Listening for the Ancestors

The native peoples of North America, or Turtle Island, have much to teach us about how we might heal and repair our relationships with ourselves, each other, and the earth – and more and more, they are stepping forward to model that for us. I have been listening with fascination as they speak of the ancestors’ guidance as what enabled them to survive centuries of colonization and genocide and even now, to reawaken some lost portions of their culture. But what does that mean for me and other descendants of white settlers, if anything? And who are my ancestors? I hadn’t given them much thought until recently when I have unexpectedly begun to feel their presence. What might our ancestors be telling us, if we were to listen very carefully?

Lindy Gifford was raised Unitarian Universalist and has been a member of the Midcoast UU Fellowship for about fifteen years. She served as the Director of Religious Exploration from 2011 to 2014 and currently serves on the RE committee. In 2015 she attended a two-year chaplaincy program and was ordained an interfaith chaplain by ChIME, the Chaplaincy Institute of Maine in Portland. She is a free-range, community chaplain, working mostly with non-profits, such as The Restorative Justice Project of the Midcoast, Maine-Wabanaki REACH, the Abbey of Hope (an interfaith cooperation circle in Portland), and People United Against Racism. She makes her living as a publishing consultant, graphic designer, and creative coach and recently started a new consulting business, Manifest Identity.