Meet Father Bill
“Yes Lord, anything you want me to do, I will do. Anyplace you want me to go, I will go.” These words guided my call to seminary over the spring and summer of 1986. My wife and young children moved to Wisconsin where I received provisional permission to go to Nashotah House on the day before classes started in the fall of that year. These words guided my call to move with Edna Marie and Melinda (now in 9th grade) and Adam (now in 6th grade) from Rhode Island to the deep south St. Matthias in Tuscaloosa Alabama. We came as a family to consider Tuscaloosa as home (Roll Tide!). And these words not only guide my call from New Bern, North Carolina to Middletown, New Jersey but reveal God’s great sense of humor. After all, many people in New Bern have retired from New Jersey! On the surface, the expression that opened this article sounds faithful but it also could be simply fatalistic. I choose faithful because I know that God offers holy invitations that include God’s full participation in the outcome of which I am also a willing participant.
Fate has not brought us together as pastor and people. Our willingness to listen and find God when we least expect God’s love and need that love most frames the shared call we celebrate this weekend as I lead worship for the first time at Christ Church Middletown. The Ethiopian Eunuch who meets Philip in the lesson from Acts8:26-40 knows a holy invitation when he sees one. After Philip responds to the eunuch’s request to learn about the good news of Jesus Christ, the eunuch says, “Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?”
We are sealed by the Holy Spirit in baptism. Being open to the power of the Holy Spirit is what transcends the worldly notion of fate and makes “Yes Lord, anything you want me to do, I will do. Anyplace you want me to go, I will go” the most natural and appropriate statement of guiding principle for the many years we will share as pastor and people.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Click here to read Father Bill's introduction to the parish.
Learn more about The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas at his website: