2018. His unique combination of forestry skills and dedication to the ongoing mission of the United Church of Christ make him crucial in the continued operation of Shannondale.  Nate can be reached at 573-858-3284 or nathan@mmsucc.org

 

Youth Ministry Coordinator, Mrs. Cindy Birkner

Mrs. Birkner taught 6th and 7th grade Sunday school for 5 years and has been a confirmation teacher since 2007. She has a Master’s Degree in Corporate Communications. Mrs. Birkner is married to Kevin and they have three children. Cindy can be reached at 314-575-1951 or cindy@mmsucc.org