March 6,
Volume 17 
No. 5 
 The Dio Log 

news and events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999
Pastor Erik Karas, of Prince of Peace Lutheran and St. Mark's in Augusta, Rabbi Erica Asch of Temple Beth-El in Augusta, and the Rev. David Matson of St. Matthew's in Hallowell inviting all comers to a conversation about "everything and anything" at The Liberal Cup in Hallowell on February 26.

Prayers for...


the young people and adult leaders at the Middle School Youth Event this weekend at St. Paul's, Brunswick.

Congratulations to... members of Maine's General Convention deputation upon their assignments to legislative committees. Maine will be well-represented in Salt Lake City this summer!
  • Bishop Lane: Vice-Chair of the Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget, and Finance
  • Ms Brenda Hamilton, St. Andrew's, Newcastle. Vice-Chair of a new committee Alcohol and Drug Abuse Committee
  • The Rev. Nina Pooley, St. Bart's, Yarmouth. Environmental Stewardship and Care of Creation Committee
  • Ms Elizabeth Ring, St. Bart's, Yarmouth. Ecumenical and Interreligious Relations Committee
  • The Very Rev. Ben Shambaugh, St. Luke's Cathedral, Portland. Prayer Book, Liturgy, and Music Committee
  • Mr. Mark Spahr, St. Patrick's, Brewer. Credentials Committee
  • The Ven. Mary Lee Wile, St. Paul's, Brunswick. Privilege and Courtesy Committee

More congratulations...
On February 21, Diocesan Council awarded three New Initiative Grants
  • $2,450 to St. Matthew's, Hallowell, for support of the program, "Walk with Me: A Journey." This collaborative effort between Augusta-area churches will assist women newly released from jail through mentoring and on-going support. It is based on the highly successful program, My Sister's Keeper.
  • $1,750 to St. Paul's, Brunswick, for "How to Talk about Alcoholism and Addiction in the Congregation and Community." This program will raise awareness of the issue,

    gather and create resources for congregations to effectively talk about alcoholism, and develop a Recovery Eucharist for use in churches across the diocese.

  • $2,650 to the Human Trafficking Ministry Group to help bring the Rev. Rebecca Stevens of the Thistle Farms ministry in Tennessee to Maine in November 2015. Over the course of a few days in several venues, she and participants of the program will share their experiences. The events will help Mainers learn more about human trafficking, sexual assault, addiction and incarceration and the possibilities for healing and recovery that Thistle Farms provides. The grant will also be used to develop educational tools and resources that can be used in parishes to help start the conversation about making this kind of abuse of women and children impossible in our culture.

voices among us...
Bishop Lane's recent sermon is posted on his blog, "Trusting our identity as God's Beloved."

Check out the Rev. Chuck and Beth Bradshaw's latest update from the Diocese of Mityana where they serve as missionaries.

A excerpt from a letter from the president of Bucksport Community Concerns, the food pantry that received a total credit of $4,130 to its account at Good Shepherd Food Bank Maine Episcopalians in the Advent Campaign for Bucksport Mill Employees.

"We were truly stunned by the amount of your donation and it is difficult to express how truly grateful we are...We are starting to see the effects of the mill's closure on not only former employees of the mill, but also on the employees of our smaller businesses whose hours are being reduced due to less trade at these businesses." 


Daylight Savings Time kicks in this Sunday

       Hey! Don't forget to set your clocks back tomorrow evening.

Lent Madness is in full swing 
Daily face-offs between two saints lead to the Golden Halo. This Lenten online devotion is both fun and a great way to learn about the saints of God from ancient times to modern. 

Three of Maine's churches are named after saints who have made it to the "Saintly Sixteen" round. Visit each weekday to vote for a match-up and especially for St. Brendan (Deer Isle) on March 12; St. Cuthbert (a summer chapel on MacMahon Island) on March 16; and St. Francis (Blue Hill) on March 18. 

Domestic poverty grants available from The Episcopal Church.

