December 21, 
No. 25
 The Dio Log 

news and events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999

  St. Elizabeth's Jubilee Center, a ministry of several Portland area congregations hosted in the undercroft of St. Luke's Cathedral, is a busy, bustling place on this Tuesday morning in Advent.

prayers for...

Debra Wagner, wife of the Rev. Beau Wagner, rector of St. Matthew's, Lisbon, as she enters Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston on December 23 for surgery on December 29.

The Rev. Lynn Rutledge, rector of St. Aidan's, Machias, and Christ Church, Eastport, upon the death of her husband, Richard "Don" Rutledge, on December 15. A memorial service will be held at Christ Church on Tuesday, December 29 at 11 a.m.

the Rev. Jenny Reece upon the death of her mother, Pauline Reece Sampson, on December 7.

voices among us...

a poster created by the Diocese of Southern Ohio in 1938 (Courtesy of Episcopal Migration Ministries)
Bishop Steve Lane's sermons from Advent 2, "God makes things new when nobodies say 'Yes,'" and Advent 3, "What world will we choose to live in," are available on his blog at

Bishop Lane recently published two op-eds in Maine papers.
"As a nation, we are failing to keep ourselves safe" on December 10 in the Portland Press Herald

"We're at risk of repeating history when we fear people based on religion" with Mr. Reza Jalali on December 14 in the Bangor Daily News

Cell to Street Ministry's profile in the Lewiston Sun Journal. On December 12 St. Michael's, Auburn, hosted a Christmas dinner for released inmates.

The Rev. Kit Sherrill of Southport shares his 50 year tradition with the Press Herald: "Vintage mincemeat recipe connects retired clergyman to his English roots." 

Bishop Lane's Christmas message 

A Christmas message from Bishop Lane
A Christmas message from Bishop Lane

welcome and farewell...

In the new year the Rev. Barbara Clarke will join the people of St. Luke's, Wilton, in ministry as their transition priest-in-charge.

Beginning on February 29, the Rev. Sara Gavit of the Diocese of Alaska will join the people of St. Anne's, Calais, in ministry as their rector.

Four priests will complete their ministry with congregations at the end of the year:

the Rev. Amelia Hagen, transition priest-in-charge of Christ Church, Gardiner

the Rev. Virginia Peacock, rector of St. Brendan the Navigator, Deer Isle

the Rev. Jud Pealer, rector of Good Shepherd, Rangeley

the Rev. Lev Sherman, rector of St. Andrew's, Millinocket

Another welcome goes to the new diocesan coordinator for Education for Ministry, Patricia Buck-Welton of Church at 209, Augusta, with thanks and farewell to long-time EFM coordinator, the Rev. Rosalee Glass of St. Thomas', Camden.


Loring House holiday schedule 

Following a holiday tradition from the days of yore, (okay, the early 1970s),  Loring House will be closed from noon on Thursday, December 24, until Monday, January 4. If a member of the clergy or a warden is faced with an emergency, the message on the Loring House answering service (800-244-6062) will include the cell phone number of the diocesan staffer on call. Please do not hesitate to be in touch.

Also, please note that Bishop Lane will be on vacation from December 25 to January 19.

Dreaming about a new ministry in your community?

Apply now for a 2016 New Initiative Grant 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 Diocese's Seven Criteria for Mission.

The next deadline for applications is 4 p.m. on Friday, January 22. Diocesan Council will make grant recommendations at its February 6 meeting.

The online application may be found at

Download the application worksheet and complete your application on that before cutting and pasting your application into the online Survey Monkey application above.

Once your application is processed, you will be contacted by a Diocesan Council member from your area. That member will serve as your advocate through the application process.

What kind of ministry might a New Initiative Fund grant get going? Check out the list of grants made by Diocesan Council over the past two years in spring and fall grant cycles at the bottom of this post.

Dream big!

Please share the opportunity to support Bishopswood's septic project with your congregation 

Bishop Lane and the Bishopswood Board get a lesson in septic studies last summer.
Estimates are in and the comprehensive Bishopswood septic system will cost $185,000. As Bishop Lane says in his letter to friends of our diocesan camp: (Read it here)

Donations may be made online on the Diocese of Maine home page at or use this direct link to the secure online donation page. Also checks may be sent directly to Bishopswood at 98 Bishopswood Road, Hope, Maine  04847. 

If you would like to learn more about the project by having Mike call or email you, please be in touch with him at

Congregations are encouraged to share this notice in their bulletins, newsletters, and announcements. Click here for a ready-to-print bulletin insert.

Many thanks to St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland which will contribute 10% of the second phase of its capital campaign funds to Bishopswood.

By the way, St. Luke's is now live-streaming its worship services. Check it out at 


Maine Episcopal Network for Justice is up and running

We invite Maine Episcopalians to participate in a number of ways:
  • Invite John Hennessy, director of MENJ to come to your church (your Vestry or Bishop's Committee or an education forum or during announcements) to talk about the Network and answer questions about important issues in Maine, including the upcoming legislative session and a number of proposed referenda for the 2016 ballot. Be in touch with John to set a date at
  • Sign up for the MENJ's new monthly email newsletter and for occasional urgent action e-bulletins.
  • As it grows, visit the MENJ webpage to study policy papers that offer both The Episcopal Church's stated position (through Diocesan Convention and General Convention actions) on various issues that include the up-to-date status of that issue in Maine and the U.S.
  • Attend the 2016 Diocesan Education Day on April 9 for a series of workshops on learning to advocate as well as specific issues. (Details to follow in the new year.)
Through engaging in analysis, education, advocacy, and through supporting members, congregations, and Jubilee Centers and other social ministry organizations in their call to public witness, MENJ seeks to help fulfill God's vision of justice among God's people and Jesus' call to care for our neighbors.

