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

Volume 19, Number 24 ~  December 1 , 2017

What's New in the Episcopal Church in Maine

Prayers for...

The members of the Discernment and Transition Committees as they meet in retreat in Portland tonight and tomorrow.  Read more...

Watch live tomorrow beginning at 12:15 p.m. as Bishop Lane blesses and commissions members of both committees at a Eucharist in the Cathedral's Emmanuel Chapel. 

(The video link below - also here - takes you to a "waiting room" on Youtube that will go live when the service begins.)

New and returning  members of Diocesan Council as they meet tomorrow at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland.

The Rev. Suzanne Cole and the people of St. Luke's, Wilton, as they celebrate their new ministry together this Sunday, December 3, at 4 p.m. All are welcome. A light supper will follow.

The Bridging the Gap ministries of Emmanuel Episcopal Lutheran Church in Augusta as they seek a new home. They are featured in today's Kennebec Journal, "Augusta warming center to open while search for new location continues."

The Rev. David Robinson and people of Trinity, Saco, as David retires in the new year. His last Sunday will be January 14.

The family and friends of the Rev. Marjean Bailey of Kennebunkport, a priest in the Diocese of New Hampshire who retired to Maine, upon her death in mid-November. A funeral will be held in the spring at St. Peter's, Londonderry, New Hampshire. Details to follow.

Welcome to...

the Rev. Sara D'Angio White, who will lead the next diocesan middle school and high school events. Sara is an Episcopal priest with experience co-leading diocesan youth events in the Diocese of Rochester. She lives with her priest-husband and their two children in Kennebunk and worships at St. David's. Her love of working with teenagers goes back to a post-college year spent at Good Shepherd Mission in the Diocese of Navajoland. 

Sara says, "I was lucky enough to be at the fall Pathways to Peace diocesan event in October, and I'm excited to get more involved in youth ministry here in the Diocese of Maine. I am interested in tapping into the natural leadership capabilities of teenagers and helping to foster the sense within the youth in the Diocese of Maine that God is at work in them and through them." 

Voices among us... 

Check out Bishop Steve Lane's op-ed published in the November 19 editions of the Maine Sunday Telegram and Kennebec Journal, "Despair should call those of faith to help."

On Tuesday, Portland area clergy of several denominations gathered at St. Luke's Cathedral for a press conference urging Maine's senators to vote "no" on the upcoming tax plan. Bishop Lane's remarks are here:

The press conference in its entirety, including an opening prayer by Dean Ben Shambaugh of St. Luke's may found  here.

Around the Diocese...

Transitions aplenty across the diocese

Canon to the Ordinary Michael Ambler offers an update on the diocesan news blog, the New Northeast, about current clergy transitions in our churches and future trends. Check it out at

New Initiative Fund grant applications now accepted

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.

At its June meeting in Millinocket, Diocesan Council voted to regularize the deadlines going forward. From 2018 on, the deadline for Round 1 applications will be January 1 and the deadline for Round 2 applications will be July 1. Applications for both rounds will be considered at Council's next regularly scheduled 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 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 or the Rev. Canon Heather Melton, Staff Officer for the United Thank Offering at 

Also, there will be two webinars in January: Tuesday, January 16, and Wednesday, January 17,
and two in February: Tuesday, February 6, and Wednesday, February 7. All webinars will
be held at 7 p.m. Join online at

Sunday, December 17 marks the fifth December Sabbath 

Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence is again joining the Newtown Foundation and States United to Prevent Gun Violence in calling people across the nation to raise voices for change by pledging to participate in the December Sabbath. It is held in mid-December each year to remember the anniversary of the shootings at Sandy Hook on December 14, 2012. 

On Sunday, December 17 join 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.

Register your congregation's participation and find resources at

Churches may also use the litany written in 2015 by our own Bishop Stephen T. Lane. The prayers have since been used by dozens of churches across the country. Follow the link for a printable version of Bishop Lane's Litany for Gun Violence Prevention.

Your congregation is invited to join the next cohort of RenewalWorks.  

RenewalWorks, a ministry of Forward Movement, offers a clearly-delineated and supported process to refocus and rejuvenate congregations by increasing spiritual growth and helping people to grow in love of God and neighbor. An online inventory taken by your parishioners, helps them explore their individual beliefs and practices,how their faith is at work in the world, and the church's role in all of that. The inventory is followed by coaching and workshops in which a team reflects on where the congregation has been, where it is, and where it feels called to go.  

Please register by mid-December for the January cohort. The diocese will pay one-half of the fee.  

St. John's, Bangor, and Trinity Church, Portland, both used RenewalWorks last year and rave about it.  For more information, contact RenewalWorks Coordinator Jay Sidebotham at or visit

Be a part of global online Advent calendar with AdventWord

The online advent calendar AdventWord, which draws together people's prayers and meditations around a daily theme, begins its fourth Advent season on December 3.

AdventWord offers 23 meditations and images with an encouragement for people to share pictures and thoughts in response. 

Last year it created a social media community connecting over 100,000 people in prayer, with about 15,000 images being added across all platforms.

For more information about how it works and to sign up for a daily reminder, visit

Resources Exchange - Epiphany

Bringing Church Home - for the six Sundays in Epiphany - is a resource created by Merle Marie Troeger of St. Mary's, Falmouth, for use this winter.  

These six resources are designed as bulletin inserts for January 7 - February 11, or you could also extract pieces for other uses.  

Each is a single page containing short passages from the lectionary, a ritual to try at home, talking points for conversations, an idea for putting faith to work, a prayer and more. 

Many Maine churches used the Easter Season version that Merle Marie made available earlier this year. To receive them by email, please contact Jane Hartwell at

Upcoming in Maine and Beyond

St. Ann's, Windham, offers Beyond Blue Christmas service on 

On Wednesday, December 13, at 7 p.m., St. Ann's, Windham, will host a worship and healing service for those who struggle with loss, sadness, or loneliness during the holidays.

All are invited to come as you are and just listen and pray or, if you'd like, to share with others an object, reading, poem, or scripture that has helped you.

Need transportation? Please contact St. Ann's Rectory at 892-8447 and leave a message. 

2018 Dates to Save

Living Local: Joining God   Saturday, February 17

Spring Training - a diocesan day of workshops for everyone - Saturday, April 28

Diocesan Adult Retreat at Bishopswood - June 15-17

Summer Finale Week at Bishopswood for adults, teens and kids - August 20-26

Bishop Lane's blog, | The New Northeast blog,
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