The Dio Log

news & events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999

Volume 22, Number 6
March 20, 2020

207.772.1953 I www.episcopalmaine.org
News for the Episcopal Church in Maine
The Rev. Carolyn Eklund of St. Paul's, Brunswick encouraging us all with Daily Morning Prayer at 7:30 am during these days that we are apart. All are invited to join! Find more worship resources here.
From the Bishop
Effective 18 March 2020, the diocesan offices in Loring House at 143 State Street in Portland are closed. 

However, each of us is available via email. Find staff roles and contact information in my email from late February or consult the directory on the website.

During these weeks when we’re working from our homes, we will meet via Zoom each day for a brief staff meeting, to encourage each other, and to pray for the diocesan community. 

What follows is our current operations plan to serve and communicate with the Diocese of Maine:

  • Each of us shall telephone and email (directly) rectors, priests-in-charge, and wardens, as well as our jubilee centers and Camp Bishopswood. We want to do whatever possible to support your ongoing ministry in your community; we have your back. 
  • We will host a weekly Town Hall with all clergy, diocesan council, standing committee, trustees of diocesan funds, and other leaders appointed by clergy. These Town Hall meetings will happen on Zoom from 5:00 to 6:00 pm. Look for the zoom link in your emailed invitation.
  • In addition to the editions of The Dio Log, we will communicate every week through email and video updated information, inspiration, and links to resources. 
  • Please send photographs and stories of your congregation’s ministry-response during the pandemic to diolog@episcopalmaine.org. We want to share the good news!

May God keep us, and give us the wisdom and courage for the facing of this hour.

Faithfully in Christ,
The Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown
Bishop of Maine
Voices among us
"Pandemic to upend Holy Week, Easter liturgies as Presiding Bishop urges halt to in-person worship " Full ENS article here .

The efforts of the Cathedral of St. Luke are featured in this Portland Press Herald article " Coming together in faith even as a virus pulls communities apart "

An invitation for you, from Presiding Bishop Curry: Habits of Grace: As we learn how to adjust our lives given the reality of the coronavirus and the request to do our part to slow its spread by practicing social distancing, I invite you to join me each week to take a moment to cultivate a ‘habit of grace.’ A new meditation will be posted on Mondays through May. Start watching here .

Read the latest MENJ Advocacy Update to find out where things stand with the legislature in Augusta
Prayers for
the Rev. Abby Pettee and family upon the death of her husband, Bill Pettee

healthcare workers and first responders

all who mourn the passing of the Rt. Rev. Barbara C. Harris . Read a remembrance of her life  here.

people critically ill or facing great uncertainty
God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to all
who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
for your will is health and wholeness;
you are God, and we need you.
adapted from New Zealand Prayer Book, p. Pm 765
From the Treasurer of the Diocese
As all our congregations, clergy and lay employees alike continue to search for ways to continue worshipping and supporting each other and the world arounds us in the midst of Covid-19, I wanted to share some good news:
The Diocesan Finance Committee and the Diocesan Council wants to express its appreciation to the congregations of the diocese for meeting and in fact, exceeding their 2019 financial commitments, i.e diocesan assessment and episcopate fund.

At our convention in 2018, we passed a budget that set the assessment at $1,359,052. As we closed 2019, the assessment income totaled $1,376,134. This didn't include income from late payments to the diocese from 2018 which also exceeded the budget passed in October 2018.

This expression of stewardship and commitment by our diocesan congregations to diocesan programs, ministry, and the wider church enables us to continue God's work here in Maine.
 
Also; the bishop, the trustees of diocesan funds, and the diocesan council want to assure congregations in the diocese that clergy and lay employees will continue to be paid throughout this crisis., At the same time, we are prayerfully requesting that parishioners, as they are able, to honor their pledge commitments by making payments electronically or by mail. Treasurers are asked to notify either Terry Reimer or Tom Sumner if they have questions regarding assessments or other financial matters.
 
With prayerful thanks and in peace.
 