The 2016 UTO grant process, a special Advent ingathering for refugees, and guess how many UTO grants Maine has received since 1970

The United Thank Offering is gearing up for its 126th year with a new timeline for grants. Learn about the criteria and focus of the 2016 process here. Think about the kind of mission and ministry your congregation needs help to bankroll. The UTO wants to help! 

Special Advent ingathering to match grant to Episcopal Migration Ministries for refugees

The United Thank Offering is giving a $30,000 special grant to Episcopal Migration Ministries which has been providing assistance to refugees in the United States as well as throughout the world for over for 20 years.  Given the current crisis and the tremendous need, UTO has challenged the Episcopal Church to match this grant through gifts from individual parishes and individuals. You may donate online at or the UTO Facebook page, or submit checks or cash to your UTO coordinator through the Fourth Sunday of Advent (12/20/15).  Make checks to United Thank Offering and clearly mark "Refugees" in the memo line and send them to 143 State Street, Portland 04101.

Questions about the UTO, both giving and receiving, please contact our diocesan coordinator, Sherri Dietrich, at 

Watch the webinar on how congregations can help offered by Episcopal Migration Ministries


End the year with worship and music at St. John's, Bangor

All are welcome to an organ and piano concert at St. John's, Bangor, followed by festive reception on Thursday, December 31, at 7 p.m. The concert by Robert and Nancy Ludwig will include music by Bach, Handel, and Strauss as well as selections for piano and pipe organ duo - a composition for that pairing by the great 19th century French composer, Cesar Franck; a Symphony of Spirituals arranged by American Joel Raney; and an arrangement of John Williams' music from Star Wars. 

The concert is preceded at 6 p.m. by a Eucharist for the Eve of the Feast of the Holy Name. Free will donations will benefit the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter. For more information, call 947-1056.

Life as Art: Design Thinking and Mindfulness for Integrating Life and Ministry"

The BTS Center Convocation January 25 and 26 at the Portland Clarion Hotel

Come join a two-day experience of learning best practices for the design process: from dreaming, to doing, to listening, to resting. Learn what makes some individuals and organizations successfully engage in the transformation of their immediate communities, while others work tirelessly without any noticeable change. And take time to observe your own creative process and the creative presence of the Holy in your own life.

At Convocation 2016, pastor-artist and author Troy Bronsink will lead activities and conversations that get you out of your seat and encourage you to move-into your community as well as that interior landscape where your truest calling emerges. The gathering will feature local artists and community leaders, who will share how they sustain their individual and collective works.

Click here for event details and registration info.

EPF winter meeting on January 9

Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine Chapter will hold its winter meeting on Saturday morning, 
January 9, 2016, at Church at 209 in Augusta. The two resolutions that were passed at Diocesan Convention in October 2015 will be discussed with a view to carrying out their mandates further. New ideas for action and consideration are especially welcome as we begin the new year, as are new members and interested parties attending.

Church at 209 is located at 209 Eastern Avenue in Augusta. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and end after a simple potluck lunch.

Young Adult Retreat: A Spa for Your Soul - January 8-10

This is a chance for young adults - age 18-26 - to break out of your normal routine, enjoy meaningful conversation and experience a "spa for your soul." Several young adults and the Rev. Bill Blaine-Wallace are planning this annual event which will be at the Cathedral. Register and get more info at, or contact Kirsten Lowell at

Christian Ed Collaboration Network - January 11

Join other Christian Ed leaders to ask questions, share best practices and plan continuing education. Everyone is invited on Monday, January 11, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the diocesan office in Portland. Or you can participate remotely. For more info, contact Emily Keniston at or through the Maine Episcopal Christian Ed Facebook group.

Save the Date - Diocesan Music Workshop on January 23.
Everyone who leads or loves music is invited to Unleashing More Music on Saturday, January 23. This workshop will be equal parts songfest and discussion of ways to enliven the singing life of our congregations. Come to sing, share and gain some tools to create resources tailored to the life of your own community. The workshop will be led by Thew Elliott, Director of Music at Trinity, Portland.  Location tba. Details and registration coming in early January.

FORMA Conference - January 27-29

This major annual conference for Episcopalians interested in Christian education/formation/spiritual growth will be in Philadelphia on January 27-29. At least six people from five congregations in our diocese are already registered. If this might interest you, check it out at and contact Jane Hartwell at to coordinate with other Mainers who are attending. Some financial aid is available through the Christian Ed Collaboration Network (contact Jane before the end of the year) and through the Wolf Fund (apply prior to the event).

Regional confirmations in Spring 2016 

Planning ahead? Regional confirmations have been scheduled for: 

Sunday, May 1, at 4 p.m. at St. Luke's Cathedral, Portland
Sunday, June 19, at St. George's, York Harbor (late afternoon, exact time TBA).   

For more information about Confirmation at the Cathedral, please be in touch with the Very Rev. Ben Shambaugh or info about Confirmation at St. George's, the Rev. Calvin  Sanborn  

Other questions or interested in hosting a regional confirmation?  Please contact Barbara Martin  

Winter/Spring Clergy Day activities

Here's a flyer for clergy outlining details for Clergy Day in February, Chrism Eucharist in March and the Clergy Retreat in April. 

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