Messages from Our Bishop


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 ...


Bishop Bickerton: "Be Still & Know" Good Advice for Lent

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

March 15, 2017

I recently read an article in the New York Times by Amy Krouse Rosenthal entitled, “You May Want to Marry My Husband.”  In that article, the well-known author of children’s books reveals that she is in the final stages of ovarian cancer.  With each paragraph, Rosenthal paints a beautiful picture of the loving relationship she shares with her husband and the direction she is taking with the remaining days of her life.  The diagnosis of her cancer came quickly and unexpectedly. Plans had to ...


A Statement on Executive Orders

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

January 30, 2017

Dear Friends & Colleagues, A few weeks ago I made my way to New York City for a meeting. As has become my routine, I drove to the White Plains train station to catch my ride. When I pulled into the parking garage, there were plenty of empty spaces The only problem was that each one of them had the same message: “Metered Parking. Permit Only. All others towed.” Six floors of empty spaces and one message: “You can’t park here.”   I didn’t panic because I knew that the seventh floor had an ...


Appointment Announcement

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

January 30, 2017

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton has appointed The Reverend Alpher K. Sylvester as the new Connecticut District Superintendent, effective July 1, 2017.   Rev. Sylvester is currently the pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in St. Albans, New York.  He will succeed the Rev. Ken Kieffer who is completing his eighth year in the Connecticut District. Future appointments and clear openings will be announced on Monday mornings through e-mail and postings on the New York Annual Conference website, ...


The Journey Continues, ... Responding in a Post-Election World

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

November 12, 2016

This week I have had a series of conversations with pastors in our annual conference regarding the events surrounding the recent presidential elections.  During the course of those visits, a similar statement emerged from each one – “What do you say when you don’t know what to say?” The events leading up to, surrounding, and following the elections will be studied and analyzed for years to come.  Those events go deeper than two candidates.  This was a vote that revealed a deep and significant ...


Hurricane Matthew Response

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

October 24, 2016

Dear Friends & Colleagues, Just a short three weeks ago Hurricane Matthew began a path of destruction and chaos through Haiti and the southeastern coast of the United States. In the wake of the storm over 800 lives were lost and countless others were left without home or shelter. Less than two weeks ago, the aftermath of the storm created historic flooding in North Carolina leaving some towns completely under water. Last week I had the privilege of being with Bishop Jonathan ...


The Journey Continues... Making An Impression For Change

Bishop Thomas J. Bickerton

October 20, 2016

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” —Will Rogers A few weeks ago I was standing on the street corner of Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. Boulevard and 129th Street in Harlem wondering about making a first impression. It was moments before the service of welcome and installation for me as the new bishop of the New York Conference. As I moved among the clergy standing in the processional line, I wondered about how others were feeling about my presence among them, and I was curious...


God's Sign for a New Future

Previous Bishops

August 29, 2016

My Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. Last week I jogged about a mile away from the condo where I’ve been living for the past 20 months to the Conference Center. As I stood in front of this building under renovation I looked up at the sky to see a full rainbow — a sign of God’s blessing over this building that is only partially restored. Could this be a metaphor for The United Methodist Church today? We too are undergoing a renovation. ...


Prayer for Unity in a Time of Crisis

Previous Bishops

July 08, 2016

My Beloved Sisters and Brothers in Christ, Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ. I am reminded of Jesus weeping over Jerusalem. Surely he weeps with us today. Following the tragic shooting deaths of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, which further undermined any sense of trust in the fairness of treatment of blacks and other persons of color, we are now stunned by the wanton act of ambush in Dallas last night resulting in the deaths of five police officers and wounding of ...


Helping West Virginia in this Time of Need

Previous Bishops

June 30, 2016

A UMNS slideshow showing the damage in West Virginia is available for viewing.  Dear Sisters and Brothers of the New York Annual Conference,   The news of flooding from West Virginia has shown great devastation to a part of our nation that is already economically vulnerable. We pray for those who have lost loved ones, all who have lost homes and all who face a long-term recovery effort. As United Methodists, we know that the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is already on the scene ...


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