Well, I just renewed my ADF membership for the first time. It’s been an interesting year. Things got off to an iffy start last September even before I got my welcome package. About two days into subscribing to one of the mailing lists I got into a heated argument with Ceiswir over the relative importance of having a shared common religious heritage versus appropriation of religious practices through ongoing contact between cultures. Being the new guy on the block I quickly backed down but the experience made me question whether this was the kind of group I wanted to belong to, and I generally stayed away from the lists since.
However, despite the abrasive nature of some of the mailing list discussions I have found my interactions with almost everyone in ADF to have been positive. I went to the very wet and muddy Wellspring festival and met quite a few very nice and welcoming folk, and have enjoyed all of the contacts I have made through the dedicant path blogosphere.
The Dedicant Path itself I have slightly mixed feelings about. Sometimes it feels a bit too junior high to me. But, at the same time I understand that it has to serve people with a broad array of experience and education, so I soldier on in the hopes that the Initiate Path will hold more interesting challenges.
All that said, the most important quality that I have gotten from ADF, and why I have renewed, is that it has provided me with a framework in which to develop my own spiritual path, which is something that I lacked prior to joining. The more that I practice within this framework the more that it makes sense to me and works for me. So, I look forward to another year within ADF, hopefully completing the DP, and maybe finishing that debate with Ceiswir…