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December 12, 2014

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The Bishop's blog:Read the Bishop's Advent 2 sermon offered last Sunday at St. George's, York Harbor: "Participation must undergird anticipation."


NNE: The New Northeast

Canon Michael Ambler offers an update on congregations in transition.

Check out the
Presiding Bishop's Christmas Message

Canon Heidi Shott makes her debut today in the The BTS Center's new blog, Bearings. She writes about people in the diocese who are "Praying the Neighborhood."



What's going on in the Diocese of Maine?

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Prayers for ...

 ...members of Diocesan Council who will meet this evening and tomorrow at St. Mark's in Waterville. Council members are elected from each of the Diocese's eight areas and serve as the Convention between Convention.

Godspeed and thanks to two long-serving priests in the Diocese:

the Rev. Dan Riggall, who has served as rector of St. David's, Kennebunk, for 17 years marked his upcoming retirement in a festive service last Sunday. Dan's last Sunday with the congregation will be December 28.

the Rev. Jim Gill
, who has served as priest-in-charge of St. Andrew's, Winthrop, for the past few years is settling back into retirement...again. His service of leavetaking will be held at 6 p.m. on December 13.

Congratulations to the Rev. Amelia Hagan and the people of Christ Church, Gardiner, as she joins them as Interim Priest-in-Charge beginning in January. 

and congratulations to the people of St. Alban's, Cape Elizabeth, on their just-launched Celtic Eventide service. All are invited to gather on Sundays at 5:30 p.m. for what the Rev. Tim Boggs describes as "a distinctive service for peoples of all faiths to enjoy with the quieter, contemplative Celtic style, including beautiful music, thoughtful words and a time for prayer." Click here for a flyer to share.

Around the Diocese

Advent Campaign for Bucksport Mill Employees
Visit the Advent Campaign page on the diocesan website to find out how you may lend your support to the families of 579 Verso Paper Company workers who will be out of a job at the end of December. You'll find Bishop Lane's letter of invitation to participate in the campaign, a bulletin insert, a sheet detailing donation options, other ways your congregation can help, and links to news stories on the mill closure.

The donation page may be accessed from the diocesan home page at www.episcopalmaine.org. 


2015 UTO grant applications now available

Applications are now available for the 2015 United Thank Offering grants. The application forms are available

here along with guidelines for applying for the grants and information about how to write grants. Two experienced Maine grant-writers ave volunteered this year to help applicants refine their proposals and write compelling grants. Contact the Maine UTO Coordinator, Sherri Dietrich, (ssdietrich@gmail.com), with any questions or for help with grant ideas/proposals.


The focus for the 2015 United Thank Offering grants is Mark Four of the Anglican Marks of Mission: 

To transform unjust structures of society, to challenge violence of every kind and to pursue peace and reconciliation. 


The deadline to submit applications to the Diocesan office is December 15.



UTO offers one-time grant to young adults for ministry


In celebration of its 125th year, the United Thank Offering is offering a round of grants specifically for young adults, ages 21-30. This is an opportunity for a young adult to get grant writing experience along with the responsibility of carrying out a small grant. 


The UTO Board will bring the awardees of the top three ranked grants to General Convention in Salt Lake City to be a part of the UTO dinner.  


Information can be found under the granting tab at: www.unitedthankoffering.org



Adult Formation Resources Exchange


This month's featured resource:


Tea Time for the Soul is a monthly group for adults at St. Peter's, Bridgton. Each meeting focuses on an article, scripture story, or object selected by a group member. The gathering discusses the topic (over tea, of course!) while reflecting on how we are called into closer relationship with God through our interactions. Recent topics included a meditation on "Amen," a discussion of how discovering extra-terrestrial life might affect our understanding of our Creator, and an invitation to consider darkness as something other than a negative. Learn more



Applications for General Convention Youth Reps


Eighteen high school teens age 16-19 from around the country will be chosen to represent youth at the Episcopal General Convention on June 24 - July 3 in Salt Lake City, Utah. All expenses are paid. The deadline for applications and nomination forms is December 23. Find more information and applications here



Camp Bishopswood comes to you  


Executive Director Mike Douglass would love to visit your church on a Sunday to tell you about all the exciting things that are happening at Bishopswood. Please be in touch with Mike at mike@bishopswood.org for more information.


Registration opens on December 20 at www.bishopswood.org   

Checkout our Facebook page or web page for more information.



From the Diocesan Finance Office -


Payroll program employees to receive 27 pays in 2014

Thanks to all who responded to the Finance Office's request in the last Dio Log to chime in about 27 pay checks in 2014. 

