Spring Training logo

Saturday, April 27, 2019
South Parish Congregational Church
9 Church Street
Augusta, Maine


"Walking the way of love"


Gather with Bishop Steve Lane and Episcopalians across the diocese for a day of learning, sharing, and growth. With 22 workshops to choose from, you'll find what you're looking for. There's no cost for this event, but please register by Easter.

Schedule | FAQs | Register Now! 

Workshop Descriptions 2019:

Session I
Session II
Session III

Share the news! Download a flyer, bulletin insert or printable workshop descriptions to share with members of your congregation.

If you want to bring a display about a ministry or church program, you can reserve a display table


Schedule of the Day

8:30 to 9:15 - Greeting and Coffee

9:30 to 11:00 - Workshop Session I (with Dwelling in the Word)

11:15 to Noon - Plenary with remarks from Bishop Lane, worship, and music

Noon to 12:30 - Lunch

12:45 to 2:00 - Workshop Session II

2:15 to 3:30 - Workshop Session III (and clean up)


FAQs (Check back here before the event, because we’ll keep adding information.)

WHEN? Saturday, April 27, 2019.  

TIME? Coffee and a snack are available from 8:30 - 9:15.  The workshops begin at 9:30 and end at 3:30.

WHERE? South Parish Congregational Church, 9 Church Street in Augusta.

PARKING? Please save the parking places in the lot in front of the church for people who have difficulty walking and those workshop presenters who are transporting large items like projectors. You can park (1) behind the church, (2) at the Maine State Employees Association (3) on the street, or (4) in the free parking garage which is four blocks away at 1 Winthrop Street.  This year there is an afternoon wake at the funeral home, so please don't park in the funeral home lot.

WHERE SHOULD I GO WHEN I ARRIVE?  The parking lot door will be the easiest to use. Check in at the Registration Table, where you will get a list of workshop locations and pay for pre-ordered lunches.  Allow time for coffee, breakfast snacks, visiting, and browsing the display tables.

WHAT ABOUT LUNCH? You can either bring your own or reserve a lunch to benefit this summer's Youth Ministry Mission Exchange. These are the options: ham & cheese sandwich, turkey sandwich, vegetarian pasta salad - all with chips, apple and homemade cookie. The cost is only $8. All proceeds will benefit the mission exchange, during which a team of Maine teens will go to South Dakota this July to help with a diocesan project for younger kids, and our partners will come to Maine the following summer for a reciprocal mission project. When you register, you can order a lunch and then pay the $8 when you arrive. Be prepared to eat in a room without a table.

WHO CAN COME?  Everyone is invited, but registration is required so we can plan for you. The variety of workshops were chosen to appeal to everyone in churches around Maine.  Registration is required before Easter.

WHERE DO I REGISTER? Register here. Registration will close if we reach capacity of 200 people. Otherwise, it will close on Easter. Sorry, group registration isn't available. We need to get a headcount for workshops in order to put them in the right-sized rooms.

I FORGOT WHICH WORKSHOPS I REGISTERED FOR? Look at your confirmation email. Or use your best guess. Or check the list available at registration which will also indicate which workshops have unlimited seating.

HANDOUTS/DISPLAYS?  If you would like to highlight your church program or ministry, we invite you to reserve a display table.

GRATITUDE:  Thank you to South Parish for their wonderful hospitality!

QUESTIONS? Ask Jane Hartwell at .  


