The Dio Log

News & Events in the Episcopal
Diocese of Maine since 1999

Volume 23, Number 2
January 28, 2021

207.772.1953 I

A ceremony was held at St. Matthew's, Lisbon Falls to honor the service and memory of Keith Plummer Sr., a Navy veteran of the Korean War, who died several years ago. Caring parishioners worked to secure a US flag for his surviving children. Sonny Bernier, an Air Force veteran, described the meaning of each fold, while Chuck and Lee, both retired Navy Chiefs, folded the flag and presented it to Keith's daughter, Becky. The Master Chief celebrated in full dress uniform, which was a nice touch that surprised the congregation. 
Around the diocese
Listen to the latest Faith in Maine podcast
Check out Faith in Maine to hear Bishop Thomas Brown's sermon from the diocesan-wide service broadcast on Sunday, January 17: "Speak Lord, For Your Servants Are Listening".

The Faith in Maine podcast can be found on any platform where podcasts are found, including iTunes, Spotify, Pocket Casts and more.

The podcast and this latest episode are also accessible by telephone! To listen, dial the permanent phone number: 207-223-6402.
"Opening to Grace" program for community on Feb. 7
Join St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Rockland for the next free program in their Community Speakers Series entitled “Opening to Grace” on Sunday, February 7 at 2:00 pm via Zoom. Presenters will be Rev. Abby Pettee, Chaplain, Pen Bay Medical Center, and Dr. Kirsten Staples, Physician, Pen Bay Medical Center. 

To describe the program, the presenters share this quote from Anne Lamott’s Travelling Mercies, Some Thoughts on Faith, “Grace meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.” Through conversational sharing and discussion, the program will invite consideration of how significant health events and grief can be a catalyst for opening to and receiving grace. Read more here.

Click on this Zoom link to participate (Meeting ID: 899 229 1854) on February 7 at 2:00 pm. Please visit St. Peter's website for more information.
Time to reflect on our sources of courage and hope
The BTS Center will present "Rooted and Rising in Love: A One-Day Retreat with Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas" on Friday, February 5 from 10:00 am - 3:00 pm. 

The long, dark days of winter invite us to reflect deeply on our sources of courage and hope. In the face of converging social and ecological crises, what spiritual practices and perspectives will sustain us? As we struggle to protect the web of life and to create a more just society, where do we turn for meaning and strength?
This one-day retreat, held online, will include a mix of presentations, small group conversations, individual reflection, and free time for contemplative wandering and prayer. Together we will explore a framework for the heart to help us become compassionate, prophetic leaders who can take up the mantle of moral leadership that this decisive moment in history requires.

