Today, (April 11, 2019) Presiding Bishop Michael J. Curry announced that a majority of the bishops with jurisdiction and a majority of diocesan standing committees of The Episcopal Church have consented to the election of the Rev. Thomas J. Brown as the Tenth Bishop of Maine.
In The Episcopal Church, a bishop is elected for the whole Church and now the whole church has spoken and affirmed our election.
Meanwhile, the Standing Committee and the Trustees of the Diocese of Maine, along with Thomas, agreed to the terms of an Episcopal Letter of Agreement. We will complete the signing process in the coming days. Thomas isn’t a bishop yet; that will happen when he is ordained and consecrated as the Tenth Bishop of Maine on June 22, 2019, at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland.
During Holy Week and a good part of Eastertide, we’ll all enter into a time where gracious space is made for Thomas and Tom to get settled into their home and rest up a bit from the excitement of the transition. Starting on May 6, Thomas will be closely working with Bishop Steve at Loring House and around the diocese.
We rejoice in the completion of this important phase of our election process. We are grateful for all who faithfully participated in our quest for the Tenth Bishop. Many wheels are turning as Thomas, and his husband, Tom, make their way to Maine this week and settle into their home in Portland. In March, their friends and their two parish churches in Massachusetts gave both of them heartfelt and loving farewell celebrations.
Together, they will be determining their schedules throughout May and June.
Nobody knows right away how to be a bishop. That happens in the fullness of time. It will be Steve and Thomas’ work to collaborate together as Thomas leans into “learning the ropes”.
Keep watch on the bishopquest.org website for the latest information on the Farewell events for the Lanes in May and the details of Thomas+ Ordination on June 22. Seats at the cathedral are limited, and each parish will be given a limited number of tickets. We also expect a number of bishops from across the Church to join in our celebration. The entire Consecration will be live-streamed and we invite you to begin planning now for a “Watch Party” at your parish so everyone can enjoy this very happy day.
Again, on behalf of the Standing Committee, we want to extend our deepest thanks to all who have brought us to this day with your faithful participation and prayers during our quest to call the Tenth Bishop of Maine.
We believe the Holy Spirit continues to walk with us as we move more deeply into this season of transition.
Let us pray: We give you thanks, O God, that you have called us to a goodly fellowship of faith in the Diocese of Maine. In the power of the Spirit, you have guided us in the election of the Tenth Bishop. We ask your blessings on all our people, especially on Bishop Lane, Bishop Elect Brown and their households that each may move safely into their new callings and that, together, we may work to strengthen and share your Mission among us. We pray this in Christ’s name. Amen.
|The Rev. Maria J. Hoecker, President, Standing Committee|
The Rt. Rev. Stephen T. Lane, Ninth Bishop of Maine