March 27,
Volume 17 
No. 6
 The Dio Log 

news and events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999

The people of St. Patrick's, Brewer, know who to celebrate their saint day.
Photo by Michael Gleason.

Prayers for...


the Rev. Chuck and Beth Bradshaw, missionaries in the Diocese of Mityana in Uganda. Click here for their latest update.

congratulations to... 

Anna Foster, of St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland, who has been named one of the two young people to represent the Province of New England at the 78th General Convention of the Episcopal Church in Salt Lake City this summer. Learn more about the Official Youth Presence program in this news release.

from the Bishop...

Brothers and Sisters,


Gretchen and I would like to thank you for the outpouring of care and love you have sent our way in recent days. We have been deeply touched by your kindness, and we are grateful for the many cards, letters and e-mails we have received. We feel lifted on a flood tide of prayer.


I'm happy to report that, on a reduced schedule and with appropriate rest, I am feeling much better and am confident I can continue to work through the days leading up to my surgery at the end of April. I want to reiterate that there is no evidence of cancer, and I expect a full recovery.


I am learning that I can still do much of what you need me to do. Your diocesan staff is fully engaged, and we welcome your inquiries and requests, as always. We will do our best to respond in a timely fashion and are grateful for your understanding if there are delays.


In this season of Holy Week and Easter we celebrate the new life offered in Jesus Christ. Though I wish things were different, I am learning that, at a slower pace, God is empowering me for the work I have been called to do. May you also find encouragement and hope for the deaths and resurrections of your lives. I look forward to seeing you again soon.


Easter blessings,

in the news...

From the New Northeast news blog:
St. Margaret's, Belfast, begins its centennial celebration by giving 100 book to local school children. 

Read about it here.

From the Huffington Post yesterday:
"Head of the Episcopal Church says it's "sinful" to ignore climate change"  An article on the Presiding Bishop's statements on last week's Climate Change Crisis Forum

voices among us...
The Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori's Easter message.



Regional conformation postponed

The regional confirmation scheduled at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Portland for Sunday, May 3 has been postponed. Details about rescheduling are not yet available. For more please contact Barbara Martin at

New email for submissions to The Dio Log


If your congregation, ministry, or committee has information or news to share with the Diocese of Maine, please use the email address Canon for Communication and Advocacy Heidi Shott is will start a sabbatical on May 1. Using the new email to submit your items to The Dio Log will prevent your news from languishing in her inbox over the summer.






"Neighbors Shoulder to Shoulder" at USM on April 7 


At noon on Tuesday, April 7, Bishop Stephen Lane and Maine faith leaders from a dozen traditions will gather at the Woodbury Campus Center at USM to stand together in response to violent events across the country motivated by hate and fear. 


In addition to personal stories by new Mainers, members of the many traditions will reiterate their version of the Golden Rule, 15 versions and counting. The Diocese of Maine is partnering with the Maine Council of Churches, USM Multicultural Student Affairs, and the USM Muslim Student Association in this one-hour event to express solidarity in the wake of violence. All are welcome.  Click here for a flyer.





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.


Ecofeminism and Faith: a conversation with Rosemary Radford Reuther hosted by St. Ansgar's Lutheran Church in Portland

At 7 p.m. on Friday, April 10, the event kicks off with a screening of "Disruption," the hour-long cinematic journey through the wild world of climate change. The film is followed by a discussion facilitated by Anne D. Burt, Consultant for Maine Council of Churches' Environmental Justice Program.


On Saturday, April 11, beginning with coffee at 9:30 a.m., Dr. Radford Reuther will offer a presentation on "What is ecofeminism?"  After lunch there will be a panel response and discussion. Panelists include Ray Sirois, an IT specialist at Wright Pierce Engineering; and Reverend Susan Gilpin, a sustainable living course instructor at USM/OLLI; as well as two members of St. Ansgar: David Littell, the Commissioner of the Maine Public Utilities Commission, and Dr. Debra McDonough, the Associate Director for Genetics at the University of New England.


All events are free and open to the public. To reserve lunch, contact or call 774.8740. Click here for a flyer.


Planned Giving webinar with Lisa Meeder Turnbull


Are you interested in planned giving for your congregation, but not sure where to start? It's not too late to explore Planned Giving on Demand and join in the maineshepherds network. Contact Lisa Meeder Turnull at to catch up on the material presented at the January launch meeting, then mark your calendar for Monday, April 13, from 7-8 p.m. Our April meeting will focus on introducing planned giving in the congregation. Join us!


Please note that the May 11 stewardship webinar, Strategic Thinking, is cancelled as we move to an on-demand model for the mainestewards webinar program. Watch this space for details as the new format takes shape!





"Learn to Lead" workshop from the BTS Center and the Mass. Bible Society


"Learn to Lead: A Small Groups Workshop" will be held on Saturday, April 18, at Woodfords Congregational Church in Portland from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. 


Churches know that small groups are key to spiritual formation and vitality in their congregations. Yet many are floundering for lack of small group leadership, especially when it comes to leading Bible studies. Working together, The BTS Center and The Massachusetts Bible Society want to help. This workshop, led by Rev. Anne Robertson, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bible Society, will include the following:

  • Learn the basics of leading any small group. 
  • Build confidence in leading a Bible study.
  • Understand the difference between teaching and facilitating.
  • Learn how to use Exploring the Bible: The Dickinson Series
  • Practice the skills you've learned.
  • Receive tips on recruiting your first group, even if you are in a small, rural church.
  • Learn how to structure your group for success.
  • Network with others who are learning to lead.
  • Discuss ways to overcome the challenges of difficult personalities and group conflict. 

Click here for a flyer for more details. Cost is $25.00 per person. Click here to register.






The PB is coming to Maine. Save the Date.
The Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will be in Maine in April. She will be here on Sunday, April 26, to celebrate the 125th Anniversary of St. Mary the Virgin in Falmouth beginning with Eucharist at 9 a.m.with a reception and open forum time to follow in the Parish House.

She will also speak at an open forum at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke in Portland on Saturday, April 25, from 1 - 3 p.m.

The Saturday event is still in the planning stages but will include the 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. Her nine-year term as Presiding Bishop concludes next fall.


Please save the date and look for more details soon.




Christian Ed Collaboration Meeting - April 27


Everyone is invited to the Christian Ed Collaboration group on Monday, April 27, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the Diocesan Office in Portland. If distance is prohibitive, you can join us online at If you have connection problems, call Jane Hartwell at 776-0460. We'll be sharing best practices, sharing questions and planning. For more info, contact Emily Keniston at or Jane Hartwell at





Save the Date Events!




God's Story/My Story: 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