The Maine Council of Churches* affirms the sovereignty of Maine’s Native American tribes, supports their right to self-determination, self-governance, self-sufficiency and cultural identity, and acknowledges that certain decisions made in the 1980 Maine Indian Claims Settlement Implementing Act deprived them of their inherent right to sovereignty—a right all other tribes in the United States currently have.
We call on the people of Maine and those legislators who represent them to recognize that tribal sovereignty is a historical fact and must not be disregarded in favor of political expediency or for any other reason. Recognition of tribal sovereignty will preserve the tribes’ culture, land, religious expression, and sacred spaces and ensures the survival of Native People.

To read the full testimony, click here .

*The Episcopal Diocese of Maine is an active member of the Maine Council of Churches.

“Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse:”

Online course debuts ahead of 2020 engagement

The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations and Department of Faith Formation , in partnership with ChurchNext , a ministry of Forward Movement , has released “ Make Me an Instrument of Peace: A Guide to Civil Discourse. ” This five-part online curriculum covers the following topics: civil discourse in context, tenets for civil discourse, values-based conversations, the complexities of policy, and sacred space for debate. 

(Watch trailer here: )

The Episcopal Church invites U.S. Episcopalians to help shape their future through civic engagement: The 2020 Census
In the United States, 2020 is a year for federal as well as state and local elections and, as the beginning of a new decade, the year for its decennial count of people living in the country. The Episcopal Church encourages U.S. Episcopalians to participate in both.
Taking part in the census and voting are both a right and a responsibility. They are also part of the Christian calling to love one another. Each person benefits—and suffers—from how their community functions, thus each person carries a responsibility to engage the processes and mechanisms that help them function.

For more information click here.
A New Resource for Dual Language Learning Advocates
State and local policies can help ensure that young children whose families speak a language other than English thrive socially, academically, and linguistically. But common misconceptions about early learning and multilingualism undermine support and limit access to the approaches that work for dual language learners.
A new communications playbook, Making Room for More, equips advocates with framing strategies to center the concerns and needs of children whose families speak a language other than English. Among the recommendations:

  • Avoid "mixed messaging" consisting of a litany of good reasons for dual language learning. Focus on academic benefits for dual language learners. Emphasize that support for the heritage language is essential for children whose families speak a language other than English.

  • Compare heritage languages to a fuel or accelerant. By giving people a way to think about how two languages can work together, this metaphor reduces zero-sum thinking, including the assumption that the first language must come at the expense of English.

  • Keep reminding the public that dual language learners are young children - using descriptions, examples, and visuals that bring the littlest learners to mind.

Making Room for More is based on findings from a multi-method study that included a sample of more than 6,000 Americans.
In 2018, Episcopal Migration Ministries and its network of local affiliates welcomed over 1,100 refugees and 400 SIV’s (Special Immigrant Visa) from 31 countries in 14 communities in 12 dioceses.
We work for the full inclusion of Native Peoples in the life and leadership of the church. This is a goal we share with you.
Reconciliation is the spiritual practice of seeking loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God and one another, and striving to heal and transform injustice and brokenness in ourselves, our communities, institutions, and society.