Therefore if there is any encouragement in Christ, if there is any consolation of love, if there is any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and compassion, make my joy complete by being of the same mind, maintaining the same love, united in spirit, intent on one purpose. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2:1-4 NASB
Have you ever been dumpster diving? Junk hunting? Been to a thrift store? Picked up something off the street or in an alley that had been discarded? A few years ago, there was a show on HGTV titled, “Trash to Treasures.” The premise of the show was that one could take cast-off items; things found in alleys, junk stores, and dumpsters, and turn them into beautiful and useful items.
Once upon a time, a few days more than a year ago, there was a little group of wandering clergy who had been kicked out of their home church by The Dark Side of the Force. They had worked and worked and worked for the benefit of their Lord, and had fought to keep all that is Holy, just that, Holy. They had endeavored to do what was right, and beautiful, and good. And for this, they had been turned out into the cold, dark world, with no where to turn. They were dismayed, upset, and confused.
Where would they go? What would they do? How would their ministries survive? Should they huddle together against the Evil Forces who had besieged them and set out on their own? Should they seek refuge elsewhere? Was their ministry to be ended? Had all their efforts been for naught? Would the devil win?
In cases of true and sincere faith, the devil seldom wins, and certainly, most definitely, not in this case. That little group of wandering Dominicans was rescued by Christ and His Church. And so……
It is with great joy and happiness that on this, the first anniversary of The Order of Preachers, Old Catholic becoming part of The International Old Catholic Churches, that we reflect on the following:
In the past 12 months, we have gone from 3 wandering Dominicans, to a strong Priory of nine, located on 2 different continents, in three countries, with a few aspirants waiting in the wings. We are blessed to have 3 Deacons, and 3 Vicars General numbered in our group, one of whom is a Bishop-elect. One of our members is the Chair of the Commission on Ordained Ministries. Our order is responsible for several of the classes offered by The Old Catholic Institute, and most of our members have begun seminary classes. We have been blessed to contribute financially to the well being of the National Church and its members. Our members are regular contributors to the ISM Magazine, “Convergent Streams.” Our website has published over 300 posts and received innumerable prayer requests. Our members have planted chapels, and are active in numerous ministries and chaplaincies.
The above sounds as if we are bragging about the events of the past year. Truly, we are not. Until I had to sit down and write this, I’d not realized what we, as an Order, have done this year. I am truly, honestly, and sincerely amazed at what Christ has done, and is doing in our lives. Like over-used clay vessels, we were broken, called useless, cast aside, and thrown away. We were trash. And then, something amazing happened. We were taken out of the dumpster and recycled. Christ was able to pick us up, put us back together, mend the broken parts, and repurpose, re-use, and recycle us. And we are stronger and more useful servants of Christ for it.
And, just as precious metals are refined, and old, broken jewelry can be melted down and made into something even more beautiful, Christ has done so with us. As Isaiah says: Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tried you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10 esv
And from Zechariah:
And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, ‘The Lord is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9 esv
We, The Order of Preachers, Old Catholic, The Dominican Order of The International Old Catholic Churches, are living proof of the miracles of God’s love.
Are you broken? Do you need a purpose? Have you felt lost and wondered from whence you can find comfort and help? Won’t you give it all to Christ? Let him help mend you, and show you how wonderful life with Him can be. Come, join us in our journey, to love and to serve Our Lord, with gladness and singleness of heart.