The Dio Log
news & events in
the Episcopal Diocese of Maine
Volume 20, Number 5 ~ March 9
Congratulations to the people of St. John's, Brownville Junction, upon the successful restoration of their steeple. The pointy steeple on the top left was in place from 1897 to 1944, when flames from a nearby fire damaged it beyond repair. St. John's looked like the top right photo for many years. Last fall leakage around the belfry and ineffective emergency repairs necessitated a campaign to raise funds for a new steeple. On January 26 the flying cross and steeple (bottom left) were secured atop St. John's. Thanks to Susan Worcester for sharing the photos and story.
What's New in the Episcopal Church in Maine
the Rev. Sara D'Angio White, the youth and adult leaders who led the diocesan winter middle school event,
REACH: Reaching In, Reaching Out, Reaching God, last weekend.
In the news...
What happens when a former Maine deacon -
the Rev. Geof Smith - becomes the COO of The Episcopal Church and, during a visit to churches in hurricane-damaged Florida Keys, sees that houseboat owners are in need of assistance? He reaches out to his friends in Maine who know about boats.
Learn what happened next in
by Episcopal News Service.
St. Elizabeth's Jubilee Center's
March 2018 newsletter
is now online. Check out their Top Ten Desirable/Undesirable donation list.
Around the Diocese...
Thanks from the Discernment Committee
The Discernment Committee would like to thank everyone who participated in the various surveys, listening sessions, and parish meetings over the past month as we've sought to gather input to use in our diocesan profile
to present the Diocese of Maine to candidates for our next Bishop.
More than 800 people from across Maine filled out the electronic survey, 39 parishes submitted feedback from their conversations, and about 60 active and retired priests and deacons participated in three different listening sessions designed for clergy input. In addition, we solicited and received feedback from diocesan staff and from Bishop Steve.
While we anticipate releasing our final profile in early May, we wanted to share some of the broad strokes of what we've heard. These are not exhaustive or complete thoughts by any means, but simply some strong first impressions:
We love God and one another. We heard about how the churches and ministries of the Diocese help us to know the love of God in Christ, and how that love has led to caring relationships among our communities. Parishes, clergy, and staff said over and over again "We love each other." We felt that being an open and inclusive community was what we do best in the Diocese.
We are diverse. Rural and urban. Rich and poor. From here and from away. Small churches, big churches, Jubilee centers, and ministries in hospitals and prisons. Some love our ancient traditions, others delight in new expressions of worship.
We are facing a time of change. Across the Diocese, we are all touched by the national decline in religious affiliation. We all struggle with money and with bringing in new members, especially younger ones. While some hope to turn things around, the prevailing wisdom is that it is time to try new ways of being faithful in a changing world.
We want a bishop who loves Jesus and loves us. We are seeking a leader who is grounded in faith, and is willing to get to know us and love us in all our complexity.
We are humbled by your trust and openness in this process. Please know that
of feedback is being read and considered as a part of our work. If your parish has not yet submitted its feedback, or if you have other thoughts, there is still time to send it to
to help with the profile.
Thank you again for your input! Please continue to keep us in prayer as we go about our work.
Yours in Christ,
The Discernment Committee
Diocesan office moves to new phone system
The diocesan office is in the midst of moving to a cell-based phone system that will save money and allow for better remote access.
The current diocesan number, 207.772.1953, (and all staff extensions) remain the same. However, the 800 number no longer works with the new system.
Bugs are still being detected, so if something doesn't work, please report it to a staff member's cell phone or by email. A staff directory may be found
Reports and deadlines for diocesan stuff
Wouldn't it be great to have a flyer with all diocesan deadlines for convention and reports listed in one convenient place? Well, wait no longer. Check it out
. Lots of other resources for congregational leaders are available from the "Resources" tab at
Handouts from recent Finance Workshops available
If you are a church treasurer and were unable to make it to one of the two recent Finance Workshops led by Canon Terry Reimer, it's not too late to receive the information shared. Click
for an outline of the presentation. If you would like to be sent a snail mail copy of the handouts (which runs to 200 pages), please be in touch with Terry at
Vestry Resources to start the year strong
Are you a vestry member or church leader interested in practical, spiritually-grounded resources for your congregation?