Dick Rozene
*Additional Alert*
Canon Terry Reimer reminds churches that have assessments and/or payroll automatically withheld from their checking accounts to contact the office to turn off that feature if you are experiencing cash flow problems. Don't be overdrawn! Contact Terry Reimer or Tom Sumner .
Responding to COVID-19
Resources for Churches
Sustaining our ministries
Diocesan and church ministries continue to find ways to support the most vulnerable among us. Read how our Jubilee Centers have adjusted and how you can help them in their work below. If your church is engaged in similar mission, find ways to continue to provide services and resources where you can direct neighbors in need, here at episcopalmaine.org.
Trinity Jubilee Center in Lewiston is open and in need of food. Their soup kitchen and food pantry are greatly in need with schools closed and people out of work. All food distributions are outdoors in their courtyard.Their shelter remains open for the homeless only. The Center needs food and supplies for bag lunches, especially peanut butter and jelly, canned tuna, canned chicken, mayonnaise, sandwich baggies, and plastic wrap. Some of these items are available on our Amazon ( http://a.co/ic4IArx ) and Walmart ( http://bit.ly/34Bkswg ) wishlists but many are sold out online. If you find them elsewhere our shipping address is: 247 Bates Street, Lewiston, ME 04240. Financial donations can be made online .

Seeds of Hope , our Jubilee Center in Biddeford, has begun providing bag lunches from their entrance between 9 am and noon to limit contact between neighbors, staff and volunteers. They are not allowing neighbors entrance into the center at this time. Seeds of Hope operates under the philosophy of Abundance. There is enough for everyone - we just have to open our hearts and share with those in need. To contribute, visit https://seedsofhope4me.org/donate-
Our Portland Jubilee Center, St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry , set up outside to assist clients. St. Elizabeth's Pantry is seeking donations of bath towels, blankets, sheets, comforters, and shower curtains (all clean and in good condition), new pillows, and kitchen items - pots, pans, casserole dishes, flatware, plates, bowls, etc. You may also help by purchasing essential items on the Pantry's Amazon Wish List via this link . You may also donate by check payable to St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry, Diocese of Maine, 143 State St., Portland 04101.
Praying with congregations in Maine
Many churches in the diocese are live streaming their Sunday worship and/or offering daily online morning prayer and compline. Click here for the schedule and links.

Find individual prayer resources, free courses and formation tools here . Please be in touch with additions and corrections by emailing diolog@episcopalmaine.org .
Maine Episcopal Youth Ministry: Reenvisioned
Youth are invited to several Pop Up, Pop In online events this weekend, and more in the days to come. Youth do not need to have been active in youth ministry before this, or have previously registered for an event to attend.

HIGH SCHOOL: Friday Night, Check In + Compline, 3/20
Check In + Compline @ 8 pm
@8 pm click:  https://zoom.us/j/129756082   

MIDDLE SCHOOL: Saturday REACH Reenvisioned, 3/21
10 am Games +1 pm Community Building + 4 pm Closing Worship
(each session 45 min-1 hr)
@10 am click:  https://zoom.us/j/129756082

Please RSVP by emailing Sara D'Angio White , Canon for Youth Ministry,  sdangiowhite@episcopalmaine.org , to say whether you'll be there. Let her know if you'll need to call in, instead of use the internet to join, and she can send you the number.
A Daily Cup devotional email
Start your day with A Daily Cup of good news, good cheer and hope from the ministers of St. Alban's, Cape Elizabeth . If you're interested in receiving their newly created daily devotional email and starting your day away from the stressful headlines, email events@stalbansmaine.org .
Connec tio n in the midst of an epidemic
Episcopal Relief and Development reminds us that the role of churches, dioceses, and compassionate Christians is to, "Combat fear with knowledge in order to encourage preparedness and decrease stigma. Maintain operational continuity and continue worship life in the case of potential quarantine and disruption. Show God’s compassion and care to those in our communities who are affected." Please visit episcopalrelief.org to learn about how to stay connected in the midst of an epidemic or to join one of their webinars about addressing isolation.
Upcoming beyond the diocese
Theology of Gratitude Conference now online & free
Great news for all of you who wanted to go to the Scholars Conference but couldn't make it to Chicago and great news for all of us passing the time at home - it's now going to be free and online! However, all participants will need to register in order to ensure there is enough space on Zoom to accommodate everyone who wants to attend. Please register here to receive the login code . For more information, please visit  UTO  or  Bexley Seminary.