Our Minister & Staff

Reverend Norman Allen, Minister

Prior to coming to First Parish, Rev. Norman Allen (he/his) served the Davies Unitarian Universalist Congregation in the suburbs of Washington, DC, for six joyful years. His work also includes serving as consulting minister for Adult Spiritual Development at All Souls Unitarian, DC, and a two-year internship at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, where he focused on issues of immigrant justice.

Rev. Norm’s essays and articles have appeared in publications ranging from Smithsonian and Yes! magazines to the Washington Post and Boston Globe, and on websites such as OnBeing and Tikkun. As a playwright, he has seen his work produced throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. He is the founder and former director of the award-winning Signature in the Schools theatre outreach program.

Deeply committed to serving the youngest members of our faith, Rev. Norm is a former English teacher and department chair. He served as a consultant to the Center for Inspired Teaching in Washington, DC, where he mentored first year teachers in the public schools. He received his Master of Divinity from Wesley Theological Seminary, his Master of Liberal Arts from St. John’s College in Annapolis, and his Bachelors in English from Boston University.

To learn more about Rev. Norm’s ministry, visit his website – www.revnorm.com. If you would like to reach Rev. Norm, please email minister@firstparishportland.org.

Benjamin Holbrook, Music Director

Benjamin Holbrook is the Choral Director at Massabesic Middle School in East Waterboro. He also serves on the Board of the American Choral Directors Association as Repertoire Manager. Benjamin received his Bachelors in Music Education from DePaul University in Chicago. He has plans to matriculate into a Masters program in Choral Directing at USM in 2023. Benjamin served as a music teacher for secondary schools in Chicago and Los Angeles before returning to Maine. While living in Los Angeles, Benjamin also wrote and arranged music for a variety of performance media including: The Call of Cthulhu (2005), Long-Term Relationship (2006), Kiss The Bride (2007), and Where Seagulls Cry is a Song (2009). He was recognized by LA Weekly for Outstanding Original Music for a Stage Play: The Grey Zone (2007). Benjamin currently lives on the West End in Portland with his partner Darry and their dog Abigail. He enjoys spending time with them, hiking, and walking around the Peninsula when he is not teaching or practicing.

You can reach Benjamin at musicdirector@firstparishportland.org.

Laurie Hasty, Membership Coordinator

Laurie Hasty (she/her) is a third generation UU. She came to First Parish as a teenager when her father was called to be this church’s minister. She was married in our Meeting House and has raised her children in this congregation. In December, she coordinates our historic Nativity Pageant. Laurie believes deeply that personal connections are essential to growing a community within our church and healing our world. Laurie lives with her husband, Benson Gray, in the woods on the northwest corner of Falmouth where they enjoy reading, gardening, hiking, cross-country skiing, and canoeing. After a winding path of volunteer activities, elementary school teaching, and arts management, Laurie is now back to her passion of painting in her studio. Please say hello to her at Coffee Hour!

You can reach Laurie at membership@firstparishportland.org.

Moe Blanchard, Sexton

Our Sexton, Moe Blanchard, has been with First Parish since 2002. A Portland, Maine native, he is a valuable member of our staff. Together with various committees, volunteers, and paid hourly workers, Moe ensures the care and upkeep of our lovely historic meeting house and memorial gardens. He enjoys working with the Staff as well as the members of First Parish in Portland and is happy to help where he can.

Moe is caring, helpful and honest. And he makes the world’s best popcorn and coordinates the bountiful display of goodies for our coffee hours!

If you have questions or requests for Moe, please direct them to office@firstparishportland.org.