A new grant program open to all congregations and institutions of The Episcopal Church will focus on domestic poverty. Grants will range between $5,000 and $30,000 to fund new or revitalized ministries. The deadline for applications is April 30. More information and a link to the application is available here. The purpose of the grants is 

  • To engage Episcopalians in ministry among the economically impoverished in the United States;
  • To provide opportunity to the marginalized to overcome chronic adversities;
  • To challenge unjust structures that perpetuate the cycle of poverty;
  • To unleash creativity in ministry;
  • To inspire the wider church to more deeply engage with the poor; and
  • To experience the living Christ, incarnate and moving among the children of God.
A successful application will demonstrate a passion for, and an innovative approach to, inviting Episcopalians into a deep relationship with the poor. The local context should be articulated in and honored by the proposal. A goal of "walking with" and not "doing for" should be central. The work should include a plan for sustainability beyond the scope of the grant - either in a continuation of the original proposal or through an evolutionary process that leads to something new. In other words, the proposed effort ought not simply address a one-time need, but should seed a long-term transformation in ministry.

"New Facts on Episcopal Church Growth and Decline" report sheds light on church trends

A report (with lots of handy charts), was released this week by The Episcopal Church. "New Facts on Episcopal Church Growth and Decline" examines the dynamics of growth and decline in Episcopal congregations. 

According to C. Kirk Hadaway, Ph.D., Officer for Congregational Research, the findings are based on 2013 Parochial Report data and the 2014 survey of more than 700 Episcopal congregations. Churches were weighted by size and represent the size distribution of all Episcopal churches in the US. Check it out here.





"Know Your Stuff" webinar with Lisa Meeder Turnbull on March 9


What if someone wishing to make a generous memorial gift walked in the  church door, would you have some needs, ideas, thoughts, and suggestions ready to discuss with the family? Do you have a feel for when you should expect to face some building needs, perhaps one right after the other? 


Physical inventories and building maintenance plans aren't just good practice for insurance purposes; they play a key role in annual, capital, and planned giving as well. Join Lisa Meeder Turnbull on Monday, March 9, at 7 p.m. for a stewardship webinar "Know Your Stuff." Visit to participate in the conversation.





"Faces of Easter" Formation Workshop, March 18


Please join us for a faith formation workshop focusing on Lent and Easter. We will explore the Godly Play lesson the "Faces of Easter," which details the life and death of Jesus. Participants will hear the story and discuss ways to use the lesson to explore the complex concept of the resurrection so central to our Christian faith. Open to all, this workshop will be held on Wednesday, March 18, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Participants are welcome to attend in person at St. Ann's in Windham, or online via WebEx at Click here for a flyer. 





Breathing Life into the People's Song and Prayer: a music workshop in Maine
(please note change of venue) 


At Bishop Lane's invitation, Dent Davidson, musician to the House of Bishops from the Diocese of Chicago, will visit Maine to offer a presentation, "Can These Bones Live? Breathing Life into the People's Song and Prayer," on Saturday, March 21, from 10 3 p.m. at the Cathedral of St. Luke, Portland. This special workshop is open to all musicians, choir directors, song leaders and others involved in music ministry. Clergy members are welcome to attend with their music leaders. 


The program is free, but so that we can make appropriate plans for supplies and food, registration is required (registration will close on March 16). Morning hospitality and lunch will be provided. 

Dent invites Maine Episcopalians to "come sing with us in exploring our role as leaders, teachers, inviters, transformers, and so much more, as we preach the Good News through God's gift of Song."


Bishop Lane says, "I'm very excited that Dent Davidson will be joining us. The Diocese of Chicago leads the way in innovative worship and I know you will enjoy this workshop." 


Register by clicking here.





2015 Annual Clergy Retreat  registration deadline is March 15  


"Keeping the Feast!" a retreat led by Bishop Jeffrey Lee of Chicago and Dent Davidson, Associate for Arts and Liturgy, Diocese of Chicago, will run from Sunday, March 22, to Tuesday, March 24, at Grace Church in Bath. Sign up here.

Clergy are invited to lunch with the Bishop after Eucharist (Lunch RSVP is required and may be indicated on the retreat registration link above.)


All people are welcome to attend the Chrism Eucharist and Renewal of Vows on Tuesday, March 24 at 11 a.m. at Grace Church.  




 Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine Chapter to meet  
on March 21


All are welcome on Saturday, March 21, to the next Episcopal Peace Fellowship meeting at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Camden. The meeting begins at 10 a.m. and continue through a potluck lunch. Members are encouraged to contribute a simple food item. The meeting will end by 2 p.m. at the latest.


Click here for a map and directions. Please join the small but faithful group of EPF members gathering to discuss issues of peace and how to address them prayerfully and effectively.  






