Fighting for the “Insignificant”
On the Maine.gov website Gov. Janet Mills is described as, “A fighter for Maine people and a fighter for a better future.” But apparently, she only fights for Maine people who she considers to be significant. This is a letter hoping to shed some light on the significance of a now overlooked group of people who have been recognized by Maine governors for the past 32 years. These individuals are the home educated community.
For the past 30 years, each Maine state governor has signed a proclamation for Home Education week in May recognizing homeschoolers and the importance of school choice.
However, Mills has refused with the explanation that she wishes to reserve her signing of proclamations for groups with significant numbers. The number of home educated students has grown significantly over the past years. For the year 2018-2019 there are over 5,000 Maine students enrolled in home education, according to the Maine Education Department. A number that is a significant part of Maine, and it doesn’t reflect homeschool supporters, only current students.
Home schooled students, graduates and their educators deserve as much recognition as their counterparts. They have proven themselves worthy by their numbers, their academic achievements and their involvement in this state. Look around, they are your community members, people of all types, backgrounds and beliefs. I urge you to continue your own research on the topic, and to call governor Mills and respectfully ask her to recognize the importance of educational choice and not to ignore this significant group of individuals in our State of Maine.
Religion binds us together
This letter is on behalf of the Mid Coast Interfaith Alliance, a group of diverse religious communities in the Midcoast area. The very meaning of the word “religion” is to bind together what has been drawn apart. We practice our faiths because they call us into a deeper belonging and a common concern for all of creation. We are Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Unitarian Universalists and together we grieve the increasing callousness and violence that is tearing our human family apart.
At a time when houses of worship and religious practice are increasingly becoming targets, we grieve with our siblings: Muslims shot in the mosques in New Zealand, Christians murdered in their churches in Sri Lanka and the US, Jews killed in their synagogues in the US — all while peacefully worshipping.
Our religious diversity is a source of strength, a deep pool of wisdom, and an invitation to grow ever deeper in humility and awe at the beauty and mystery that lie at the heart of our existence. All our traditions call us to love and service for the greater good.
We pledge our commitment to collaborate with each other and with all who wish to work for peace and the good of our communities.
First Congregational United Church of Christ
“Fun Home” a home run
After reading Judy Harrison’s glowing review of ” Fun Home” by Penobscot Theatre Company, I bought tickets. Wow! A totally sensational performance.
The acting and singing were excellent, but so were the lighting and set design, which often aren’t noticed: the father standing in the upstairs window, the musicians behind the downstairs window and the scenes flowed before the house. The program mentioned a choreographer and I wondered about that until I watched the cast in dim lighting carry set pieces on and off the stage like a dance.
The concept of homosexuality was supposed to be challenging, but was so closely bound to universal elements of parents, growing up and deceit that the play mirrored all great literature. Harrison only forgot a warning to take tissues for tears I felt the last 20 minutes. Days later, I’m still affected by it.