Messages from Our Bishop


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 ...


Bishop Calls for Hurricane Maria Response

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

September 29, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Just a few days ago as Hurricane Maria was bearing down on the islands of the Caribbean, I reached out to you offering prayers on behalf of those who stood in its path and those with families and connections in the affected areas to stay strong, keep the faith, know that you are thought of, prayed for, and loved. As we have now witnessed the destruction and loss of life in Mexico as a result of the earthquake and the destruction of both Irma and Maria and face the ...


Bishop's Message of Hope and Comfort to Those Affected by Hurricane Maria and the Earthquake in Mexico

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

September 20, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues, My heart is heavy this morning as I write this note to you.  The past two days I have watched the morning news and been stunned by the developing story of yet another massive hurricane bearing down on Puerto Rico and the numerous Caribbean islands in that region.  My own sense of fear has been heightened as buildings have collapsed and lives have been altered forever as a result of another massive earthquake in Mexico.  These are places that you call home. These are...


Bishop Bickerton Responds on Hurricane Relief

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

September 06, 2017

Dear Friends & Colleagues,   It seems that writing pastoral letters to you has become a constant in these days of turmoil and uncertainty.  Global instability, political upheaval, and domestic acts of hatred have dominated our lives in recent weeks.  Now, yet another threat has consumed our thoughts and prayers.   I, like you, am heartbroken at the images coming out of Texas and Louisiana in response to Hurricane Harvey.  And, even as I write this letter, Hurricane Irma is raging through the ...


Bishop Bickerton Responds to Charlottesville Events

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

August 16, 2017

Dear Friends & Colleagues of the New York Annual Conference, This one has taken a little while. Having a virus in the middle of the summer will do that to you; so will the virus that seems to have affected life all around us, . . . When the word began to emerge from the horrific events in Charlottesville, Virginia a few days ago one of my first reactions was a genuine one: “What will I say this time that will be any different than what has been said over and over again these past several months?...


Bishop Bickerton: Fruit of the Spirit, Words to Live By

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

August 14, 2017

Words to describe the times in which we are living are not hard to come by these days.  Words like unpredictable, challenging, and confusing come quickly to mind.  Drill down deeper and you will find words and phrases like crazy, head-scratching, and bizarre bubbling to the surface. Whatever the word, these are times when each day brings a new story that only increases the search for the right word to describe it all. Depending on which side of the fence you find yourself, it seems that these ...


Memorandum from Bishop Bickerton

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

July 03, 2017

Dear Friends and Colleagues, Several years ago, I felt the urge to add a “tag line” onto all of my correspondence. I wanted it to be something that would provide an appropriate and hopeful send off to each letter I wrote. What emerged from that discernment was a phrase that has encompassed much of what I believe and hope for in life’s adventure:  The Journey Continues, . . . A few years ago, I found myself consistently prefacing my “tag line” with an additional sentence, especially in letters ...


Bishop Bickerton's Episcopal Address

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

June 08, 2017

  PHOTO BY STEPHANIE PARSONS New York Annual Conference 2017   Before I begin my remarks, I want to say a heartfelt word of thanks to so many of you for your unbelievably warm and affirming welcome to New York.  I have said to so many that I have been blessed by a warm welcome everywhere I have been privileged to serve but never more so than I have here in New York.  Sally and I have been overwhelmed by the constant and consistent words of support, acts of kindness, and expressions of ...


Statement from Bishop Bickerton on Judicial Council Rulings

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

April 29, 2017

I, like many of you, read with prayerful concern yesterday the decisions of the United Methodist Judicial Council regarding the status of Bishop Karen Oliveto (Decision 1341) as well as the Bishop’s Decision of Law in the New York Annual Conference (Decision 1343).  The Judicial Council ruled that Bishop Oliveto remains a bishop in good standing although her consecration violated church law.  In making this decision, the Judicial Council ruled that they did not have the power under church law ...


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