Columbus Day Weekend

Columbus Day weekend has long been a favorite break for James and me. When we lived in Washington, we often headed to our cottage in Brooklin for the Maine fresh air, the first fires and sweaters of the season, and some necessary fall chores. And we may make a quick trip there this Columbus Day, as well.
Your family may have a similar tradition. But a new tradition is merging I want to invite you to be part of this Columbus Day weekend….click to continue reading
Americans have been challenged to reimagine Columbus Day as more than a lovely fall break and a tribute to intrepid Europeans.  We’ve been asked to spend a moment and look honestly at the history of the conquest of North America and its impact on those for whom it was long home, the indigenous native people. We been asked to pray and work for what our baptismal vows call “respect for the dignity of every human being.” And invited to frankly grapple with  historic pain committed on our behalf.
Down our shore on Naskeag Point in Brooklin is a well-established archeological dig that reveals that “our” very land was the home of many distinct tribes and peoples over centuries. Their history makes our survey and deed, mere decades old, pretty flimsy pieces of paper. Prehistoric people and their successors called our beach and gardens their homes, our bay their fishing grounds.  Our sunrises and sunsets, our October moons were appreciated for millennia by people whom I largely never consider.
MPBN has produced a wonderful Columbus Day tool to help us consider those whose homes we now call our own. It’s a simple linear timeline.
In 1400 as many as 20,000 natives lived in Maine in three major groups, all part of the Algonquin language family and nation. By 1700, Wabanaki, the People of the Dawn, was the term used by natives and Europeans alike for all Maine native communities.  What no timeline can show are the painful changes they all endured, wrought by “our” arrival with our diseases for which they had no immunity, our avarice for which they had no defense, and our faith which failed to acknowledge them as children of God. It is not surprising that we run from considering this seminal piece of our history.
This Columbus Day, do take a look at the timeline, say a prayer and imagine how else you might be stirred by our common history.
The Book of Common Prayer asks us to pray to God to “grant us grace fearlessly to contend against evil and to make no peace with oppression; and that we may reverently use our freedom for justice among the nations…”  That’s pretty good star.

Blessings and thanks,

The Rev. Timothy A. Boggs, Rector


St. Alban's Episcopal Church
885 Shore Road
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Phone: (207) 799-4014