Epis­co­palians in Maine elect openly gay bishop

The Day - - OBITUARIES -

Ban­gor, Maine (AP) — The first openly gay Epis­co­pal bishop in Maine is ex­pected to be con­se­crated this June af­ter re­ceiv­ing his bless­ing from clergy and con­gre­gants.

The Rev. Thomas James Brown was elected Satur­day night by a ma­jor­ity of the 261 clergy mem­bers and laypeo­ple af­ter three rounds of bal­lot­ing at the Cross In­sur­ance Cen­ter in Ban­gor, the Port­land Press Her­ald re­ports.

Brown has served as rec­tor at the Par­ish of the Epiphany in Winch­ester, Mass., since 2009. Be­fore that, he served at a church in Brat­tle­boro, Vt., and as di­rec­tor of alumni and church re­la­tions at the Church Divin­ity School of the Pa­cific in Berke­ley, Calif.

The Michi­gan na­tive says his views align with Maine con­gre­gants who want to ar­tic­u­late their faith in Je­sus “while still re­main­ing open to people of other faith and no faith.”

Brown will be the third openly gay Epis­co­pal bishop elected in the U.S. pend­ing con­fir­ma­tion by other Epis­co­pal dio­ce­ses in com­ing weeks.

In 2003, Gene Robin­son was the first openly gay Epis­co­pal bishop to be elected in the New Hamp­shire Dio­cese. Robin­son re­tired in 2013.

Six years later, the Los An­ge­les Epis­co­pal Dio­cese elected the Rev. Mary Glasspool, as its suf­fra­gan bishop. She’s cur­rently an as­sis­tant bishop in the Dio­cese of New York.

In Maine, Brown will suc­ceed Bishop Stephen Lane, who is re­tir­ing. The Epis­co­pal Dio­cese of Maine in­cludes about 10,000 people in 59 churches and min­istries across the state.

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