Workshop Session I: 9:30-11:00 am

Creative Approaches to the Prayers of the People
We will explore the many ways we, as the people of God, can include prayers for the church, the world and those in need during our worship services.  We will share resources and ideas for some innovative approaches to the time of sharing the concerns and thanksgivings of the congregation.  If there's time and interest, we'll practice what we've learned by writing a set of prayers to take home with us.  Led by Nancy Moore.
Year-Round Stewardship - An Exercise in Program Design
This workshop explores the elements of a year-round stewardship program.  What is needed in the way of education, communication, and commitment by leaders and by congregants?  What are we trying to accomplish in such a program?  The participants in this workshop will work together to create a model program that answers these questions and gives participants tools to take back to their own congregations. Led by Terry Reimer.
Talking About Faith in Everyday Life
Explore the reasons why talking about faith seems to be so hard, including the difference between coercion - which many people believe evangelism is - and conversation, which is simply people engaging with one another as normal, friendly, curious human beings.  Experiment with some easy, non-threatening ways to try on talking about faith.  Unlock the words we need to share our stories.  This workshop is adapted by Melinda Corey and Jane Hartwell from a workshop at a recent Episcopal conference.  
Parables of Jesus 
We know that Jesus' parables lie at the heart of his proclamation of God's kingdom. So if we want to understand Jesus' messages about God, we have to engage with all the parables Jesus spoke. But why did Jesus speak in parables to teach people about God’s kingdom? Join Deirdre Good, Th.D., for a discussion of ways to understand and proclaim these crucial stories Jesus told. Please bring your Bibles.
Registration has closed for: Praying in Paint
Explore intuitive prayerful painting from the Source. Opportunity will be provided for both individual process and a collaborative piece. Materials will be provided for you. Led by Susan Taylor.
Registration has closed for: Taking the Mystery Out of Diocesan Convention Resolutions
The Diocesan Convention is the governing body of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine. Composed of lay delegates and clergy from each congregation, it meets every year. Resolutions submitted by the diocese are the legislative vehicle for obtaining support for a particular issue. Have you ever wondered how the Diocese of Maine takes stands on public policy? Have you ever had an idea you would like to bring to the larger church? This workshop is for you.  This workshop will be led by Calvin Sanborn and Brenda Hamilton. They are veterans of General Convention, the governing body of The Episcopal Church, and will discuss how to take the mystery out of submitting resolutions for consideration here at home.
Let’s Talk About Vaping and Youth
What do you know about the recent vaping craze in our schools? What are the dangers of vaping? Would you like to learn more? Join a lively discussion with the Cumberland Chief of Police Charles Rumsey, Beth Blakeman-Pohl of Casco Bay CAN (Creating Awareness Now), at least one local youth (TBD), and the Rev. Nathan Ferrell of Saint Mary’s in Falmouth. Come away with contacts and tools to enable your church to lead a workshop like this for your community.

Workshop Session II: 12:45- 2:00 pm

Engaging in Global Mission
Have you ever thought about how to be a part of God's mission in the world, what it means to do so, or where to begin? While we’re all called to become effective and strategic partners in God’s mission in the world, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’re all called to be international travelers. In this workshop, we’ll discuss reasons for “global mission,” global mission in the Episcopal Church, and how we might engage in global mission. Everything from raising funds, to supporting the efforts of Episcopal Relief and Development, to organizing a mission team and preparing it to go abroad. Led by Ted Gaiser.
Vestry Roundtable  
In Episcopal congregations, authority is shared between the priest and the Vestry (or Bishop's Committee, in mission congregations), with support and oversight from the Bishop.  But while priests and bishops spend a lifetime learning how to live into those roles, vestries have new members every year.  How can vestry members best support the mission and ministry of Christ in their local congregations?  Michael Ambler will discuss the role and importance of the vestry, share some ideas and practices that may be helpful, and invite discussion and questions from participants.
Community, Privilege, and Diversity
We in the church are being increasingly challenged to examine our assumptions and the ways that privilege may blind us to walking the way of love with others. But privilege can be positive, too, in the sense that we are privileged to be invited into relationship with those whose life experiences differ radically from our own. Sharing stories is at the heart of this work. Members of St. Paul's will explore avenues for opening up conversation about assumptions and differences, including exercises from the "Who is My Neighbor?" Lenten adult education series offered at St. Paul's in 2018.
Creative Basics for Children 
Explore how to share the basics of Christian faith and experience with children. Katie Holicky, Anne-Marie Miller and Jane Hartwell will share a framework for meeting this important need. Then we’ll do some experiential learning and give you many concrete resources and ideas that can be used whether your church has one child or forty. Please bring one resource or idea to share. Let’s help each other foster learning for the youngest among us. 
Centering Prayer: A Practice to Still the Waters Within
In this experiential workshop, participants will engage with the practice of Centering Prayer where periods of silence, reflection on passages of Scripture or other sacred texts, and awareness of breath and body are used to center and still oneself in contemplative prayer. Over time this prayer practice can deepen one’s awareness of the still small voice of God and lead to a reservoir of calm and a foundation of groundedness in everyday life. This session will include a brief overview of the history of Centering Prayer in America and provide resources to start a Centering Prayer practice in your individual prayer life or parish.  Led by Holly Hoffmann.
Registration has closed for: World Cafe Discernment Session 
Do you have a pressing question you’d like help discerning? Kit Wang and Darreby Ambler will host a kinetic discernment session using the World Cafe process. Come with a question or to support the questioners.
Making Clergy Compensation Fair for All 
This is an opportunity for Clergy and Laity to have input and discussion on the new process for determining the basic clergy compensation for letters of agreement.  There will be a resolution addressing this at our next convention.  Discussion will include:  Past history.  What is new?  What should be changed (if anything)? And How do we get this information to delegates to our next convention?  Led by Peter Bickford and the Clergy Compensation Committee.
Singing Together in Community
St Augustine is thought to be the author of the words, "He who sings, prays twice." By that Augustine meant that the words of our prayers and praises are amplified by the emotion and spirit of singing. When we sing, our bodies get involved. We fill our lungs with air and our blood with oxygen. While words are a right brain function, singing opens our access to the left brain. People who find praying difficult or boring may have a whole different experience of worship through song. Let’s gather to reflect on how we can deepen our experience of song in our churches. And let us sing together. Led by Steve Lane.

