Stephen Dotson on going back with more courage

I've tasted a lot of solidarity. There's a lot of people that have come here looking for encouragement and to overcome a little bit of stagnation and get past some of the fears they have in going deeper in relationship to their meetings and relationship to the history of Friends and the tools and resources it offers them.

I've come away with a lot more courage to go back and ask my meeting to take another look at the history of Friends and how it can empower us to revitalize our meeting and encourage these individual ministries that are waiting in the wings so to speak.

The exercise that Wess led us through the Lords Prayer and the stations is something that will stick with me. Usually it's this massive thing you recite and it feels very stodgy and dry to me, but to take time with each piece of it in a small group led me to appreciate the richness that's there and go through forgiveness, sanctification, cleansing. It made me way more receptive to this ritual that I don't think I would have been receptive to given my Quaker background.

My experience of the collaboration was most powerful in the cleansing part where we washed each other's hands and were owning these sins--though it's hard using these words sometimes. Having someone else help me in forgiving myself and releasing these things was very powerful. The same in breaking bread: we were feeding each other and cutting bread for each other. It seemed like this microcosm of what the kingdom of God could be, should be, will be. Is!

Stephen is a member of Baltimore Yearly Meeting.

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