Messages from Our Bishop


UMCOR - Hurricane Disaster Response

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

October 16, 2018

TO: All Clergy, Lay Leaders, & Administrative Council Leaders FROM: Thomas J. Bickerton, Resident Bishop RE: Hurricane Disaster Response Dear Friends, On Friday, October 12, I was involved in a meeting of the UMCOR Board of Directors in Atlanta, GA.  During that meeting, an UMCOR Unit Director began speaking about the urgent needs that have emerged around the recent round of hurricanes and typhoons that have taken place across the world.  In her report, she used the phrase, the “new normal.” The...


Laity Sunday, October 21, 2018

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

October 12, 2018

October 11, 2018 Dear Friends & Colleagues, I write today to share with you some words of encouragement for our upcoming celebration and recognition of Laity Sunday. Laity Sunday is a special Sunday which has been established and promoted over the years as an intentional way to focus on and celebrate the ministry of the laity throughout the church.   This year Laity Sunday has been set for October 21st, 2018.   The theme of this year’s Laity Sunday is, "Therefore Go! With Hope Through Offering ...


Immigration Article

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

June 22, 2018

I will never forget that look.  It was our first Christmas Day with our new daughter.  Elizabeth was 11 months old and it was an exciting time to be a parent.  Her eyes lit up with packages all around her.  The breakfast casserole was in the oven and the coffee was tasting really good on that frigid winter morning.  That’s when the doorbell rang.  Who could it be interrupting our memorable day?   When I answered the door, standing in front of me was a young couple holding a baby wrapped up in a ...


AC2018: Bishop's Episcopal Address & Sermons

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

June 11, 2018

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton delivered his State of the Church address on June, 8, 2018, at Hofstra University.


Young Clergy Debt Assistant Program

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

May 29, 2018

Dear Friends & Colleagues of the New York Annual Conference, Grace and peace to you in the name of the risen Christ. One of the wonderful things that I have discovered in my first few months here in New York is the Young Clergy Debt Assistance Program. As many of you know, the dream for this fund was the creation of the late Bishop Martin D. McLee who had a profound desire to provide financial support to clergy aged 40 years or younger serving in the New York Annual Conference. This fund, to ...


Response to the Way Forward

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

May 05, 2018

As Bishops of The United Methodist Church, we affirm that WE ARE OF ONE HEART in our desire to discern the mind and will of Jesus Christ for our leadership and the church. In the Northeastern Jurisdiction and around the world we experience great diversity of thought and practice within The United Methodist Church. In partnership with Bishops from around the world, we will continue to lead collectively and individually to value and provide room for our diversity as United Methodists. The ...


Finding Peace Where You Least Expect

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

April 18, 2018

My mind has been dizzy lately. There is SO much going on! I have been swirling in a sea of activity, changing hats everyday with something else to do: disaster recovery in Puerto Rico, re-writing the Book of Discipline, Council & College of Bishops, the “Way Forward” and, oh yes, appointment season! It’s just been crazy. My mind has been dizzy lately. There is SO much going on! More shootings, children and youth protesting, the struggles with DACA and immigration, teachers’ strikes, and, oh yes,...


Response to President's Offensive Remarks

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

January 13, 2018

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Today on the front page of The New York Times there were two articles at the top of the page. These articles were about President Trump’s hate-filled words about people in Haiti and Africa and Senator Lindsay Graham’s response to those words.   These were the headlines.   On the back page of The New York Times there was a story about the detaining of the executive director of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, Ravi Ragbir, the threat of his deportation, ...


Annual Conference 2018

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

December 06, 2017

Dear Friends, I greet you today in the precious name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. I pray that each of you are in eager anticipation of the joy and expectancy that is associated with this Advent & Christmas season. I am writing today to let you know that our Annual Conference Sessions Team is currently working on some exciting plans for the next gathering of our Annual Conference in June, 2018. Our team has been working on plans for the potential of a simultaneous mission experience to take ...


Gratitude for Baptism

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

November 20, 2017

When I was a pastor there was a ritual that I used at least twice a year. When I first decided to try it, I thought that there would be a limited response. What I discovered was that the reaction was greater than I ever could have imagined. This simple act, to my surprise, met an unrealized need. What I encountered was a level of emotion that I had underestimated. The ritual was “The Re-Affirmation of Baptism.” I used very simple language: “Remember your baptism and be thankful.” I employed a ...


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