Dignity/Washington Board Retreat Notes
by Henry Huot, Dignity/Washington Board member
“Discovering ‘Jubilee’: Discerning the Call to Mission in the Holy Year of Mercy” was the guiding theme chosen by Dr. Tom Little for this year’s Dignity/Washington Board retreat, held on Saturday, February 6 at the Dignity Center. His questions were challenging, as in the following samples:
What is God asking of Dignity/Washington to be a sign of mercy?
What do we need to discover to keep moving forward to mercy, for ourselves individually, for our community, and for society itself?
What is it that each of us needs to do to be one with God, and to bring God’s blessing and mercy to society?
As Dr. Little explained, the Jewish practice of Jubilee, as found in Leviticus 25: 8-12, provides the foundation for this Holy Year of Mercy. It is intended to be a time of special atonement, of becoming “at-one” with God, who comes to heal the land with blessing and mercy and wants each of us to be healed, to be made whole and “one,” and at peace. “Jubilee” becomes a call to sketch and see God’s future as well as allowing the power of God to work.
It means that we intentionally become more mindful of God’s mercy, leave our past indifference and habits behind, and resolve to let God do what God wants with us, as happened to Jesus at his baptism in the Jordan, when he was declared God’s Beloved. From his baptism onward Jesus became a witness to all the merciful acts of God, including through and after his death when he descended in his resurrected state to rescue all who had died. So too for us, from our baptisms on, we become witnesses to God’s mercy and peace. It is a matter of saying: “Yes, we are the story of God acting in the world, the story of God’s love.”
It involves believing that Dignity/Washington is necessary in God’s plan for the greater good of our community and society. It requires dialogue, patience, compromise and reconciliation with those who are alienated with us.
All of the foregoing themes were made real through experiences that the participants shared through the facilitation of Dr. Little.
The retreat ended with members brainstorming and listing concrete activities for the coming year which will be further reviewed and prioritized for possible implementation.
Please pray for the D/W Board as it continues its leadership and service to our community.
Dr. Thomas Little is currently Pastoral Associate for Evangelization and Faith Formation at Our Lady of the Fields Church in Millersville, Maryland, and holds a Doctor of Ministry in Christian Spirituality. He was for five years until recently Pastoral Associate to Bishop Rozanski of the Archdiocese of Baltimore and in that position did Ombudsman work with parishes and other Maryland-based and related NFP and NGO groups, representing the bishop and Archdiocese in project management, issue resolution and enabling local project resolution and success. He is a long-time friend of Sr. Jeannine Gramick of New Ways Ministry. This was the third time he was retreat master for the Dignity/Washington Board in recent years.