January 15, 
No. 1
 The Dio Log 

news and events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999

The Magi gather for a moment of wonder before the pageant at St. Bartholomew's in Yarmouth

prayers for...

The Rev. Reed Loy on his ordination to the priesthood on Sunday, January 17, at 3 p.m. at St. Alban's in Cape Elizabeth. All are invited. Bishop Robert Hirschfeld of the Diocese of New Hampshire will preside.
Emily Keniston of St. Ann's, Windham, as she leads a workshop on January 28 at the national FORMA conference of Episcopal Christian educators. The workshop is titled: "The Universal Classroom: A Multiple Intelligences Approach to Formation"

the Rev. Lev Sherman as he recovers from a cardiac procedure performed yesterday.

Dr. Harold "Brownie" Brown of St. Patrick's, Brewer, long-time lay leader in the diocese, as he begins chemotherapy.

the family of the Rev. James Whittemore, 90, of Falmouth, upon his death on December 30. Jim served as vicar of Trinity, Castine, from 1994 to 1999. Previously he served congregations in Michigan, Massachusetts, and New Jersey as well as a long tenure as the director of the Seaman's Church Institute in New York. A memorial service will be held in Castine in June, date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Trinity Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 433, Castine, ME 04421 or to The Episcopal Church of St. Mary, 43 Foreside Rd, Falmouth, ME 04105. Notes of condolence may be sent to his wife Mary at 7 Whipple Farm Lane, Falmouth.

His obituary is online here.

voices among us...

Read Bishop Stephen Lane's Christmas Eve sermon,  "God's gift: An unquenchable thirst for a better world." 

in the news

The Rev. Ted Gaiser, new rector of Grace, Bath, is profiled in the
 Times Record

Yesterday, the Primates of the Anglican Communion meeting in Canterbury, England, issued a statement that announced that The Episcopal Church will be banned from leadership in the Communion for a period of three years. 

Read the statement here. Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's comments on the situation and an overview may be found in this Episcopal News Service story


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 www.surveymonkey.com/r/MaineNIF.

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!

Taking the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice on the road

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 jhennessy@episcopalmaine.org.

Applications open for 2016 UTO grants

Think about the kind of mission and ministry your congregation needs help to roll out. The UTO wants to help! The 2016 application forms, instructions, and sample applications may be found

The focus for the 2016 United Thank Offering grants is Mark Five of the Anglican Marks of Mission: To strive to safeguard the integrity of creation and sustain and renew the life of the earth.

The deadline for applications to the UTO office at the Episcopal Church Center is March 4. However, because each diocese is allowed one application endorsed by the bishop, all applications from Maine congregations must be submitted to the diocesan office by February 15 so that the screening group may review all applications and make a recommendation to Bishop Lane. Applications should be sent to Heidi Shott at hshott@episcopalmaine.org.

Questions about the UTO, both giving and receiving and the grant process itself? Please contact our diocesan coordinator, Sherri Dietrich, at ssdietrich@gmail.com. 

A reminder about Parochial Reports from the Finance people

Although it's early in the New Year, we'd like to remind you that Parochial Reports for 2015 are due in the Diocesan Office on March 1, 2016. That's a Tuesday, the day after Leap Year day and only six weeks and a few days from now. 

If you have questions, this is another reason to attend one of the finance workshops conducted by Canon Terry Reimer on Saturday, February 13, at Trinity Church in Portland or on Saturday, February 20, at St. Martin's in Palmyra. (Check for details below in the Upcoming Events section.)

Data from the Parochial Reports are used by the diocesan Finance Committee and Canon Reimer to the develop the 2017 diocesan budget. That work begins shortly after all reports are in. So mark the date, March 1, and thank you in advance.

Rev Nina Pooley, Finance Committee Chair
Dick Rozene, Diocesan Treasurer

Share your ideas for Lent...

Each Lent, many congregations offer amazing opportunities for spiritual growth. Some are cost-free (e.g., SSJE's Growing a Rule of Life and Lent Madness). 

Others are low-cost (e.g., book groups or Episcopal Relief & Development's daily meditation booklet). There are spiritual practice groups, service opportunities. 

Please take a minute and share your favorites from past years with jhartwell@episcopalmaine.org, so we can share them in the next Dio Log and on the Adult Formation Resources Exchange web page.

Annual congregational reports to the Bishop

Please help us keep our parish records updated in 2016 by taking the two steps listed below. The first step should be completed as soon as possible (why not today?), and the second should be completed within the 30 days following your annual meeting.

1. Everyone! Please quickly tell us when your annual meeting is scheduled.

2. After your meeting is held, complete the full online report within the 30 days following your annual meeting. Anyone in a leadership role at the parish may fill out this form, but you will want to communicate to avoid duplication.

Thank you!


Gather for Trinity Institute at St. John Baptist, Thomaston, January 21

St. John Baptist in Thomaston will be downlink site for the upcoming Trinity Institute, the annual symposium offered by Trinity, Wall Street.

