News for Clergy and Lay Leaders
10 July 2020
This newsletter sent to Churches, Priests and Deacons (active), Diocesan Council, Standing Committee and Chancellor, Senior and Junior Wardens, Treasurers, Parish Administrators, Jubilee Center and Camp Leadership, Trustees, Summer Chapel Leadership , Diocesan Staff and Convention Delegates
Welcome Convention Delegates! You are receiving this email as it contains important information pertaining to Diocesan Convention. You will be receiving these emails each Friday as we approach
Diocesan Convention. Look for content headers in this color - that is information specific to
Diocesan Convention.
Updated Regathering Guidelines
When the diocese's guidelines for regathering were first released in May, it indicated that the document would be updated on a regular basis.

The updated reopening guidelines: Guidelines for Life Together , are now available!

The document is effective Tuesday, July 14th , and we hope you find it useful in your discussions and decision making.

Diocesan Budget Applications
Deadline Approaching!
The deadline for applications for Strategic Mission Support and for Mission Priorities is fast approaching! All applications must be submitted by next Friday, July 17.

Strategic Mission Support (SMS) is open to all congregations who meet the basic criteria of viability, vitality, and location. Details about the criteria, application materials, and instructions are available HERE . Questions? Contact SMS Subcommittee Chair Lael Sorensen

Funding for diocesan Mission Priorities programs and committees from the diocesan budget is also available. The criteria, application form, and instructions are available HERE . Questions? Contact Mission Priorities Subcommittee Chair Paul Beaudette .

Mark your calendars, and don't miss next Friday's deadline!
Finance Updates
Paycheck Protection Program - Final Disbursement

The Diocese will be making a final Diocese of Maine Paycheck Protection Program disbursement on Monday, July 13, 2020. Funds will be electronically transferred on Monday and deposited in receiving parishes, missions and other Diocese-related entities on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. This last disbursement is made up of funds originally allocated for Bishop and Staff pay and benefit costs plus funds returned by parishes. Need requests in the amount of $286,260.40 were received by the Diocese. $173,987.90 was available and will be disbursed on a pro rata need basis. 

Here are links to two schedules:

If you have any questions, please contact Canon Terry Reimer.
Paycheck Protection Program - Expenditure Reporting

Please keep those monthly PPP Expenditure Reports coming in! 

Because we have 55 entities having received PPP funds, please use the form that was included in original program instructions. If possible, create an Adobe-pdf file and forward a copy of the completed monthly report to Canon Terry Reimer within ten days of the end of the month. It is essential that we have timely and accurate reports. Fred Lynk, a member of the PPP working group, has been maintaining a spreadsheet with reportable allowed expenditures. 

We now have more specific guidance from the Small Business Administration regarding allowed expenditures and have received the necessary forms to request loan forgiveness. It has become clear that more detailed reporting to the SBA will be necessary, particularly with regard to employee benefits, loan interest, rent payments, and utilities. 

Please see the linked document, " Additional Information for PPP Reporting" , for details. Contact Canon Reimer if you have questions.
Maine Revenue Service Sales Tax Letter and Application

Churches, missions, and other Diocese-related entities with their own Maine sales tax exemption will have received a letter last month from the Maine Revenue Service. This letter and the form included with the letter essentially requires them to re-apply for their sales tax exemption. A difficulty with the letter and application form is that it assumes Episcopal entities were incorporated under Title 13-B: Maine Nonprofit Corporation Act. This Act requires nonprofits to incorporate and report to the State in very specific ways. However, the Diocese and its churches were created under the Special Laws of Maine many years previous to the enactment of Title 13-B. As such, the Diocese and its churches are not corporations in the same sense as other nonprofits subject to Title 13-B and do not have the Title 13-B incorporation documentation asked for by the Maine Revenue Service.

We do have a plan for dealing with this difficulty. The Diocese will submit an omnibus response to the Maine Revenue Service explaining the Diocese and its Churches creation under the Special Laws of Maine and providing documentation to answer questions five and six of the application form. We ask that all Diocesan entities receiving the Maine Revenue Service letter complete the application form except for questions five and six and forward the form to Canon Terry Reimer by email attachment, , or send it by regular mail to the Diocese.

If you have questions, please contact Canon Reimer .

Diocesan Convention News and Updates
Thanks to everyone who have already submitted their delegate information by using this form: Certificate of Delegates to Diocesan Convention . If your congregation has held its annual meeting and your delegates are in place, please complete the form now. If your annual meeting is upcoming, please submit this form as soon as possible after that meeting. If you have questions about the form, please contact Teresa Pinney.   

