News for Clergy and Lay Leaders
19 June 2020
Juneteenth — Also known as Emancipation Day
The oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States
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 and Diocesan Staff
Call to Convention
OFFICIAL NOTICE is hereby given, in accordance with Canon Six, Section I, of the Canons of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine, that the 201st Annual Convention will assemble, God willing, via electronic means for an online convention, on or about Saturday, 17 October 2020. 

Barbara Martin 
Canon for Administration and Registrar 
19 June 2020 

For more information, contact Canon Barbara Martin via email or at 207.772.1953 x 125.
Finance Update - PPP News
As was mentioned in last week's Friday email, Congress passed and the President signed into law the Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act. Two key parts of the Act are to:

1) Extend the time for which Program funds can be used
2) Lower the percentage of Program funds required to be used for pay and benefits in order to qualify for debt forgiveness

The Small Business Administration has recently issued "Paycheck Protection Program - Revisions to First Interim Final Rule" which clarifies the Act's provisions and how they shall be applied. The period of time for which the Program funds can be used has been extended from eight weeks to 24 weeks. Also, the minimum percentage of funds used for pay and benefits in order to achieve full forgiveness of the Program loan has been lowered from 75% to 60%.

Bishop Brown and the Diocesan Council have discussed the impact of these changes on the implementation of the Program. Additionally, the use of Program funds allocated to the Diocese for Bishop and Staff pay and benefit costs plus those funds returned from churches have been discussed within the context of what is best for the Diocese as a whole. Some churches have been willing to give up their allocation in favor of the more needy entities of the church. Other churches saw that they would be unable to use their allocation by the earlier June 30, 2020 deadline and returned unused portions to the Diocese.  

The total of the Diocese Bishop and Staff allocation and returned church allocations amounts to about $176,000. This amount will be made available to churches and Jubilee Centers to cover pay and benefit needs for July 2020. (We are in a separate discussion with Camp Bishopswood regarding its needs and time frame for using additional funds.) The fund pool will be allocated proportionately based on the total needs amount as reflected in requests received by the Diocese.

We ask that all Diocese of Maine churches - whether they received initial Program funds or not - evaluate their need for Program funds to cover July 2020 pay and benefit costs. If so, we ask that they send an email message to Canon Terry Reimer indicating the amount of the need no later than by the end of business on Thursday, June 25, 2020 . Funds will be transferred within two weeks to assist in covering July 2020 pay and benefit costs.
Mark Your Calendars
Upcoming Town Hall meetings will be spaced out throughout the summer, and then will become weekly again as convention nears.

Mark your calendars for these upcoming Town Hall meetings:

  • June 30
  • July 14
  • July 28
  • August 11
  • September 8
  • September 15
  • September 22
  • September 29
  • October 6
  • October 13
  • October 20
Applications for Diocesan Budget
Applications for the 2021 diocesan budget are now online!

The Finance Committee has posted information and application forms for two processes open to congregations and diocesan groups for funding.

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 .

The deadline for applications for both processes is July 17, 2020.
Do You Have Communications Questions?
Do you have a communications question? Join Director of Communications Katie Clark for CommsChat, aka Communications Office Hours.

CommsChat is an opportunity to gather as a group to discuss questions about communications including: livestreaming, social media, digital ministry, and more. The discussion will be guided by the questions of those who attend.

Next week's CommsChat is Thursday, June 25, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm.  

Click on the "Register Here" button if you'd like to attend-->

Please note these sessions are not recorded due to community contexts shared and questions asked.
Ah, Summer
Summer is vacation time for many, and we hope it is for you too! Take some time to rest and relax. The diocesan staff will also be taking some vacation time during the summer. Rest assured there is always 'backup' and the staff will put their out of office messages on email if they are away.
Finally, Some Humor!
When you're managing "online church" on Sunday, do you ever wonder what kind of online viewers you have? This is a fun short video from the team at Bay Shore Community Church in Millsboro, Delaware. Click here or on the image below to bring up the video, then press play!