Category Archives: Faith Development

This week’s Lenten reflection from Bishop Steve – Repentance

The second in a Lenten video series on practicing the presence of God.  Bishop Steve has this to say:

But the word repent comes from the Greek meaning, “to turn around.” We might think of that as meaning that we are invited to turn from sin, to turn from our failures – and that is certainly one meaning. More importantly, it means to turn toward God, to turn in a godward direction – to conform our lives to God.

You may read the text version here.

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(Virtual) Compline Sunday evenings in Lent

Join us this evening for Compline from the comfort of your own home!

After this month’s success in hosting the Bishop’s Epiphany book group with the online conferencing program, WebEx, we’ve decided to try our hand diocese-wide online worship.

Each Sunday evening in Lent, at 9 p.m., those who wish may gather for virtual Compline.

Interested? Please sign up for one or more dates below.

The order of service will be displayed on the screen and the audio will be by phone conference call. Instructions for all will be sent by invitation once you register. Turning on your webcam is optional given the evening hour.  (The people of the Diocese of Missouri have a popular version of this they call this RSVP – Robe and Slippers Virtual Prayer.)

To start, each week will be limited to the first 15 people who sign up.

February 26   / March 4  /  March 11  /  March 18  /  March 25  /  April 1

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Bishop Steve: Advent offers glimmers and glimpses of God’s better world

A message from the Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane on the season of Advent and the hope of Christmas.  A text version is below the video screen.

In one of my favorite Advent books, theologian Wendy Wright talks about Advent as the season of yearning for fulfillment. It’s the time when we allow ourselves to experience the contrast between the world as it is and the world we hope for. It’s the time when we hear again God’s promise of fulfillment, of unity with God and one another, and we allow ourselves to believe it.

In a world that is so out of joint in so many ways, it’s easy for us to tell a story of sadness and loss. It’s easy to think of our time as one of fading glory and promises unkept.

Yet, for all the difficulties of our day, there’s another story we might tell: a story about something good just over the horizon. The human heart yearns for fulfillment, for wholeness. Whether it’s a primordial memory or a spiritual hunger, we cannot let go of the possibility that a world better than one we see awaits us. And it doesn’t take much to get our hearts pounding with hope. It doesn’t take much for us to shed tears of joy.

Our Christmas celebration doesn’t actually offer very much. Just a child in a stable. But that infant, that helpless human being, is not only the sign of God’s presence with us, but is the reality of that presence. The world is full of many sad things. But that’s not the whole story. The world is also full of promise, of glimmers and glimpses of God’s better world.

I suspect many of you are feeling a bit battered this Advent. I know I am. But then there’s that baby. May God grant you glimmers and glimpses of the world God promises. And may you embrace it with every fiber of your being. May hope bloom in your heart, and may you be a sign of hope to others.

Merry Christmas.

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Welcome Advent

Between today and December 24 follow Trinity Wall Street’s online Advent calendar, Light Breaks. Each day a new window will open with Advent reflections, video and a chance to share your response. Visit by clicking the image below:

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Three great opportunities to learn and grow on Saturday, October 1

Whether your interests focus on ministry, service or stewardship, there are three opportunities for you across the Diocese of Maine next Saturday, October 1, in Waterville, Auburn and Kennebunk.  Learn more below.

Baptismal Ministry Day:  October 1 at St. Mark’s, Waterville

On Saturday, October 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. join people from all over the Diocese in a day of story and learning at St. Mark’s, Waterville – presentations about unique ministries, small group forums, and featuring time with Bishop Lane.  A delicious lunch is provided by the Committee on Baptismal Ministry.

Topics to be covered include: women’s ministry, music ministry, youth ministry, community gardens, collaborative ministry between congregations, Cursillo, healing ministry and discerning one’s spiritual gifts.  Bishop Lane will be on hand to talk about the Mission Study Group white papers and resolutions to come before Convention.

Details and registration are here.  (Scroll down the page to the “Register Here” link.)  An updated flyer is available here.

Faithful Member Home Visitation Workshop

 Questions from the Maine Stewardship Initiative: 

Is your congregation considering an every member canvass this year?

