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August 8, 2014

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Bishop Steve on Twitter. Be his 644th follower!   



The Bishop's blog: www.roundmaine.org

Read "The Hardening of our Hearts is not an Option," preached at Trinity Chapel, Kennebunk, on August 3.


NNE: The New Northeast

The Rev. Shirley Bowen's recent post about the visit of the sculpture, "Whatsoever you do..." to Seeds of Hope Neighborhood Center in Biddeford.



Links from Episcopal News Service to a collection of all stories, videos, and interactive graphics about the Episcopal Church's celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the ordination of women to the priesthood on July 29 in Philadelphia. 




What's going on in the Diocese of Maine?

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Prayers ...

for all those affected by conflict and fighting in Gaza and Israel, 

for all those who mourn, for those who are injured, for the leaders on all sides.

for all those who are in the midst of the terrible strife and chaos in Iraq.

Last week Bishop Stephen Lane posted a note on the NNE news blog asking for members of the Diocese to pray for the Middle East and to consider supporting the ministries at work in those regions.

Click here for his message, newly updated articles and statements, and ways to help. 

A prayer for people facing great uncertainty
from the New Zealand Prayer Book, p. 747

God of the present moment,
God who in Jesus stills the storm
and soothes the frantic heart;
bring hope and courage to people of the Middle East
as they wait in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal
of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided,
you are God, and we need you.

for the 75 teens and adults gathering on August 20 for BION Camp, that they experience the joys and depths of friendship, nature, wildly fun activities and deeper knowledge of God.

Around the Diocese

The busy days of summer at St. Luke's, Wilton

Volunteers at St. Luke's did three lobster roll fundraisers last week. They offered their delicacies as home deliveries, from a tent out front, and at the Wilton Blueberry Festival. As parish administrator Lisa Lindsay wrote of the festival, "It's a big day for us." (Brings new meaning to Festival Day.)

A message from Bishop Stephen Lane

It is with thanksgiving for her many gifts that I announce Mary Lee Wile's resignation as Archdeacon for Formation and Continuing Education. Mary Lee has been responsible for overseeing our Deacon Formation Program and has shepherded a number of deacons through the ordination process. In addition, Mary Lee has worked with the Deacons Community to plan continuing education and retreats for our deacons.
Mary Lee has served as a volunteer since funding for her position ended in 2013. She has continued to work closely with my office and with deacons-in-formation for this year. I am deeply grateful for her faithfulness and commitment and for her skill as an educator. Mary Lee made many changes to the Deacon Formation Program which strengthened the quality of formation we have offered.

Mary Lee will leave her position at the end of August. It is my hope to appoint a successor in the near future after consultation with the Deacon Community. 





Clergy family day at Bishopswood cancelled

We have been glad to hear from so many of you responding to our invitation for clergy families to gather at Bishopswood later this month. Most of you have been very encouraging about the idea, but have not been able to participate. Unfortunately, we must cancel the event for this year since we could not meet Bishopswood's minimum requirements for our stay.


Thank you to all who responded. We believe that with a bit more advance planning, we just might be able to make such an event work in the future. In any case, we won't give up on trying to bring clergy families together from time to time.


God's blessings on your summer.

+Steve and Gretchen

Loring House summer hours

During the months of July and August, the diocesan office in Portland will close at noon each Friday. Monday through Thursday, diocesan staff will keep regular hours between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Webinar on faith and community-based approaches to victim services

Bruce Nickerson, the diocesan coordinator for the Episcopal Health Ministries Network, shares news of an video-on-demand Webinar produced by the Department of Justice's Office for Victims of Crimes that is specifically designed for faith communities working with people dealing with trauma.

The workshop description says, "This Webinar is intended to increase participants' knowledge of the trauma and dysfunction associated with violence and violent crime occurring in homes and throughout communities. Panelists showcase programs that demonstrate innovative approaches to delivering victim services. The Webinar focuses on best practices in working with youth, adults, and families who have been victims of violent acts and the rebuilding process that takes place after surviving such experiences." 


Committee on Indian Relations travels to Aroostook County 

On July 23, members of the Committee on Indian Relations (CIR) journeyed to St. Paul's, Fort Fairfield, to share the video, Invisible, and engage in conversation about racism and the Native people of Maine. Micmac elder Richard Silliboy gathered with members of the Aroostook Cluster congregations, clergy, and members of CIR to share his perspectives. For more about this gathering as well as the ongoing ministry of CIR and how to become involved, visit the Committee's webpage.

Maine Council of Churches launches "Love Your Neighbor: Feed the Hungry" program  

The Maine Council of Churches is taking orders for its "Love your neighbor: Feed the hungry" program. The four or five session program will be available by digital sharing (or by means of a physical binder for those churches with limited online resources.)


The program includes one 26-minute video with first-person accounts of hunger and food insecurity in Maine. This first video would be an ideal way to entice members to participate in the full program (perhaps shown at coffee hours and committee meetings.) It could also form the basis of a first meeting of your study circles.


The program continues with four shorter videos of first-person accounts of hunger and food insecurity. These videos, plus a variety of articles and resources, form the basis of study circles. The ultimate goal of this project, which was funded in part by a donation from the Diocese of Maine, is to educate and to turn your congregations into effective anti-hunger advocates. There is a facilitation guide, as well as forms and resources in each packet.


This program is suitable for year-round use, and it could be a powerful tool for use during special seasons such as Advent or Lent. Youth groups, adult education, and confirmation programs can also make use of this resource.


