The Dio Log
news and events in
the Episcopal Diocese of Maine
Volume 18, Number 22 ~ December 9, 2016
Faith groups stand shoulder-to-shoulder against hate at University of Southern Maine.
On Wednesday, representatives from 32 Maine faith groups gathered to speak against hate and intolerance. The Rev. Larry Weeks of Trinity Church and St. Peter's, Portland, spoke on behalf of Bishop Lane. Recalling the Christmas story, he said that we are all called "to make room in the inn of our lives" for immigrants and other new Americans.
Also pictured: The Rev. Jane Field, Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches; Glenn Cummings, president of USM; and event organizer Reza Jalali, Muslim writer, scholar, and director of USM's Office of Multicultural Affairs.
Check out coverage in the Press Herald, MPBN, and Channel 8. Video of the event is here.
What's New in the Episcopal Church in Maine
St. Columba's, Boothbay Harbor
the Rev. Maria Hoecker
upon receiving a Lily Endowment grant. Stay-tuned for more on the Celtic spirituality retreats to be offered by the congregation in 2017. Read about it
voices among us...
50 Episcopalians from Maine and New Hampshire gathered at St. Thomas', Dover, NH, last Saturday for an day-long advocacy workshop on "Speaking Our Faith in NH & ME." The day was sponsored by the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice and the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire. Speakers included
MENJ Director John Hennessy; the Rev. Calvin Sanborn, rector of St. George's, York Harbor; New Hampshire Bishop Rob Hirschfeld; NH's Missioner for Community Engagement Laura Simoes; and Joby Thoyalil, policy analyst at Maine Equal Justice Partners.
for a playlist of five short videos excerpted from the day's sessions.
In the video below, Bishop Hirschfeld speaks movingly about the compassion "from the gut" Jesus felt for the multitudes that moved him to feed them with what was on hand.
Bishop Hirschfeld on compassion that moves us to action
All those affected by gun violence
as we approach the fourth Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath on December 18. Together with Faiths United Against Gun Violence and the Washington National Cathedral, the Sabbath is an effort of
a coalition of more than 50 national denominations and faith-based organizations, to remember those who have lost their lives to gunfire, pray for those whose lives have been forever changed because of the loss of a loved one, and to educate one another on proven strategies to reduce gun violence.
Bishop Stephen Lane's Litany for Gun Violence Prevention (click here for half and full page bulletin inserts) has been widely used across the country by congregations wishing to include this issue in their prayers. For more ideas about how to participate, visit www.decembersabbath.org
Around the Diocese...
From the Bishop - Counting Christmas
I have been asked how to count Christmas Day in the Average Sunday Attendance for the Parochial Report because Christmas is a Sunday and Sunday attendance is likely to be quite low. The thought is that all of us should count in the same way for the sake of fairness - and representation at Diocesan Convention.
After some consultation, I recommend that, since Christmas Eve is liturgically the first service of Christmas, all Christmas services should be counted this year as
Sunday services. This fits with the current practice of counting
Saturday night eucharists as
Some have also wondered how to count those Sundays when services are cancelled because the roads are closed. In that case, I think not counting that
Sunday in the ASA (and reducing the number of Sundays the calculation) is in order.
For those of us who are not inclined to follow this guidance, I have been reassured by my "numbers" people that the statistical difference created by a single
Sunday should not be significant enough to make a difference in representation at Diocesan Convention.
However you count, have a blessed Christmas.
Deadline for the Mutual Ministry Review survey extended through December 31
Bishop Lane and members of the Standing Committee invite all Maine Episcopalians to complete a survey
to review what we've done and to look toward
Together with information gleaned from in-person interviews of members of Diocesan Council, Standing Committee, and diocesan staff as well as the results of
the online survey open to any member of
the diocese who wishes to take part, we should get a pretty good snapshot of how we're doing.
Thanks in advance for offering your thoughts about our common life. Look for a full report in the new year.
Grant funding available for your church's new or expanded ministry
At its meeting on December 2 and 3, Diocesan Council issued a call for the first round of New Initiative Fund grants in 2017.
Each congregation and organization in the Diocese of Maine is eligible to apply for funding to support new ministries or expanding existing ministries in new directions. Applications will be evaluated on the how closely they meet the Diocese's Seven Criteria for Mission.
All applications must be submitted to the online form by the end of business on Friday, February 17. Council will review applications at its March 4 meeting. Download this
Word doc to use as a working copy of your application. Then cut and paste your responses at
Winter needs at St. Elizabeth's Pantry: Cold hands need warming up
As cold weather approaches, one of the biggest needs we have at St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry in Portland is winter gloves. We need gloves (and mittens) for children, women and men, however the biggest need is for large and extra large gloves for men. If you look into your hall closet you may find a pair that you rarely use and we urge you to contribute them to St. E's. It is unbelievable how many people appear on bitter cold Tuesday mornings, with no gloves and hands stuffed into coat pockets in an attempt to keep warm. We would greatly appreciate your donations. (If you are shopping and see gloves on sale...consider buying them as your contribution.) Thanks in advance for all help you can give.
