The Dio Log

News & Events in the Episcopal
Diocese of Maine since 1999

Volume 23, Number 3
February 11, 2021

207.772.1953 I episcopalmaine.org


Around the diocese
Join Episcopal Maine for an online service this Sunday
Make time to worship online with the diocese this Sunday, February 14.

The diocese-wide service commemorating the Blessed Absalom Jones in honor of Black History Month was created by the Racial Justice Council.

Worship will include music and a sermon by Yvonne O'Neal.

Absalom Jones is remembered liturgically on the date of his death, February 13, in the 1979 Book of Common Prayer. Absalom Jones was an African-American abolitionist and clergyman and the first African American ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church.

Find the diocesan worship offering on our YouTube channel, anytime after 7:30 am, or watch the video 'premiere' on our Facebook page at 10 am.
A Covenant to Root Out Racism
Black History Month is a time to remember the work of God in and through the lives of influential African Americans, like the Blessed Absalom Jones, who we will celebrate in a special diocese-wide worship service this weekend. (Details above.)

It's also a time to live into our commitment to the work of anti-racism. Last October, the Diocese of Maine authorized a statement of support for the authors of this Covenant to Root Out Racism at convention. A covenant is more than an agreement. A covenant is a relationship of commitment between God and God's people. It includes our laments (the things we confess to doing wrong) and our covenant (the promises we make to do better). The covenant moves beyond a "statement" and helps us engage in meaningful action to end the sin of racism. We hope you use this language in your own devotions. 
Learn how to engage in faith-based advocacy
The Maine Council of Churches developed a four-part, online series to inspire and equip Mainers of faith to become advocates for public policies that promote peace built with justice. Each session will include worship, engaging interactive discussions featuring theologians, policy experts and legislators, and opportunities to develop real-world skills and practice in speaking about policy with the voice of faith. The four sessions will take place on Tuesdays at 6:00 pm:

  • February 23 – Who Invited God to Augusta?
  • March 16 – Process and Perspectives
  • April 6 – The Legislative Landscape 
  • April 27 – Practice, Practice, Practice 

Register to attend one or all sessions here.
News from our congregations
St. John Baptist, Thomaston offers a time for thought and reflection with their Hymn of the Week. Here the Rev. Peter Jenks and Anthony Antolini present hymn 692, "I heard the voice of Jesus say".
Click on the photo to enjoy Christ Church, Gardiner's bicentennial year slideshow from 2020 accompanied by Johanna Stickney on flute.
Trinity, Saco shares music they recorded during Advent. Click to listen to "Breathe on Me Breath of God" and "Comfort Ye My People". Thank you to Leslie Lampert, Deborah Christian, Dan Evans, and Kevin Smith.
Let us share news about your church, ministries, and parishioners!
Please send photos and stories to diolog@episcopalmaine.org.
Voices among us
Senator Angus King was a special guest at a meeting of the Cathedral of St. Luke's Public Policy and Environmental Action Team (PPEAT) on February 9. The Senator joined about 60 Episcopalians - and a few ecumenical friends - via Zoom for one hour of conversation about his faith and work in the U. S. Senate and how Christians can support accountability without seeking retribution. The PPEAT group has been meeting monthly for almost five years. If you are interested in forming a similar group in your church, be sure to reach out to John Hennessy.
"Community Matters More" voting for 2021 is open through February 28. Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center in Biddeford, one of our diocesan Jubilee Centers, is on the ballot. The non-profit that wins the most votes in their region, could win up to a $5,000 grant. Find out more here.
The Rev. Thomas R. W. Longstaff was the recipient of the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce's 2020 Distinguished Community Service Award. Tom's life and work in the Maine legislature and in the community are commemorated in the award ceremony video here. (It begins about an hour into the program. Skip to 01:17:00.) Congratulations, Tom!
The Rev. Lois Hart, retired deacon who served Grace Church, Bath, has published a book, Down to Earth Christianity: Journeying Through the Seasons of Our Lives. The book contains devotional thoughts corresponding with the seasons of nature, the liturgical seasons, and the ordinary, down to earth life of the believer. Find the book here.
On Thursday, January 28, the Maine's General Convention deputation held their first meeting, and joining them on the Zoom call was President of the House of Deputies, the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings. Gay was delighted to be invited and hopes to begin meeting with other diocesan deputations! Originally scheduled for the summer of this year, the 80th General Convention in July of 2022, but they have already began their work on behalf of Maine and the Church.
Prayers
We pray that the upcoming clergy retreat on February 24 provides spiritual renewal for the clergy of the diocese during this challenging year.
We offer prayers for St. Elizabeth's Jubilee Center, Portland and their newly named Executive Director, Sarah Coburn Borgeson. Sarah has a Masters degree in Social Work and extensive experience in leadership roles with non-profits in the Boston area, including food pantries and most recently as a Community Outreach Coordinator. Welcome!
Let us pray for the wardens and vestries, both newly elected and continuing, who faithfully serve our congregations.
Faith resources
Prophetic Voices podcast launches series for Lent
Across our church and our society, we are having profound dialogues about race, truth, justice, and healing. Prophetic Voices: Preaching and Teaching Beloved Community explores where that dialogue intersects with our faith.

Explore the readings for Ash Wednesday and Holy Week through the lens of social justice. The first episode for Ash Wednesday is now available here anywhere you get your podcasts.

Find additional Lenten resources at episcopalmaine.org/formation/lent2021.
Pledge to have a Conversations Across Difference
What do you love? What have you lost? Where does it hurt? What do you dream?

From Many, One: Conversations Across Difference invites Episcopalians and our neighbors to engage in one-to-one listening and sharing across the many differences that separate us. Echoing the Latin phrase "e pluribus unum" - from many, one - and following in the footsteps of Jesus, we trust the spiritual practice of conversation across difference can knit us all into a diverse, more perfect union.

Pledge to have your own conversations across difference over the next few months and beyond! Sign up here.

Check out video of a conversation here and download this guide to keep your conversations going.