When I put forth the idea for this edition of Convergent Streams I could not have imagined the great articles it would inspire. New beginnings seem to be a topic that many people have been considering for a while now.
Some of the articles are a bit deep. They will make you think. They may even make you cry. But they will hopefully help you find a path to a new beginning in your life.
As we close out 2017 and start 2018, I am reminded all of the people who have helped me get to where I am today. I am very thankful for all those who were patient with me while I learned what it meant to be a real Christian. They were patient with me when I was still very backward and condemning. It was their love and patience that brought me to the realization that God loves everyone, and I should too.
I am also very sorry to all those I shunned, condemned, or mistreated over the years. It was wrong of me to act that way. I could give a laundry list of reasons why I was the way I was, but it does not matter now. All that matters now is that I learned that I was wrong and have worked for the last decade or more to live a life more in line with my faith.
As I approach the New Year, I am also mindful of all those we have lost in the past year. Our family is still grieving the loss of my mother-in-law, Linda Waldrop. She was taken from us too soon for our liking and it required us to make very difficult decisions in the end. I have been there for families during those moments, but when it is someone you care about, it is so very different.
I take comfort in the fact that after 3 weeks of hospitalization, Linda was able to pass into her reward in peace. I was there to aid her in her journey and she knew she was surrounded by her family who loved her.
While she will be missed, and the pain is still very real after only 4 months, we continue to honor her life by being present for others who have mental illnesses. We continue to aid local outreaches to those with mental disease and we will as long as we have breath.
Part of our new beginning as a family is that we are focusing more on those around us instead of always looking inside. We spent so much time caring for Linda and making sure things in our family were taken care of that we did not have the time or energy to help others. Now, we focus on helping others. This has helped with the grief some and has helped us to honor Linda’s life in a more real and personal way.
Another part of our new beginning is that we are working even more diligently to build up our local parish. We have started new outreaches such as our Community Thanksgiving Dinner, breakfast after Christmas Midnight Mass and we hope to start our Sacred Meal celebrations again soon as well. These programs help to reach people with spiritual nourishment as well as physical nourishment. It is all part of taking care of the whole being.
Over the next year, I am also hoping to recruit new writers to join our Convergent Streams staff. While we do not pay for submissions and have no funds to speak of, we do want to increase the size of our publication. We used to have far more authors, but over time, some have drifted away due to illness or other family issues. We would like to invite all of you who read our publication to consider resolving to write at least one or two articles over the next year for Convergent Streams.
Convergent Streams is a way to share your knowledge with others. My dream for this publication was to put a spotlight on the fact that we in the Independent Sacramental Movement are not uneducated and crazy. But rather, we have many people from diverse backgrounds and educational routes who have decided to work to reach those left by the wayside by mainstream churches.
I think we have succeeded in this goal over the past 6 years. But we still have a way to go.
I am so very thankful for all those who have continued to write for our publication. I hope you will continue to take time out of your busy schedule to send articles to us. It is your dedication that has kept us going this long! And for that I thank you!
That is my goal for a new beginning in 2018. Thank you for all your support, love, and prayers in 2017 and I hope that we can all continue to support and love each other in the New Year.
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.