Donations may be dropped off at the diocesan office at 143 State Street, Portland, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each week day.
This is the year for E.Y.E.
The triennial Episcopal Youth Event will be July 10-14 at a college in Oklahoma. E.Y.E. has changed over the years and is now a truly amazing experience. There'll be more than 1,000 teens from all over America and beyond.
Please consider sending all your high school teenagers, because each diocese is invited to bring a large delegation of 24 teens and six adults. The only catch is that Maine's slots will disappear unless we register each teen and make a deposit in early January. This is a huge opportunity, so it's important to pre-register and start planning now.
2017 UTO grant applications now accepted
The focus for the 2017 United Thank Offering grants is The Jesus Movement - evangelism, reconciliation, and following Jesus' way of creating loving, liberating, and life-giving relationships with God, each other, and all creation.
The 2017 United Thank Offering grant application (as well as helpful hints for applying) is now available at www.episcopalchurch.org/page/uto-grants.
Applications must be submitted to Heidi Shott at firstname.lastname@example.org by February 17, 2016. Each diocese may submit only one grant application, so all applications must be reviewed at the diocesan UTO screening group. One grant will be recommended by Bishop Lane.
Please be in touch with Heidi or the Diocesan UTO Coordinator Sherri Dietrich at email@example.com if you have any questions about the application process.
And kudos for St. Dunstan's, Ellsworth, for getting a shout-out in the UTO National newsletter for the revitalization of their UTO giving:
Suggestions from Tracy Schaffer, St. Dunstan's UTO coordinator:
"We were pleased to use the materials, including the attractive brochure, bookmark, and prayer booklet, to help make our offering part of our daily spiritual practice. We really stressed the concept of giving thanks for a daily blessing and found that it helped many of us focus on positive ways the Lord shows up in our lives. Given our current national and world landscape, it was a wonderful shift in focus.
"Our clergy helped us with the ingathering by ensuring that our service bulletins included a UTO prayer each week on the front cover from the prayer booklet. Also, we incorporated a blessing card that parishioners could add to the offering plate each week to cite a particular blessing. These were read by our priest as part of our Eucharistic service and then were placed on a UTO bulletin board downstairs that was crafted by our deacon. At our final offering Sunday, people brought forward their boxes to be part of our offering, and then we had a celebration coffee hour."
UTO ingathering resources may be found
Upcoming in Maine and Beyond
EPF-Maine to host recently returned pilgrims from Palestine/Israel
Episcopal Peace Fellowship, Maine Chapter, is holding its next meeting on
Saturday, December 10
, at St. John Baptist, Thomaston. We will gather at
and meet through a simple potluck lunch (bring something to share!) until about
The subject of the meeting will be the recent pilgrimage to Palestine/Israel taken by a group of 21 Mainers under the sponsorship of the diocese and EPF. We'll hear the stories and impressions and view photos of our pilgrims to inspire interesting reflection and consideration of where we go from here as a peace-seeking committee. Please join us! Download a flyer here.
Beyond Blue Christmas at St. Ann's, Windham
Gather at St. Ann's, Windham, at 7 p.m. on December 14, for a service of worship and healing. All who struggle with loss, sadness, or loneliness during the holidays are most welcome. You are invited to come as you are and just listen/pray or if you'd like, to bring an object, reading, poem, or scripture that has helped you - to share with others. I
f you need transport, contact St. Ann's Rectory at 892-8447 and leave a message.
Lots of DATES TO SAVE...
Diocesan Spring Training in Brunswick, Saturday, April 29
Join Bishop Steve Lane and Episcopalians from all across the Diocese of Maine for this day of learning and community. Our hosts again this year will be St. Paul's Church in Brunswick. Stay tuned for more information!
Diocesan Adult Retreat at Bishopswood, June 9-11
Join us for a weekend at Camp Bishopswood on beautiful Lake Megunticook near Camden. This will be a retreat for your heart, mind and soul. Stay tuned for more information!
Convention 2017 in Bangor, Saturday, October 28
A week later than usual...
2017 Diocesan Youth Events
- Leadership & Music Prep for middle school event, February 3-4
- Winter Middle School Event, at St. Paul's in Brunswick - March 10-12
- Leadership & Music Prep for TEC, March 3-5
- TEC - Teens Encounter Christ for high schoolers at Trinity in Portland - March 24-26
- E.Y.E., national high school youth event - July 10-14. Apply now!
- Camp for grades 6-12 - the week of August 21
If you have questions or want to volunteer, contact Jane Hartwell at