Mid Maine District UMC Newsletter No. 83
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Moving on after Election Day: Tips for finding healing and peace

A Feature by Joe Iovino*
November 9, 2016

November 9, 2016 has finally arrived. The votes have been counted and the United States has a new president-elect.

After more than a year of campaigning, it’s over. Or is it?

The Rev. W. Craig Gilliam helps us find ways to reconnect after times of conflict. Photo courtesy of the Rev. W. Craig Gilliam. 

To help us move forward, we asked a United Methodist pastor, the Rev. W. Craig Gilliam, for techniques and tips about how to begin a process of healing and find peace. Gilliam is an expert on conflict transformation in the church. He serves as Coordinator of Congregational Services for JustPeace, Director for the Center for Pastoral Excellence for the Louisiana Annual Conference, and is the author of Where Wild Things Grow, a book of poetry that “invites us to grapple with the relationships between and among people and things.”


The divisiveness of the campaign has made many uneasy, or what some counselors call anxious. 

“We are living in an extremely anxious culture,” Gilliam reports.

When we are anxious, we tend to rely on emotional reactions rather than reasoned responses. You probably saw this in your social media feed.

In our anxiety, Gilliam reports, “We do each other harm in ways we didn't even know we had the capacity to do, or in ways we're not even aware we're doing it.”

One unhealthy way we cope with our anxiety is to retreat to safe places by finding people with whom we agree and limiting our connection to others. We unfriend people on Facebook, limit our phone calls with that one uncle, and avoid certain people at church.

Living in these “safe spaces,” however, allows us to fool ourselves.

“When I cut off from another,” Gilliam notes, “I begin to create narratives about them.” Those stories often include what we believe about ourselves and God. 

The false narrative usually goes something like this: They are bad. We are good. God is on our side.

This, of course, is not true. The Bible tells us that all of us are created in God’s image, are loved by God, and have God’s grace available to us.

Now that the election is over, we need to reconnect. Where we once moved away, we must now move toward.

“If I'm interacting with that other, if I'm sitting down looking at them eye-to-eye, if I'm listening to their stories,” Gilliam says, “that very interaction helps make space for the alternative narratives and for the correction in the narrative I'm telling myself about the other.”

Our diverse United Methodist churches provide wonderful opportunities for connection. Worship, Sunday School, choir, committee meetings, and the sacrament of Holy Communion bring us into contact with one another, and reinforce the true narrative that we are all children of God.  Read more...

 Mid Maine Clergy Days Schedule
December 8.  
The Clergy Days are located at Camp Mechuwana: 8:30 Bible Study (NEW);  9:00 fellowship; 9:30-10:00 worship and 10:00-12:00 program.
Church Conferences are being scheduled and confirmed.  Please follow this link to view yours.
It is updated daily
Key Leader for the Next RIPPLE EFFECT Announced
Wednesday to Friday, Nov. 15-17, 2017.
Register early for limited spots in Wednesday’s Clergy workshop.
Mike McHargue (better known as Science Mike) is an author, podcaster, and speaker focused on the science behind spiritual experiences. Mike lost his faith via atheism as an adult, but rediscovered God in cosmology and neuroscience–a journey that lead to his life's mission: helping people reconcile their faith with modern science.
Mike cofounded The Liturgists with Michael Gungor of the award winning band Gungor. Together they assembled a diverse cast of contributors including Rob Bell, Shauna Niequist, Amena Brown, Rachel Held Evans, Pete Holmes, Sleeping At Last, and All Sons and Daughters. Part of The Liturgists' work is a curiously popular podcast, The Liturgists Podcast. By examining topics through the lenses of science, art, and faith with a commitment to open, honest discussions, The Liturgists Podcast has attracted hundreds of thousands of listeners of remarkable diversity including not only a broad swath of Christianity, but also the religiously unaffiliated–including agnostics and atheists.  Read more about Mike.
Thanks to the generosity of our MidMaine Leadership co-sponsors, Kents Hill School, and The Preacher’s Aid Society,  the lunch cost for laity on November 19 is $5 and for clergy is free (not $10 each as was originally planned).  Lunch will feature soup and a salad bar with beverages and desert. One dining area will be designated for conversation between participants in the Shift network as well as those who would like to learn more about this congregational development opportunity. During the gathering time, hot beverages and pastries will be available courtesy of the MidMaine District. We look forward to fellowshipping with you in this beautiful new space overlooking the white mountains and rolling hills of central Maine on November 19!
News from Camp Mechuwana Youth Program.
Please view the full youth newsletter here! 

This week you are invited to pray for the following churches:As connectional United Methodists, we invite you to hold faith communities in prayer each week

Readfield UMC
Vassalboro UMC
Centenary UMC
Bradley Memorial UMC
Bartlett Memorial UMC


What’s happening with the Lay Servant Ministry Program?

Please contact me at for more information or to offer to help

Mid Maine District Leadership Academy
November 19, 2016

Bibby and Harold Alfond Dining Commons
Kents Hill School
1614 Main Street, Kents Hill, ME

See full brochure HERE
Parking is available at the Alfond Sports Center, a short walk away through the scenic campus. 
Those requiring handicap parking should contact the District Office for a parking pass.

Lunch is catered – $10.00 donation suggested. Please email dietary restrictions to Lori

Child care provided – registration required by November 12th
For more information or questions, please contact Lori or 207-395-4080
“Seeking the Holy among the Holly”   …a day retreat for those seeking inner peace

Retreat Leader:       Rev. Heidi Chamberland
Monday,  December 5  OR Saturday, December 10

9:30AM – 3:00 PM
15 Autumn Crossing, Gray, ME

$25 (includes lunch)  please bring a bible and heart yearning for peace
Registration limited to first 15 that sign up for each day!  For FULL brochure click here!
NEW events on the district, click on the image below
Mid Maine District Contact
Rev. Dr. Karen Munson, DS
Lori Umberhind, AA
Office Hours
Monday-Thursday 8:00-3:00 or by appointment. 
Copyright © 2016 Mid Maine District UMC, New England Annual Conference,  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 89 East Winthrop, ME 04343

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New England Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church · PO Box 89 · East Winthrop, ME 04343 · USA

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