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

Volume 18, Number 23 ~  December 23, 2016

What's New in the Episcopal Church in Maine

congratulations to...

the Rev. Geof Smith, upon being named the Chief Operating Officer of The Episcopal Church earlier this week. 

Geof served in the Diocese of Maine as deacon at Trinity Church, Portland, from 2003 to 2008, on Diocesan Council, on the Bishop's Search Committee, and as a Safe Church training coordinator. 

Read all about his appointment in this  Episcopal News Service announcement. Congrats, Geof!

prayers for...

the Rev. Mary Ann Taylor, of Frankfort, a long-time priest of this Diocese, upon the death of her husband Carter Taylor on December 20. Details to follow. 

Barbara Martin, Executive Assistant to Bishop Lane, as she recovers from shoulder surgery performed on December 21. She expects to begin to pick up some duties beginning in mid-January. 

voices among us...

Read Bishop Stephen Lane's Christmas message

Watch Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's, Christmas message

in the news...

The Maine Episcopal Network for Justice was featured in an article by Episcopal News Service last week. Read it here

The Rev. Tim Higgins, rector of St. Ann's, Windham, shares his story of transformation in the Windham Eagle.

A story from the Kennebec Journal on new life at St. Mark's in Augusta in the midst of change.

And finally, as we approach Christmas, we can resist sharing again this dear depiction of the Nativity from St. Paul's, Auckland, New Zealand

Around the Diocese...

A note about life at the diocesan office over the holidays...

The diocesan office will be closed beginning December 24 to Tuesday, January 3, and Bishop Lane will be on vacation from Christmas Day until Tuesday, January 17. 

2017 mileage rates set by the IRS

According to the IRS, "Beginning on January 1, 2017, the  standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be:
  • 53.5 cents per mile for business miles driven, down from 54 cents
  • 17 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes, down from 19 cents
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations"
The Diocese of Maine will reimburse at the business rate, i.e. $0.535 per mile. The diocesan reimbursement form may be found here.

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  the  future. 

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.

Please take the survey at 

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 application worksheet Word doc to use as a working copy of your application. Then cut and paste your responses at

More grant funding! This time from the BTS Center

The BTS Center (formerly Bangor Theological Seminary) invites Letters of Inquiry for its 2017 - 2018 Innovation Incubator program, which supports Cairn and Compass Projects that map the contours of today's religious and spiritual landscapes, mark creative paths for navigating them, and explore new ideas and insights for nurturing exceptional leadership in contemporary faith communities. Up to $70,000 will be awarded in total, and the application deadline is January 27, 2017. A link to the application portal and Letter of Inquiry guidelines are available on the Innovation Incubator web page.

Rectory in Hallowell available for rent

The rectory adjacent to St. Matthew's in Hallowell will be available for rent beginning January 1. Those interested in learning more are asked to contact Parish Administrator Lisa Kolosey at 623-3041 or Junior Warden Patricia Buck Welton at 592-8762.

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 available at

Applications must be submitted to Heidi Shott at by February 17, 2016. Each diocese may submit only one grant application, so all applications must be reviewed by 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 if you have any questions about the application process.

UTO ingathering resources may be found here.

Upcoming in Maine and Beyond

New Year's Eve recital at St. John's, Bangor

All are invited to a violin duo recital, followed by festive reception, on Saturday, December 31, at 8 p.m. at St. John's in Bangor. The recital is titled, "Love's Joy and Love's Sorrow," with Heidi Powell and Richard Hsu, violinists. This free concert of is part of Bangor's Downtown Countdown. The concert is preceded at 7 p.m. by a Eucharist for the Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name. Donations will benefit the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. For more information call 947-0156. 

Hotel reservations open for February clergy retreat

All clergy are invited to attend the Annual Clergy Retreat, Feb 12-13-14, at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, ME. Registration is required and will be available soon. To reserve your room at the Samoset for the special rate of $103, please click here or call 594-2511 and ask for the "Maine Episcopal" rooming block.

BTS Convocation, "Course Corrections," January 30-31 at Congregation Bet Ha'am, South Portland

"And though his eyes were open, he could see nothing" (Acts  9:8)
For those of us facing forceful disruptions to the stories of our lives, this is a palpably familiar experience. With eyes we know are open, we look out at our families, our work or our churches, at our communities or our nation - sometimes at our very selves - with a confused and uncomprehending gaze. Known features become oddly unrecognizable and we simply cannot see how the stories will continue to unfold. This was true for the apostle Paul on the Damascus Road, whose story brilliantly illuminates our own spiritual narratives.

At this year's convocation, you will be:
  • invited to find yourself in the complexities of Paul's story.
  • equipped to respond to radical disruptions and to accompany others in times of disorientation and loss.
  • guided in reinterpreting the sacred text of your life and expressing the truths discovered in the midst of change.
  • encouraged to discern your own course corrections when the way ahead is not clear.
  • challenged to look bravely, with others, into the blinding light of transformational change.   

Early bird registration is $120 through January 6, and $140 thereafter. Optional lunch and dinner tickets are available as well. 


Limited scholarship assistance is available for this event. If you are interested in a scholarship, please contact Alyssa Lodewick at

More information and registration materials, are available  here.

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