February 12, 
No. 3
 The Dio Log 

news and events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999

On Ash Wednesday, the Rev. James Gill offered Ashes to Go on Main Street in Winthrop and made the front page of the Kennebec Journal. (Read it here)
 Clergy and laity from our churches in Bath, Belfast, Brunswick, Portland, Wilton, Windham,  and Yarmouth also offered ashes and a blessing beyond the doors of their churches.  Gill said, "Jesus said to St. Peter, 'Feed my sheep.' He didn't say 'Count my sheep.'" 

Photo by Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

And Ashes to Go in Windham made the front page of the


prayers for 

the Rev. C. Waite Maclin of Portland upon the death of his wife, Christine, on January 22. Her obituary may be found here.

high school students and their chaperones from St. Paul's, Brunswick, as they serve in Dominican Republic this week.

the Rev. Chuck and Beth Bradshaw, missionaries from Maine serving in Mityana, Uganda. Here's their latest newsletter with photos of the new music building the theological college where they serve is constructing with the assistance of the Diocese of Maine.

voices among us...

Deacon Chick Carroll of St. Paul's, Brunswick, writes movingly about what he is learning from new friends at The Gathering Place daytime drop-in center in the New Northeast blog. Read his essay "Learning to Listen in Brunswick" here.

Check out two of Bishop Steve Lane's recent sermons, "True listening means barreling down the mountain after Jesus" and "Today is the day." You may find them both on his blog  at www.roundmaine.org

Also, below is his recent sermon as guest preacher for the Convention Eucharist of the Diocese of Newark.

Missed the first newsletter from the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice? Check it out here.

Take a listen to Presiding Bishop Michael Curry's Lenten message 

congratulations to...

George's, York HarborPreschool and Childcare Center, and 
Seeds of Hope Jubilee Center, In a Pinch Non-Food Pantry in Biddeford, upon winning the Masonic Charitable Foundation's "Building Our Community" awards for their regions. Thanks for voting!

The people of St. Mark's Church/Church at 209 in Augusta upon receiving an award from the United Way of Kennebec Valley for their leadership and volunteerism that support the ministries at St. Mark's parish hall on Pleasant Street. The ministries include housing the Augusta Community Warming Center as well as their long established pantries for food, clothing, and essentials. Read about it here.

Bonny Rodden of Saint Mary's, Falmouth, the new president of the Maine Council of Churches, and Charlie Priest of St. Paul's, Brunswick, upon being appointed as the Episcopal representative to the Council's board of directors. Read about it here

the Rev. Nancy Moore, rector of Christ Church, Norway, who was installed as the Canon Precentor of St. Luke's Cathedral last Sunday. 

What is a Precentor, you ask? Wikipedia has the answer.

and, finally, to Camp Bishopswood where they are reporting great, awesome, better, even better, and best news yet.

Great News: 
In response to our emergency septic system campaign, 139 donors gave more than $45,000 to Bishopswood. Gifts ranged from $5 to $5,000. This generous response triggered an additional $15,000 in matching funds for the campaign.

Awesome News:  
We have also received another $17,000 of pledges toward the project that will come in over the next few months.

Better News:  
The faithful people of St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland have decided to tithe 10% of their capital campaign to Bishopswood over the next five years!
Even Better News:  
The Bishop and the Diocese of Maine have agreed to provide Bishopswood a loan to make sure the septic project construction work can start immediately.
The Best News Yet:  
It is because of all the faithful supporters of Bishopswood and the Diocese that we can say without a doubt that camp will be open for the summer of 2016 and campers will be having the BEST SUMMER EVER!

Registration is simple and can be done at www.bishopswood.org. Also, download Bishopswood's rates and dates brochure.

Hope to see you at camp!
Mike Douglass, Executive Director


New Initiative Fund grant deadline extended to February 19th

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 new deadline for applications is 4 p.m. on Friday, February 19. Diocesan Council will make grant recommendations at its March 5 meeting.

The online application may be found at www.surveymonkey.com/r/MaineNIF.

Download the (new and improved) 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!

The BTS Center has also just announced a grant process called the Innovation Incubator. Grants of up to $20,000 are available. Learn more at www.thebtscenter.org/incubator. The deadline for letters of inquiry is March 1.

Resources for Maine churches 

ChurchNext - discount subscriptions.

ChurchNext is like a Netflix of resources for Episcopal churches. It offers hundreds of videos by well-regarded presenters on scripture, liturgy, prayer, family, self-care, church history, theology and more.  Join St. Ann's in Windham, Trinity in Saco, and St. John's in Bangor in subscribing.  Each church will receive access to unlimited online classes for a year, with up to ten people participating at a time. To get the diocesan group discounted rate of $100 per church, email Jane Hartwell at jhartwell@episcopalmaine.org.  

