27 May 2022
This message sent to clergy, lay leaders, and members of the Episcopal Diocese of Maine
Dear Diocesan Family,  

The Psalmist says, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble." (Psalm 46:1)

We need this blessed assurance for the living of these days. Certainly, the communities of Buffalo and Uvalde (along with the other communities where the 214 occurrences of mass shootings have occurred in 2022) must be the focus of our prayers. We ache for them, and we say their names: 

Roberta A. Drury, 32
Margus D. Morrison, 52
Andre Mackneil, age 53
Aaron Salter, 55
Geraldine Talley, 62
Celestine Chaney, 65
Heyward Patterson, 67
Katherine Massey, 72
Pearl Young, 77
Ruth Whitfield, 86

Nevaeh Bravo, 10
Jacklyn Cazares, 9
Makenna Lee Elrod, 10
Jose Flores, 10
Ellie Garcia, 9
Irma Garcia, 48
Uziyah Garcia, 10
Amerie Jo Garza, 10
Xavier Lopez, 10
Jayce Luevanos, 10
Tess Mata, 10
Miranda Mathis, 11
Eva Mireles, 44
Alithia Ramirez, 10
Annabell Rodriguez, 10
Maite Rodriguez, 10
Alexandria “Lexi” Rubio, 10
Layla Salazar, 10
Jailah Nicole Silguero, 10
Eliahana Cruz Torres, 10
Rojelio Torres, 10

Yet, assurance of God’s presence and the intentions of our prayers cannot be the only response. 

Yesterday evening Senator Collins landed at Bangor to announce her hopes for a bipartisan effort to pass meaningful gun safety legislation. Of course, limiting access to guns is not the whole response to our nation’s glamorization of violence, nor will it salve the anguish of fear and hate that lead young men to harm others—but adopting meaningful federal laws so that our schools, grocery stores, and homes are safe from the heinous use of firearms is a moral imperative. 

In St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, he writes, “For we are what God has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life.” We can do this. 

The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations website has excellent resources, both legislative and liturgical, to move forward in advocating for laws that support gun safety and human flourishing for all of God’s people. Their site houses The Episcopal Church positions that you can use directly as guidance for your messages and calls to Congress and other elected officials. All contact information for Senators Collins and King and Representatives Golden and Pingree can be found at this link.

As your bishop, I will be doing the same. We will do this work together, encouraging each of our elected officials to act, and in doing this work, we shall join our hearts and hands with Episcopalians across the nation, buoying the people of Buffalo and Uvalde not only with our prayers, but also by our good works prepared by God to be our way of life. 

Faithfully in Christ,
The Right Reverend Thomas J. Brown
Bishop of Maine