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news and events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine since 1999
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Volume 18, Number 5  ~  March 11, 2016

What's New in the Episcopal Church in Maine

prayers for...

the high schoolers and adult staff gathering this weekend at Trinity, Portland, for the Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) retreat.

Bishop Steve Lane and bishops of the Episcopal Church as they gather this week at the House of Bishops meeting at Camp Allen in the Diocese of Texas. Follow what the bishops are up with the hashtag #HOBspring16.

the family of the Rev. Francis "Fritz" Creamer of Waldoboro, priest of the Diocese of Long Island, upon his death on February 27. His obituary may be found here.

The funeral of M. Marteile Benson, wife of the Ven. Thomas Benson, will be held on Saturday, March 12, at 2 p.m. at St. John's in Bangor. Her obituary may be found here. 

voices among us...
Read Bishop Steve's recent sermons on his blog, "God's Crazy Love," preached at St. Ann's, Windham, and "God grants us time to turn around," Church at 209 in Augusta.

Check out the March newsletter of the Maine Episcopal Network for Justice. Follow MENJ on Twitter @maineenj. MENJ will offer its first advocacy training tomorrow at St. Luke's Cathedral to a full house. Follow the hashtag #faithandjustice beginning at 10 a.m.

The new blog post on the New Northeast is about youth group at St. Paul's, Brunswick's recent trip to Dominican Republic.

And lest we forget....

Around the Diocese

Spring Training 2016 on April 9 in Brunswick: 
Choose from among 20 workshops 

On Saturday, April 9, gather with Bishop Steve Lane and Episcopalians from across the diocese for a day of learning, sharing, and growth at St. Paul's in Brunswick.

A church leader? A clergy person? Someone interested in spiritual growth or community outreach? 

With 20 workshops to choose from, you'll find what you're looking for. Light breakfast and drinks provided; please bring your own bag lunch.

Details about the day and full workshop descriptions are here. Space is limited, so please register to attend soon.

Beware of email "phishing expeditions" in Maine churches

Earlier this week we became aware of three instances of an email sent under a legitimate church or diocesan email address under an alias. (A report is just in from the Diocese of Nebraska of similar attempts.)

The language in all three was identical, asking for information related to an immediate wire transfer. Please take caution in responding to any email that seems unlikely or suspicious. 

Thanks and update from St. Luke's Cathedral

In the fall of 2015, St. Luke's embarked on a $1.5 million capital campaign to raise funds to repair the cathedral's east wall and rose window after engineers determined that the wall and window were in danger of collapsing. The campaign funds will support these and additional improvements to the building that will include the installation of much needed new bathrooms, addressing fire code and mold issues within the building, increasing meeting space, updating the kitchen, and improving the rear entrance to be more welcoming and less confusing to visitors. The extent of these improvements and repairs will depend on the amount of dollars raised and the costs of repairing the east wall and rose window. In an effort to give beyond ourselves, the vestry voted to give 10% of the total dollars raised to Camp Bishopswood, which is in desperate need of a new septic system.

We are pleased to announce that, to date, pledges to the campaign total $1,192,667 and gifts collected to immediately support the construction project total $322,207. Work will begin on the east wall and rose window this spring and will conclude in the fall. Work on Camp Bishopswood's septic system is currently underway so that facilities will be ready for summer camp.

St. Luke's is most grateful to everyone who has contributed to the campaign. It is not too late to support your cathedral and Camp Bishopswood! To make a contribution, please send a gift labeled "Living Stones Campaign" to St. Luke's Cathedral at 143 State Street, Portland 04101. To learn more about the campaign, please visit

Grace for Creation curriculum now available online

In 2011, the Episcopal Church House of Bishops issued a pastoral letter on the environment. In response, a five-week study course titled "A Life of Grace for the Whole World" has been created and is now available for download at

The curriculum follows the five sections of the Bishops' letter:
  • A Time for Repentance and Renewal (Confessional)
  • A Time for Grace for the Whole World (Sacramental) 
  • A Time for Justice and Sustainability (Prophetic)
  • A Time to Renew Ancient Practices (Holiness)
  • A Time to Commit and Act (Behavioral)
Good Friday offering for the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East

On Good Friday, offerings are invited from across The Episcopal Church to support the four dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. Funds are used to promote peace and mutual understanding through pastoral care, health care and educational programs throughout the region. To learn more about our Church's work in the Middle East, please visit Visit this page for posters, bulletin inserts, other resources, and instructions about how to share your offering.

The Presiding Bishop Michael Curry offers this invitation, "Our journey during Lent always leads us to Jerusalem...Our journey as Episcopalians also includes remembering our sister and brother Christians in the Holy Land who maintain the faith which we hold so dear. The political, social and spiritual challenges are well known. Their witness is an inspiration.

"As you know, each year, every bishop and congregation is encouraged by the Presiding Bishop to participate in the Good Friday Offering. This tradition is decades old and is an important statement of our solidarity with the members of the four dioceses of the Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. We have a Gospel imperative to be sure they know they are not forgotten behind the headlines or because of the distractions in our own lives."

St. Ann's, Windham, starts gofundme page for scholarships for children in Haiti

St. Ann's, Windham, is partnered with St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, Treille, Haiti. Over the last three years there has been a drought in Haiti which has affected the farmers in Treille. This has impacted parents ability to pay for their child's school tuition, uniforms, and school supplies.

St. Ann's is raising money to provide scholarships for students in Treille whose families have been impacted by the drought. We hope to raise $8,000 to provide financial support to these families in need. 

Please consider supporting us in this ministry by praying for the community of Treille and by offering financial support by donating to the scholarship fund at

Upcoming in Maine and Beyond

Bishop Lane hosts and online book discussion on Thursday, March 17

Bishop Lane recommends the book Reconciling All Things: A Christian Vision for Justice, Peace and Healing by Emmanuel Katongole and Chris Rice. He'll lead an online discussion about the book on Thursday, March 17, at 7:30 p.m. To participate in the conversation, go to at 7:15.

Episcopal Peace Fellowship meets in Augusta on March 19

Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine Chapter will hold its March meeting on Saturday, March 19, at St. Mark's/Prince of Peace Church at 209 Eastern Avenue in Augusta. New ideas for action and consideration are especially welcome along with new members and interested parties attending. We are a small but committed group of peace-minded believers. The meeting will begin at 10 a.m. and end after a shared potluck lunch (no contribution too modest).  

Ladies of the Lake concert to benefit the Augusta Community Warming Center

The quartet, the Ladies of the Lake, will offer an evening of Celtic music at St. Matthew's Church at 20 Union Street in Hallowell on Saturday, March 19, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at Click here for a flyer.

School of Healing Prayer at Church of Our Father, Hulls Cove - April 28-30

With the charge to learn how to love, listen, and pray, the Church of Our Father will offer a three-day School of Healing Prayer from April 28 to 30. Offered by the Diocese of Albany in partnership with Christian Healing Ministries, Inc., the April training will offer the first of four levels of instruction.

All are welcome. An informational brochure is available for download here. Click here for an application.

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