The Dio Log 
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news and events in  the Episcopal Diocese of Maine  since 1999

Volume 20, Number 3 ~  February 2 , 2018


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What's New in the Episcopal Church in Maine

Congratulations to...

the people of St. Michael's, Auburn, upon being awarded a $5,000 discernment grant from the Executive Council of the Episcopal Church to explore possibilities for ministry and outreach in downtown Auburn.

In the news...

The Boothbay Register offered a great piece on the power of hot soup and breaking bread with neighbors featuring the people of St. Columba's, Boothbay Harbor. Read it here.


Around the Diocese...

Sacraments in a (more widespread than ever) Time of Flu 

According to the Maine Center for Disease Control's most recent flu report, we're in the midst of a severe influenza season with new cases still on the rise. To prevent the spread of the flu, I invite churches to adopt the following for the next several weeks:

1. Please make hand sanitizer readily available in church and parish hall. Wash your hands before eating at coffee hour.

2. Rather than shaking hands, please consider passing the Peace with gestures and nods. Refrain from holding hands for the Lord's Prayer.

3. The safest approach to communion is to receive the bread only. Communion in one kind, as it's known, is complete communion. Children and folks in recovery receive this way every week.

4. I urge you to discourage intinction. Intinction brings fingers into the common cup and is the most likely way for flu bugs to spread. A sip from the common cup is much less likely to spread flu. Intinction makes you more likely, not less likely, to spread or catch someone else's cold or flu.

These may seem like extraordinary measures, but the flu is causing numerous hospitalizations and deaths this year. Please be good neighbors and do your part to prevent the spread of the flu.

Bishop Steve


News from the Discernment and Transition Committees...

Keep the work of the Discernment Committee in your (and your congregation's) prayers

Maine congregations are encouraged to use the Collect for the Episcopal Transition in the Prayers of the People along with the diocesan cycle of prayer. A pdf of the prayer is linked here.

Share a photo of your church on the bishop quest website

The Discernment Committee invites each Maine congregation and ministry to send a photo  to display on the home page slideshow. They would love to see each parish represented. Please send your photo with a brief description (horizontal orientation and at least 200kb, please), to Kate Wing, the transition assistant, at kwing@episcopalmaine.org

The Discernment Committee invites members of the diocese to assist with their work

The Discernment Committee for the next bishop is in the process of soliciting ideas and thoughts from Maine Episcopalians to inform their work in creating a diocesan profile. The profile will be shared across the Episcopal Church.

The information-gathering will be conducted in the following ways:
  • On February 1 priests-in-charge of congregations and senior wardens were sent a list of questions to be used with members in various settings: special parish meetings, Vestry meetings, youth group, adult forums. The information gathered from those congregations will be forwarded to the Discernment Committee by February 26.
     
  • Three listening sessions will be held for all clergy in the diocese at various locations and dates in February. Information gleaned in those conversations will be incorporated into the profile. Stay-tuned for an email from the Discernment Committee with details.
     
  • All Maine Episcopalians will be asked to complete an online survey. A link to the survey and details will be widely shared soon. 
Stay up on the work of the Discernment Committee and the bishop quest process at its new website,  bishopquest.episcopalmaine.org. There is also a prominent link on the diocesan homepage at   www.episcopalmaine.org.


Support the Pats before game time, Episcopal Relief & Development wins

Maine Bishop Steve Lane and fellow New England bishops are rallying football fans in their dioceses--and beyond--to join in a charitable contest over the next week to see how much money they can raise for Episcopal Relief & Development by game time on Sunday, February 4, 6:30 p.m., when the New England Patriots and the Philadelphia Eagles will compete for in the championship game.

Regardless of which team comes out on top in the game, the winner will be Episcopal Relief & Development and its efforts to heal a hurting world through its disaster relief, public health, and economic development ministries.

Donate to the Pats here. Donate to that other team here.



Would Your Church Like to Start a Library?

Some years ago as a support for Christian formation, St. Paul's, Brunswick, started a library of books on spiritual and religious topics. What began as a bare meeting room, has been transformed into a warm and welcoming room - everyone's favorite room in the church.

The blessing and the problem is that the library has succeeded beyond their wildest expectations. When people downsize, they donate book. The result is that they have an incredible collection of spiritual and religious books, but are out of space! And still the books keep coming. Many are duplicates of book already on the shelves. 

