Dear People of God called to be the Episcopal Church in Maine:
May grace and peace be with each of you from God, maker of heaven and earth, from Jesus Christ, our friend and savior, and from the Holy Spirit, gathering and embracing us like a mother nurturing her children, with life-long love.
In a few short weeks on Saturday, October 26th, we will gather for our 200th convention at the University of Southern Maine and the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke. This convention marks the inauguration of our bicentennial year, providing many opportunities for us to come together throughout Maine, to welcome our Presiding Bishop in May, and to conclude this anniversary year at what promises to be a historic convention in 2020. It will be a year to honor and celebrate our past, to embrace the present, to listen and speak, to pray and set forth boldly into the future - and yes, the unknown - with the power of the spirit to guide us, deeply in our hearts and minds.
I’m all too well aware of the fact this will be the first occasion for me to chair a diocesan convention (perhaps an appropriate and timely “inaugural” in itself?). A few weeks ago a deacon reassuringly commented, “Thomas, I don’t remember anything about Bishop Lane’s first convention, but I can tell you almost word for word what he said at his second convention.” The good news for me here (and taking a bit of the pressure off!) is we have 200 years of convention history and experience to reflect, and lean upon as we gather in October.
Our theme for this convention
“Dirigo: On Christ the Solid Rock”
integrates our state’s motto with a quotation from Holy Scripture and a favorite hymn. When we come together, we do so with trust that Jesus Christ is always present. Our capacity to lead (Dirigo) is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, the “Solid Rock.”
Following are a few preliminary housekeeping notes regarding our upcoming convention:
1. We will gather Saturday morning October 26th at Hannaford Hall at the University of Southern Maine in Portland. (Free parking is available in the garage behind Hannaford Hall on Bedford Street). Registration and breakfast begin at 7:45AM; the convention is seated at 8:45AM, and we will convene promptly at 9AM.
2. We will then depart the University and meet at the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke for a worship service (time to be announced) that will include my address and formal seating in the bishop’s chair in the cathedral. This will be a symbolic occasion for us to share together and all are welcome to attend!
All pre-convention and convention materials are posted on our website (link appears below) and I encourage you to visit the website often as information is updated almost daily now.
I look forward with great anticipation to our gathering in October and our celebratory bicentennial year ahead:
“Dirigo: On Christ the Solid Rock.”
Faithfully in Christ,