8 February 2023

Dear Friends in Christ,

Today I am delighted to share with you several updates about the diocesan staff as we welcome new faces and begin to honor and celebrate upcoming retirements.

Transition & Deployment

Effective immediately, the Rev. Suzanne Roberts, priest associate at the Cathedral and a member of Diocesan Council, will serve half-time as acting Transition & Deployment Officer. Suzanne will serve in this role until I call her successor, whom I hope will come to us following a church-wide search. If her successor is a priest, my vision is for them to serve half-time on the diocesan staff as Transition & Deployment officer, and half-time as the rector of a congregation. If successful, such an arrangement will only happen because of God’s grace, and following multiple discernment conversations and careful communication.


2023 will be a year to celebrate our finance department. Both Terry Reimer, Canon for Finance and Stewardship, and Tom Sumner, Assistant Director of Finance and Insurance, will retire this year. We give thanks for their decades of service; as their retirement dates draw closer we shall give thanks for their many gifts and contributions to all of us.

We are working actively together on this transition to ensure that congregations and clergy are well-served. Stellar customer service, communication, and attention to our primary role to support local ministry are our top priorities.

To that end, I have appointed the Rev. George Cooper to serve as the acting Director of Finance in a short-term transitional capacity, effective immediately. George will work with Terry, Tom, the Trustees of Diocesan Funds, the Finance Committee, and with diocesan staff to ensure continuity of operations, and to help identify and make recommendations for what is needed for the future. George will work part-time for the diocese while continuing to serve as a deacon at St. Alban’s in Cape Elizabeth.

Canon to the Ordinary

Two years ago I made a commitment to the Bishops of New Hampshire and Vermont that I would not hire a staff person in Maine before consulting with each of them to at least explore the possibilities of sharing. When Michael Ambler and I decided together that he would finish at the end of 2022 we spent a good deal of time discussing what’s needed, and what’s possible, including the productivity between New Hampshire and Maine. At the same time, I heard from Bishop Hirschfeld about the cohesion among New Hampshire’s diocesan staff, something that Rob himself experiences as new and life-giving. Rob credits many people for the health of New Hampshire’s team, but none more than the canon to the ordinary, Tina Pickering.

Meanwhile, Tina and her husband are living most weekends at their property in Waldo and Belfast. Tina grew up at St. David’s Kennebunk, and her late father was a pillar at St. Giles in Jefferson. She knows Maine, she cares about congregations, and she has a lively faith in Jesus Christ which she shares abundantly and authentically.

All of this discernment leads me to announce to you that Tina Pickering will become the Diocese of Maine’s Canon to the Ordinary, effective 1 March. She will continue to be Canon to the Ordinary and Transition & Deployment Officer in New Hampshire. While she’ll be a resource to Suzanne (and Suzanne’s successor), Tina herself will not be responsible for transition and deployment in Maine. Her primary focus will be to work with us during all these transitions and to work with me to envisage a staff who are united in shared values and principles, and who understand ourselves as a team. Tina will also be the primary support for congregations.

Title IV and Conflict Resolution

The Rev. Michael Ambler remains a resource, as a consultant to the diocese, when the need arises for case management in disciplinary matters, or if there is the need for mediation in high-conflict situations.

The Holy Spirit is moving in the Diocese of Maine! I give thanks for the service and deep faith of all whom I mention above and ask for your patience and support as we move into this time of transition and growth.

We are here to serve you. God bless you and keep you, may the Lord lift up the light of God’s countenance upon you, and may God give you, and those you love, deep peace.

In Christ,

The Right Reverend Thomas J. Brown
Bishop of Maine