This quarter’s edition of Convergent Streams crept up on me. Before I knew it, it was time to get it together. You might notice it is a bit smaller than last quarter. That is due mostly to the season, but also do to a lack of getting the word out on my part.
As we approach the Christmas season, many people, pastor especially, find themselves besieged by the pressure of the coming season and the depression that sometimes sets in. And more people struggle with the latter today than ever before.
As someone who struggles with PTSD and depression, this time of year is harder than the rest of the year combined. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Christmas season. Midnight Mass is my absolute favorite mass of the year.
That does not make the depression any better. I am reminded at this time of the year of those who I called family for so many years and how they abused and mistreated me. I am reminded of all those who came after the and took advantage of my trusting nature and my need to belong.
This year, as the depression starts to set in, I intend to work harder to focus on those who have stood by my side for all these years. Those people who gave of themselves to help make me a better person. And to focus on those who continue to be a real family to me.
I am blessed with many great men and women of faith in the Old Catholic Churches International. While I may be the Presiding Bishop of the church, they are really the ones doing all the real work! Without their support, prayers and hard work, we would not be the church that we are. I know a lot of people say this, but we are not just a church, we are a family.
I intend to focus more on that this year. I want to focus on being a blessing to my family, my real family, my church family. I want them to understand just how much they mean to me and how thankful I am for them. So I am using my From the Editor to say just that. While I am only mentioning a few here n this edition, over the next year I will be mentioning all those who have helped me through life.
To Bishop James St. George: Thank you for being there when I need it most. Your messages out of the blue or phone calls seem to be right when I need them most. And they have come at times when I was at my lowest. Thank you for loving me despite my brokenness.
To Father Kenneth Nelan: Your words of wisdom have helped guide me through the wanderings that have been so hard this past year. Through the loss of my mother-in-law to my transition off of the medications that I had been on for almost 20 years, you have always been there to keep me from loosing my mind. And I can never thank you enough for all you do behind the scenes without acknowledgment or thanks.
To Father David Jennings: You have been by my side the longest (besides my wife, of course). You were there for me even when I walked away from you. You were patient and understanding with me as I tried to find my path out of the darkness of doubt and confusion. And you did it through my impatience, anger and pain. I thank you, my dearest brother.
To my wife, Deacon Dana Godsey: You have held my pieces together so many times when I have completely fallen apart. I would not be here today if it had not been for you. It is not always easy living with me. And the late nights and phone calls that interrupt family time are difficult for you, I know. But you roll with the punches. And I love you as much if not more than the first day we met.
To my son, Subdeacon Thomas Godsey: You are a remarkable young man. I would love to say that I made you what you are today, but in many ways, that was all you. You have always striven to do what is right no matter the cost. You have stood up for those less fortunate and those disenfranchised without a second thought. You are intelligent, loving and kind human being. I am honored to be your father. And I love you.
To all my brothers and sisters in the OCCI: You all inspire me in so many ways to be a better version of myself. If I had one wish, it would be that I could chat with you all more. Those that do reach out make my day a little brighter. And I cannot thank you enough.
To those in the ISM who have supported my work, especially Convergent Streams: Your help and support are why I continue to strive toward a better tomorrow. Convergent Streams alone would not be about to enter its seventh year if it were not for your support and help. The ISM Database (https://www.independentmovement.us) would have closed long before now if it had not been for the support and assistance of many of you.
This is just a small sampling of the great people who have helped me over the years. And as you see, I have a lot to be thankful for. And even though I struggle with depression, never think for a moment that I take you for granted. Quite the opposite, if it were not for your support, prayers and help, I would not be here today.
This is also not a good bye. I hope and pray that we all have many more years together!
This Christmas Season, join me is resolving to reach out to those around you who are hurting or struggling. Reach out even to those you think are ok or are strong. You never know what they are really struggling with. And your time, your willingness to reach out, may save their lives!
And if you ever need to talk, I am but a Facebook Messenger, Email, or phone call away.
Until next edition, I pray you all have a very happy and holy Advent and Christmas!
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.