News & Events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999
Volume 23, Number 7
April 8, 2021
Around The Diocese
Worship online with the diocese this Sunday
Join us for a diocese-wide service for this Sunday, including music and a sermon by Bishop Brown! The service will be available anytime after 7:30 am on YouTube, or you can watch the 'premiere' with others on Facebook at 10:00 am.
Zoorobs arrive in Maine
Marc and Ralph Zoorob, the two teenage sons of the Ven. Imad Zoorob, Archdeacon of Lebanon and Syria in the Episcopal Church in Jerusalem and The Middle East, have arrived safely in Maine from Beirut.

“To see Marc and Ralph walk down the escalator at Portland’s Jetport was a little bit like seeing a dream come true,” Brown told Episcopal News Service. “Of course, they were exhausted — it had been a 23-hour trip — but they were also excited. And so are we!” Read the full article here.

The diocese continues to fundraise to cover the cost of the boys' tuition to Lincoln Academy. To learn more about their story, visit For more information about how you and your church can help, contact Director of Advocacy and Networks, John Hennessy.
Frances Perkins Center presents public policy forum
The Frances Perkins Center will host a virtual forum on immigration policy on Sunday, April 25 at 3:00 pm. Register here to join in learning more about how Frances Perkins and Dr. Feng Shan Ho used their offices and ingenious strategies, despite strong home government opposition, to provide tens of thousands of Jews a means of escape from the Holocaust in Europe.
BTS Center invites you to practice imagination
The BTS Center invites you to join a co-learning community of practice to engage your imagination, to take the journey from acknowledging “what is” to imagining “what if”. There will be six 90-minute sessions. On weeks when there is not a gathering via Zoom, participants may explore curated writings, podcasts, and other materials as a way of deepening understanding of the concepts and ideas related to opening to new possibilities. The facilitators will also offer individual or team coaching as participants consider how to apply these ideas to their own communities.

Tuesday afternoons 4:00-5:30 pm: April 20, April 27, May 11, May 25, June 8, June 15
Diocese issues Regathering Guide for churches
Updated guidelines from the Episcopal Diocese of Maine are now available. This Regathering Guide is meant to help congregations as each discerns their way forward.

The document provides some directives and lists of recommended practices. Bishop Brown tells us, "There is no 'one-size-fits-all' solution for reopening. The final decisions regarding how your church will worship are in the hands of the clergy and lay leaders of each parish."

Leaders with questions are encouraged to reach out to the diocesan COVID Advisory Team with questions.
News From Our Congregations
St. Ann's, Windham's Evangelism Team offers Palms and Prayers outside the Windham Post Office during Holy Week.
The congregation gathers for the lighting of the Pascal fire outside of St. Margaret's, Belfast.
Family and friends in the sunshine at Emmanuel Lutheran Episcopal, Augusta on Easter Day.
St. John's, Bangor offers this Easter 2021 organ postlude performed by Joshua Singer, organist, with dramatic crocus flower time-lapse. View the full service here.
Voices Among Us
"Sense of hope accompanies Passover, Easter in New England" the Associated Press article here quotes Bishop Thomas Brown "People now have a better understanding of the pandemic — and they see light at the end of the tunnel as more people get vaccinated. We are feeling the truth of raising new life. Last year at this time, it felt like a huge blanket of grief."
Sunrise, candles & bubbles. Easter is observed in Maine.

Christians in southern Maine celebrated Easter in different ways on Sunday amid the pandemic. Members of Trinity, Saco celebrated from their cars in the Aquaboggan parking lot, led by the Rev. Dave Dalzell (above).

Read more
St. Luke’s Cathedral, Portland welcomed back worshipers, with about 150 parishioners spaced out wearing masks on Easter Sunday. “We are finally beginning to see signs of new life everywhere,” Dean Benjamin Shambaugh said. Watch the WMTW story here.
A sense of hope as Maine Christians celebrate Easter

Several of our churches, including St. George's, Sanford and the Rev. Lauren Kay (above) were featured in this article about Easter. Kay said, “As Christians, we are Easter people, which means that no matter what, our hope is a risen Christ."

Read more
How do we understand digital ministry, especially in a pandemic? In the ECF's Vital Practices Vestry Papers, "Digital Ministry Is Here to Stay", the Rev. Callie Swanland and Jeremy Tackett join in conversation to explain how they’ve been telling their stories in the digital realm, what they’ve learned and share their hopes about how this type of ministry has endless creative possibilities as we imagine new ways of exploring evangelism, formation and discipleship in a post-pandemic church.
Members of the newly-formed diocesan Climate Justice Council are off to a great start! They created a policy briefing for a meeting on March 26 with Senator Angus King and Bishop Thomas Brown. Read more about the Council's mission and upcoming work here on
Please pray with us for the family and friends of the Rev. Cn. Ian Bockus, retired priest of the Diocese of Maine, who died on March 24 in Ocala, FL. A Memorial Eucharist will be held at the Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland on Saturday, July 31 at 11:00 am. Read his obituary here.
We offer prayers of thanksgiving for the generosity of the daughters of artist Lucy Hayward Barker (1872-1948) who have donated a charcoal sketch of the Rt. Rev. Henry Neely, the second Bishop of Maine (1867-1899), to the Archives of the Diocese. The sketch was made by Mrs. Barker in preparation for the oil portrait of the bishop that now hangs in the Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland (Pictured here: Artist's daughters, Emily Barker, Anne Schink, and Alison Bossie (who was unable to attend) presenting the gift to Canon Barbara Martin, Diocesan Archivist.)
Let us pray or all those suffering in body and mind from the effects of COVID-19.
Join "Christianity in a post-pandemic world" webinar
Join The General Theological Seminary of the Episcopal Church for two evenings online with the Very Rev. Dr. Ian Markham to explore the theological and ecclesiological landscape in the post-pandemic world

We might be seeing the end of the commute. Families are re-evaluating where they live. Certain industries are facing major challenges - theaters, movies, hotels, and travel. The pandemic exposed again the deep socio-economic and racial divisions in our society. The virus and its effects are likely to linger for decades and become a more deadly version of the seasonal flu. Many of us will walk the world with more anxiety than we did in 2019. How will the church respond? How do you do hybrid church - where some people can watch a recording and others are present?

Register here for "Pestilence, Peril and Promise" on Monday, April 19 and Monday, April 20 at 6:00 pm.
New web series explores challenges of past year
A Year in the Life is a new web series from The Episcopal Church that documents how Episcopal churches, schools, and ministries have navigated a very contentious and difficult year. New episodes of A Year in the Life will be released every two weeks beginning on April 20. Watch the trailer here, Facebook or Instagram TV @theepiscopalchurch.