St. Paul's would like to offer its surplus books to any church that would like to start a library - free for the pickup. There are enough to start a library - boxed and ready for pick-up. If you're interested, please contact Pam Nugent at 737-2369 or e-mail at    momperson458@roadrunner.com.


New Initiative Fund grant application deadline extended to February 23 

Is your congregation ready to embark on a new ministry or community partnership? Do you need some money to do it? Now in its ninth year, the Diocese of Maine New Initiative Fund grant program is designed to help congregations and groups fund exciting and creative new ministries in their communities.

Diocesan Council has extended the deadline to Friday, February 23. Council members will consider applications at their March 17 meeting. 

For more details and links to the online application and application worksheet, please visit the  New Initiative Fund page of the diocesan website.


United Thank Offering grants available for 2018

The 2018 United Thank Offering grant application materials are now available at   https://www.episcopalchurch.org/2018-uto-grants. The focus of the 2018 UTO grants will be "Becoming Beloved Community: Racial Healing, Reconciliation and Justice."

Instructions, forms, and guidelines are available on the UTO website posted above. Because each diocese is allowed to submit one application, all applications must first be submitted for the Bishop's review. The diocesan deadline for submission of a completed application (and required documents) is Friday, February 16, 2018. One application will receive the Bishop's endorsement with the final application submitted to the UTO office by the deadline of March 2.

If you need assistance or have questions about the application, please contact our new Diocese of Maine UTO Coordinator Tracy Shaffer at ttlshaffer@aol.com or the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering at hmelton@episcopalchurch.org. 

Also, there will be two how-to webinars  in February: Tuesday, February 6, and Wednesday, February 7. All webinars will  be held at 7 p.m. Join online at https://zoom.us/j/8140408194 .


Offering Ashes to Go?

The Rev. Jim Gill offers Ashes to Go in downtown Winthrop.
If your church is offering Ashes to Go in your community on Ash Wednesday, February 14, please share the times and locations with Heidi Shott at hshott@episcopalmaine.org by next Friday.

She will prepare a press release to go to all media outlets in the state.  If you are willing to be interviewed, please include your preferred contact information. 





Living Local Begins Experimenting with New Ways of Being Neighbor

For the past year and a half, congregations of the diocese have been working together to learn skills of listening to God and one another, as they prepared to try out new ways of connecting with their neighborhoods. Living Local: Joining God is now entering a new phase, as congregational teams will use those skills and practices to develop specific plans for making connections--being neighbors--with people we don't currently have relationships with.

The next gathering of Living Local teams
Waterville High School, 1 Brooklin Avenue, Waterville 
Saturday, February 17, 9:30 a.m. coffee,  10 a.m. work session begins,  3 p.m. adjourn
Bring lunch!

While this will be a working session for the teams, anyone who is interested is warmly invited to attend, observe, and learn what Living Local is all about.  Please be in touch with Michael Ambler ( mambler@episcopalmaine.org) or Jane Hartwell ( jhartwell@episcopalmaine.org) to let us know we should expect you.


Diocesan directory available online

Below are links to the 2018 Diocesan Directory in two parts. Please view and download them here:  Diocesan Directory and  Directory of Congregations 

Please note that all parts of the directory represent the most up-to-date information at the time of publication. If you have any updates, corrections, additions or deletions, please contact Teresa at  tpinney@episcopalmaine.org .


Research on spiritual vitality Episcopalians revealing

Forward Movement has published a research summary from its extensive work on spiritual vitality in the Episcopal Church. 

The RenewalWorks ministry, which has worked with more than 200 congregations and 12,000 Episcopalians, has revealed much about the spiritual life of the Episcopal Church. 

Check out the findings at www.renewalworks.org/researchsummary/ 



 
Upcoming in Maine and Beyond


Learn how to put your Faith in Action
St. Luke's, Portland, February 13
Tuesday, February 13, 1 to 4 p.m.

An asset-based approach to engaging church and community is centered around the belief that individuals, groups, and communities have the gifts they need to address the needs they see around them. 1 Corinthians 12 tells us that each of us are given  different gifts to serve the community and we are all a part of the body of Christ working together.

