Thank you so much,

Spent winters 1987-1988, Kiawah and Skidawy Islands,

Learned some of the above history, but this filled in some of what I felt but did not know.

Appreciate The Cottage

B Baraw

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Diana would you give permission for me to share this in our church electronic newsletter?

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Jan 20, 2023Liked by Diana Butler Bass

Beautifully written and much appreciated! I too was at St. Simon's for MLK weekend. Very impactful on my life. Thank you so much. Blessings, Sherry

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Thank you for sharing this history, Diana. I had never heard of St. Simon's Island, of Fanny Kemble, of the Wesleys' sojourn on the island, or of the Igbo resistance. You have enriched us with this information.

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Thanks! Speaking oh history, can anyone recommend a book about the different Christian denominations? What have you read? What have you liked? What have you found helpful to expand your understanding? TIA!

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The water brought us here, the water will take us away.”

I am struck by the circular imaging that happens for me in this quote - the circle of life and death, the circle of living and dying….inspired by Ilia this weekend this draws me into one more way we are part of the cosmos and the cosmos is part of us. I begin to imagine that the waters of baptism bless us as being part of an ever-evolving cosmos, and move me beyond the ‘priestly’ function I feel is just without depth most times - “Getting your kid done” to be somewhat cynical I guess.

And yet, hearing Reggie Williams speak this quote as he was sharing this one piece of a story of slavery, I carry with me the horror of loving humans having to choose physical dying in drowning (death) or physical dying in slavery (living)…and I struggle with a deep despair at the cruelty of humanity even as I try to imagine the womb of water lovingly surrounding these destroyed human beings.

Darkness and Light swirling in waves together.

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The way you write about history is so meaningful. It helps me remind myself that knowing this history we must go forward making

such unjustness to never. happen again.. we still have a lot to do now.

As always thank you for bringing our past history to our attention.

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Thank you for this! I grew up, the daughter of a Methodist minister in South Georgia, going to camp every summer at Epworth by the Sea. When I was in college, my dad was working there and I spent summers and holidays on the island. I’m so glad for this research and the historical marker. I live in Austin, Texas, now but whenever I can get back to SSI, I will find that marker. Racism in Georgia was the topic of an essay of mine that The Georgia Review published a few years ago. Still a long way to go for all of us. I’m continuing to work out my complicity in the racism I witnessed growing up. Thanks again for all you are doing with The Cottage.

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Wonderful history, enjoyed your discussions at the conference. Thank you….

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Not sure I can ever come close to understanding the dignity and courage to turn and walk back into the water. What came to mind is the inscription around the edge of the cross shaped walk-through font at Portsmouth Cathedral, UK, a quote of St. Cyril of Jerusalem:

When you went down into the water it was like night and you could see nothing.

But when you came up again it was like finding yourself in the day.

That one moment was your death and your birth,

That saving water was both your grave and your mother.

Thank you, Diana.

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Jan 20, 2023·edited Jan 20, 2023


Expressed in Latin as Genius loci. Where beings whose roots go back for centuries are in communion with the local spirits, natural history, and human stories of a living locale.

Invisible to and unheard by an invasive subspecies whose economic system rewards disconnection. Where devastated human communities and destroyed ecosystems are considered mere "externalities" since neither appear in corporate accounting ledgers.

When I went back to college in my late 40s, I was shocked to find out few people born and raised in Seattle could identify a western red cedar, so vital for the local Indigenous peoples. Similar for the San Francisco Bay area, where I went to theology grad school. Very few knew the Monterey cypress or California black oak. Even worse among people who move in and out of these areas, whose sense of belonging seems to be satisfied by shopping areas practically identical across the country.

The famous speech by Chief Seattle is an orientation we need to hear. "Our dead never forget the beautiful world that gave them being. They still love its winding rivers, its great mountains... tenderest affection over the lonely hearted living and often return to visit and comfort them." I know because I could feel them. I could feel them because I am at home in the lands of the Suquamish and Duwamish. As taught by my family, I knew the way the tides moved, I knew the local plants, fish, animals, I listened to indigenous elders.

Spirit does not move in the aether alone. It must be grounded, be embodied, to be alive in this world. By understanding where you are, you can become who you were meant to be.

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Yes, we read the signs.

My spouse has done some volunteer work for the Ohio History Connection (formerly the Ohio Historical Society), since she retired from there in 2020. She had worked for the Society as an archivist-librarian. Some of the work she has been engaged with as a volunteer includes conducting historical research for future historical markers, to make sure the facts and information inscribed on the signs are as accurate as possible. She has, for example, researched the history of a Jewish cemetery in Cincinnati, thought by some to be the oldest Jewish cemetery west of the Allegheny Mountains, and the history of an African American Baptist congregation in a remote area of southern Ohio, which has been in continuous existence for over 200 years and that was a station on the Underground Railroad.

In other words she's actually engaged in trying to unlock some of the secrets and little-known facts about the land where we live and its people, uncovering the "secrets, ancient memories of hopes and dreams and sorrows of those who went before."

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We don't want to know any more than we want read 1619, or to hear the story of Africa Town next to Mobile Alabama or the story of Cudjo Lewis the last survivor of the last slave ship in 1860. His story is in the book BARRACOON.

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Thank you for an inspiring reflection mixed with fascinating history. And for the recounting of a heartbreaking story which has taken “us” so long to commemorate. Yes the history markets are, perhaps, a way the Holy Spirit invites us into imaginative communication with those in the past whose world we have inherited.

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Thank you. A great reminder to tell the stories, even if they are hard to tell and to hear.

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