Phyllis J. Brown, author

Teach the Whole Truth

In August of 1619 a ship carrying enslaved Africans sailed into Point Comfort in the British colony of Virginia. Next year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the British ship, the Mayflower. It’s time to teach the whole truth about the impact the English and other Europeans had on this continent. Sixteenth Century Reformer Martin Luther describes Christians as “simultaneously saint and sinner.” This both/and approach is the Lutheran bedrock for understanding human […]

Continue reading
All Saints Day

For ALL the Saints on All Saints Day

In my Lutheran world Sunday is All Saints Day. It is also the day in which we hear Jesus proclaim, “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” This, of course, is commonly known as the Golden Rule. One of my writing colleagues wrote a book about it. Mike Ellerkamp’s The Simple Little Rule: The Golden Rule Rediscovered, is the result of his thorough study of major religions and schools of philosophy […]

Continue reading
Massasoit Ousamequin

Massasoit Ousamequin – Leader of the Wampanoags

Massasoit Ousamequin. Ever heard of him? He was a famous leader among the Wampanoag people – the people who had lived on the land we call New England for thousands of years before the Mayflower showed up in 1620 The history of what happened following that famous voyage nearly four-hundred years ago, assigns only a minor part to Massasoit Ousamequin. However, without his leadership and intervention, more famous people such as William Bradford, Myles Standish, […]

Continue reading
400 years

Two Quad-Centennial Anniversaries – Two Very Different Outcomes

This year and next the United States observes two quad-centennial anniversaries of significant historical events, with two quite different outcomes. This year, 2019, marks 400 years since the first Africans arrived in Hampton, Virginia. In late August 1619 two English ships, the White Lion and the Treasurer, attacked the Spanish San Juan Bautista. The crews hoped to find a hold filled with gold. Instead they found hundreds of enslaved Africans. The White Lion crew took […]

Continue reading
Labor Day 1620

Labor Day in 1620

Since last Monday was our annual Labor Day holiday, this seems a good time to reflect on some of the the labor arrangements in the earliest days of what became the United States. Less than half, only 41 of the 102 passengers on the famous 1620 Mayflower voyage, were seeking a place to establish their own first-century style Christian community. These Separatist religious rebels had a vision and a plan, but lacked the funding to sail […]

Continue reading