Mid Maine District UMC Newsletter No. 100
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Please read more news, events, and ministry opportunities below .
Leading Questions
This week’s lectionary is full of questions.  Each part of the conversation among the LORD, Samuel, and Bethlehem’s elders leads with a question. (1 Samuel 16:1-13)  Each question probes an obstacle.
  • "How long will you grieve over Saul? the LORD asks Samuel, wanting Samuel to move on to bigger and better things.
  • “How can I go?” asks Samuel in return, fearing an egotistical, vengeful ruler’s wrath.
  • And finally, “do you come peaceably? ask the trembling elders, wondering what will come of Samuel’s visit.
With the questions come answers.  The LORD assures Samuel that the unfolding future gives cause for joy and confidence.  Samuel receives just enough guidance to put one foot in front of the other into God’s plan. To the elders’ question, “do you come in peace?” Samuel answers a simple, “yes,” and an invitation to worship.  Eyes wide open while the family assembles, Samuel scopes out the spiritual gifts in the “body.”
The gospel lesson this week also holds a question.  But this time it is from a leadership group finding it hard to take a man at his word. “…So they said again to the blind man, "What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened." He said, "He is a prophet." They did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight.”
Questions can express feelings, clarify meanings, challenge truths and even provoke action. Recently in that same town of Bethlehem, the graffiti artist, Banksy opened a hotel with the worst view in the world. 
Full of the artist’s whimsical, dialogue provoking art, entering the hotel is like entering a question.
Asking good questions leads as much to good relationship as to good answers. Perhaps the former is even more important than the latter. When questions are true and authentic, they open us to be illuminated with new understanding. There is room to sing a new song with Samuel, with the formerly blind man who now sees, with neighbors who yearn for a word of hope.  

In Christ, 

…… everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it says, "Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you." Ephesians 5:13-14 
From Strength to Strength: Developing Asset-based Ministries, Rev. Dr. Lynne Caldwell

The same workshop will be repeated in three MidMaine locations
April 28, 5:30-8:30 PM hosted by Brunswick UMC
April 29, 9:00AM-1:00 PM hosted by Belfast UMC
April 30, 1:00-4:00 PM hosted by Auburn UMC

Description: Through facilitated dialogue and guided leadership development exercises, Dr. Caldwell will assist participants in celebrating core values and strengths, already giving life to their faith communities, and then guide a process for imagining new ways of reconfiguring assets for dynamic ministries with high impact potential in their own backyards.
These workshops are for LAITY and CLERGY, and are most effective when clergy attend with lay members of their churches.  I highly encourage folks to come as a team from their church.  They will be able to do the best work together, rather than one representative trying to take back the information or the exercises.  Read more...
Interested in “Fresh Expressions” and want to know more? 
Never heard of “Fresh Expressions” and are curious? Here’s an introduction to this way of creating new, non-traditional, faith communities. June 10, in New London, New Hampshire. You can register or download a free e-book outlining this movement that is cultivating new forms of church alongside existing congregations to reach a changing world. Over 2,500 new communities have been birthed in the UK alone.

Fresh Expressions has spread to Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and is also taking shape in the US. At its heart, Fresh Expressions is about empowering and equipping God’s people to develop creative expressions of church that can reach the increasing diversity of our society.
Creative Arts and Digital Photography Camps 

Mechuwana has always had a strong tradition of offering camps that concentrate on the arts. Our Senior High Creative Arts Camp was started 35 years ago. Over the years we have expanded the program and established and Elementary Creative Arts Camp and Digital Photography Camp. 
The next weeks you are invited to pray for the following:
March 26
Waldoboro UMC
Wayne Community UMC
West Cumberland UMC
Wilton UMC
Winthrop UMC

April 2
Brunswick UMC
Calvary UMC, Lewiston
Centenary UMC, Skowhegan
Church of Good Fellowship, Naples
Community UMC, North Anson
Two Opportunities to attend a LENTEN ONE DAY RETREAT
“Holy Listening and Healthy Communication:
Speaking Words of Life!”

Retreat Leader: Rev. Heidi Chamberland 
When: Saturday, April 1st OR Monday April 3rd
Where: At Heidi and Joe’s “retreat house” in Gray
Time: 9:30am – 3pm (latest)
Cost: $25 (Includes lunch)

We live in an age with constant communication…but how much time do we spend listening…and who are we listening to? Perhaps you are overwhelmed with all that is going on in the world, TV media coverage, Facebook, social media…plus all the conversations within friends and family. What about all the conversations you’re having with yourself and God?! At any given time there are at least four conversations going on within each of us. “Come away to a quiet place” for one day….to learn more about listening and speaking/hearing “words of life.”  Read more... 

Certified Lay Ministry (CLM) is designed to develop the gifts of lay persons who hear God’s call to lead congregations in very specific ways. Please follow the links below for more information. 

Certified Lay Ministry Brochure (CLM) click here.

Certified Lay Ministry Checklist (CLM) click here. 

2017 Appointment Announcements

Please follow the link for up to date appointment announcements in the New England Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church
Transition Workshops in the Mid Maine District Scheduled
April 23 at Green Street UMC, Augusta 1:00-4:00
May 21 at Trinity UMC, Farmington 1:00-4:00

Changing pastors is part of the connectional life of The United Methodist Church. If you are a pastor changing appointments this year or if you are a member of a congregation with a change in pastoral leadership, you will need some support to make the transition an easy one. The transition workshops have been designed to ease the stress of transition from one pastor to another.   ONLINE REGISTRATION AVAILABLE NOW!
Mid Maine Clergy Days Schedule
April 6: Worship Leader Rev. Dr. Karen Munson and Program Leader, Rev. Kristin White

May 18 (last one)
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.
Ken Sloane, Director of Stewardship and Connectional Ministries at Discipleship Ministries, is available to share his knowledge and stories about Mission Shares at a lunch on Friday, May 5. 

Please let Lori know if you are interested.  If there is sufficient interest, we will set it up.

Note:  This is the Friday after our Spring Resource Day Weekend.
Reflecting On Death Awareness and Grief:
How to Effectively Journey With Others
Presented by Pamela Brown, RN,CHPN
Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Location: Augusta Civic Center
Time: 9:00 am- 2:00 pm 
Registration begins at 8:30
Fee: Early Bird Discount! $25 if PAID by 5-15-17
$35.00 If paid after that or at the door
Fee includes workshop attendance, lunch and continuing education credits.
Continuing Education: 4 Hours 
For registration and more information click the link
Training and mission opportunities offered by Barbara Burnside, Disaster ERT & Missions Coordinator New England Conference of the United Methodist Church.  
Please read below and follow the links for more information or to register. 
Please Note:  If you are considering or testing One Board, or any other alternate governance structure, the Book of Discipline requires consultation with your District Superintendent and adoption by Church Conference when ready to fully launch your new structure.

We have resources that can help you in the journey! Please contact the District Office!
2017 Annual Conference session
Thursday to Saturday, June 15-17
Radisson Hotel Manchester Downtown
 700 Elm St., Manchester, NH 03101
The theme for this year's Annual Conference is:
"Vital Conversations: Race."
“How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?”
– Psalm 137:4 (NIV)
Latest News Annual Conference registration opens March 6

Hotel/dorm room registration is open now
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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