Join Dan Riggall, Director of St. Elizabeth's Jubilee Center, John Hennessy of the Maine Episcopal Netwo rk for Justice, and the  Rev. Maria Hoecker of St. Columba's, Boothbay Harbor, for an introduction to Asset-Based Community Development or ABCD. Each presenter has participated in a four-day training co-sponsored by the Episcopal Church's Office of Domestic Poverty and Episcopal Relief & Development to learn how to share the principles of ABCD in a ministry setting. The identical three-hour sessions will include an introduction to ABCD and many practical exercises to see how this new way of approaching ministry in a neighborhood context.

Email Heidi Shott at hshott@episcopalmaine.org to indicate your interest in attending. Refreshments and snack will be served but participants are encouraged to bring a brown bag lunch to the Tuesday session.

Church finance workshops offered in February

Are you new to the job of treasurer, warden or vestry member?  Do you have questions on how to fill out your congregation's parochial reports? Do you wonder how to properly handle priest discretionary funds or designated donations?
  
Please join Terry Reimer, Canon Missioner for Finance and Stewardship, for a presentation about finances in the church setting at one of two scheduled workshops listed below. Topics to be covered include:
  • church accounting and how it differs from for-profit accounting
  • parochial reports
  • planned giving
  • insurance and clergy compensation
  • time for Q&A
The workshops are open to all who have an interest in church finances.  There is no fee and no need to register.
 
Thursday, February 22, at the Diocesan Office
143 State Street, Portland
2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
(Due to construction, there is no parking in the front circle or lot of the Cathedral. Quarters for State Street parking meters are available in the office.)

Saturday, February 24, at St. Patrick's, Brewer
21 Holyoke Street
9 a.m. to 1 p.m.


Resister now for the annual clergy retreat, February 25-27

Registration for the annual clergy retreat at the Samoset in Rockport is now open. For information about the retreat, "Living in the Presence of God" led by Bishop Lane, please click here. If you are plan to attend, please don't forget to register for the retreat and reserve a room at the Samoset. Registration for this residential retreat closes on  February 8. Scholarships available, please click the registration link above for details.  

Contact Barbara Martin at  bmartin@episcopalmaine.org with any questions. If you did not receive an invitation via our Constant Contact email system and think there may be an issue with your email address on file in the diocesan office, please contact Teresa Pinney at  tpinney@episcopalmaine.org.  


Episcopal Peace Fellowship meeting rescheduled

EPF-Maine Chapter will meet on Saturday, March 3, at St. John Baptist, Thomaston, at  10 a.m.   Please come and help plan our next steps in carrying out the resolution passed at Diocesan Convention regarding justice for children living in Palestine and Israel. A lunch of simple potluck offerings will follow the business meeting. We welcome all who are interested!

Called to Serve 
March 16-18, at Grace, Bath
For high schoolers in 9-12 grade

Jesus calls us to love our neighbor as ourselves, and as a part of that love, we are called to serve. What does it mean to love? What does it mean to serve? How do we find the strength to do something that sometimes feels so hard? A team of youth staff and adults will lead us, as we spend a weekend together doing the work of serving others, while figuring out how to keep up the energy to do that work. We will laugh together, sing together, serve together, pray together and make friends we can rely on as we figure out how we are called to serve.

Register at maineyouth.org
 

Lift Every Voice: Interfaith Advocacy Days in Augusta
Monday, March 19, South Parish Congregational Church
Tuesday, March 20, Maine State Capitol

In 2017, more than 150 people of faith from across Maine gathered in Augusta for the first Interfaith Advocacy Days to learn about pressing issues from policy experts and faith leaders and to visit the State House to engage with our elected leaders with all we learned.

This year, join us for worship, a panel discussion on "Mobilizing Faith Voices and Faith Voters," a keynote address by  the Rev. James Gertmenian, a welcome from Bishop Stephen T. Lane, and workshops on
  • Maine's Drug Crisis
  • Environmental Justice
  • Race & Immigration
  • Child Poverty
  • Health Care
A $20.00 registration fee includes the program, resource materials, refreshments, Monday lunch, and Tuesday lunch voucher for the cafe in the Cross Office Building behind the State House. 

Register online today! Click here for a flyer and bulletin insert.


Save the Date: 

2018 Spring Training: Diocesan Education Day on Saturday, April 28

All are welcome to gather for more than 20 workshops, worship, a word from Bishop Lane, and fellowship with people from across the Diocese of Maine. This year it will be held at South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta. Stay-tuned for workshop descriptions and registration information in an upcoming edition of The Dio Log.


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