The Dio Log

News & Events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999

Volume 22, Number 20
October 22, 2020

207.772.1953 I

The 201st Convention of the Diocese of Maine
The 201st Convention of the Diocese of Maine met via Zoom last Saturday, October 16 to conduct the diocese’s first virtual convention. We elected diocesan leaders (results below) and approved the 2021 budget and nine resolutions while rejoicing in being the Body of Christ. We affirmed Christ Church, Biddeford's past as we celebrated the future with this inspiring video about the Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center - "Faith Transformed".
On Sunday, October 17, we came together again on Facebook and YouTube for a prayerful and spirit-filled liturgy featuring the participation of the faithful throughout the diocese. It included Bishop Thomas Brown's Convention Address. A transcript of the Bishop's Address is available here.

The convention was blessed throughout by incredible musicians sharing their gifts. The virtual choir offerings included "We are Marching in the Light of God", "Called and Gifted", "Dona Nobis Pacem", and "Let Wonder Be Reborn".

The full convention service and other past services can be viewed here on YouTube.

  • Richard Rozene, St. Ann's, Windham 
  • Leigh Spahr, St. Patrick's, Brewer 
Disciplinary Board:
  • The Rev. Nathan Ferrell, Saint Mary's, Falmouth
Trustee of Diocesan Funds:
  • Betsy McCandless, Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland 
Standing Committee:
  • Clergy - The Rev. Sara Gavit, St. Anne's, Calais
  • Lay - Lisa Lindsay, St. Luke's, Wilton 
Diocesan Council:
  • Area 1 - Nancy Mooers, Church of the Good Shepherd, Houlton
  • Area 2 - Rita Redfield, St. Andrew and St. John, Southwest Harbor
  • Area 3 - Christine Talbott, St. Patrick's, Brewer
  • Area 4 - Melissa Sparks, St. Michael's, Auburn
  • Area 5 - Tom Ward, St. Andrew's, Winthrop
  • Area 6 - Stephen Ward, St. Andrew's, Newcastle
  • Area 7 - Fred Fowler, Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland
  • Area 8 - Holly Sargent, St. George's, York Harbor


Below are two files containing the proposed 2021 Diocesan Budget which was adopted by convention:
Forward Movement and The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations are calling Episcopalians and all others to join in A Season of Prayer: For an Election. This prayer novena—nine days of devotional prayers—calling upon God for discernment in voting and for the well-being of our nation begins October 27. Download daily images to share on your social media accounts here.  #seasonofprayer  
Please join us in praying for Catherine "Katie" H. Mears, who will be ordained to the Sacred Order of Priests on behalf of Bishop Alan Scarfe and the Diocese of Iowa by Bishop Thomas Brown on Saturday, October 24th in Portland.
We offer prayers upon the death of DeWitt "Dick" Clinton. Dick was a long time member of St. David's, Kennebunk and served as a Trustee of Diocesan Funds. He will be interred in a private ceremony in the Memorial Garden at St. David's. May his soul, with the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Read about Dick's life here.
We pray for our siblings in common mission in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America who will celebrate Reformation Day on November 1.
Let us pray for all those who stood for election in the diocese, those newly elected to diocesan leadership on Saturday, and offer thanks for the work of those departing their positions.
Please pray for the friends and family of the Rev. Robert M. Chalk, who died last week. "Fr. Bob" had been a moving force on MDI for over 30 years, and that's where he retired to, and eventually entered skilled care. There will be no funeral in 2020, but it's expected to occur at a later date at Church of Our Father, Hulls Cove where he had served as rector. Read his obituary here. May he rest in peace and rise in glory.
Voices among us
Dean Ben Shambaugh of St. Luke's Cathedral, Portland was interviewed by WMTW-TV about Maine entering into Stage 4 of the reopening plan. He explained that worship has been happening, just online, during all of the stages. "It's about who we are as a community of faith and how we live that out wherever we are, so if you can come here, that's wonderful but if you're at home that's great." Read more here: "Maine churches allowed to welcome back more parishioners for in-person services".
Happy Bicentennial to Christ Church, Gardiner! The church has drawn people to worship since the earliest days of the town. The city's historical record also shows the role it played in the growth and development of the city since the 18th century. Read more about their history and see photos of their outdoor celebration this past Sunday with Bishop Thomas Brown here: "Gardiner’s Christ Episcopal Church celebrates bicentennial".
The 201st Convention of the Diocese of Maine voted to adopt an amended resolution denoting diocesan support for the recommendations of the Task Force on Changes to the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act. John Dieffenbacher-Krall, Chair of the Committee on Indian Relations, composed a statement in support of the resolution. Read his full statement here.
A Brave Space with Dr. Meeks supports the work of the Absalom Jones Center for Racial Healing in its mission of creating brave space where the truth can be told. Listen to this special episode where Dr. Meeks interviews Bishop Barbara C. Harris. This is one of the last recorded conversations with Bishop Harris before her journey into eternity in March of 2020.
Around the diocese
Seeking participants for our next diocese-wide service
Participate in our next diocese-wide service for Sunday, November 22! Please be in touch with Director of Communications Katie Clark to let her know you are interested. Mark your calendars! Everyone will be able to view the completed worship video on our YouTube channel at 7:30 am, and it will 'premiere' on Facebook at 10:00 am.
Consult election resources to help you #votefaithfully
Recent Social Justice & Advocacy Updates from the Maine Episcopal Public Policy Network have provided a suite of resources from The Office of Government Relations and information from the state to help Mainers “Vote Faithfully”. Please consult these resources here and on our Maine Episcopalians Vote webpage as you prepare for Election Day on November 3.

