This past year has been a difficult year for all of us. Despite that, I am thankful for many things. One of the things I am thankful for is all of you. Because of you, we have reached the beginning of our fifth year of publication. This is now the longest running magazine focusing on and build by the Independent Sacramental Movement.
I am also thankful for all the clergy and laity of the Old Catholic Churches International. My brother and sisters have worked hard to make a church that we all are proud of. They have been so supportive to me and to each other. And I am so very thankful for all of them.
I am also thankful for our great Synod in August of 2016. Saint Miriam Parish and Friary in Flourtown, Pennsylvania hosted our Synod and they did a phenomenal job. We had the best food and everything we needed for each session was provided with a smile. They showed the kind of love and acceptance that Christ called us all to show to everyone we meet.
During the Synod, we approved the creation of the Year of Love to celebrated in our church. The Year of Love started on the First Sunday of Advent in 2016 and will end on the Feast of Christ the King in 2017. The image in this article is the logo that we approved at the Synod as well.
Reprinted here is the letter introducing the Year of Love:
My dear brothers and sisters,
Over the past year, we as a church have been celebrating the Year of Mercy with our brothers and sisters in the Roman Catholic Church. We as a church voted at this year’s Synod to endorse my call for a Year of Love! We are called to strive to be as Christ, and love all; not just our friends and families, but those we encounter daily. We are called to be friendly and helpful, charitable and forgiving.
After a campaign and election that sowed seeds of hate and division in our country, it is more important than ever that we spread by example the Love of God to all people.
The Scriptural basis for this Year of Love can be found in 1 Corinthians 13:13, “For there are these three things that endure: Faith, Hope and Love, but the greatest of these is Love.” (Aramaic Bible in Plain English)
Therefore, upon endorsement of the Synod, all clergy, and by their example; their parishioners shall act in love towards everyone. Let the love of Christ be a gift to the world through our Church. Let us set the example of love as we move forward into a new year of uncertainty, being certain only in God’s love for us and our love for others.
May the God of Love bless you all and may we never fail to share His love with all those we meet.
In God’s Love,
We would like to invite all clergy, parishes and jurisdictions to join us in the celebration. We will be releasing materials to use for the Year of Love throughout the year on our website at https://www.myocci.org. We ask that you leave the acknowledgment to our jurisdiction intact.
Now more than ever, we need to spread the message of God’s love for all people. We need to be part of the solution to the divisiveness and hatred that has become the norm in our society today.
So, please join us in this wonderful venture to publicly share the Love of God.
Lastly, as we venture into our fifth year of publication here at Convergent Streams, we have seen a slight decline in the number of submissions. We are thankful for all the submissions and we hope that everyone will continue to submit articles for publication.
If you have not submitted an article before or if you have, but have not in a while, we encourage you to take time to submit one for the next edition. The next edition will be published on March 6, 2017. The deadline for submissions will be February 27, 2017. All the articles from the Second Quarter edition will be added to our website on April 2, 2017. Submissions can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
Thank you again for all your support and prayers. May God continue to bless us all!
The Right Rev. Gregory Godsey, OSFoc is the Managing Editor of Convergent Streams. He is the Presiding Bishop of the Old Catholic Churches International and the Bishop Ordinary of the Diocese of Saint Maximilian Kolbe (AL, FL, GA, and SC). He is also the Director of the Office of Communications and Media Relations for the OCCI. He lives in North Augusta, South Carolina with his wife and son.