Author Archives: commcanon

Share the Good News of God’s love with everyone

On Sunday, November 22, Bishop Stephen Lane gathered with the people of Church at 209 in Augusta to celebrate the milestone of one of the congregations a part of the new thing that God is doing among four area churches: the 175th anniversary of St. Mark’s. In his sermon, he had these wise words to share:

The events of the last two weeks make it entirely clear what the world believes. The world believes in violence. The world believes that the proper response to violence is more violence. The world believes that people are expendable; people in Syria or Beirut or Paris. And the world believes that the proper response to people in desperate need is to keep them as far away as possible. Let’s keep them out. Let’s put them in databases. Let’s shut down their houses of worship.

But members of kingdom of God believe something different. Members of the kingdom believe that in the face of hardship and loss, in the face of danger, personal or corporate, in the face of demons, snakes or poison, the Good News of God’s love should be preached everywhere – to ISIS, to Russia, to the American Congress. Because the power of love is greater than the power of death. Because new life rises from the death of the old. Because there is nothing in all creation that can separate us from the love of God.

We’re here to celebrate the 175th anniversary of St. Mark’s – a remarkable achievement by any measure. We’re here to remember and honor the faithful witnesses to Christ who have served God through St. Mark’s. We’re here to hold up the examples of the faith, our saints, who have inspired us in this place. We do so in a time of great change. It’s unlikely that the next 175 years will be like the first. We find ourselves confronted by the loss of much we have cherished over many generations and faced with uncertainty about how we will continue. Although we dare not compare our situation to much that is happening in our world today, we should acknowledge the fear we feel as we face the future. This is a scary time for us, and we wish there were some sort of guarantee that the future would match our hopes. Our doubts and our fears can poison our efforts.

Mark, our patron, is, therefore,  just right for our time. Mark’s Gospel begins with the announcement that the kingdom of God has come near and ends with the description of the disciples going everywhere and facing every danger to preach the Good News.

That’s our call. That’s what we’re supposed to do. That’s what, as Isaiah puts us, makes us beautiful.

It’s probably helpful to recall that most of the disciples did not survive the days of their proclamation. Many of them were martyred. And many in the early generations of the church suffered great hardship and persecution. That’s not something anyone should desire. But it should put our situation in context. What makes us beautiful is not big buildings or successful programs, but saying to the world, God reigns. Love reigns. Love conquers death.

I am very hopeful about what God is doing here among you. I think God has great plans for you, is calling you to be beautiful proclaimers of God’s love. I think God is inviting all of us to carry the Good News of God’s love into all the world no matter the risks or the dangers. And I believe that God is walking right with us as we go.

Read it all here.

God is always creating a new heaven and a new earth

Bishop Stephen T. Lane’s sermon at the 196th Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine
October 24, 2015
St. Luke’s Cathedral, Portland

“I don’t know about you, but I find all this incredibly challenging. How will I ever find away to offer myself in service to the one who made the world? … God is on the move. The world is changing and I can’t stop it. Moreover, it seems that God is behind the change. God is not satisfied with the world as it has been, with the structures and institutions that we have created. God is always creating a new heaven and a new earth.”
— Bishop Stephen T. Lane

Read the text version.

Read his Convention Address.

Bishop Lane’s daily video updates all in one place!

Visit a new page of Bishop Lane’s blog, Round Maine, to view his daily video updates from General Convention all in one place. Click the page tab at the top of the home page.

Here’s his first post.

Tuesday, June 23

God will see to the harvest

Bishop Stephen Lane spoke to the people of St. Nicholas, Scarborough on Sunday, June 14th, saying:

“You see, the key thing, the reason we’re all here, is that we’ve been called to follow God, to share in God’s mission. God is in charge. God will see to the harvest. And God doesn’t need us, at least, not in the conventional sense. God is not dependent on our planting straight rows, watering and weeding, standing ready for the harvest. God’s more like an invasive weed, finding a way in, growing in good soil and bad, seeking everyone out, even the least desirable, and inviting us to share his good news – the good news of the unstoppable reality of the kingdom of God, the good news that God loves everyone.”

Read the whole sermon here.

Fear shouldn’t compel lawmakers to do away with concealed carry permits

Bishops United Against Gun Violence, a group of more than 60 Episcopal bishops, will sponsor a prayerful procession through the streets of Salt Lake City on Sunday, June 28th, during the church’s General Convention. The gathering, called Claiming Common Ground Against Gun Violence, is intended to lift up the memory of all those who have died from gun violence and to demonstrate our conviction that life and freedom from fear must be available to all.

Bishop Lane recently shared his thoughts in the Bangor Daily News on gun violence and concealed carry permits:

“I believe Maine people, like folks in most of our country, have grown weary and afraid of gun violence. They are tired of being scared in this post-9/11 world. They are tired of working hard and not getting ahead. They are tired of hearing that others are taking advantage of a social safety net that they are supporting. They are afraid of living in a country that appears to be growing more dangerous by the day. I believe that hidden carry legislation of this kind contributes to that fear.”

Read full op-ed here.

#claimitgc #gc78

“It is what it is” except on Easter

easterBishop Stephen Lane celebrated Easter with the people of Good Shepherd, Rangeley, in the beautiful Western mountains of Maine. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:

Our cry this morning is not, “It is what it is,” but “The Lord is risen!” Like Mary, our eyes are covered by the scales of our expectations, of the relentless press of life as it is. But the good news of Easter is that there’s more.

Read it all here.

No surprise ending, only love

Bishop Lane joined the people St. Barnabas’, Rumford, and their neighbors from local churches on Good Friday. In his sermon he had this, in part, to say:

There is nothing we can do that can put us beyond the reach of God’s love. There is nothing we have done or might do that can’t be rehabilitated and transformed. We kneel before the cross guilty as charged and free to try again. Bitterly as we might weep over our sins, we are invited as well to weep in thanksgiving for the love that sets us free.

Read it all here.