News & Events in the Episcopal Diocese of Maine

Volume 25, Number 20

November 2, 2023

Around The Diocese

A Pastoral Word from Bishop Brown

In the wake of the mass shooting in Lewiston

27 October 2023

On Wednesday evening, our beloved community of Lewiston joined the long and sorrowful list of cities like Uvalde, Buffalo, Parkland, Newtown, Las Vegas, Orlando, Blacksburg and Sutherland Springs that have been shattered by the evil of a mass shooting.

As Governor Mills said at yesterday’s press briefing, “This city did not deserve this terrible assault on its citizens, on its peace of mind, on its sense of security. No city does. No state. No people.”

We are right to rage against the violence that has come to Lewiston and grieve our neighbors who have died and been wounded. Yet, as Christians, we must also turn our hearts toward the sure and certain hope of the resurrection, remembering that death is never the final word. We must redouble our commitment to work against the culture of violence that ensnares us and holds us captive. We must seek the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we pursue a future filled with reconciliation and harmony and refuse to let the evil of gun violence extinguish our commitment to the common good.

Read More

The 204th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Maine

"Together: With God, In Call, For Mission"

Saturday, November 11

Pre-convention Folder

All parts of our pre-convention folder for the 204th Annual Diocesan Convention can be accessed here. It includes:

  • Consent Calendar * NEW
  • Proposed Resolutions
  • Candidate information
  • Report from the Trustees of Diocesan Funds
  • Proposed 2024 Budget
  • Narrative for 2024 Budget
  • Rules of Order 
  • Minutes of the 203rd Annual Diocesan Convention

Information above is also available on the convention webpage.

Please contact Teresa Pinney with questions.

2024 Budget Presentation

Here are the slides presented by Finance Chair, Rev. Lael Sorensen, at the Pre-convention Meeting on October 24. There is one more online meeting tonight, November 2 at 5 p.m. It will be recorded and available on our website for those unable to attend.

Convention Registration

Clergy and lay delegates: Meeting registration will arrive via email next week!

The 'waiting room' will open at 8 a.m. Clergy and delegates need to arrive by 8:30 a.m. so that there is time to take attendance in order to convene at 9 a.m.

Alternates and all others who are not voting are invited to join us on YouTube at 9 a.m.

Bishop Brown's Convention Address

Saturday, October 21, 2023

In Catherine Meeks’ book of reflections on racial healing The Night is Long but Light Comes in the Morning she writes about George Floyd’s murder on May 25, 2020, and how her email and voicemail blew up from people asking, “what can I do?” She couldn’t answer the question, but she remembered an Indigenous way to assure children who get lost in the wilderness: stand still because the forest is not lost. The wilderness knows, and by standing still, it will lead you to the path home. Stand still.

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Watch Convocation Video

Welcoming libraries coming soon to Episcopal churches in Maine and New Hampshire

Province I awarded an inter-diocesan grant to the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and Episcopal Church in New Hampshire for a welcoming library program. The dioceses are partnering with I’m Your Neighbor Books, a secular non-profit based in Portland which aims to increase visibility of new American and immigrant experiences by making storybooks easily accessible. I’m Your Neighbor Books will work with the specific demographics of each diocese to curate a traveling library of books and accompanying materials designed to help people of all ages live their baptismal covenant by grappling with themes of justice, empathy and welcome. The justice teams in each diocese will add prayer resources and liturgically appropriate activities to be used in church or household settings. Please stay tuned for more details!

You're invited to attend the Ordination of Ben Cooke

Ben Cooke will be ordained to the Transitional Diaconate on Saturday, November 11 at 4:00 p.m. at St. Andrew in Newcastle (11 Glidden Street). Your prayers and presence are requested! Laity are invited to wear red; clergy may vest and wear a red stole.

