July 31th: The Windermere Blanket Exercise

July 28, 2022

Do you know Who’s Land You Are On?  Of course you may know who the recent property owners were, perhaps back over several property sales.  But who was here before the Europeans came here over the last 8 centuries.  We call them Indigenous People and they sustained a major “land loss” of this “home” we call Florida.

You will have the opportunity to learn a great deal about them and the many changes that took place over the years.  Our focus will be primarily 17 tribes that loved this land much as we do.  We will be using a method called “A Blanket Exercise” to tell this story.  Blankets will be laid out in a configuration of Florida representing 17 “principal tribes” at the time the Europeans came here.  We will be invited to stand on the blanket or move around on them, and as the story unfolds by the narrators, portions of the blankets will be made smaller, until many are eventually removed.  As participants move off the blankets it represent disease, war, or extinction.  It is not just an educational experience about “land loss”, but also helps us know more about the impact of loss of culture, dignity, rights, and often hope.

Sunday, July 31st is the date for this powerful experience.  The morning worship service will be built around this time together.  The service begins at 10:00 a.m. at Windermere Union United Church of Christ at 10710 Park Ridge Rd., Windermere   It is open to all interested people.  

Prior to the service, at 9:45, there will be a Prayer Circle, which will include the burning of sage, prayer to the Four Cardinal Directions and music from the River Wind Flute Circle of Leesburg.  

Following this event the core group from Windermere Church will be leading the Florida Conference of the United Church of Christ in this experience at their Fall Gathering in Vero Beach, October 7th.  Again this experience will be open to all interested individuals.

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