Statement to the Faithful of the ICCEC
We cannot do this, though, without the active presence of God. We are charismatic and are committed to working in the power of the Holy Spirit to see lives transformed and restored. We live with the expectation that the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will walk, and the dead will rise.
The Patriarch is the symbol of unity and ministry, not of bureaucracy. My office will continue to develop an administrative infrastructure that is transparent, accountable, and that serves the purpose of facilitating ministry in our Church. As the First Father of the Church I want to affirm that all of the faithful are called to ministry. Ministry begins with baptism, not ordination. We must all work together in the ministries to which God has called us.
I reaffirm that the Charismatic Episcopal Church is called to a government of councils in consensus at all levels of the church. I enter the office of Patriarch as a bishop among bishops and as a priest among priests. The greatest among us is the servant. Our desire must be to hear the voice of the Lord and in hearing His voice to respond in joyful obedience.
I ask your prayers. I am committed to be among you as one who serves. I pray for each of you that the Holy Spirit draws us closer to the heart of Jesus and in so doing we will encounter the incredible love of our Father. In this encounter we will be made into His holy likeness and will be compelled to live out a life in obedience to the command to love one another. It is then that the world will know we are His disciples.
Under His Mercy,
The Most Reverend Craig W. Bates
Patriarch of the International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church