Most Rev. Craig W. Bates

On January 15th 2012, the Charismatic Episcopal Church celebrates the Feast of our Lord the Giver of Life. John 10.10 reads, " The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it abundantly." The Church proclaims, on this Sunday, that it is in relationship with the Risen Christ that men and women find true life, because Jesus not only gives abundant life, He alone is life. (John 14. 6)

John 10.10 also reminds us that the Church is in a spiritual war. This warfare is not something unique to our times but has been going on even before the foundation of the world. We know that the Church will be victorious because Christ Jesus is both King and Victor. Yet, day-by-day those anointed of God have had to come against darkness and death. The war is both individual and corporate.

Each of us is engaged in a battle for the health of our own souls. We struggle against the wages of sin, the world and the devil. Our victory comes when we put on Christ Jesus and the armor He has given us. We find our victory in prayer, which causes us to be in union with Him. Someone wrote, "prayer is not preparation for the battle, prayer is the battle."

There is also the battle for the souls of men and women. As prayer cannot be a program of the Church, evangelism cannot be a program of the Church. Evangelism is the Great Commission (Matthew 28.18-20). If we pray our hearts will be filled with compassion for the people around us who are the least, the lost, and the lonely. We will share the heart of our Lord and see them not as our enemies but as those who are harassed and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. And, we come to recognize that we are the answer to prayer for we are the laborers called to go into the harvest field. (Matthew 9.36-38) Prayer and evangelism are not options to be considered but commands to be obeyed.

As we look back on the 20th century we find two facts. The first is that the 20th century has been a time of great spiritual renewal and revival in the Church. The 20th century has seen the outpouring of the Holy Spirit from Azusa Street in California to the corridors of the Roman Catholic Church. The Holy Spirit continues to bring renewal and revival to the Global South and we pray that same revival will come to the Western Churches in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

The 20th century was also the most violent century in history. Millions of people died in World War I and World War 2. We saw the rise of fascism and communism, which killed millions of people in holocausts and genocides. We saw the genocides in Africa as recently as the genocide of Rwanda and the Sudan. There is not the time or space to list all the horrific violence that has been unleashed against innocent men, women and children in the 20th century.

Many of our Bishops today labor in situations where they are daily confronted with violence and death at the hands evil men and women. Or, they labor in places where famine and disease have caused the death of hundreds of thousands of children while corrupt governments hold back resources for monetary and political gain. It is a sad reality that six out of ten people live day-to-day and for them survival is the next meal.

The 20th century also seen more Christian martyrs than all the other centuries combined. As evil seemed to prevail our God anointed men and women to stand up against the forces of darkness. We saw the holocaust of the Nazi regime crumble in ashes. The tyranny of atheistic communism collapse quickly, unexpectedly, and suddenly. The shackles of racism in the United States and South Africa were removed and liberty prevailed because Christian men and women stood up often giving their lives sacrificially for the sake of the oppressed. Christ in them gave life when the enemy tried to steal, destroy, and kill.

The battle does not end until our Lord comes to reign in glory and His kingdom is fully established on earth as it is in heaven. The blood of the martyrs cry out before His throne and we are reminded of the words of Tertullian, "the blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church." Where there has been revival and renewal there has also been the shedding of blood. Victory comes, as always, as we pick up our cross daily and participate in the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus.

As you read this letter thousands of babies will be murdered in the womb of their mothers. Thousands of women and men will remember this day as the day they aborted their child. Most of those men and women will be scared for life physically, emotionally, and spiritually. Around the world millions of children will be murdered in their mother's womb in the next year.

Why are these children murdered? It is because the enemy has argued effectively that poverty is a result of giving birth to children. There is just too much life. If we had fewer children the argument goes then we would have less poverty, less disease, and less hunger. Abortion is aimed not at the rich who have all the resources but at the poor.

Even in the United States abortion is aimed at the poor. Abortion is aimed specifically at the African American community. Since 1973, over 25% of the black population has been exterminated by abortion. Today, almost as many African American babies are aborted as are born. A black baby is now three times as likely to be killed in the womb as a white baby. About 13% of American women are black, but they have 35% of the abortions. In the last 30 years, more than twice as many African Americans have died from abortion as from AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer and heart disease combined. Planned Parenthood operates the largest chain of abortion clinics in the United States and 80% of them are in minority communities. For the killing of African American babies, the US abortion industry takes in more than $16,000 per hour.

The abortion industry wants to convince women and men that their life would be better without children. In other words, children stand in the way of the materialism and consumerism.