Subscribe to ECF Vital Practices for articles, tools, and resources by and for congregational leaders. With a subscription, you'll receive 12 issues of Vestry Papers as well as the monthly digest delivered to your inbox, all for free. www.ecfvp.org/user/subscribe
And explore all the offerings of the Episcopal Church Foundation - free webinars, reports, and more at www.ecfvp.org.
In case you need to post a reminder that it's Spring Forward this Sunday...
Upcoming in Maine and Beyond
Service of Lament for Gun Violence, St. Luke's Cathedral, Wednesday, March 14
In late 2015 Bishop Lane shared a litany for Maine congregations to use for the Gun Violence Prevent Sabbath. With the recent sad events of Parkland and almost daily news of incidents of gun violence, he has revised and updated the litany to offer to the church.
PDF and Word versions are linked here. The litany is also posted on his blog, Round Maine, at www.roundmaine.org.
The litany will be used at a Service of Lament for Gun Violence to will be held at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland on Wednesday, March 14, at 7 p.m. All are invited.
March for Our Lives rallies in solidarity with those affected by the Parkland shootings will be held on Saturday, March 24, in Portland at Congress Square Park beginning at 10 a.m. and in Brunswick in the Common beginning at 1 p.m. More information is available at www.marchforourlives.com.
Called to Serve, March 16 to 18 in Bath
There's still space at a diocesan weekend for high schoolers to be held in Bath on March 16 to 18. If you have questions, you can reach Sara D'Angio White at
Register and find out more at
Lenten Quiet Evening on Sunday, March 18, at St. John's, Bangor
Let's go deeper into the mystery! Nearing Holy Week, retreat leader and priest, the Rev. John Van Siclen will lead a series of reflections on the Paschal Mystery and give us an opportunity to enter it more fully as we head towards Holy Week. The Rev. Van Siclen will lead a Lenten Quiet Evening on Sunday, March 18, beginning in the Chancel of the Church. A light supper will be prepared and offered by area clergy. Please RSVP to reserve a place and to help in meal planning. Childcare available upon request. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lift Every Voice: Interfaith Advocacy Days in Augusta
Monday, March 19, South Parish Congregational Church
Tuesday, March 20, Maine State Capitol
In 2017, more than 150 people of faith from across Maine gathered in Augusta for the first Interfaith Advocacy Days to learn about pressing issues from policy experts and faith leaders and to visit the State House to engage with our elected leaders with all we learned.
This year, join us for worship, a panel discussion on "Mobilizing Faith Voices and Faith Voters," a keynote address by
the Rev. James Gertmenian, a welcome
from Bishop Stephen T. Lane, and workshops on
- Maine's Drug Crisis
- Environmental Justice
- Race & Immigration
- Child Poverty
- Health Care
A $20.00 registration fee includes the program, resource materials, refreshments, Monday lunch, and Tuesday lunch voucher for the cafe in the Cross Office Building behind the State House.
Register now for 2018 Spring Training: Diocesan Education Day on Saturday, April 28
All are welcome to gather for 20 workshops, worship, a word from Bishop Lane, and fellowship with people from across the Diocese of Maine.
This year it will be held at South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta.
Check out details about the day including workshop descriptions, schedule, downloadable flyer and bulletin insert as well as registration
. The direct link to the registration page is
Share your church's or ministry's story with a display at Spring Training. Sign up for a table
Not to early to think about summer and the diocesan Adult Retreat at Camp Bishopwood
Where Do You Find God?,
a diocesan retreat - June 15-17
The Diocese of Maine's 4th annual retreat will be held on June 15-17 at Camp Bishopswood on beautiful Lake Megunticook in Hope, Maine. Advance registration is here.