For the last eight years, it has been my privilege to serve you as Canon to the Ordinary. At the end of this year, I will bring that chapter of my ministry to a close so that I can begin a new one.
This is the right time for the Diocese to make such a change. The bishop transition is long past, the pandemic is (God willing) in its epilogue, and it is good for Bishop Brown to make new decisions about how to staff his office.
It’s also the right time for me to make this change. For years now, I have been working towards the day when I could support a team of bomb-clearance experts in Laos, where our country left over 80 million live bombs strewn across the land after the Vietnam War.
That goal came to fruition this year: right now our team is clearing fields and school yards, restoring land and dignity to people. A major part of my work going forward will be to tell the story of how Laos became the most bombed country in the world, and to raise funds to ensure our team (and maybe more in the future) can keep working. If you’re curious, visit restorationlaos.org
to learn more—and join me!
At the same time, my service to the Diocese will continue in new forms. I am honored that Bishop Brown has asked me to remain on hand as a consultant and advisor to him. In addition, I will continue with one aspect of my ministry that I seem particularly called to: the work of helping God’s beloved when they are in conflict with one another, including the clergy discipline process. And I will invite churches in Maine (and beyond) to join me in supporting the work in Laos.
So this isn’t goodbye, and I’m not retiring! It’s Chapter Three of my ministry as a priest in Maine. I hope you’ll continue on with me as co-authors.