Hennessy offers 2023 legislative review

Director of Public Policy John Hennessy offered a final debrief of the legislative session on October 13. It includes the major bills and a brief summary of the testimony offered by John on behalf of both the Maine Episcopal Public Policy Network (MEPPN) and Maine Council of Churches (MCC), members of our diocesan Justice Commission, and others. The final action of the legislature or the Governor, is color-coded: green for those bills that our advocacy groups supported that passed as well as the bills opposed that failed, red is for bills lost, and blue is for the bills carried over to the next session. There's a lot of green! John expects the new year will bring another opportunity for people of faith to make their voices heard. 

Find the 2023 MEPPN Legislative Review here on the Episcopal Maine blog. 

Assisting Bishop MacVean-Brown visits Saint Mary

As part of our growing cooperation with the Dioceses of Vermont and New Hampshire, Saint Mary, Falmouth hosted Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown of the Diocese of Vermont on Sunday, October 15 for the celebrations of Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist. The bishop also attended coffee hour for informal conversation during their Formation Hour.

Diocesan Racial Justice Council launches archives audit

The Racial Justice Council is spearheading a historical audit for our diocese, and the kickoff event at Loring House was held in October. Bishop Brown welcomed the group to Loring House and archivist Elizabeth Estey gave a tour of the diocesan archives. Participants in this effort hope to learn more about the stories that have shaped our common life together, including those that trouble us and illuminate our participation in injustice. They also seek the stories of hope and mercy that must exist alongside them. The process is likely to unfold over the next year or more, so there is plenty of time for new participants to join! Please email the Rev. Katie Holicky if you would like more information.

News From Our Congregations

The Rev. Jane Milliken Hague will be serving as interim rector at St. Paul in Brunswick. Jane is canonically resident in the Diocese of Washington, and most recently has been interim rector at All Saints in Princeton, New Jersey. 

The Creation Care Committee of St. Margaret, Belfast has installed three water fountains in the community. The effort was led by Committee Chair Mary Rackmales and Sharron Walsh. The water fountains have an upper spigot for drinking and refilling water bottles and a lower spigot for pets. The Rev. Barbara Briggs, rector at St. Margaret, spoke at the recent ribbon-cutting. Read more.

Mary Rackmales, left, watches as Mayor Eric Sanders cuts the ribbon at Steamboat Landing Park; photo by Kyle Laurita of Waldo Village Soup

St. Bartholomew, Yarmouth planted daffodil bulbs in the St. Bart’s Memorial Garden one beautiful October day. Bishop Brown joined a large turnout of parishioners to help with the planting of the bulbs and to lead them in a circle of prayer.

Church of the Good Shepherd in Rangeley is looking for a part-time Administrative Assistant (10 hours per week) to work closely with the rector, wardens, treasurer, and communications team in managing the weekly operations of a lively church. They are also looking for a part-time Music Director to accompany worship at their 9:30 Sunday service and to provide music on other occasions. If interested, please email the Rev. Thom Rock.

Here are some photos from Bishop Brown's October visitations! He spent time with the congregations of St. Giles in Jefferson, St. Peter in Portland for their Harvest Home Celebration, and St. Peter in Rockland.

Voices Among Us

Church leaders hold prayer vigil for Mainers affected by Lewiston shooting

During a statewide online prayer vigil on October 26 for the 18 people killed and 13 injured in Lewiston, Bishop Thomas Brown was joined by Governor Janet Mills, Assisting Bishops, Bishop Rob Hirschfeld of New Hampshire and Bishop Shannon MacVean-Brown of Vermont, Bishop Peggy Johnson, Interim Bishop for the United Methodist New England Annual Conference, the Rev. Marisa Laviola, Conference Minister, Maine Conference United Church of Christ, and the Rev. Jane Field, Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches.

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Bishop of Maine sees hope in Congressman's gun-law U-turn after Lewiston massacre

The speech given by a politician in Maine in the wake of a mass shooting in the state, seeking forgiveness for having opposed a ban on assault files, is a cause for hope, the Bishop of Maine, the Rt. Rev. Thomas J. Brown, said this week.

Read More

Lewiston church to open doors

Trinity Episcopal Church at 247 Bates St opened at 5 p.m. on Wednesday, November 1, until 8 p.m. and will possibly be open next Wednesday, after work hours, inviting people to stop by for tea, walk the labyrinth, quiet one-on-one listening, etc.