Do you want to incorporate a stewardship conversation into your congregation’s new member program?

Do you just want to raise your comfort level with talking about money one-on-one or in a home setting?  

If so, gather with other Maine Episcopalians for the Faithful Member Home Visitation workshop on Saturday, October 1, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at St. David’s in Kennebunk. Registration is simple: just send an e-mail to Lisa Meeder Turnbull at, providing your name and home congregation.

This workshop is offered at the request of congregations in York and Cumberland Counties. If you would like to have an event offered in your area, addressing any aspect of the Diocesan Stewardship Initiative, please let Lisa know and she will be in touch to begin planning.

Deacons offer workshop for all on “learning how to help”

Ever wonder how to help someone access Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) services? Do you wonder what services are even out there? Consider coming to “A Day with DHHS.”  The Community of Deacons invites you to share in a continuing education program October 1, at St. Michael’s, Auburn.  Led by three current DHHS employees, the program is designed to help deacons — and others whose work or ministry puts them in contact with those on the margins — learn what DHHS has to offer and how to help those in need to access appropriate services.  The program will run 9 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. with the option of staying through lunch. For more information or to register for this educational opportunity, please contact Mary Lee Wile at

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Filed under Deacons, Diocesan Life, Faith Development, Ministry and Outreach, Stewardship

Back to Church Sunday: September 18…Invite Someone

Watch this super-inviting video. Share it widely.

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Filed under Diocesan Life, Faith Development, Ministry and Outreach, The Church in a Changing World

Education for Ministry offered in nine locations around Maine

by the Rev. Rosalee Glass, Diocesan EfM coordinator
Deacon at St. Thomas’, Camden

Imagine a setting where you could continue your life-long learning, a setting where you could discuss faith issues you might not feel comfortable discussing elsewhere. Education for Ministry (EfM) is such a setting; it’s a learning experience meant for all of us who care about growing in faith and service to God. We are fortunate that it is offered in nine locations around our Diocese (see the information below).

The Program is a comprehensive and well-organized study of Old Testament, New Testament, Church History, and Theology. Though it’s a four-year program, students need sign up for only one year at a time. Each year of the course is taken in order, but it’s fine to take a year(s) off and return to the Program later.

EfM is a rich and enjoyable experience because the learning and reflection take place in a small group seminar of between 6 and 12 participants, guided by a trained EfM mentor. Participants not only gain their own new insights and inspiration, but also share in the insights and inspiration of others. Groups generally meet once a week to share worship and insights about their lessons and to reflect theologically, connecting scripture, culture, life experience and beliefs. The EfM group becomes a small Christian community of faith, supporting each other’s journeys and understandings of how God is calling us to act in the world. Other than the ability to read one lesson each week, there are no pre-requisites for EfM.

Here’s how some current students have described EfM: 

“An oasis in the week when I get to listen to the stillness of God.”

“Opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of our faith traditions, while simultaneously exploring ways to put my faith into practice in the real world, and all in the company and fellowship of a wonderfully diverse group of committed Christians.”

“A logical approach to understanding the origin and growth of Christianity.”

“I have gained new insights into the Old Testament, and discovered that the
loving, forgiving God that I have always thought of can be found there.”

EfM groups take a break during the summer. They will start again in September, so it’s a good time to consider enrolling for the fall. Current EfM church locations and mentors to contact are:

Trinity, Portland; mentor- Jim Lannon,
St. Peter’s, Bridgton; mentor- Margaret Reimer,
Grace Church, Bath; mentor- Carol Huntington,
(new) St. Matthew’s, Hallowell; mentor- Patricia Buck-Welton,
St. John Baptist, Thomaston; mentor- Emily Rotch,
St. Peter’s, Rockland; mentor- Jim Bowditch,
St. Thomas’, Camden; mentor- Rosalee Glass,
St. Francis, Blue Hill; mentor- John Faulkner,
St. John’s, Bangor; mentor- Patricia Sprague,

For more information, contact Episcopal Diocese of Maine EfM Coordinator Rosalee Glass,

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Filed under Faith Development, Training and Education Events