Read more about the Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jones and register at There is a $25 program fee. To request a scholarship, contact Rev. Nicole Diroff.
News from our congregations
The Rev. George Sheats, ordained to the transitional diaconate last year, has been called to serve as priest-in-charge at St. Michael's, Auburn. May their ministry together be blessed! Read about his faith journey and calling in this Central Maine article: "A midlife calling: George Sheats’ 8-year journey leads to the priesthood and an Auburn church"
Let us pray for the parishioners of St. Giles, Jefferson and their newly called priest, the Rev. Dana Stivers, whom they welcomed for their first service together on January 24. Dana joins St. Giles after serving several parishes in Connecticut and as the Associate Executive Director and Chaplain of Incarnation Center, America’s oldest Episcopal camp and conference center. Read more here.
Renee Rehn, a resident of Mount Vernon, and a longtime, active member of Saint Andrew’s, Winthrop celebrated her 90th birthday on January 6. Fellow parishioners helped Renee celebrate this milestone with a surprise car parade around the circular driveway. She sat on the porch, cuddled in a warm lap robe, while a parade of cars festooned with balloons and posters filed past filled with friends from Mount Vernon and Saint Andrew’s, tooting horns. We give thanks for those who helped Renee have such a special day and wish her a healthy, happy 2021.
During the cold of winter, the generosity of the hearts of our summer chapel friends at All Saints by the Sea, Southport will warm the homes of many of their neighbors on the peninsula. Their Virtual Poinsettia Giving raised $1650.00 for the Boothbay Region Emergency Fuel Fund. Thank you for your faithful presence among us.
Our church buildings need our care. The Building Working Group of St. John's, Bangor shared an update on their continuing work on the church tower. When it was determined that some parts were not salvageable, a supervising architect and masonry contractor were engaged to remove the top of the tower and portico. Work, which will finish in late spring, will include a roof over the remaining tower and finishing off the front of the portico. Read and see more here.
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Voices among us
Hear an interview with the Rev. Kit Wang on “Queer Spirit” for OUT Cast on WMPG. Kit, an Episcopal priest, identifies as queer, trans, Chinese-American, and a beloved child of God. Kit serves on our Commission on Ministry and is part of the leadership team for Arise Portland. Listen to the January 25 episode here.
Episcopal Maine joined the national vigil for those lost to COVID-19 and in praying for our country on January 19. Everyone was invited to join the 30-minute prayer service on Zoom or watch the YouTube livestream.
This year on Martin Luther King Day, the Maine Council of Churches collaborated with The BTS Center to offer a public online reading of Dr. King's 1963 Letter from a Birmingham Jail. It featured readers from throughout our community including Bishop Thomas Brown. A recording of "Committed to Listen" is available here.
Liz Parsons and the Very Rev. Ben Shambaugh of St. Luke's Cathedral, Portland were featured on WMPG's Grit podcast which explores how Mainers respond to challenges and issues like the coronavirus pandemic, racism and climate change through interviews and personal stories. Listen here to episode 14 to hear them speak about the ethics of climate action. (Also available here on Apple podcasts.)
Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center in Biddeford, a diocesan Jubilee Center, was one of two non-profits receiving the Non-Profit Organization of the Year Award by the Biddeford Saco Chamber of Commerce. Seeds of Hope describes their efforts in this video from the Chamber's Zoom Meeting & Award Presentation. Congratulations and thank you for your continued good work!
The Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC) honored the long-time service of John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Chair of the Episcopal Committee on Indian Relations, at their January 27 meeting. MITSC is an inter-governmental entity created by the Maine Implementing Act of 1980. Six members are appointed by the State, two by the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, two by the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and two by the Penobscot Indian Nation. John held the position of Executive Director for MITSC from 2005 to 2017 and has continued to serve as a consultant and volunteer. He has devoted his adult life to community service and social change, working for environmental, multi-issue, and intergovernmental groups, in addition to extensive volunteer service. Read his remarks upon being honored here
The Maine Episcopal Public Policy Network (MEPPN) is at work organizing for the new legislative session. Read about their work, priorities, and new initiatives in the latest Social Justice & Advocacy update here. Sign up today to receive future newsletters directly to your inbox.
We offer prayers upon the death of Dean Batterman, spouse of the Rev. Stephanie Batterman, deacon at Grace Church, Bath. Dean passed away peacefully at his home on January 20. An online memorial service will be celebrated on Saturday. Read about his life here.
Please pray for the faithful work of Maine's General Convention delegation. Although the 80th General Convention has been moved to July of 2022, work begins this year, and they will hold their first meeting tonight.
Karl "Whitey" Griffin, spouse of the Rev. Mary Carol Griffin, deacon at Church of Our Father, Hulls Cove, is in hospital after suffering a stroke. Let us offer prayers of healing and comfort for Whitey and Mary Carol.
New learning campaign encourages one-to-one listening
“From Many, One: Conversations Across Difference” is a campaign inviting Episcopalians and our neighbors to engage in one-to-one listening and sharing across the many differences that separate us. The conversations center on four questions:

  • What do you love?
  • What have you lost?
  • Where does it hurt?
  • What do you dream?

Echoing the Latin phrase on the U.S. seal – E Pluribus (“from many”) Unum (“one”) – and following in the footsteps of Jesus, we trust that the spiritual practice of conversation across difference can help to knit us all into a diverse, more perfect union.

Learn more about the questions, suggestions for going deeper, and find additional guides and resources to keep your conversations going at
Explore answering God's call in everyday life this Lent
ChurchNext has launched a Lenten curriculum: With Gladness: 5 Weeks of Holy Practices for Disciples For Individuals and For Groups 

This is a 5-week curriculum based on Christopher Martin’s book With Gladness: Answering God’s Call in Our Everyday Lives (2021). Christopher is founder of The Restoration Project, whose goal is to restore individual lives and communities through seven core Christian practices.

One of these practices is listening for God’s call, a practice that many of Christopher’s students have found difficult. Whom does God call? What kinds of things does God call us to do? How should we listen for God’s call? For this reason, Christopher has sought to teach new disciplines, using new language in relation to the concept of God’s call. The 5-session course is priced at $79 for individual and for groups.

Find additional Lenten resources here at