Sadness and gratitude. An executive director leaves Mission at the Eastward

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FARMINGTON – It is with deep sadness and profound gratitude that the Board of Directors for Mission at the Eastward (MATE) announces the resignation of Executive Director Rev. Thea Kornelius, effective October 23. Rev. Kornelius leaves to accept a call as Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Elgin, Illinois.

In 2017, Thea accepted a joint call to be Executive Director for MATE and pastor for three Presbyterian churches, including Fairbanks Union Church and North New Portland Community Church. As a result of her leadership and vision, Thea leaves MATE in a strong position for continued growth as a thriving 501(c)3 nonprofit in the Farmington area. She has successfully built many collaborative community partnerships which MATE’s Board is eager to continue. A celebration of her work and ministry will be held on Sunday, October 24, at Fairbanks Union Church in Farmington.

MATE’s Board of Directors will provide operational leadership until a new Executive Director is hired. The Board is confident that the transition will be smooth for clients, partners, volunteers, and donors. MATE’s website,, will have ongoing information.

MATE responds to the housing needs of underserved people in Western Central Maine by repairing and renovating homes for families and individuals who do not have the resources to do the work themselves. Under Thea’s leadership, the organization finishes its 2021 housing ministry season having finished projects to keep over 40 families in their homes. Despite the challenges the organization faced from COVID, roughly 120 volunteers from eight groups and some individuals helped to complete 6 roofs, 8 decks or porches, 2 bathrooms, 1 kitchen, 5 sets of stairs, 4 ramps, worked on plumbing for 3 homes, replaced windows at 3 houses and the door at 1, fixed ceilings in 3 homes and the siding on 1 house, for a total of 42 repaired homes for the families who live in them. Volunteers who served are local and from all over the Northeast.

For further information about this News Release, please contact Sharon Cowen, For more information or questions about MATE’s transition, contact MATE Board Chair Karen Hagy, at

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