Support from Father bill

My call to serve as Priest-in-Charge of Christ Church included the commitment to prepare Christ Church for a deep and fruitful relationship with their next Rector. A marvelous parish is now ready for that Priest. This makes it easier to retire from active parish ministry, move back to New Bern North Carolina, and help other parishes while I teach clergy as a member of the faculty of the Interim Ministry Network.

This page within the Succession section of the Christ Church website is my attempt to share with those priests who might be discerning the call to serve at Christ Church my excitement handing clergy leadership responsibilities to a successor who will find her or his life blessed as mine has been blessed by this loving and dynamic congregation.

My role as a Professional Transition Specialist began on May 1, 2015 after I answered and accepted the call of Bishop Chip Stokes to restore a jewel  of the Diocese of New Jersey. After 18 months, I knew two things: 1) Christ Church simply needed the encouragement and energy of a "hug" from a pastor committed to sharing loving relationships; 2) My next job was retirement after 29 years ordained service. 

Bishop Stokes allowed the Christ Church leadership and me the opportunity to work together during the search/discernment process with me serving as an on-site consultant for what we are calling a Succession. While nine people under the leadership of Succession Committee Chair Cindy McCormack comprise the confidential interview committee, over thirty people plus most of the parish have had a hand in a transparent process to identify and share with you hopes, aspirations, and, of course, the qualities they seek in their next ordained leader. I will not know if you decide to apply (only the Bishop's Office and the nine person committee will know about you). However, you are more than welcome to make yourself known to me. I am willing to answer your questions but will not tell anyone we have spoken. I can be reached at 252-876-6841.

If you are called to be the next Priest-in-Charge (an appointment by Bishop Stokes with expectation by all that you will be called as soon as possible as Rector), you will find a parish ready (and hungry for) clerical leadership (to lift four sets of descriptive words of qualities and characteristics from question 12 of the OTM) that is collaborative visionary; embracing \ compassionate; thoughtful communicator; energetic / accessible.  

Please click on the box above and take the video Walking Tour of Christ Church. And, while I may not know your name, you are in my prayers.

The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas

The Rev. Dr. William Carl Thomas (aka Father Bill) was appointed to serve at Christ Church in May 2015 as Priest-in-Charge by the Bishop of New Jersey. The past three years have been productive for both Christ Church and Father Bill. Now preparing himself and Christ Church for his retirement from active parish ministry, this priest with 29 years ordained experience has enjoyed sharing the spiritual practices that define him (The Rule of St. Benedict), the learning from his doctorate (see, and approaches to Christian Formation that introduced Education for Ministry for adults and First Intentional Communion for our children. Father Bill shares his joy for ministry with much energy and loving passion with a group of gifted lay leaders. His teaching refrain, “We belong to one another. Together, with God’s help, we can make one another stronger” is a true expression of what it means for him to be a part of Christ Church.