Bicentennial Celebration

Celebrating 200 years as God's people in Maine: 
Honoring our Past, Embracing the Present and Building our Future



Bicentennial Logo 20 White Background

Let's start celebrating 200 years! The Diocese of Maine will be celebrating its 200th birthday in the year 2020. The Bicentennial Committee has planned a year long multi-event celebration, beginning with a kick-off at convention 2019. A highlight of the year will be a service at the University of Maine in Orono on May 2, 2020 with Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Please mark your calendars for the planned events below. More info to come!

Diocesan Bicentennial Celebrations

October 17, 2020:  Diocesan Convention: Continuing the Celebration at University of Southern Maine, Portland
November 1, 2020:  Bicentennial Closing Ceremonies with Choral Evensong Cathedral, Portland
Get ready for May 2nd! Here's some more info about the Presiding Bishop's Visit
Here's what we know so far! More details to come.

First, it isn't a revival. Some of you have attended a revival service at General Convention or some other national church gathering. Episcopal Revivals are preceded by months of planning and training for local teams learning about evangelism and listening for the Spirit among their neighbors. This gathering will be a catalyst event, a starting point for the process where we begin to discover, with God's help, as followers of Jesus Christ, to recognize and live into our own belovedness as children of God. It will launch a period of 12 - 18 months to discern evangelism of, by, and for the church in Maine. This process could lead to a revival in 2022.

We will use our time with Bishop Curry to:

  • Proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ in the language of the people of Maine;
  • Share faith and open space for others' stories about God;
  • Organize people to embody good news through reconciling action and justice;
  • Gather a diverse body that crosses lines of age, race, culture and class;
  • Equip and invite people to share, celebrate and embody the good news in daily life.

The program will begin at 11:00 AM and run through 12:30 PM at the Pit (Memorial Gymnasium, 18 Gym Drive) at UMO (directions will be provided). There will be lunch options, plenty of activities and space for children, music, and time for fellowship, learning, and networking. We are hoping that churches across the diocese will consider the environment and look into transportation alternatives (buses) to get to the University on Saturday.    

There will be exhibit tables set up highlighting the ministries of our church including:

  • Creation Care
  • Domestic Poverty (Jubilee Centers)
  • Episcopal Migration Ministries - Maine
  • Episcopal Peace Fellowship - Maine
  • Evangelism Initiatives
  • Social Justice & Advocacy Engagement
  • Youth Ministries
  • Racial Reconciliation (Sacred Ground)
  • Indigenous Ministries - Committee on Indian Relations
  • Anglican Pilgrimage Centre - Santiago
  • Highlights of Other Diocesan Ministries (contributions of churches will be welcomed)

At 1:00 PM we will begin a special worship service with the Presiding Bishop, Bishop Lane, Bishop Knudsen as well as Bishop Brown. Details about the service will be shared as they are developed. 

Please be aware folks will need to register for the event although it is not ticketed. The space accommodates 3,000 people so we should be able to welcome Episcopalians, Christians of all faiths and people who may be looking to hear the author of the book, Crazy Christians live and in person.   

If you have questions and ideas, please be in touch with John Hennessy who is the team lead for this event.

Prayer for the State of Maine
Dean Sayre's prayer from the National Cathedral for the State of Maine
Click below to view video:

a prayer for the state of maine


Thank you, God, for the State of Maine, reaching ever for the first light of day. As Thy people wake to the Eastern rays, what chowder of nourishment dost Thou prepare for body and soul: concocted so delectably of pine and needles and potatoes, of herring and clams and lobsters in their rocky lairs, of blueberries and new-mown hay and a thousand lakes and little boats brave upon the deep.

Of such blessing did our fathers distill their rugged liberty: Grant us grace to win the same, along the country roads and on the fringed and tasseled coast of our wooded land;

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 


Bicentennial Hymn: On Christ the Solid Rock

Our bicentennial hymn, using the tune of Solid Rock with new lyrics from the Rev. Maria Hoecker, St. Columba's in Boothbay Harbor is available to download and use as you wish. Download the PDF here.

The inaugural singing of the hymn took place at Diocesan Convention on Saturday, October 26. Clergy and delegates were accompanied by the Rev. Kevin Kinsey of the Aroostook Cluster on trumpet. (Click here and here to hear and watch the Convention sing this hymn.)

The author of the hymn tune SOLID ROCK (1863), William Bradbury (1816-1868), was born in York, Maine! He was a prolific composer and taught music for a time up in Machias, Maine.  Here is a summary of his history and a long list of his compositions.  

Repurposing liturgical items to make new worship spaces vibrant and joyful
After an inspiring kick-off at convention with the blessing of a celebratory altar frontal and a custom chalice and paten as well as the introduction of a hymn that celebrates our heritage and our state, the party continues. Download this flyer that contains the schedule for upcoming opportunities to worship and celebrate together.

The altar frontal from convention was made from no longer used liturgical fabric donated by many congregations. Using that fabric the frontal sought to tie together our past and present and look forward to the future. The old has been re-purposed and blessed for something new! 

The Bicentennial Committee invites everyone in the diocese to continue this project by using donated fabric to make celebratory banners and wall hangings that will enhance the worship space for the revival service with Archbishop Curry at the Cross Center in May.  

Sewing groups, quilters, fabric artists, even Sunday School and Youth Groups are encouraged to try their hand. Fabric is still needed and can be sent to Loring House, or brought to the historic service at Christ Church, Gardiner at 1:00 pm on November 16. More information on the project as well as distribution of fabric is forthcoming. Contact Rev. Ginny Urbanek at  for more information or to offer your suggestions.


Telling the story of our diocese through a timeline

The Bicentennial Committee is building a timeline to tell the story of our diocese! It takes a look at all of the congregations, chapels and ministries around our diocese. It also highlights historical items found in the archives and from other sources. The timeline is a work in progress and can easily be updated to include things as they are submitted. Sign into Facebook to watch this video of the timeline in action. 

Or view and play around with the interactive timeline here

 Belfast pic  Eastport Community Thanksgiving Dinner 2018  Machias Working with UMM students Sept 2018
Bicentennial Committee
Ideas welcome! Please contact any one of us.
The Rev. Ginny Urbanek
Ms Elizabeth Estey
Ms Rachel Zoller, Chair
Ms Billie Ellis
The Rev. Kerry Mansir
Mr. Chris Glass
Presiding Bishop's Visit Planning Committee
The Rev. John Balicki, Chair

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