In addition, please read the Episcopal Public Policy Network's (EPPN) latest article in their election series. Remember that nothing is 100 percent certain about the 2020 race, and that it would be prudent for voters to expect that we will not know the winner of the presidential election on November 3, 2020. This article from EPPN goes step-by-step into the vote counting process to show you why.
Contribute to our Convention Worship offertory
There is still time to contribute to our Diocesan Convention offertory for the United Thank Offering (UTO) online! One hundred percent of what UTO collects this year will be given away to support Episcopal/Anglican ministries directly responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn. Find a list of UTO's COVID 2019 Fall Grant Awards and instructions to apply for the next cycle here.

Visit and click on the "Donate" button in the upper right hand corner. Select the "Donate to a Mission" button. Choose UTO from the list and enter your donation amount. Thank you for considering a gift today!
Maine churches responding faithfully to the election
The Downeast congregations of St. Francis by the Sea, Blue Hill, St. Brendan the Navigator, Deer Isle, and Trinity, Castine will join together for three Tuesdays at noon to pray for peace and sound government. Join them Tuesday October 20, 27 and November 3 at Blue Hill Town Park. Join in-person (social distancing and masks required) or on Zoom for 30 minutes of prayer. For the Zoom credentials, please visit

The Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland will be joining congregations and clergy of Portland to offer an online (Facebook) ecumenical/interfaith service of prayer for peace at 7:00 pm on Election Day Eve, November 2. The Cathedral at 143 State Street, Portland will also be open for prayer on both November 3 and November 4. Find the detailed schedule and livestream information at
Good news from our congregations
A wonderful new ministry emerged during the pandemic at St. George’s, York Harbor - Meditations during Pandemic. They are blessed to have a number of writers, photographers (photo here by Nina Bisognani), and artists in their congregation, and a group of them have come together as a little community of support and creative encouragement. Every week for the past months, this group has offered a fresh poem or essay along with an original image that members of the group have created as a response to this moment through the lens of faith. These are shared with the larger community as a way of supporting prayer and reflection. Visit the Meditations during Pandemic blog here:
Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis' Day took place in many ways this year – whether in-person, outdoors, drive-by and virtual. Here's a few photos of outdoor celebrations at St. Margaret's, Belfast, St. Mark's, Waterville, and St. Giles, Jefferson.
St. John Baptist, Thomaston encourages all of us to pray for our country and vote!
Dan McDonald of St. Luke's Cathedral, Portland provides voting resources for their pantry clients - in multiple languages.
Convention looked a lot different for everyone this year...but Kelly Martino still had a wonderful experience. And St. Nicholas, Scarborough had some surprise feathered guests stop by!
Let us know what's happening in your church! Send to!
Faith resources
Participate in a national worship service November 1
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry leads a service of prayer to shine as a beacon of hope for the nation amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, racial reckoning and a hard-fought election. The service will feature an ecumenical and multi-faith array of voices, musical offerings, and prayers. Using a combination of live and visually stunning pre-recorded elements gathered from across the nation. Watch the service here.

The service will also feature reflections and prayers from: Rev. James Martin, bestselling author and editor at large of America magazine, Valarie Kaur, filmmaker and civil rights attorney, Eboo Patel, founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core, Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, presiding bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Rabbi Shoshana Conover, Temple Sholom in Chicago, Shane Claiborne, bestselling author and social justice activist, Right Rev. Mariann Edgar Budde, bishop of Washington and Very Rev. Randolph Marshall Hollerith, dean of Washington National Cathedral.
Join community discussion about addressing stigma
Stigma is always painful for people who are considered outsiders by our society, but it is particularly dangerous now that overdose deaths and the risk of suicide are increasing during the pandemic.

The aim of the project, a collaboration of Saint Mary's, Falmouth and town leaders, is to help the community learn the ways stigma affects their daily lives, and how they can stop it.

Bonny Rodden, volunteer with Saint Mary's says, “People are dying (from suicide and opioid addictions) and stigma is a huge roadblock.” Read more about their effort and the education series here in the Portland Press Herald: "Falmouth church, police lead fight against stigma of substance misuse disorders".

Click here to connect to a Zoom community discussion this Sunday "The Faces of Stigma: Creating Solutions" on October 25, 4-6 pm.
Free course: Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times
Registration for a free class to help all of us faithfully prepare for the November elections here: "The Big Class: Civil Conversations in Uncivil Times — Practicing Our Faith in the Public Square with Ray Suarez".

In this contentious election season, many of us are looking for ways to bring our faith into our political interactions. Ray Suarez guides us through contentious political landscapes and our faith. He's an award-winning journalist (PBS Newshour, NPR, Al Jazeera), college instructor, and outspoken Episcopalian, and has written a book on the subject of faith and politics in the United States.

You can register today for this class. It will remain free through October 26 and you can take it at your own pace. Students will have an opportunity to ask the instructor questions.