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December 23, 2014

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NNE: The New Northeast

Earlier this month Maurine and the Rev. Bob Tobin of Deer Isle made their 23rd trip to Israel/Palestine to see the results of this year's armed conflict in the region. Their reporting, that includes the conditions at the Diocese of Jerusalem's Al Ahli Arab Hospital, may be found at NNE:  "Maine eyewitness to Gaza."

On the tenth anniversary of the December 21 suicide bombing in a mess tent in Mosul, Iraq, the Portland Press Herald interviews five members of the Maine National Guard's 133rd Engineering Battalion, including the Rev. David Sivret of Calais who was the chaplain to the unit and injured in the blast. Watch the video at the link above.



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Prayers for ...

A Christmas Eve Prayer
by the Rev. Richard J. Fairchild

Most Loving Father, thank you for this night and for all it represents. Thank you for the hope you bestow, the peace you bring, the love you pour out, and the joy you give. We praise you most of all for Jesus, your Word made flesh. May he light our way as the holy star lit the way for the wise men. Amen

courtesy of www.beliefnet.com 
Photo by Kennebec Journal/Andy Molloy
for the people of St. Mark's, Augusta, as they celebrate their last service, Lessons and Carols, at their Summer Street church on December 28. Beginning on Sunday, January 4, they will join together with the people of Prince of Peace Lutheran Church across the river on Eastern Avenue. Read a feature story about St. Mark's in today's Kennebec Journal.

As we did last Easter, we would like to post an online photo album of photos from churches across the Diocese of Maine. Please send one or two of your best shots from your Christmas services or events to Heidi Shott at hshott@episcopalmaine.org or post them to the Diocese of Maine's Facebook page and we'll pick them up. Thanks and Merry Christmas from everyone at Loring House.

Around the Diocese

Bishop Lane's Christmas Message

A Christmas message from Bishop Stephen Lane
"The world is moving slowly, but inevitably, to a greater manger. A world in which every child gets to sleep safely and in peace." -- Bishop Steve Lane

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. 

At its December meeting, Diocesan Council voted to send $10,000 from the diocesan Emergency Discretionary Fund to be divided between each of the four agencies we're working with. As of today, individuals and churches across the diocese have donated an additional $10,816.

Below are links to 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. 


Loring House closed through January 5

The diocesan office at Loring House will close at noon on December 24, through 8 a.m. on Monday, January 5. In the event of an emergency during this period, wardens and clergy members are asked to call the office number, 800-244-6062. Bishop Lane's message includes the cell phone number of the Canon Michael Ambler who will serve as the Canon-on-Call over the break.

Bishop Lane will be on vacation beginning Christmas Day through January 19.



Copier lease ready for transfer


St. Mark's, Augusta, is looking for a church to take over the three-year lease on its practically new copier. For more information, please contact Stephanie at the church office at 622-2424.


Dreaming about a new ministry in your community? 


Apply now for a 2015 New Initiative Grants from Diocesan Council. Each congregation and organization in the Diocese of Maine is eligible to apply for funding to support new ministries or expanding existing ministries in new directions. Applications will be evaluated on the how closely they meet the  Seven Criteria for Mission, approved at Diocesan Convention in 2011.


The deadline for applications is 4 p.m. on Friday, February 6. Diocesan Council will make grant recommendations at its February 21 meeting.


The online application and link to application worksheet may be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/2015newinitiative or check out the announcement in the newnortheast.me.


Dream big!

Up and coming in Maine and beyond

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. 

Planned Giving on Demand resource kit offered to Maine congregations

Check out a new post on the NNE news blog by Diocesan Stewardship Consultant Lisa Meeder Turnbull. She explains a new program from the Episcopal Church Foundation on planned giving.

Lisa has purchased a number of Planned Giving on Demand toolkits on behalf of Maine congregations and would love to include as many congregations as possible in launching a network. 

Not quite sure? On Monday, January 12, she will host a mainestewards webinar, "Planning for Planned Giving," from 7:00-8:00 p.m. This discussion will include an introduction to Planned Giving on Demand. To participate, simply go to episcopalmaine.webex.com at the appointed time; look for "stewardship" on the list of meetings scheduled for that day; click "join" to enter the meeting site.


Want to talk it over? Clergy and lay leaders are invited to be in touch to talk by phone or via Skype. Email Lisa at mainestewards@yahoo.com to set up a time.


Saint Mary's, Falmouth, to host conversation on police and community relations on January 14

All are welcome to a gathering of police officers, including the Falmouth police chief, and local clergy at Saint Mary's on Wednesday, January 14, at 6 p.m. They will discuss how police officers are trained and supervised and other issues related to policing in the local community.

Saint Mary's is located at 43 Foreside Road. Click here for a flyer.

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.


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 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.