Workshop Session III: 2:15 - 3:30 pm

Finance and Administration, Not Just the Church Treasurer's Job
The Church Treasurer position is a hard one to fill and to keep filled.  This workshop looks at the tasks and duties assigned to Treasurers in typical congregations.  Can these tasks be split among volunteers and/or paid employees?  Is it possible to make the Church Treasurer position less onerous and less of a "life sentence"?  The participants in this workshop will work together to design positions within the congregation that, while covering the essentials of finance and administrative functions, still allow for reasonable workloads on those who volunteer for these church positions. Led by Terry Reimer.
Creative Uses for The Way of Love in Your Church
The new Episcopal Church curriculums for children and adults, The Way of Love, provide resources for the formation of Episcopalians that may be used in a variety of settings. The Way of Love may be used by individuals for their individual study and reflection. It may guide the practice of daily prayers. It may be used by small groups and Sunday School classes. And it may provide a whole church structure for seasonal study. I want to explore with you how The Way of Love might be used in your church or home. How creative can we get? Led by Steve Lane and Holly Hoffmann.
Laundry Love
Laundry Love is a human care movement in which communities partner with local laundromats to provide opportunities for our low-income neighbors to wash their clothing and bedding.  In April 2018, St. David’s Kennebunk hosted the first-ever Laundry Love event in Maine. We are excited to share how other congregations can bring Laundry Love to their communities.  In this how-to workshop, topics addressed will include partnering with a laundromat, volunteer training, event logistics, funding, and more. Sara Clinehens will also share how we have troubleshot challenges that have arisen in the first year of our ministry.  Come learn how a laundromat can be a “place where strangers become friends, people are known by name, hope is hustled, and the worth of every human being is acknowledged and celebrated.”
The Church and Social Media
Tips, tricks, and best practices to building your beloved community with social media. Led by Mark Spahr and Katie Holicky.
Creation Care
Join others who honor the sacredness of God’s creation.  We’ll explore nature as a portal to contemplative prayer; the relationship between ecological and social justice; creation-centered liturgies; earth-friendly burials; the power of faith-based advocacy; our relationship with the earth as co-creations of God; Deep Green Churches; and the biblical framework for creation care. Join God’s work of reconciling all things to God’s self through Christ. Come ready to share and learn. Take home resources for your church and community. Led by Nathan Ferrell and Jane Hartwell.
Congregational Transitions
Change is in the air.  You know that we've just elected and will soon welcome a new Bishop.  But did you know that in the next couple of years, nearly half our congregations will also be seeking new priests?  Change is exciting and a chance for the Holy Spirit to stir things up in new and wonderful ways.  But it can also be alarming, especially if we don't know what's happening or how to take part.  In this workshop Michael Ambler will describe the journey that a congregation takes from the time a priest announces plans to depart, up to the time a new priest settles in.  The process is not as complicated as it has sometimes seemed, and there's lots of help and support along the way.  This workshop is an introduction for everyone, whether or not you think clergy transition is in your near future; you'll come away with an understanding of the overall process, plus a user-friendly handbook. 
Christ's Hands and Feet: Social Justice as Formation for Everybody
Join us to talk about different ways of integrating social justice projects into formation for children, youth, and intergenerational groups. We'll talk about a developmental model for teaching children and youth social justice and talk about specific projects we've done in our parishes. We'll brainstorm together about ways we can equip all our members to be the hands and feet of Jesus in our messy and broken world. Led by Anne-Marie Miller and Melinda Corey.

143 State Street | Portland, ME 04101 | Phone: (207) 772-1953 |