Based on your responses, discussions with ADP, our payroll processor, and evaluation of the issues involved, the last pay day in 2014 will, therefore, be December 31. Employees who normally have deductions made for a medical savings account and/or the employee contribution to health insurance will find that the 27th paycheck will not reflect those typical deductions. That is because each annual deduction was pro-rated for a normal 26 pay cycle and will be completely fulfilled with the 26 paycheck. Those with deductions, then, will see a slightly higher than usual take home pay with the 27th paycheck. Not a bad way to end the year.

2015 IRS mileage rate set

Please take note: the 2015 mileage reimbursement rate set by the IRS will $.575 cents per mile beginning in January. This is up from $.56 cents per mile in 2014.

Up and coming in Maine and beyond

Christkindlsmarkt at St. Nick's, Scarborough on December 13


Christkindlsmarkt, a European style Village Christmas Market, is an annual event hosted by St. Nicholas Episcopal Church on Route 1 in Scarborough. Festivities will be held on Saturday, December 13, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Join the fun for the young and the young of heart: Musicians, Unique Crafts, a  Kids' shopping corner, Baked Goods, and Jewelry. Again this year the Raffle will feature items from local merchants. The highlight of the day is the Cafe serving German-style food: brats, hot dogs, hearty meat and vegetarian soups. Be prepared for a special visit from St. Nicholas himself.  


DaPonte String Quartet at St. Columba's, Boothbay Harbor on December 13


The DaPonte String Quartet will perform a yuletide-themed concert to benefit the ministries of St. Columba's, Boothbay Harbor, on Friday, December 13, at 7 p.m. The concert will celebrate ten years of St. Columba's in their beautiful building and 35 years as a congregation.


Tickets are $25 from the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce. Call for more information at 633-2353. Click here for a flyer.

The BTS Center 2015 Convocation, "Gifts of the Dark Wood," January 26 and 27 in South Portland

Lost . . . Empty . . . Uncertain . . . When you experience these emotions, you are in good company. At  The BTS Center's Convocation 2015, Dr. Eric Elnes will welcome participants to the Dark Wood - a place explored, if feared, by the medieval poet Dante, yet also praised by generations of Christian mystics and biblical sages as one of the surest places to meet God. 

The January 26 and 27 event, to be held at Sable Oaks Marriott in South Portland, also will feature Dr. Marcia McFee, a nationally known expert on worship and the arts. Throughout Convocation, she will weave experiences of the Dark Wood with music, visuals, and media - offering mystical, worshipful, and imaginative entrance points into our small group discussions and personal journeys about how worship can embrace emptiness, loss, struggle, and uncertainty.

For additional information and registration materials, please click  here.


EPF-Maine welcomes all to its January 10 meeting in Thomaston


The Maine Chapter of Episcopal Peace Fellowship will host its next meeting on Saturday, January 10, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John Baptist Episcopal Church in Thomaston. Agenda items will include a debrief of what happened with our resolutions presented at Diocesan Convention in October and action plans for the future.

Please bring a simple food item to share with other members at the potluck lunch at noon. Learn more about EPF-Maine on its webpage.

Winter Safe Church Training in Augusta

A Safe Church Training session will be held at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church at 209  Eastern Ave. in Augusta Saturday, January 31, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Register now on the Safe Church page of our website.

Diocesan Young Adult Retreat


Calling young adults for a weekend of discussion, food, and faith with old and new friends. Young adults, ages 18 to 25, are invited to come to St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland on Friday, January 16, to Sunday, January 18. Break out of your normal routine and leave the struggles of 'real life.' Think of this as a "spa for your soul." Enjoy meaningful conversation with people of all backgrounds in a safe and fun environment! FMI, contact jhartwell@episcopalmaine.org or scarpenter@lasell.edu.



Diocesan Youth Events & Christian Formation Leaders' Calendar 


Godly Play Storytelling TrainingWednesday, January 7, from 6 - 7:30 p.m. Led by Emily Keniston. At St. Ann's in Windham or online at episcopalmaine.webex.com.


Christian Ed Collaboration MeetingMonday, January 12, from 10 a.m. - 12 noon.

At the diocesan office or online at episcopalmaine.webex.com.


Leadership Prep for Middle School Event - February 6-7 

at St. Paul's Church in Brunswick - 


Winter Middle School Event March 6-8 at St. Paul's Church in Brunswick - for kids in grades 6-8


Leadership Prep for TEC - Feb 27 - March 1 at Trinity Church in Portland


TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) - March 20 - 22 at Trinity Church in Portland - for high schoolers


Learn more at www.maineyouth.org.