The Ministry of the Presiding Bishop
by Bishop Peter Elder Hickman
A. "We will devote ourselves to prayer..." I begin with what has become for me the most important task of this holy office of the Presiding Bishop, namely prayer. When I served for many years as a parish pastor prayer was certainly a part of my life. However, apart from the liturgies I participated in, my practice of prayer was sporadic and occasional. But in my role as the Presiding Bishop I have learned to become a person of prayer. So I disciplined myself to set aside time for frequent prayer. Spending time with God in prayer has become a tremendous grace to me and an absolute necessity in this work. I realized that in the tradition of the Church there are many forms of prayer: contemplative prayer; centering prayer; lectio divina; Novenas; the Rosary; the Jesus Prayer; intercessory prayer; the Chaplet of the Divine Mercy; and praying in the Spirit (tongues); to name but a few. I use all of these prayer forms, some more than others. At least one or two hours a day needs to be set aside for intentional prayer. It is from this practice of communing with our Triune God that you will derive the wisdom and power to carry the burden of this sacred ministry. I have learned that the necessity of prayer to be absolutely true. I have learned, too, that I must be an example of prayerfulness to others in our beloved Communion especially to those engaged in pastoral ministry. Avoid the sin of prayerlessness and "pray without ceasing!" Then you will be assured that God is with you.
B. "Study to yourself approved, a worker that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of truth." In addition to the Bible I am constantly reading two books at all times: I am reading a book on theology because I need to be as theologically informed as possible. I must discipline my intellect and read the best theologians of all the Christian traditions (Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox from across the centuries). I did not learn it all in seminary. So I remain a student of theology. I spend at least one hour a day reading theology. I also am reading a book on Christian spirituality/experience. Learning of the spiritual experiences and practices of others has deepened my own spiritual experience and practice. God has become much more real to me through reading books on the devotional life. Constantly reading and studying is an absolute necessity in order to teach with insight and wisdom.
Synod 2014 Registration
Synod 2014 is scheduled for
October 7 - 10 in Aurora, CO
This is a big year for the ECC. We will be electing a new Presiding Bishop for the first time in our history. You will want to be there.
Use this link for information and registration.
You may pay by check, credit card or PayPal.
After submitting your registration form you will get a thank you page where payment information is located.
We hope to see you at Synod 2014.
Ecumenical Catholic Communion
with an online donation.
"Chosen by All"
August 28, 2013 A.D.
A Pastoral Letter to the People
of the Ecumenical Catholic Communion
Concerning the Active Voice of All
in the Selection of the Presiding Bishop
Feast of Saint Augustine of Hippo, bishop and doctor
Dearest Sisters and Brothers of Our Beloved Communion,
Greetings in Christ Jesus, our Shepherd!
We come to you as your brothers who serve you and are deeply committed to our constitutional mandate: "The ministry of bishop is particularly one of guidance as first shepherd. The episcopal ministry is one of evangelism, continuity and unity". And so our service to you is one rooted in the preaching of the Good News, assuring an uninterrupted connection to our Catholic tradition and safeguarding our unity in faith and relationship to one another in Christ.
Our Communion is embarking upon what may first appear to be an uncharted waters in a process for the selection of our next Presiding Bishop, culminating in the election by your community's delegates gathered as a Holy Synod in October 2014. This is a historical moment as we select and call forth one from among us who will serve as our second Presiding Bishop following the remarkable and loving ministry of Bishop Peter Hickman. This historical moment in our Communion is not uncharted but, in fact, clearly given to us in Sacred Scripture, our Catholic tradition and the ECC Constitution. Our desire is to reflect with you the Church's story in its earliest centuries about the vital participation and voice of each person in the selection of bishops and to strongly encourage you to look to our own Communion's moment in its story. In our ministry to you as bishops, we are concerned that we undertake this process with fidelity to our Catholic tradition and embrace of our Constitution's letter and spirit.