But I am sure that I do not need to convince you of the evil of abortion. But I do need to warn us that silence is never an answer when evil is present. It has been said that the concentration camp of Auschwitz, where over a million Jews were executed in the name of racial cleansing, was build by the evil of Nazism, but the road to Auschwitz was built by the apathy of the people of Germany. It wasn't that the people of Germany were blind to the atrocities of Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler; it is that they choose to remain silent.

The Charismatic Episcopal Church was birthed in the Pro Life Movement. It was in the heat of battle that our first Patriarch saw the need for convergence worship. Yes, convergence worship is a return to the early church and is a sign of unity. It is also the reality that worship is spiritual warfare and that the culture of life will have victory over the culture of death because the Risen Christ is with us.

It is for this reason that I have come to believe that the CEC is not a church that is Pro Life; she is a Pro Life Church. The proclamation of life is at the core of who we are as God's people and so we must be a voice of justice, if only a small voice, for the life of all persons from conception to natural death.

When I became the Patriarch of the Church my first official act after my enthronement was to go to Washington, D.C. and join the American youth of our communion at the March for Life. The March for Life is an annual gathering of hundreds of thousands of people to mark the beginning of the abortion holocaust in America. At the March, CEC for Life hosts a gathering of CEC young people to encourage and equip them in the battle for life. The young people gather to worship Jesus, hear God's Word, receive the Eucharist, and then carry the Gospel of Life to the streets.

When we gather in Spain, in July of 2012, the young people of our church will go to the streets of Madrid with the message of life. CEC for Life is planning a large event at the main Plaza in Madrid where the young people, who are in love with Jesus, will proclaim John 10.10. We will pray, proclaim God's word, hand out literature and be a witness to the Lord, the Giver of Life.

The abortion industry is attempting to spread its vehicle of death outside the United States to poor countries of the world. Billions of dollars are being spent to legalize abortion in Africa, South America, and Asia. Politicians are being pressured to pass legislation to legalize abortion in countries that culturally have long honored and respected large families and see children as a blessing from God.

It is for this reason that my second act as Patriarch was to make CEC for Life not just a ministry of the CEC but also an arm of the office of the Patriarch. And, last year Fr. Terry Gensemer made an act of faith and left the full time pastorate of a great Church to work full time for CEC for Life and me. The Bishops of the American Church confirmed this call and pledged their support.

CEC for Life is not the answer to ending abortion. There is a need for Pregnancy Counseling Centers, Birthing Clinics, political action, ministry to post abortive men and women, and real and lasting economic relief for the poor. But CEC for Life is one response that we together can support.

My Church has been involved with CEC for Life since I came into the CEC back in 1995. CEC for Life has encouraged, equipped, and empowered the people of my congregation, particularly the young adults, to be strong in their commitment to the Gospel of life. My young adults are not anti abortion they are on fire for Jesus and because they are on fire for Jesus they have gone to the streets, their schools, and among their friends with the message of John 10.10. And, I believe with all my heart that the next generation, these same young adults, will make abortion illegal and unthinkable.

The Patriarch's Council heard the voice of the Lord over and over again that CEC for Life must be a priority. In consensus, the Bishop on the Patriarch's Council agreed that the Holy Spirit was directing us to annually take up an offering for the work of CEC for Life. They heard the Holy Spirit tell us that every CEC congregation on the Feast of the Lord the Giver of Life should take up an offering and send this offering to the Patriarch's Office for the work of CEC for Life. The Holy Spirit has directed us on how we can be a part of proclaiming John 10.10 to the world particularly when it comes to abortion.

I certainly want to encourage you to take up the offering on January 15th, 2012. But it is not because we are trying to raise funds. Of course, CEC for Life needs money and resources, we all know that ministry takes finances. All of us could use more resources for cars, buildings, programs, and leadership. And, we all know that this takes financial backing. I am encouraging you to take up the offering because I believe it is being obedient to the word of the Lord given to our Bishops. And, I believe obedience opens the door to more blessings. We can be faithful not in what we don't have but in what we have and our faithfulness in the small things will open us to receive more.

On a personal note, as I write this letter in my office at home, my grandson, age four years, is running up and down hallway pretty much ignoring the voice of his mother, who is trying to get him ready to go out. I can hear the patter of his feet and the laughter as he taunts his mother who is not well pleased or happy. Yet, the patter of those feet and the laughter is a sign of life. He is a survivor of the holocaust of abortion. And, he has brought more joy into my heart than any object or possession could ever begin to bring to me. He is the fulfillment of John 10.10.