To order this free program, contact Pastor Bill Barter at  wbarter@mainecouncilofchurches.org. You may also phone him at 207-772-1918.



Ways to support the Maine2Mityana Mission


From the Rev. Chuck and Beth Bradshaw:


Formerly of the Church of Our Father in Hulls Cove and now missionaries in Mityana, Uganda, we are currently in the U.S. on furlough until early September. The Bishop Lutaaya Theological College where we serve in Mityana trains ordinands (candidates for ordained ministry), lay readers, nursery school teachers, and counselors. It also offers short courses in computer skills and other marketable skills. A term's tuition for an ordinand is $120; less for other college programs. The Diocese of Mityana operates hundreds of schools and clinics through its 514 congregations.  


An exciting part chapter is about to start in the diocese with two-fold benefits. Up until now pension benefits for clergy and their widows has been non-existent. The diocese is building a men's dormitory at Ndejje University. It will be ready to receive students in September when the new school year begins. The room rent from the 300 residents will generate pension income for retired clergy and widows.


We invite Mainers to play a role in the mission of the Bishop Lutaaya Theological College and the Diocese of Mityana by: (1) serving on short-term mission), (2) assisting a student with tuition costs, (3) donating clergy shirts and collars-men's and women's, or (4) making a contribution to the construction of the Ndejje "pension house."


The Bradshaws can be reached by email at chuckbradshaw@sams-usa.org or beth.bradshaw4@gmail.com; or, until September 6, by cell phone (207) 479-1710.



New Initiative Grants for ministry - Round 2

Have a great idea for a new ministry? Want to collaborate with a local ministry partner to serve your community? Apply for a NIF grant. For more information, an application worksheet, and the link to the online application, visit here or grab the link on the "Featured Stories" box of the diocesan home page at www.episcopalmaine.org.


The deadline for online submission is September 1. Council will vote on new applications at its September meeting. Please direct any questions about the process to Heidi Shott at 207.772.1953 x126 or

Now taking Diocesan Council lay representative nominations 


At pre-convention hearings in the fall, eight area representatives are elected to a two year term for Diocesan Council. The class of 2014 will be composed of lay members. (The exception is an additional election of a clergy person to fill an unexpired term in Area 3 - Penobscot and Piscataquis Counties.)  


Those interested in serving on Council or learning more about what Council does, when and how often it meets are invited to check out the nomination form. Each of the eight areas of the Diocese of Maine will elect a representative at their pre-convention hearing in September or October.  Dates/times and locations of pre-convention hearings for each area will be announced soon.  


The deadline for nominations is September 19. To learn even more about Council (meeting minutes and more) visit the Diocesan Council page.


Convention registration, including meals, bus reservations, and more to open on Monday

195th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Maine

University of Maine, Presque Isle
October 24-25, 2014

Look for an email from Bishop Lane on Monday announcing Convention registration for attendance, meals, bus reservations, exhibit tables....you name it.

In the meantime lots of information about resolutions, nominations, accommodations, and more is available on the Convention page at www.tinyurl.com/diome2014 (or click the button above).

The full convention booklet will be printed and distributed to clergy, delegates, and alternates in September.

Upcoming in Maine

Christian Ed Collaboration meeting.

Join teachers and directors from churches all over Maine who are planning for September. We'll meet on Monday, August 11, from 10 a.m.to 12 noon at the diocesan office at 143 State Street in Portland. If distance is prohibitive, you can join by conference call at 800-977-8002, code 184756#.  For more info, contact Jane Hartwell at jhartwell@episcopalmaine.org.

New England Episcopalians invited to participate in People's Climate March in New York City

On September 21 tens of thousands of people from across the U.S. are expected to gather in New York City for a massive march that coincides with a major United Nations' summit on climate change.

Mainers interested in participating in the People's Climate March have three EARLY morning options for bus transportation from Portland and Brunswick to New York. The Universalist Unitarian bus is $40 and the Sierra Club of Maine bus is $30. Both leave from Portland. A Bowdoin College bus is $35 and leaves from Brunswick. Tickets for each option are available at peoplesclimate.org/transportation.

Once in New York, through coordination with Greenfaith and the Diocese of New York, a meeting space in Central Park is being arranged so Episcopalians from all over may gather and march together. Details to follow.  

Registration open for Fall trainings for Eucharistic Visitors and Safe Church

Eucharistic Visitor Training: (Click for more information and a registration link.)
Saturday, September 13, St. Patrick's, Brewer, (9 a.m.- 1 p.m.)


Safe Church Training: (Click for more information and a registration link for all three locations.)
Saturday, September. 20, Good Shepherd, Houlton (9 a.m.- 3 p.m.)
Saturday, September 27, St. Paul's, Brunswick (9 a.m.-3 p.m.)
Saturday, October 11, St. Martin's, Palmyra (9 a.m.- 3 p.m.)


Events with Youth Ministries

  • Leadership Prep for Middle School Event - October 17 to 18 - Cathedral     
  • Youth at Convention as regular delegates, Diocesan Youth Reps or ambassadors - Oct.24 to 25
  • Leadership Prep for Happening - October 31 to November 2 - Christ Church, Gardiner
  • Fall Middle School Event - November 14 to16 - Cathedral
  • Happening High School Event - November 21 to 23 - Christ Church, Gardiner
The place to find more information and applications is always www.maineyouth.org