Long time friend, faithful priest and beacon of love, justice and compassion, Thomas has been a brother in the struggle for as long as I can remember -- and will be a great bishop for the Diocese of Maine and an awesome addition to the House of Bishops.
It is a day to rejoice for the good people of the Diocese of Maine, for the Episcopal Church in general and for the LGBTQ faithful in particular.
From the bishop-elect's video message immediately after his election:
It may not be the first time that a married gay man has been elected to the episcopate, but it is an important message of inclusion for all: for every kid, for every teen, every adult and every elder -- that regardless of their sexual orientation -- what you [the Diocese of Maine] are saying and what we are saying together today is "welcome home" ... and that this church of ours is open to all.No, we are not done yet. Yes, there is still work to do.
It is the work we do as we continue to live into the full stature of our lives in the Christ who will not let us settle for simply having no outcasts. It is the work that continues to call us forward into God's future where there are no ceilings left to be cracked by any member of God's beloved human family because all are not only welcome but celebrated; all are not only included bur embraced; and all are part of making the radical transformative love of God tangible to this beautiful and broken world.
But what fuels us and feeds us to continue in that work are the incremental victories along the way -- and today is one of those. So let us rejoice and be glad in it. Let us give thanks for all those whose blood, sweat, tears, prayers, scars, wounds and sacrifices have brought us thus far on the way -- and then let's get back to work. La lucha continua.