Please take up the offering, and have your congregations take up an offering on January 15th of 2012 for CEC for Life. Please take part in this holy task of life and pray there is a day when we will see and know that all life is sacred.

Under His mercy,
The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates,
Patriarch, ICCEC 

P.S.  It was also agreed by the House of Bishops that the Lord was calling every CEC Church in North America to become a member of CEC for Life.  You will receive additional information on how you can do this in another mailing.

To all North American Bishops and Clergy  

 It is extremely dangerous, though tempting, to make being Pro Life a political issue. There is no question that those of us who are concerned about the issues of life, particularly abortion, need to be politically aware. We certainly understand that a great deal of the battle about issues of life will be fought in political campaigns, in the halls of congress and state legislators, and in the Supreme Court. But being Pro Life is not about being political.

I will not vote for a political candidate who advocates the legalization of abortion. I do understand that the battle for an end to abortion will be won incrementally. Yet, it is clear to me that unless one is right on abortion they cannot be right on other issues. And, I am aware that there is disagreement about this among Christians. But being Pro Life is not in essence a political movement.

Being Pro Life I believe is grounded in the words of Jesus - "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10.10) This text tells us, particularly those of us in the North American Church, that the battle line is drawn between a post modern, hedonistic, consumer driven, materialistic, contraceptive culture of death and the liberating, restoring, reconciling, eternal Gospel culture of life. The text reminds us that this is an ancient spiritual battle that has crossed time and space and will be waged till finally our Lord - the giver of life - comes again to fully establish His Kingdom.

Abortion takes prominence in our discussion of life because it is so horrific. We can hardly get our minds around the fact that four thousand babies are murder by chemical burning and dismemberment every single day in the United States alone. Over one hundred and twenty thousand babies are killed the same way around the world, even in countries where abortion is supposedly illegal. Stalin once said (and I paraphrase) that the death of one person is a tragedy; the death of a million is a statistic. It is for this very reason that we are unable sometimes to allow the reality of this holocaust and genocide to enter our daily thinking.

Abortion is clearly connected to the issue of poverty. It is not surprising that the vast majority of abortion mills are located not in middle class or upper class communities but in poor communities. Most are located in communities where the population is predominately African American or Latino. Since the beginning of organizations like Planned Parenthood the argument for murdering children or controlling population has been directed at the poor - blaming the poor, particularly children for their own poverty.

The murder of children should be enough to move us to prayer and action. We also need to understand that our country, under its present leadership, not only wants to keep abortion legal - including infanticide - but also wants to export abortion to poor countries around the world, particularly in Africa and the Philippines where children are considered a blessing and not an inconvenience. Many have in these countries, tempted by the offer of billions of dollars in aid, embraced the lie that children are the cause of poverty. These are the same politicians who are involved in massive government corruption, misuse of existing resources, and power politics, which keep resources from the children and poor mothers.

Abortion is clearly an attack on the poor who have a special place in the heart of Jesus.

The issue of life is far larger and more comprehensive than the issue of abortion. To be Pro Life is to be rooted and grounded in Gospel Christianity. If we are Pro Life than we are clearly stating that death is an enemy and never ever is it a solution to a problem. It is to be actively engaged in ministry to the poor. It is working to end the economic oppression of developing nations so that resources are made available to the children who are suffering from famine and disease. It is having a heart for the fatherless child (43% of our children live in fatherless homes - 73% of minority children). It is reaching out in love to women who have found themselves pregnant from a man (dare I use the word) who has abandoned them and left them to rely on government assistance. It is about working to end sexual exploitation and the sex trade industry, particularly the sex slave industry that lures young boys and girls into prostitution to satisfy the lusts of wealthy westerners. It is calling and working for social justice for the poor. It is teaching healthy, responsible, and Godly sexual behavior rather than spending billions of dollars on contraceptives and condoms. It is about making sure there is justice in our criminal justice system before we discuss executing a person who is often a victim of the very culture of death they became a part. It is making sure that the wars in which our country engages are just before we send off young men and women to give their lives or end up wounded in battle. It is speaking against a media industry that exploits sexuality and violence for profit and viciously attacks the Church and traditional morality over and over again. It is working against the prevalent worldview that one's worth is determined by their usefulness and so ignores the elderly and disabled and advocates euthanasia.

The task before us is immense - it always has been. It is not a political movement. Jesus came to give us life.