Beginning on Thursday evening, January 21, St. John's will once again host a downlink site of the Trinity Institute at St. John's. Trinity Institute features international speakers on current topics in our world and how the church is responding, how we can respond, and what our faith has said about such issues.

This year the conference is titled "Listen for a change, sacred conversations for racial justice." Speakers include: Nicholas Kristof (New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner), Anna Deavere Smith (actor, playwright, professor, and 1996 MacArthur Fellow), Michael Curry (Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church), Michele Norris (radio journalist and former host of NPR's "All Things Considered").

There will be a covered dish supper at 5:30 pm on Thursday before the opening Eucharist. This program is open to all.

Diocesan Music Workshop: Singing through Lent on January 23

Everyone who leads or loves music is invited to the diocesan music workshop on Saturday, January 23.  Workshop leader Thew Elliott says, "During Lent, music will provide a wonderful opportunity - and challenge - for our congregations.  Lent is a time when we reflect and repent, when we refrain from our alleluia.  How do we lead our congregations into singing our questions and fears, our repentance and our longing?"  

Join us as we sing our way into this exploration. Come to sing, share and gain some tools to create resources tailored to the life of your own community. The workshop will be held in Augusta at Prince of Peace/The Church at 209. Program begins at 10 a.m. and ends by 3 p.m.. Come at 9:30 for coffee, and bring your own lunch. The workshop is free, but please register by Thursday so that we can make appropriate plans for supplies and space.   

Register and find details here. For more information, please contact Jane Hartwell at jhartwell@episcopalmaine.org

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.

Kids in grades 6-8 are invited to the Winter Middle School Event 

Registration is now open for the diocesan Winter Middle School Event, to will be held February 5 to 7, from 6:30 p.m. on Friday until 2 p.m. on Sunday, at St. Paul's Church in Brunswick. It's a great time for your kids in grades 6-8 to be part of something bigger. There'll be discussions, games, swimming, music, activities, youth-led worship, new friends and fun. Fred Fowler is heading the leadership team of adults and kids and the priests are Laura Peckham and Reed Loy. The Sunday Eucharist - open to everyone - will be at 1 p.m. Here's an information flyer. Registration is at www.maineyouth.org.
Also, TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) for high schoolers will be March 11 to 13 and BION Camp for middle and high schoolers is August 16 to 20.  Registration and more info will be at www.maineyouth.org.

Christian Ed Collaboration Network - February 8

Join other Christian Ed leaders to exchange ideas about Holy Week, ask questions and share best practices. Everyone is invited on Monday, February 8, from 10 a.m. to 12 noon at the diocesan office in Portland. Or you can participate remotely by calling 800-977-8002, code 184756#. For more info, contact Emily Keniston at emilykeniston@yahoo.comĀ or through the  
Maine Episcopal Christian Ed Facebook group.

Two diocesan finance workshops offered in February

Are you new to the job of Treasurer, Warden or Vestry member?
Do you have questions on how to fill out your congregation's parochial reports?
Do you wonder how to properly handle priest discretionary funds or designated donations?

Please join Terry Reimer, the Diocese's Canon Missioner for Finance and Stewardship, as he presents these topics and others about finances in a church setting. The topics to be cover include payroll system/clergy and lay compensation, parochial reports, clergy discretionary funds, designated donations, insurance, and audit. Terry will also provide ample time for questions and answers. The workshops are open to all who have an interest in church finances. There is no fee and no need to register.  Please come and learn! Click here for a flyer.

Saturday, February 13 - Trinity, Portland - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 20 - St. Martin's, Palmyra - 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

March Jubilee workshop for church organists

The Portland Chapter of the American Guild of Organists will host a March Jubilee on Saturday, March 5. The program will include four workshops (chosen from eight available), lunch, a visit to the Kotzschmar organ in Merrill Auditorium, and-if they are not already AGO members-a complimentary six month membership, along with a mentor to introduce them to chapter events. Registration is $25. Coming just before the holy days, this is an opportunity for inspiration and invigoration. 

Detailed information about the day is available at www.agoportlandmaine.com

New, current, and Education for Ministry graduates are invited to an EFM Reunion 

Join Patricia Buck-Welton, the new diocesan Education for Ministry (EFM) coordinator, on Saturday, March 26 from 12 noon to 2:30 p.m. for an EFM reunion at "The Sanctuary" at St. Matthew's, 20 Union Street, Hallowell. A soup and bread lunch will be provided. Please RSVP here or email patriciawelton@gmail.com. Here's a flyer with more information.

Save the date: Diocesan Spring Workshop Day on Saturday, April 9

Join Bishop Steve Lane and Episcopalians from all across Maine for this day of learning and community. There'll be a menu of interesting workshops. It will be held at St. Paul's Church in Brunswick. Stay tuned for more information!
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