Thoughts upon my return from Africa

By Anne M. Hutchinson, AGLI Publicist

I had never danced in church before. I knew, of course, that some Friends dance in worship.  I had participated in worship at the Friends World Committee for Consultation Plenary in Peru in 2016, during which some African Friends danced, but I didn’t feel comfortable joining them. I had arrived in Kigali very early on that Sunday morning and settled into my room at about two a.m. Exhausted from the journey, I had not planned on attending worship that day. However, as the sun rose higher in the sky, and I heard people moving about, I woke up despite myself. Then, I heard a sound I couldn’t quite identify. Little by little, I realized that it was the musicians and the chorus rehearsing for service in the Friends compound. Something told me to get up and join in, and I did. I walked the short distance from my room, slipped into church, was escorted to a seat, and followed the service. When the congregants rose, sang, and danced, I held the songbook and did my best to follow along. And soon, my spine and my limbs followed too, as the joyous worship music enveloped the sanctuary. Continue reading “Thoughts upon my return from Africa”