...I want to thank everyone who has sent email and notes of congratulations on my election. I am grateful to be part of such a fellowship of believers. Our Lord is leading us and as the people of God we will continue to listen to the voice of the Lord and when we hear we will obey.
Many have said to me “let’s forget the past and move forward.” I understand what they are saying and what they mean by that statement. But to totally forget our past would be foolish and dangerous. I want to acknowledge today, and will continue to do so in the future, the faith, courage, and boldness of Archbishop A. Randolph Adler. This man of God was willing to be obedient to the Lord and continues to be obedient. Bishop Adler was chosen by the Lord in the midst of defending the rights of the pre-born to speak the word of the Lord concerning what we now know as convergence or three streams. Making visible the void was not spoken in the comfort of the pews but in the streets and jails of Los Angeles. Bishop Adler for over three decades has spoken prophetically and pastorally to the good people of St. Michael’s Church and since 1992 has spoken to the nations of the world. He has prayed for us, led us with a spirit of humility, has been a giver and not a taker, and has raised up men and women around the world who will carry on the vision. I am not worthy to step into his shoes and I need each and every one of you to stand with me, in a unity that will be given by the Holy Spirit.
And, I stand today and honor Betty Adler. There are not words that can express our appreciation for this more than gracious woman of God. Few know the sacrifices she has had to make over the last decades. How she had to often stand-alone while her husband was traveling and facing the demands of leadership. How she, along with Bishop Adler, had to face personal sacrifice. How they model faith during the death of loved ones. We honor and love Betty. Our prayers are that after some well-deserved rest they will once again be among us in giving voice to the love, mercy, and forgiveness of the Father. We want the wisdom the Lord Holy Spirit has given to both of them. It is a wisdom birthed not only in obedience but also in suffering.
Our Church is Pro-Life. ..It is my plan to join Fr. Terry Gensemer and the youth of our Church on January 20-23 in Washington, D.C. for the March for Life and the annual gathering of CEC for Life. I hope and pray that many of people, particularly leadership will be with CEC for Life and me at this event.
...On Wednesday evening of the Convocation I will be enthroned as the second Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church. It is my hope that Bishops from around the world will be able to be in attendance to once again express liturgically what is true about our communion. We are an international church! And, my hope is that as many of us as possible will be able to be present.
Thanks to a working group on communication we have two new websites - cechome.com and cecida.com. As you can see by visiting the sites there will be regular updates from around the world. Very soon you will be able to make your reservations for Convocation on line. We encourage you to do so quickly. Let’s fill up the Wyndam Resort in Orlando and gather for three days of fellowship, teaching, and worship of our Lord Jesus.
...Archbishop Adler and Archbishop Chuck Jones have prophetically spoken of a Tsunami anointing of God’s love coming upon the earth. This word has been spoken not only by them but also by prophetic people throughout the church. God is pouring out His love and mercy everyday. We are, through prayer and worship, to earnestly seek God as He seeks us. Brazil is evidence today of a spirit of revival and renewal. To sit with Archbishop Paulo Garcia is to be encouraged to press on and see that even in the midst of post modern humanism God still moves drawing people to Himself. I know in the future God will use Archbishop Garcia, and indeed the Bishops of the South Hemisphere, to work with the Bishops of the West in walking close to the heart of God.
There is a spirit of unity and cooperation among the Bishops of the West. I know each of them is eager to get to work and build the Church. It is no longer time to describe our wounds it is time to seek healing for our wounds. The American Church has gone through hard times - much of which we inflicted upon ourselves. We made mistakes, often had poor judgment, and in so doing we not only offended but hurt many. We have asked forgiveness. We intend amendment of life and will implement necessary corrections. But more than anything we will move forward in articulating the vision God has given us. We will move forward with loyal and faithful men and women who have weathered hard times. We will move forward knowing we will make other mistakes and face difficult times. We will however move forward knowing that the Lord will not leave us or forsake us. We will move forward not with political agenda but being led by the Spirit.
I have hit the floor running. I will try to answer as much correspondence as possible. This Friday and Saturday I am in Portland, Maine meeting with the great clergy of Maine. On Sunday, I head of to Washington, D.C. and then the following Sunday-Monday I will be gathering with some administrative types to begin looking at not only the transition of leadership but the creation of an infra-structure for the entire communion. When things begin to get into place I will try, through our website, to keep everyone informed of our progress.
Please pray for me. I yearn to be among you as one who serves. I am humbled by this task and humbled by the love and support so many of you have already offered. I am humbled to follow such a good and godly man. Please pray for the Cathedral Church of the Intercessor, as it becomes the new See of the ICCEC. The faithful people of St. Michael’s Cathedral will tell you what a difficult job it is to be out front. They did a phenomenal job and our hearts will always be drawn to them. Now we pray for them, as they get about the new phase of their life together as a family. Pray for my family particularly Cathy. Those who know Cathy know you are around a special person when you are in her presence.
Under His mercy,
The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates,
For prayer and consideration! Read the whole text at http://cechome.wordpress.com/