For a plethora of reasons, I have been doing a lot of looking back over my life the last few months. As one person pointed out, I have been focused on issues of mortality lately.
One question always seems to pop up in human existence and that is the question of our legacy. What kind of legacy are we leaving for future generations? Will we be remembered or will it be as though we never existed? For some, these questions arise out of a need to fuel their ego. For others, it is a matter of wanting to make sure something positive comes out of all the experiences we have endured.
In my life, I want to leave something positive behind. I don’t really care if anyone remembers me, I just want something I have done in my lifetime to be of value to the next generation. I want the next generation of Old Catholic Priests and Bishops to be better thanks to the work I have done in my lifetime.
You see, I have endured a lot of pain, suffering, and damage in my life. I have cause pain and suffering in my lifetime too. I have worked for several years now to make amends for the pain and suffering I have caused. And I have worked to do what I can to make sure that my pain and suffering helps others.
This has been a year (so far) of milestones for me. Convergent Streams reached its fifth year of publication. There were many people who said it would not last one year, much less five. I will start my 19th year of being a Priest and Bishop this year. This year marks a point in my life where I have been a Priest and Bishop for the same amount of time that I was not. It is my “break even” point. It also marks my 38th trip around the sun. And speaking of son’s (LOL), my son will turn seventeen this year and I will have been married for eighteen years.
So, as you see, it is a year of milestones. When it comes to my life in the church, it has been filled with ups and downs, pain and suffering, but lately, lots of joy and gladness. For the first time in years, I feel that I am part of a family. The wonderful clergy of the Old Catholic Churches International are willing to work together toward a common goal without counting the cost. They are people who work to help others without regard for themselves. They are a family. And I am so very proud of every one of them. Not to mention, that I am honored to be part of this family.
I am also proud of Convergent Streams. We have had many great articles published from many great writers over the past five years. We have had come writers come and go, but we continue to add new and fresh perspectives to our publication. And it is OUR publication. Every one of you who read it online, purchase a copy in print, or write for this publication make it your own. We did not start Convergent Streams to be a private publication, but rather, we started it to be a magazine to show off the great and wonderful things going on in the Independent Sacramental Movement. We wanted to show off the talent and skill of those in our movement who go largely unseen.
For many years, the Independent Sacramental Movement (ISM) has been labeled as crazies or uneducated. This is because the loudest voices of this movement have not always been the best voices of this movement. Rather than trying to shout them down, we have quietly worked to build a wealth of information about the good voices, the educated voices, and the rational voices of our movement. By doing this, we work to change the perception of our movement and make it more desirable to those looking for what we have to offer.
I must admit, I had hoped that Convergent Streams would grow to be a magazine that many parishes would offer to their members, much like Our Sunday Visitor or other such publications. While we never have gotten to that point, with a little work and maybe a change in distribution methods, we might. That will be my continued side project as we move forward.
Given what we face in our world today, voices like ours are need now more than ever. Bishop Thomas Shortell wrote/rewrote a piece in this quarter’s edition about that need. I am very grateful for his insight especially concerning those issues faced by the immigrant population. Father Kenneth Nelan took time to explain his views on the Old in Old Catholic and Bishop James St. George explored why we look at evangelism as a dirty word when in fact we should be practicing evangelism every day. Father Timothy Warren, our newest writer, examines ways we can improve ourselves during the waning days of Lent. And Father Andrew Smith tells us about his unique experience joining the Old Catholic movement having come from a protestant background. Father Rick Romero gives us a very special look at his journey and the journey of two female bishops in the Old Catholic movement. And lastly, Father David Castro talks to us about how we should embrace the humanity of Christ and what His humanity means for us and our freedom.
These are the voices that make our movement great. They are the voices we need to hear from more and more. And they are given a platform, if only quarterly, to do just that. Convergent Streams continue to push forward. And what we do in the future with it is up to you, the people who make it great!