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 balconypespective.com/influences), 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.
I think my bio should make it clear, first, that I don’t use the title Mother. If I need a title, I prefer Pastor or Chaplain but actually I prefer to be called Cathy.
Second, I’ve been a part of Christ Church since 1984 when we moved to New Jersey. I was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1977. I am also an ACPE-certified Educator (commonly known as a CPE Supervisor.) [Clergy will know what that means.] Currently I work with students full-time at Overlook Medical Center in Summit, NJ.
Third, I’ve been married for almost 44 years to a urologist Mike Bickerton, MD. We have three adult sons, two daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren. We live in Fair Haven with our one cat.
Fourth, I graduated from Vassar College in 1971, from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1974 with my M.Div. magna cum laude, and my D.Min. in Pastoral Care and Counseling with Distinction from Drew Theological School in 2006. Technically, I am “The Rev. Dr. Cathy Bickerton.”