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March 17, 2014

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Ashes to Go  

make the news:

Kennebec Journal and Bangor Daily News




NNE - The New Northeast blog   

Tracking News, People, Places and Events in the Diocese of Maine


Learn about Dream Teams: a new discernment option for lay people 




What's going on in the Diocese of Maine?

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Prayers for...
St. Patrick's Breastplate 

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven;
Light of the sun,
Splendor of fire,
Swiftness of wind,

Depth of the sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God's strength to pilot me;
God's might to uphold me,
God's wisdom to guide me,
God's hand to guard me.

Afar and anear,
Alone or in a multitude.

Christ shield me today
Against wounding:

Christ with me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,

Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,

Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ in me.

I arise today
Through the mighty strength
Of the Lord of Creation.

And prayers for the Rev. Chuck and Beth Bradshaw, missionaries in Mityana, Uganda. Here is their March newsletter.

And, as we say goodbye to a long winter this week, [editor's note: it was 9 degrees in Newcastle this morning] please jump to the bottom of this newsletter for a lovely prayer composed by Pat Griffith to start the March 11 Vestry meeting at St. Margaret's, Belfast.

Around the Diocese
Congregations in Transition report available on the NNE blog

There are 18 congregations across the diocese in transition. Canon Vicki Wiederkehr offers an update on the NNE blog. Check it out here.

Does your church have a work project that could use a few extra hands?

Six to ten members of Saint Mary's in Falmouth would like to help! This year they hope to make an overnight trip to visit another Maine congregation to help garden, paint, do small repairs, or whatever is needed. If your church is interested, please contact Becky Pride at rebeccapride1@gmail.com.

Spring programs at Seeds of Hope Jubilee Center in Biddeford

Monthly Nutritional Education Opportunities
Bryony Kean, SNAP-Ed Nutrition Coordinator will be offering regular table discussions; seasonal cooking classes with recipes; shopping tips for affordable, healthy meals; and will answer any of your questions about nutritional eating for healthier lives.

Financial Literacy
Cat Angela, former YCCA case worker, will offer table talks and individual appointments to help you learn about how to best manage your resources. Individual appointments will offer a confidential coaching process that will be driven by your financial needs.

The Story Project
Deborah Burke, a volunteer at Seeds of Hope, asks this question: Do you find that there are life events that keep returning to your mind? Have you wondered what you could have learned from those events? Would you like the opportunity to process these moments, to explore what meaning you can find through your own exploration? Deborah will offer individual exploration sessions for anyone wanting to take this journey

All opportunities are open to everyone! For more information, contact Seeds of Hope Executive Director, the Rev. Shirley Bowen, at 571-9601 or rev.shirley@seedsofhope4me.org or visit the website at www.seedsofhope4me.org


Upcoming in Maine and Beyond

Book of Common Prayer: a very English history of a Church and book with Ben Cooke

Join members of St. Andrew's at 11 Glidden Street in Newcastle on Sunday, March 30, at 11.30 a.m.

Christians are often described as being 'people of the 
book,' referring to the Bible as our common 
foundation. Episcopalians are a people of two books, 
the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. This 
presentation traces the history and development of 
this most Anglican of publication from its first 
incarnation in the reformation down to modern era.

Ben Cooke is the Director of Christian Formation at St. Andrew's. Born born and raised in Birmingham, England,  he holds an undergraduate Master in Divinity degree from the University of Edinburgh and has experience planning and implementing Christian formation programs with young people and university students.  Most recently, he was employed as Warden of Bishop's House on the isle of Iona, which involved managing all aspects of the day-to-day life of this busy retreat center.   

For more information please contact Ben at bcooke@standrewsnewcastle.org 

From the Diocesan Committee on Aging: Elder Abuse Conference in Cumberland on April 5

On Saturday, April 5th, the Tri-Community Interfaith Council partnering with the Episcopal Diocesan Committee on Aging will be hosting a conference on Elder Abuse from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the Congregational Church at 282 Main Street in Cumberland. The conference is free to all interested.
It will include:
  • how we can better understand the dynamics of elder abuse  
  • how we can recognize and respond to victims
  • how we can protect ourselves/our elders from fraud and scams
  • preventative strategies and available resources 

One in ten adults, 60 years and older, is willfully neglected or abused physically, emotionally, sexually, spiritually, or financially. That number is growing at an alarming rate in Maine. Elder abuse can happen to any older person: your neighbor, your loved one, even you. Ninety percent of the abusers are trusted family members or caregivers. Because many older adults are firmly rooted in faith communities, and because their faith community is the first, and sometimes the only, place an older adult will turn for help, our parishes can make a huge difference in the lives of victims. In order to be of help, we and our faith communities need to be informed. 

Denis Culley, senior staff attorney at the Legal Services for the Elderly, and Lindsay J. Laxon, Investor Education Manager at the Maine Office of Securities, will share their expertise.  For more information and registration, please contact: the Rev. Lin Peyton at 865-4067 or peytol@comcast.net


Youth, Christian Ed, and Spiritual Growth Events 

TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) This high school retreat will be March 28-30. The host church is Trinity in Portland. Kim Wallace heads the leadership team and the priest is Nathan Ferrell.  A group from the Diocese of New Hampshire and teens from Pennsylvania are planning to join us.  You can find all the info you need on the TEC flyer, and it leads to our website for registration. 



Register now for the Downeast Spiritual Life Conference -

Featuring poet, Celtic scholar, and peacemaker John Philip Newell

July 11 and 12 at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine




Before the Vestry meeting at St. Margaret's, Belfast
composed by Pat Griffith

Holy Lord,

You gave us more snow last night, and we're not happy. We've had enough, more than enough, of boots and mittens and wooly scarves and hats and puffy coats that clog our lives. We're done already with shoveling pathways and scraping windshields and hauling wood, with slipping on ice and sliding off roads. We've shivered through 40 days and 40 nights - or more - and we're fed up. Tired. Grumbling. And you've given us snow. With the promise of more.

To be fair, you've also delivered an abundance of manna. Today's frigid blast came with a feast lovingly prepared in your name. As we were comforted and filled, you wept for the hungry child you saw crouching by a propane heater in her trailer home in Belfast. You wept for our brothers and sisters huddled without food in the rubble of Aleppo. In this winter of our discontent, we are blessed beyond measure.  We thank you, gracious Lord God.

In the cold you've surrounded us with warmth, embraced us with family and friends. You've stretched out your hand in the kindness of strangers who join us along our way, and given us opportunities to stretch out our hands to others. Tonight you've gathered us in a cozy, peaceful place to share our concerns and ideas and plans. You've invited us into a moment of silence so we may listen, and hear your voice.

Open our hearts to your vision for us, gracious Lord God. Nourish us with your love, and strengthen us with purpose and hope for the journey ahead.   Amen.