Invite high schoolers to TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) 


Register now at for our diocesan Lenten high school event, led by high school senior Kate Rogers at Trinity Church, Portland on March 20 to 22. 

The Rev. Roy Partridge will join those gathered as the priest for the event. Teens are coming from all over Maine and New Hampshire.
Learn more about TEC with this informational flyer.  


Join Bishop Lane for an online discussion of Being Christian by former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams


All individuals and groups reading the book Being Christian by Rowan Williams are invited to join the Bishop for an online discussion on either Wednesday, March 25, or Thursday, March 26 at 7 p.m. 

Because there is room for a limited number of participants at each online discussion, please click a link below to complete a brief registration for the evening you would like to attend. Groups reading the book together are encouraged to log-on together from one location.

 Wednesday, March 25

 Thursday, March 26

Participants will be sent a confirmation email and instructions for first-time WebEx users.
Also, anyone leading a Lenten book discussion is encouraged to contact Jane Hartwell at or Bishop Steve Lane at for support.  





Disaster response training for clergy



The American Red Cross invites clergy interested in volunteering for disaster response in Maine to train to become part of integrated response for local disasters. Clergy who would like to learn more about the Red Cross response are invited to an informational meeting will be held on Thursday, March 26, at 6:30 p.m. at the Red Cross office at 2401 Congress Street in Portland. 


This event is limited to 20 persons so pre-registration is required. If you would like to attend, please send your name, along with your email and phone contact information to Lori Whittemore at





Committee on Aging offers book discussion on "Being Mortal" by Atul Gawande


Atul Gawande -- award winning author, physician, and researcher -- has written a wonderfully enlightening book. Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End explores many questions and situations we will all likely face, but ones we are tempted to avoid. His reflections on his own family, his choices, and how he as a doctor advised his own patients are relevant for all of us. Ultimately, he says our goal should not just be "a good death," but instead how we live and interact with our loved ones during the period before the end arrives. His book helps ask great questions that we as people of faith should consider. 

  • How do our priorities change as we age?  Why?
  • How is medicine helping and hurting us, our parents, and our elderly friends and neighbors?  Is there something we should do to avoid the hurt?  Where things better in the good old days?
  • What does he mean when we speaks of "a better life" and having "hard conversations"?
  • What, if anything, does all this mean for being a new church in a new way?  How can we all help each other?

Gawande's book is the beginning of an important conversation for our time. Join members of the Committee on the Spirituality of Aging and invited (TBA) experts at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, or Thursday, April 16, for an online discussion of the book. Details to follow.  Various versions of the book (hardcover, paperback, audio, or kindle) may be purchased on Amazon. Check out Dr. Gwande's interview with Jon Stewart on the Daily Show here.





From Bishop Lane: The PB is coming. Save the Date.
I want to share the good news that Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will be in Maine in April. She will be here at the invitation of the Rev. Nate Ferrell to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of St. Mary the Virgin in Falmouth. That's a delight for St. Mary's. She has also agreed to speak at an open forum at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke's on Saturday, April 26, from 1 - 3 p.m.

We are still planning the event, but we hope to have opportunity to give thanks to God for ++Katharine's ministry as PB and to hear from her on a subject of her choosing. There will be time for questions and for a reception afterwards.


Our Presiding Bishop is well-regarded across the church. She speaks wisely about many matters affecting our lives. Her nine-year term as Presiding Bishop concludes next fall.


Please save the date and look for more details in coming weeks.



Save the Date Events!



 Delve Deep into the Things of God: A Diocesan Retreat for Adults in June

The Diocese of Maine's first adult retreat will be held on June 12-14, at Camp Bishopswood on beautiful Lake Megunticook. The retreat will be led by the Rev. Michael Ambler and Jane Hartwell. It's designed for everyone who enjoys delving deeper into the things of God. Come ready to experience God in the beauty of nature, in new friendships and in the over-arching biblical story and its relationship to our life stories. Come prepared to meet people from all over the diocese.  

Details will follow, so for now please save the date and share the news. Also, please free to share your ideas as the leaders as they design the weekend. Send them to Thank you. 





BION Camp will be August 18-22 at Bishopswood for kids completing grades 6-12. Download a flier here and register at . Join us for summer fun!






Strengthening communities of faith for God's mission in congregations across Maine