Category Archives: St. Bartholomew’s Yarmouth

Deputy of the Day (Saturday) – Nina Pooley

by the Rev. Nina Pooley
Rector of St. Bartholomew’s, Yarmouth

Saturday – it was a long, fabulous, but very strange day here at GC, and the schedule was a mess, add to that lots of celebrating, and processing… so I am just now getting to the notes. I walked into the Salt Palace today to witness the parade of bishops as they walked down the hallway to leave the building, get on the bus, and go to the church where they would prayerfully elect the next presiding bishop. It was quite a sight.

House of Deputies met to begin our session and celebrated the 230 years of the House of Deputies. To open the party the chaplain of the house, the Rev. Lester Mackenzie, had produced a really fun video.

The president of the House of Deputies had invited several distinguished former leaders of the house to celebrate with us. For me the highlight of that was being present when she presented Dr. Charles Willy with the House of Deputies medal, and the house stood and cheered for him. (Here’s a link to a video interview with Dr. Willy.)

Nina with Mr. Willy

Nina with Dr. Charles Willy

Dr. Willy resigned as president of the House of Deputies in protest when the church invalidated the ordination of the first women ordained in the Episcopal Church, the Philadelphia 11. This man was part of the pressure that helped the church realize that we needed to ordain women. When asked to come to this party and be recognized, he was surprised. President Jennings recounted that the phone line got so quiet that she worried that the call had dropped, but then Dr. Willy told her that he didn’t think anyone remembered. Well, today we had a chance to show him that we remember. Looking around it’s amazing how many lives he helped to change, so many deputies of color, so many women clergy. How do we say thank you enough?

I just had the chance to shake his hand and thank him for his courage. And tell him that he helped change my life. It made him cry, which of course made me cry… it was quite the morning!

And that was before the representatives from the House of Bishops came to report to the House of Deputies on the election of the next Presiding Bishop. Things would get a great deal more overwhelming soon. After the committee returned with their recommendation that we accept the bishop’s nomination for the presiding bishop elect, we were called back into order – and the president of the House of Deputies told us the results of the election – and the gallery erupted with cheers.

Bishop Michael Curry had been elected on the first ballot – remarkable. The whole house started cheering, people were crying and hugging and otherwise being completely overcome…

When Presiding Bishop-Elect Curry was escorted into the house, we were chanting a song the chaplain had taught us, “we are one together, yo, yo, yo,” the most incredible moment, really.

After we finally were recessed for lunch, we returned to get some work done – our deputation had a good afternoon on the floor of the house as well.

Brenda and her committee presented resolutions around substance abuse and the need for pastoral conversation.
Mark spoke to a resolution calling us to address the implicit racial bias in the criminal justice system and the need for a multi-faceted response on our part to bring justice to the prison system. IMG_1834

The house passed a resolution funding anti racism programming which was overwhelmingly popular. The committee I am working on had to go before the Program, Budget and Finance Committee (which Bishop Lane co-chairs) to testify to that group about a resolution coming out of our committee for environmental stewardship, for which we are asking for funds from the budget. It was interesting to see so much of how things work in the GC process.

I am hopeful that we will be able to get our resolution into a form that the GC can approve it, I’ll let you know more when I do! Off to crash, another long day tomorrow!

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Filed under General Convention, News from The Episcopal Church, St. Bartholomew's Yarmouth

Six New Initiative Fund grants awarded by Diocesan Council

The New Initiative Fund  grant program marked its third year as Diocesan Council met on February 23 at St. Martin’s in Palmyra. With a total of $35,000 to allocate and nearly twice that in requests from nine congregations, members of Council took seriously the hard decisions they were asked to make by studying the 99 pages of application materials prior to the meeting.

Each applicant was asked to demonstrate how their proposal to support a new or expanded ministry would conform to the Seven Criteria for Mission, approved by Diocesan Convention in October 2011.

At the end of the granting session, Council members approved six grants that ranged from $500 to $9,000. A seventh grant was tentatively approved pending additional information from the supporting congregation.

2013 New Initiative Fund awardees:

St. Margaret’s, Belfast – $9,000 – ENCOUNTERS

This ecumenical faith development program based on role-playing was developed in 2012 for Belfast area youth in grades 6 – 12. It draws in young people from several local churches as well as the un-churched.  Together with lay and clergy adult leaders, they meet on equal ground to explore the word of the Lord in today’s culture. Funding from this grant will allow for the development of a manual and training resources so that the program can be replicated in other communities in Maine and beyond.

St. Thomas’, Camden – $2,500 – Health and Wellness Ministry

This ministry will partner with local congregations to encourage whole person health through integration of mind, body and spirit, to increase self-knowledge, personal responsibility, and to foster interdependence among God’s people.
Combining ancient traditions of the Christian community and the knowledge and tools of modern health care, health ministry offers the community a living witness of the healing activity of God through the local congregation.

Christ Church, Eastport – $2,300 – Journey to the Center

This ministry will encourage and deepen contemplative spiritual practice by offering the community and other churches a traveling labyrinth and labyrinth finger sets. Additionally, the labyrinth can become a part of community festivals, retreats, quiet days, and as a part of Kids’ Club, an ecumenical Christian Education program. Within a Christian context, the labyrinth can be a way to teach scripture memorization, walking meditation, prayer, and an openness to the spirit of God. For those outside of a faith tradition, the labyrinth may encourage spiritual yearning and development.

Church of the Good Shepherd, Rangeley – $500 – Day of Remembrance

At a Day of Remembrance, scheduled for the summer of 2013,  Good Shepherd will collaborate with area churches and health care professionals to offer a public venue where the universal issues of death and dying in our culture are honored and to offer prayers of grief and thanksgiving for those who have died in the past two years.

St. John Baptist, Thomaston – $6,850 – Hospitality House – A Project of the Knox Homeless Coalition

St. John’s is involved with other churches in the region to restore, and revitalize the only homeless shelter in a three county area, which closed in November 2012. This is collaborative effort between the social service agencies and faith communities to house and address the needs of those in transition and without homes, particularly victims of domestic violence.

St. Bartholomew’s, Yarmouth (in partnership with St. Matthew’s, Hallowell) – $8,500 – Lectionary-based Curriculum

This project will build and implement a lectionary-based curriculum at St. Bart’s that will be shared collaboratively with St. Matthew’s with the goal of creating a three year curriculum that has been tested and is then shared with other congregations in the diocese. The curriculum would be supported by the creators who would then act as consultants for parishes implementing the curriculum in the future.


To learn more about any of the proposals, contact Canon Heidi Shott at 772.1953 x126 or

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Filed under Christ Church Eastport, Diocesan Life, Good Shepherd Rangeley, Ministry and Outreach, St. Bartholomew's Yarmouth, St. John Baptist Thomaston, St. Margaret's Belfast, St. Matthew's Hallowell, St. Thomas' Camden