Read More

The Rev. Bill Blaine-Wallace has written a chapter in a recently published book, Injustice and the Care of Souls: Taking Oppression Seriously in Pastoral Care (Fortress Press, September 2023). Bill’s chapter is "The Politics of Tears". The book addresses matters important for clergy and parishioners of progressive orientation. Twenty-seven chapters in the book cover a number of challenging issues facing the church. Some other chapters are: "Love and Power: Confronting White Supremacy in Pastoral Care"; "Community Organizing as Spiritual Care: A Model for Healing Racial Trauma"; and "Pastoral Care with Transgender People". It's available here.

Aaron Rosen, spouse of the Rev. Carolyn Rosen and Director of The Parsonage Gallery in Searsport, has published a book called What Would Jesus See? (Broadleaf Books). In the book, Rosen brings a fresh lens to the Gospels. At the core of Jesus's ministry, Rosen finds, is a call to look at our world--especially those who are most disadvantaged--with radical empathy. He recommends the book for inclusion in church reading groups, especially for Advent or Lent. Find out more about the book here.

The Episcopal Diocese of Maine and the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire are seeking a Director of Communications. Read the full description here in ENS.


"In our grief, we ask you to continue praying. Ask God to receive all who have died into the arms of God’s mercy, to bless those who mourn with the hope of eternal life, and to strengthen our hearts to bring an end to gun violence in all its forms."

-From Bishop Thomas Brown's reflection offered on October 26

Download the prayer vigil here. Please consider making a donation to Maine Community Foundation's Lewiston-Auburn Area Response fund to help individuals and organizations impacted by this tragedy here.

We pray for an end to violence in the Middle East, Ukraine, and throughout the world.

Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. - Book of Common Prayer, p.816

Please pray for the repose of the soul of the Rev. Robert (Bob) Place Patterson. Bob, 92, died on October 21 surrounded by his family in Brunswick. He served as rector in Massachusettes, Michigan, and Maryland before retiring to Maine.

A celebration of life will be held at St. Paul, Brunswick on Saturday, November 4, 11 a.m.. The service will be livestreamed here. His interment will take place next spring at The Church of the Redeemer in Maryland. Read more about Bob's life here.

Let us offer prayers of thanksgiving for Mary-Milam Granberry (she/her) who will be serving as the new Communications Specialist for both the Episcopal Diocese of Maine and Episcopal Church of New Hampshire! Mary-Milam has begun working on the primary newsletters for New Hampshire, and she will transition into working on the newsletters and email correspondence for Maine. She lives in the Greater Portland area and is a member of St. Mary, Falmouth. Welcome Mary-Milam!

Please keep the family of Colleen Stevens in your prayers. Many of you knew Colleen who was an active member of Episcopal Peace Fellowship - ME. She passed away after a brief struggle with a rare form of Parkinson's Disease. A memorial service was held at Grace Church, Bath on November 1, and she will be interred in the Memorial Garden there which Colleen helped create. Read her obituary here.

Please pray for the 204th Convention of the Diocese of Maine- delegates and clergy, Bishop and staff, and those who have offered themselves for leadership roles - as they meet to make decisions about our future on November 11. We pray in thanksgiving for their service and faithfulness. May Jesus Christ guide their work.

Let us pray for our communities, leaders, and each other this coming election day.


Grow in gratitude this fall with UTO

Make November an intentional gratitude month for you, your family, Sunday School class, or small group.


United Thank Offering offers free resources to help individuals, families, and groups focus on gratitude throughout November. 

Materials include:

  • 30 days of text reminders to practice gratitude
  • Thanksgiving Day liturgy
  • Bulletin inserts
  • Gratitude journals
  • Thanksgiving crafts
  • Children’s sermon prompts
  • Fill-in-the-blank thank-you cards
  • 30 Days of Gratitude calendar
  • Thanksgiving Day conversation dice, place cards, and prayers

Download free gratitude resources here.

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