Though there are certainly political arguments most are not won over by arguments. Rather people are won over by the love of God. Evangelization is a Pro Life activity. We will always be lured by the false riches and glamour that the world offers if we are not in a living and personal relationship with Christ Jesus. When we bring someone to Christ Jesus we have brought them to liberation from sin, the world, and the devil.

Discipleship is a Pro Life activity. Once a person has come to Christ and made a decision to follow Jesus as Lord they need to be trained is the historic disciplines of prayer, fasting, the Scriptures, sacrificial giving, and regular reception of the Eucharist. As a person comes more and more into contact with the Risen Christ they will become more and more engaged in the works of the Church - reconciliation through mercy, forgiveness and grace.

One of the greatest assets we have in the Church is the Diaconate. I lament that fact that so many Deacons have been relegated to merely assisting at the Eucharist. Indeed, that is a holy task and I don't want to downplay the role they have in Eucharistic service. But the real call of the Deacon is to call us to engagement in the world around us. Deacons cannot only serve among the least and the lost, but can equip us to do the work of ministry in those areas. Deacons can lead us in feeding the hungry, offering counsel to the unwed mother, care for the fatherless, prayers at the abortion mills, healing those who have had abortions, working among fatherless children, ministry to the homebound elderly, work in pregnancy counseling centers, and the list goes on in on - all ways to be Pro Life.

As a charismatic I have hung around prophets. Over the decades I have heard two consistent calls from the Lord to His Church. The first is a call to repentance with the expectation of revival and renewal. Certainly this is an individual call to repentance. I need to examine my own life for areas where I have committed sins of commission and omission when it comes to being about the Gospel of Life. It is not enough to say I am Pro Life when I have often been the Priest or the Levite walking by, as the beggar lies beaten, wounded, and robbed. I must constantly be aware of my own need for confession and amendment of life turning daily away from the temptation to allow myself to be caught into the same demonic trap that can be found in the comforts of materialism.

There is also a need for corporate repentance. Perhaps our Churches have become anemic because we have failed to be in love with Jesus. This is an individual passion but must also be a corporate passion. The call upon Ephesus to return to their "first love" is a call to the Bishop and the entire Body of Christ. We need to repent of our prayerlessness. Not just intercessory prayerlessness but our individual and corporate seeking of God and dwelling in His love, forgiveness and mercy. This is Pro Life.

The second major prophetic word I hear is the call to disciple a "Joshua Generation." This generation more than any other in my lifetime is surrounded by and indoctrinated in a secular, postmodern humanism. In New York City, the government is hiring a "condom coordinator." This person will be paid over 80,000 dollars a year plus benefits to ensure that condoms are made available to students in Junior and Senior High School. The new sex education program that is offered and required of students between ages 11 and 18 includes such topics as oral sex, homosexuality, anal sex, and others topics including instructions on how to have oral sex if you have braces. At the same time God or even a religious view of the world is forbidden to be talked about in public school. Curriculums are increasing more and more morally relative and based in a totally utilitarian understanding of truth and life.

How can we as the Church raise up a generation that can win the culture for Christ? I applaud the work of CEC for Life. I am the Patriarch of the worldwide communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church but I am also the Senior Pastor of a local parish church. In my congregation are young men and women who by the grace of God (and often at their parents leading) are in the pews every Sunday. These young men and women are mostly in public school. CEC for Life has been more than helpful in putting a fire in these young men and women for Jesus. It has happened certainly because I have a youth pastor who is on fire for the Lord but he is also sold out to the Pro Life Movement. But it is also because we have year after year brought these young people to the March for Life, sent them to Ireland, and rallied them at Planned Parenthood for the Liturgy for the Preborn. Now many of these young men and women have committed themselves to living holy and chaste lives so that they can be leaders in the Church and be a Joshua generation that will conquer the land and see an end to abortion in America. They are zealots not for the Pro Life movement they are zealots for Jesus and so they are Pro Life.

When our Churches become a member of CEC for Life, and we encourage our parishioners to become members, and take up the annual offering we are making a powerful spiritual statement in the heavenly realms. We let the principalities, powers, and forces of wickedness know that we are standing in prayer - spiritual warfare - not only for ourselves but also for generations of little ones. We are bringing about a generation of warriors for the Gospel. They are warriors who are in love with Jesus in the Eucharist and in the poor.

