Diocese Supports No on One Position on March 3rd Referendum

On March 3rd, Mainers will head to the polls to pick a candidate in the Republican and Democrat presidential primaries and vote on a citizen referendum.

Question 1 seeks to repeal LD 798. LD 798 created a state law which would eliminate religious and philosophical exemptions from vaccination requirements while maintaining medical exemptions. If Question 1 passes (a yes vote), those religious and philosophical exemptions would be reinstated. The diocese supports a No on One position on this referendum based on the actions of the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church (see below).

This is indeed an emotional issue for many on both sides of the issue. Supporters of the repeal of the legislation suggest this is defending parental rights, protecting religious freedom, and is pharmaceutical industry overreach.

Episcopal Church Executive Council Passed Resolutions on Vaccinations in 2019

At its June 10-13, 2019 meeting, the Executive Council of General Convention passed two resolutions pertaining to the issue of vaccination. The role of the Executive Council is to "oversee the execution of the program and policies adopted by the General Convention" and thus reflects the formal position of The Episcopal Church on this topic.

These particular resolutions can be summarized into three key points:

  • The Episcopal Church does not recognize a valid claim of theological or religious exemption from vaccination for its members.
  • The Church urges members to adhere to science-based medical practices and to seek and follow the guidance of trained medical professionals.
  • Organizations, including schools, should strive to provide access to immunizations to all families, especially to those who cannot afford them.

Full text of the Executive Council resolutions can be found here .

EPISCOPAL PUBLIC POLICY NETWORK OFFERS NEW ELECTION ENGAGEMENT RESOURCE

Getting souls to the polls isn’t just about casting our own vote, but about working together so we all can vote and vote faithfully. We can empower every voice in our congregations in this work.

“It is a Christian obligation to vote, and more than that, it is the church’s responsibility to help get souls to the polls.” -Presiding Bishop Michael Curry

Check out our 2020 Vote Faithfully Election Engagement Toolkit  to learn how you can help encourage voting in your community! New resources will be added to this page as they become available.


AGENTS OF PEACE RETREAT AT CATHEDRAL
 
In these days when acts of violence and hate speech are all too common, many find themselves fearful, with a sense of helplessness. We don't have to be. As followers of Christ, Jesus calls us to be peacemakers and reconcilers, just as he was.

This retreat aims to reinforce our trust in and dedication to the peacemaking work of Christ. Through reflection on scripture, prayer, and times of silence, participants will have opportunities to personally tap into that "peace that surpasses all understanding." Furthermore, they will consider ways to create safe and constructive dialog between those who have not had much positive conversation with each other regarding race, politics, class, or religion. And to help put faith into practice, they will be empowered with methods to use in their relationships and communities for positive responses to violence.

Fr. Masud Ibn Syedullah, an Episcopal priest, musician and educator is coming to St. Luke’s Cathedral to lead this retreat. Masud emphasizes themes of praise of God, peace-making, reconciliation, and respect for all God’s creation. Programs he offers invite participants into such a celebration of God and life. He creates experiences that facilitate spiritual growth by integrating Christian spirituality, the arts, liturgical worship, and strategies to strengthen personal and congregational ministries. 

We hope you will join us at St. Luke’s February 27-29, 2020 for this free retreat. Read here what the Wall Street Journal said about Agents of Peace.

To register, please email eprior@cathedralofstluke.org

MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK: THE NEXT 100 YEARS
Register now for the League of Women Voters of Maine's 100th birthday celebration

Come celebrate their 100th birthday with a day of learning, action, and celebration at the State House.

You won't want to miss the keynote speaker, Jana Morgan of the Declaration for American Democracy, and a program emphasizing Maine's role in the national movement for a stronger democracy.

There will also be opportunities to engage your legislators, and in the afternoon, we will have tea at the governor's mansion, and a panel discussion on ways to improve voter turnout in 2020.

We will begin the day in the Hall of Flags in the State House in Augusta and the Blaine House (across the street).
EPISCOPAL ADVOCACY AND MINISTRY RESOURCES
The Episcopal Church addresses domestic poverty in many ways: through its network of over 600 Jubilee Ministries; one- and two-year Justice and Advocacy Fellowships based on the Anglican Marks of Mission; Asset-Based Community Development; collaboration with diocesan and congregational ministries across the country; and annual block-grant programs for the development (or enrichment) of local ministry.
The Office of Government Relations plays a key role in carrying out the mission of The Episcopal Church by bringing the experiences and values of our faith into decisions about our nation’s public policy.The Office represents the policy priorities of The Episcopal Church to the U.S. government in Washington, D.C. All policy positions are based on General Convention and Executive Council resolutions, the legislative and governing bodies of the Church.
The Office of Social Justice and Advocacy Engagement is responsible for engaging Episcopalians in building, resourcing, and empowering advocacy movements and networks for social justice at a local and community level by connecting, organizing, and mobilizing people in the pews, and people in the pulpit.