Maine homeschoolers have worked hard over the years to raise public awareness, gain respect and credibility, build relationships within the legislature and strengthen homeschool freedoms. In recognition of the value and importance of home education, Maine Governors have designated one week each spring as Maine Home Education Week. Since 1987, Maine homeschoolers have come together during this special week in a variety of ways to celebrate and thank God for the freedoms we enjoy.
2017 will be no exception! During the week of May 28th - June 3rd, 2017, homeschoolers will celebrate the 30th Annual Maine Home Education Week! To mark the occasion, homeschoolers will come together at the Capitol on June 1 for a day of celebration!
Francis Asbury, the most extraordinary preacher at the time of the American Revolution and the country’s first circuit-rider, will “come alive” at 10am in the State Capitol’s Hall of Flags.
Appearing as the British-born Asbury, Mark Alan Leslie will address HOME’s annual Capitol Day rally.
The author of the biographical novel, Midnight Rider for the Morning Star, based on the life and times of Asbury, Leslie has written two other historical novels — True North: Tice’s Story, a Publisher’s Weekly Featured Book about the Underground Railroad, and The Crossing about the Ku Klux Klan in Maine in the 1920s — as well as the mystery/adventure, Chasing the Music, and thriller The Last Aliyah.
The theme of the June 1 event in the Hall of Flags is “Freedom,” and Asbury put his life in peril for just such a cause — both in the American Revolution and the fight against slavery.
When he sailed to America in 1771 the colonies were broiling with the tensions that led to the American Revolution three years later. Asbury was the sole British or European preacher who stood with the colonies, refusing orders from their churches to leave America. His support earned him accolades from George Washington and invitations to speak to all the new state legislatures.
Indeed, because his travels of 5,000 to 6,000 miles a year took him from Maine to Georgia and dozens of times across the Allegheny Mountains, Asbury was more-recognized than Washington, Jefferson and other famous men of the time.
In addition to standing with the colonies for freedom, Asbury put his life on the line amidst death threats by preaching against slavery throughout the South, and annually petitioning Congress to end the practice.
Biographers have called Asbury the most influential Christian in the Western Hemisphere during his lifetime.
Biographer Ezra Squier Tipple wrote of Asbury’s preaching that it was as if “when he lifted the trumpet to his lips the Almighty blew the blast” and his speech would “make his hearers tremble, smite them with terror, and cause them to fall as dead men.”
“Asbury’s life,” Leslie says, “ran a close parallel to the Apostle Paul’s. Nearly line for line, he could agree to Paul when he wrote in II Corinthians 11: ‘Three times I was shipwrecked. I spent a night and a day in the open sea. I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles, in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea, and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and often gone without sleep. I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food. I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.’
“Twice bullets nearly claimed his life. He was chased by Indians and hunted by wolves,” Leslie adds. “Yet he fought on. His purpose: to free men’s souls.”
Leslie will stand in Asbury’s place, minus the horse.
Date: Thursday, June 1, 2017
Location: State Capitol in Augusta
Capitol Tours and Maine State Museum Classes: Ongoing throughout the day from 9:00am - 3:00pm. Museum classes meet at the Maine State Museum in the lobby for class orientation. Capitol tours leave from the Capitol Visitor's Center just past security. Pre-registration is required. *
Meet Your Legislators: Legislators love to meet their constituents. Contact them to arrange a visit on Capitol Day! Find your Representative HERE. Find your Senator HERE. Learn more about Visiting with Your Legislator.
Rally in the State House Hall of Flags: 10:00 - 11:00am (FREE)
Featured speaker is Mark A. Leslie appearing as Francis Asbury.
Recognition of Junior Legislators: During the Rally (To participate in this educational program, purchase a Junior Legislator Learning Unit at the HOME Table or Home Education Week Table during HOME Events, or purchase online. Bring the completed unit checklist to the registration table on Capitol Day to recei ve a badge!)
Additional Activities: Self guided scavenger hunt, exploration of the Maine State Museum (small entrance fee) and lunch on your own.
State House Directions and Parking
* Pre-registration is required for the Capitol tours and Maine State Museum classes. Pre-registration opens on April 1. Please check back to pre-register online on April 1!
More Home Education Week Activities
Celebrate Maine Home Education Week every year in your own community, too. Find ways to celebrate and be visible throughout the designated week. The following is just a sampling of activities that could be planned especially for Home Education Week within individual support groups and families:
No matter how you choose to celebrate during Maine Home Education Week, please take time to give thanks and glory to God for the very precious freedoms we have to teach our children at home. Without continued prayer, vigilance and a strong homeschool presence within each Maine community, our blessings of freedom could be easily taken away. Take pride in what you do, and enjoy your well-deserved week of recognition!
View the Governor's Proclamation!