“Gather, Share, and Build” with Spirit Chats

Have you ever experienced a “God-incident” in your life and wanted to share it but weren’t sure where or with whom? Perhaps this has so spilled over into your daily life, you want to talk about it with others, but find it difficult at coffee hour.

If you feel God has been moving in your life, and you want to hear from others how God is moving in theirs, the Evangelism Task Force—a joint project of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and Episcopal Church in New Hampshire—has a new opportunity and an invitation for you to share your story during Spirit Chats.

Several groups have met and more sessions are being scheduled in 2024!

Email the Rev. Alanna Van Antwerpen to join this exciting movement with “Spirit Chats” in the subject line.

 

Summer Finale 2024

Come to Summer Finale this September 13-15! This is the Episcopal Diocese of Maine’s annual celebration at Camp Bishopswood in Hope, Maine on Lake Megunticook.

All are welcome … we really mean it! Although Camp Bishopswood serves our youth during its regular season, Summer Finale is a time when everyone joins the fun! That means households or individuals, that means friends and family, and that means YOU, whoever you are!

From check in at 5 p.m. on Friday, September 13 and an optional dinner on Friday night to a farewell breakfast on the morning of Sunday, September 15, you are invited to spend the weekend with us.  There is a day-only option on Saturday, September 14 which includes lunch. View our Summer Finale FAQ guide here.

Register for Summer Finale here, including the one-day option and the overnight options.

And back this year after a several-year hiatus, we will open Bishopswood for the entire day on Friday, September 13 for a mini formation retreat especially for folks who do formation work in our diocese. As in years past, this will be an opportunity to spend a day in conversation with formation folks, to eat yummy food and imagine ways in which we can collaborate and uplift one another in our formation work.

Register for the Formation Mini-Retreat on September 13th from 10 a.m. -5 p.m. here.

Contributing to the Christian Community

All of us contribute so much to the tapestry of our shared Christian community, but equally we bring our gifts to our home life, to our workplaces, to every person we meet. What gift do you have that God might be calling you to share? Where is the place where, in the words of Frederick Buechner, your deep gladness meets the world’s deep hunger?

Discernment is not only a process for those who want to become a priest or a deacon. It’s not a ploy to figure out how to get more people to volunteer in church ministries. At its heart, discernment is an act of faith: that God is alive and moving in your life at this very moment – and has dreams for you that you can’t yet dream for yourself.

Ways to Start Your Own Discernment

Discernment is for every one of us walking on the Way of Love, doing our best to figure out where God is calling us next. Discernment is listening for the voice of God in our big crossroads moments, as well as in our everyday decisions.

Discernment is exploring our God-given gifts – even those that aren’t specifically “churchy.”

Have questions? Start a conversation and make an appointment with your priest or deacon to share your questions and thoughts.

Explore Pathways: life-long learning opportunities for ALL the baptized

As part of Bexley Seabury’s seminary-beyond-walls philosophy, they’ve launched Pathways to educate, form, and catalyze the Body of Christ to blaze new pathways for prophetic and pastoral service in response to God’s call. While there is a logic and sequence to the courses and programs available, all of the courses, workshops, events, and activities are designed so you can choose the combination and order that best suit your interests and needs.

Explore Your Options

Education for Ministry (EfM): What’s Your Ministry?

Relationship with God is found through relationships with his people on earth; play your part and find meaning in life by discovering God’s purpose for the world.

Since 1975 and for over 30 years in the Diocese of Maine, EfM has offered an opportunity to discover how to respond to our call to Christian service. Graduates come to understand that serving God happens everywhere – not just in a worship setting. In coming to terms with the notion that everything we do has potential for manifesting the love of Christ, we discover that our ministry is within reach wherever we are.

Discover Christ. Discover Yourself. Discover Your Ministry.

Learn more about EfM in Maine

Wayfinders logo

Join a small group of fellow discerners.

The Wayfinders discernment ministry is based here in Maine, created and led by Commission on Ministry member Darreby Ambler. On a Wayfinders team, a small group of four to six people come together on a retreat to listen to where God might be calling each of them next. From that discernment, each chooses a goal to bring to life. Then for eight meetings afterward the teammates support each other and hold each other accountable as they take their first steps toward where God is calling them. Wayfinders teams build tremendous fellowship – and are just a lot of fun! Questions? Drop a note to Darreby Ambler.

Contact Darreby

Retreat Opportunities

Go on a nine-month retreat during your everyday life.

Based in Kennebunk, Maine, Manresa Way – an Ignatian Spirituality Ministry leads retreatants through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola. Retreatants develop a closer, more personal relationship with Jesus, as well as an opportunity to discern God’s call. The spiritual exercises are offered as a retreat in the world: retreatants experience daily prayer using scripture as a guide, as well as meet once a week for 30 weeks from October to May. (Those weekly sessions include private time with your prayer guide.)

Contact the Reverend Gail Chandler for more information.

Companions of Holy Cross Adelynrood

Adelynrood is a retreat center in Byfield Mass (a few miles over the NH line) owned and operated by The Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. They offer women and men an opportunity to visit and to discover new resources for spiritual development through conferences and workshops, as well as individual or group retreats, and quiet days. Adelynrood also has private rooms available mid-May through September for individuals who would like to spend unstructured time in a community of prayer and hospitality.

The Alcyon Center on Mount Desert Island

The Alcyon Center is a non-denominational center for “cultivating contemplative action for the sake of the world.” Their offerings include:

• Personal Retreats
• Courses and Retreats in spiritual practice
• Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training
• Spring and Fall Volunteer Work Weeks
• Weekly Bible Reflection
• Monthly Quiet Day and Soul Friends

Educational Opportunities

All-Ages Fellowship & Worship in 2024

Families, individuals, and households from across the Episcopal Diocese of Maine were invited to celebrate the end of summer together for a weekend at Camp Bishopswood. There was free diocese-wide programming during the day on Saturday with optional camping.

Join us this September 13-15!  You can view our Summer Finale Frequently Asked Questions guide here.

This is a chance to meet Episcopalians from around the diocese and to be with God in an intergenerational community!

Register for Summer Finale here, including the one-day option and the overnight options.

 

An Advent of Wonder

Families were invited to share in the quiet wonder of the Advent season with Godly Play in a gentle series whre caregivers and children gathered for 1, 2 or all 3 weekly ‘circles’ to share in the story of Advent. In 2023, this event was a time for families/households to talk about the deep meaning of Christmas so that it’s meaningful for years to come.

All sessions were on Tuesdays from 7-8 p.m. in a variety of locations:

  • on Zoom
  • at a church
  • at a private home

Watch for more opportunities like this in 2024.

 

 

The Episcopal Diocese of Maine and Episcopal Church in New Hampshire rented a theatre in Newington, NH that seats 50 people for this one-day screening event in January 2024.

The film “A Case for Love” is a documentary, inspired by the teachings and writings of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. It examines the question of whether or not love, specifically unselfish love, is the solution to the extreme societal and political divisions and the current rending of our social contract.

The event was free for youth and adult youth volunteers who also met for a reception following the film to eat pizza and debrief at St. John in Portsmouth.

Have a single question you are wrestling with?

Sometimes we are looking for God’s guidance around a single question, such as a new job opportunity, a challenge that has landed in your lap, a personal decision. The Listening Hearts discernment process creates a space where people can wrestle with a question or a series of questions. Our diocese currently uses the Listening Hearts technique for people discerning a call to ordained ministry – but the technique is for any person of faith listening for God’s voice.

What you need:

Adult Ministry Resources

Download a copy of the discernment resources above as a pdf here.