We can equip these young saints with the word of God and the gifts of the spirit. They will be a generation empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak prophetically to the Church and the culture. They will be a generation that can heal the sick and cast out the demons of death. They will be a generation that will have the knowledge and wisdom of God. The will be a generation of prayer that seeks the face of the Lord.

I am more than optimistic. I am so because all of us fight from a posture of victory because Christ has defeated death and is risen from the grave. Life will always triumph over death. This Risen Christ is among us. And, He is working with us till the end of time.

I am Pro Life not because I am a Republican or a Democrat. I am Pro Life because I am a Christian and my Lord is Pro Life.

On a final note, do not be discouraged at the numbers. Every major move of God in the last hundred years (and even before that) began with small numbers of men and women, young and old, who fell in love with Jesus. The great revivals and renewal movements of the Church from the Benedictines, the Franciscans, the Wesleyans, the Moravians, and our own Charismatic fathers and mothers began with only a few whose heart was turned to Jesus so much that they were willing to lay it all down to proclaim that Jesus has come to give life and to give it abundantly.

Now for some advertisements. I encourage you to come to and encourage others to come to the March for Life - January 22 in Washington DC or to take part in the West Coast March for Life. I also encourage you to get your families to International Convocation where we will together become a communion empowered to live for the life of the world. There will be a strong youth presence going to the streets of Madrid with the message of the love of God and the means of life.

Just some thoughts spoken because I love each of you and I am your brother.

Under His mercy,

The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates,


The clergy and congregation of the
Charismatic Episcopal Church of the Advent
invite you to join with us in celebrating the
Installation of Fr. Jim Younce to the Office of Rector
on Sunday the 20th of November, 2011 at 9:30am
at 1702 S. Ditmar St., Oceanside, CA, 92054
with luncheon to follow


to enjoy wine and hors d'oeuvres as we celebrate the life and ministry of
Cn. Gary and Millie Heniser
on Friday the 18th of November, 2011 at 7:00pm
at the home of Fr. Clifford and Sarah Crowe
2828 Cederwood Way, Carlsbad, CA, 92008


Please RSVP to either or both events by Sunday the 13th of November

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Bp. BatesThis June is the 19th Anniversary of the beginnings of the Charismatic Episcopal Church.  From a small church in San Clemente, California the CEC has grown into an international communion of churches around the globe.  Soon we will have additional churches in West Africa as well as East Africa. We will soon be bringing in some churches in India.  There is even a church in the Bahamas that will soon join our communion.  So the communion continues to grow because God is adding to our numbers.  The message of convergence worship and making visible the void is still a word from the Lord.

    Back in the early days when churches in America were coming into our communion the major issue facing us was property and buildings.  Most of our churches were church plants or congregations that had to walk away from denominational property.  Still today we have many small congregations that need adequate facilities to worship and others have outgrown their buildings and need new facilities.  This is true around the world.

     Early in our history, the Bishops, after prayer, came up with a idea where we could collectively gather resources to purchase land and property.  It was decided that every member of the CEC would give 10 dollars in offering to a Foundation Day collection.  This money would then be put in a fund for the Patriarch to use to facilitate the purchase of land and property.  The offering would be taken the Sunday closest to June 26th - the day Archbishop Randolph Adler was consecrated the first Bishop in the ICCEC. 

    Once the offering was collected it would be distributed in the following way.  One third of the offering would be given in direct grants.  One third of the offering would be given in low interest loans.  And, one third of the offering would be invested.  Over the years the two thirds that has been distributed has help congregations move forward and grow. 

    A report of the Foundation Offering can be found at .(Foundation Day link is in the menu)  I encourage you to take a look and you will see what we can do together.

    I strongly encourage you to take part in this offering.  It is a way for your congregation to be part of something much larger than itself.  As Christians we are called to be generous and cheerful givers to the work of the Kingdom.  This work is certainly in the local congregation, but it also is way beyond our own boarders.  By planting seed into a larger vineyard we are also planting seeds of faith for our own congregations.

    Join me on Sunday June 26th, along with the people of the Cathedral Church of the Intercessor and all the Cathedrals in the ICCEC, in taking up this special offering.  I believe God wants to renew us, refresh us, and grow us.  We can thank Him not only with our lips but with our lives, our talents, our time, and our treasure.

   Be assured of my continued prayers.  I am humbled to be with you as your servant.  Pray for me to be responsive to His grace and His will.

Under His mercy, Bp. Bates Seal
The Most Rev. Craig W. Bates
Patriarch, International Communion of the Charismatic Episcopal Church.

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