Grow Christians 

Grow Christians is a new blog from Forward Movement.  It's a place to ponder the practical details of a life that glorifies God. We're building a community of disciples exploring one central question: How do we grow as Christians ourselves and help younger people-especially in our own families and churches-to grow as Christians too? 
Check out the new webpages for Children's Christian Ed

As a result of hard work by the Christian Ed Collaborative, there are now five useful pages on the diocesan website for Children's Christian Ed.  We'd welcome your suggestions and additions.  Send them here.

Vestry Connections - new resources for church leaders 

As a follow-up to the Diocesan Convention workshop around sharing and connecting Vestries throughout Maine with helpful resources and information, here are several posts and links of special Interest to newly formed Vestries as we begin a new year:

Episcopal Church Foundation  (ECF) is a terrific source for vestries.   

ECF Vital Practices - the free monthly newsletter. Sign up everyone on your vestry for this great resource.

Making the Most of Your Vestry Retreat February 16, 2016, 7:00 - 8:00 pm.  
Vestry Orientation (watch anytime).  
Senior Warden's Ministry: Mission Impossible? (watch anytime).

Articles of special interest from ECF:
Creating a Vibrant Vestry

Vestry Papers: 5 things for January

Vestry Papers: 5 Things for February

Statistical Data on Episcopal Congregations:

Vestry Resource Guide - Newly Revised! A good  handbook for church vestries, available for purchase.

Also, look for enhanced resources and links for wardens and vestries on the diocesan website
... coming soon.

Bishop Lane's visitation schedule and regional confirmations

A Regional Confirmation opportunity has been added on Saturday, Mar 26, 7 p.m. at St. Francis by the Sea, Blue Hill.  All are invited!  Please be in touch with The Rev. Claudia Smith at revclaudiainmaine@gmail.com if you would like to participate. Click here for the list of visitations and confirmations.

T minus 18: a reminder about Parochial Reports from the finance people

Just a reminder that Parochial Reports for 2015 are due in the diocesan office on March 1. That's a Tuesday, the day after Leap Year day and a bit over two weeks from now. If your congregation has already submitted the report, we thank you!

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 again. 

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


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, but please bring your own lunch. 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.

Abandoned: A Quiet Morning in Lent led by Mary Lee Wile

Join the Rev. Mary Lee Wile at St. Paul's, Brunswick, for a Lenten quiet day on Saturday, February 27, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 

What happens when we feel abandoned by God? How can we make it through those dark times?

Facing and naming our sense of God's absence can be hard; living one's life in the midst of such darkness can be desolate. And yet it's something that saints and poets and ordinary people have experienced throughout time. 

During this Quiet Morning, we will explore ways of living faithfully during those times of God's seeming abandonment. We may not find a way out of the darkness, but we might perhaps find spiritual ancestors or guides to accompany us though it.

Please call the church office to register: 725-5342

Invite High Schoolers to TEC (Teens Encounter Christ) - March 11 - 13

Registration is now open for our diocesan Lenten high school event. Carolyn Gildart, a young adult volunteer from St. Aidan's in Machias, says: "Attending my first Diocesan Youth Event was by far the best decision I made in high school. Through Diocesan Youth Events I grew closer to God, learned about myself, became interested in the guitar and made many great friends."  

TEC is March 11-13 at Trinity Church in Portland. High school senior Devon Hall from Christ Church in Gardiner is the teen leader, Kim Wallace of St. Ann's in Windham is the coordinator and the Rev. Christopher Szarke, rector of St. Margaret's in Belfast is the priest.  Teens are coming from all over Maine and New Hampshire. Here's a TEC information flyer. Register at www.maineyouth.org.

Chrism Eucharist and Clergy Retreat

All (clergy and lay) are invited to Chrism Eucharist and Renewal of Vows on Tuesday, March 22, at St. Mark's, Waterville. Time TBA. Clergy are invited to lunch with Bishop Lane immediately following the service. Details to follow.
Save the Date: Clergy Annual Retreat Sunday, April 24 thru Tuesday, April 26. Registration is required. Watch your email for details.

Save Saturday, April 9 for Spring Training 2016

Report for Spring Training 2016 with Bishop Steve Lane and Episcopalians from all across Maine at St. Paul's in Brunswick on Saturday, April 9. Some of the workshops offered will include:  
  • Spiritual Practices for a Time of Change 
  • Conflict Mediation in the Parish Setting 
  • How to Put Progressive Voices and Values into Action 
  • Church Communications in a Digital World
  • Articulating your Faith Story
  • The Art of Pastoral Care
  • Wardens and Vestry Roundtable
  • Creating a Menu for Adult Formation
  • Spiritual Practice: Reflection
  • Children's Ed without a Big Sunday School
  • Church Leadership: Business Practices
  • and many more 
The full schedule and final list of workshops, registration information, and workshop descriptions will be available in the next Dio Log.

Save the date: Jesus Then and Now - the Diocesan Adult Retreat at Bishopswood on June 17-19

Join us for a weekend on beautiful Lake Megunticook near Camden. This retreat will nurture your heart, mind and soul. More info and registration coming in March.

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