News for Clergy and Lay Leaders
15 May 2020
Diocese-Wide Worship Service for 5/17
We are delighted to share with you a service of morning prayer for the Sixth Sunday of Easter, compiled by a diocese-wide team of clergy and lay leaders.

The full service will also 'premiere' on the diocesan Facebook and YouTube pages on Sunday morning at 10 a.m.

We hope these services are providing you a well-deserved rest as well as a sense of joy and community while we are all still physically distant from each other.
Finance Update
The Diocese was able to secure additional PPP funding to take advantage of rule changes made after our first application was submitted.

The additional funding will be allocated on the same basis as the first application. An exception is Camp Bishopswood which has a specific part of the second funding. This also takes into account churches that chose to not avail themselves of the funding or capped their portion in order to provide funding to other churches and Diocese organizations that might have a greater need.

The second allocation will be transferred directly to churches' checking accounts over the weekend and should appear in those accounts on Monday, May 18th. Those churches who do not use direct transfer for payroll funding purposes will receive checks.

Click here for a listing that shows both the first round allocation and the second.

To answer some of your questions about PPP, we have created a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document regarding the allowed uses of PPP funds.   Click here for the FAQ document .
Curated Digital Worship Resources
Questions are streaming in (pun intended) as churches around the diocese consider starting, continuing or hybridizing online worship services.

Live workshops and "office hour" weekly sessions are in the works to attend to your questions. Starting this week, we will also provide some curated resources in this weekly email.
eFormation, a ministry of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary and learning community for ministry in a digital world, is offering a all-day, online digital ministry conference on June 3rd.

Session topics include:
  • Run and Do Not Grow Weary: Acknowledging and managing digital fatigue 
  • The Never Ending Story: How church tech can rebrand us.
  • The Expanded Table: Ideas for an hybridized worship experience between people on Zoom and people in person
  • You Too Can YouTube: The second largest social network

Reverend Lorenzo Librija of the Diocese of San Diego and manager of the TryTank Experimental Laboratory for church growth and innovation provides an excellent basic overview of How to Livestream Your Church Service in 4 Easy Steps .
What questions do you have about digital worship services? Email Katie Clark , Director of Communications with your questions.
Other Updates
This week, the Maine Council of Churches released "At the Threshold: Congregations and Their Buildings in the Time of COVID-19," a set of recommendations for Maine's churches as they begin discerning how and when to re-open their buildings for in-person worship services. This document was created in consultation with Maine's Center for Disease Control and Prevention and is an adaptation of "Returning to Church," a set of guidelines released in March by the Wisconsin Council of Churches. 

The BTS Center is hosting an online book study group, reading and discussing Part-Time is Plenty: Thriving Without Full-Time Clerg y, by G. Jeffrey MacDonald, newly published by Westminster John Knox Press.

This book study group is for anyone interested in how congregations with part-time clergy can thrive. The group will meet once a week for four weeks, and author Jeff MacDonald willing be joining the group for the final session.

The book study group dates are:
Fridays May 22, May 29, June 5 & June 12
1:00-2:00 pm via Zoom (Eastern)

The book study group will be co-facilitated by Rev. Nicole Diroff, Program Director at The BTS Center, and Rev. Marguerite Steadman, Rector at St. John's Episcopal Church in Bangor.