In order to be well prepared for our first online Convention, portions of Town Hall agendas will be devoted to Convention business and will replace in-person pre-Convention hearings. This will include budget and resolution presentations and adequate time for questions and discussions.

All registered delegates to the 201st Annual Convention of the Diocese of Maine will be included in the invitation distribution (to those submitting delegate registration forms, please make sure email addresses are correct). 

We ask that all delegates make every effort to attend on the following dates: 
September 8, 15, 22, 29 and October 6 and 13. The meetings begin at 5PM and include information from Bishop Brown, staff, diocesan leadership and others and ends with Compline at 6PM. If you are not able to attend, recordings of each meeting will be made available as soon as possible on the diocesan website convention page. 

Click here for more information about Town Hall meetings or be in touch with Canon Barbara Martin  
Resolutions for Diocesan Convention
Now Being Accepted
Annual Convention is when members of the diocesan community gather to conduct the business of the diocese, strengthen fellowship, equip and expand their capacity for ministry, and renew their faith through prayer and worship.

The principal business of the Convention is to address legislation and resolutions, elect members and representatives of canonical bodies, establish the assessment for funding the diocesan budget, and adopting a budget for the coming year. 

As you are aware, due to concerns regarding the Coronavirus, this year the convention will be hosted online. The convention committee and diocesan staff are working hard to re-imagine every detail and make this a faithful experience for all involved!

Resolutions for Diocesan Convention are now being accepted! Below are all the details:

  • Resolutions or Resolutions of Courtesy proposed for consideration at Diocesan Convention 2020 must be submitted to the Resolutions Committee by September 8th using this form
  • If you are proposing a Resolution that amend the Constitution or Canons, or affect the structure or governance of the church, contact John Hennessy by September 1st. The Resolution will need additional review before it is brought to debate at Diocesan Convention. 

  • All Resolutions must be signed by the delegate (or parish or group) submitting the resolution.

  • The final Resolution language will be posted on the convention page of the diocesan website by September 22nd.

The following questions must be considered prior to the submission of any Resolution:

  • Does this Resolution conflict with The Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church or The Constitution and Canons of the Diocese of Maine?

  • Does this Convention have the authority to act or direct an entity included in the Resolution?

  • How will this resolution be executed or assigned?

  • What is the financial or funding impact?
  • If the Resolution contains funding implications, a cost estimate must be included in the last resolve clause.
  • Please use this format: “Resolved that the Diocesan Council Finance Committee consider a budget allocation of $____ for the implementation of this Resolution.” 

Stay tuned for more!

We will be hosting a Resolution Drafting Webinar to assist delegates and communicants with the process! Watch future emails for details about the day/time of that webinar. We will also provide more details about Convention in future Friday emails.

If you have immediate questions, reach out to John Hennessy for assistance. 
Digital Ushers Training Next Week
For your online worship services, do you have a digital usher assigned to assist behind-the-scenes with the service? As our churches continue to offer online worship services, it's becoming clear that the host (often the priest) cannot do everything themselves , help is needed! Enter the digital usher. They are just like your in-person ushers (helping people get situated) but online for your digital services.

Do you have digital ushers who need training?

Don't know what a digital usher is and how they could help?

Want to learn more about hosting Zoom meetings, including how to manage breakout rooms?

This training is for you!

Join Director of Communications Katie Clark for a training for digital ushers (and anyone else who may want to attend) next Thursday, July 16th, at 11am.

Click here for the Zoom link for the training.
Learning Opportunities
Coping with the Impact of Racial Injustice
Thursday, July 16, 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM ET

Racial injustice impacts everyone. Many have been dealing with racism for a long time, while others have been stirred by recent events. This webinar, presented by the Cigna Employee Assistance Program, may help you understand your reactions so that you can channel your emotions and make a positive difference.

You will learn
• you’re not alone in struggling with anger, guilt, or sadness
• how to have difficult conversations with your kids
• ways to turn your frustration into positive steps

Video Livestreaming Tech
Monday, July 13, 1:00 pm ET

What things do you need to think about when planning your live-streaming video equipment and software? What platforms will you stream to? In this meeting, we will take a 10,000 foot view of considerations when you are planning live-streaming video from your worship space; whether it be in a church building or from a living room. Facilitated by Mike Orr, Canon for Communications of the Episcopal Church in Colorado.