Committee on Native American Ministries
Chairperson: Sandi Cianciulli, Sherry Wack
Report submitted by: Sherry Wack
Phone: (484) 868-2044
Date submitted: 07/17/2019
April 25: Several members of CONAM attended the opening ceremonies of Jim Thorpe Days at the Carlisle Barracks. Co-chair Sandi Cianciulli escorted Representative Deb Haaland (Dem NM) whom Sandi had invited to be the key note speaker. Many Native people were in attendance and we were invited to a VIP reception and had reserved seats for the games.
April 28: CONAM presented our spring service at Camp Innabah. The program was about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and included a red dress installation.
Annual Conference: The CONAM table in the vendor area was very busy all three days. We had a silent auction for a basket made by CONAM member Sarah Fernsler in the style of the Abinaki tribe. The basket was filled with foods from Native vendors as well as a cookbook from the National Museum of the American Indian Café. We also sold tee shirts from a Native vendor that said, “Make America Native Again.” Bob Hinderliter sold bracelets he made and ironwood figures of plains animals from St Joseph’s Indian School to fund his mission trip to the Blackfeet Parish in Montana. It was a profitable time.
CONAM members Verna Colliver, Gary Jacabella and Sherry Wack presented our annual report with a skit: Act of Repentance: The Journey Continues Part 2 where we highlighted and honored the churches who had observed a Native American Sunday in 2018. We then presented our resolution Relating to government and corporate interests violating Native American land rights which was passed unanimously.
June 30: CONAM co-chair Sandi Cianciulli and secretary Verna Colliver visited St. John UMC in Bridgeton, NJ, at the invitation of NJ CONAM chair Cynthia Mosley. St. John UMC has developed a relationship with Christ UMC on Park Avenue in New York City and a group from there came to visit. They presented a resolution their church had composed honoring the Lenni Lenape tribe and acknowledging that their church is on land that had belonged to the Lenni Lenape. All gathered for a luncheon after the service.
June 22: Native American Arts Festival at Grove UMC (fundraiser)
We featured original Native artwork and crafts, “Make America Native Again” tee shirts, a crafts table for the children to make dream catchers, Native face painting, Native social dancing explained and demonstrated by Barry Lee of Spirit Wing, and Native-made frybread tacos. 52 adults attended plus children. Another profitable and enjoyable time.
We are still working on customizing The Blanket Exercise to Methodism and Eastern PA.
October 10-12 is NEJNAMC annual conference in upstate New York.
We are developing a red shawl project to raise awareness about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis.
We are also seeking new members for our committee, preferably Native.
We have contacted David Piltz about meeting with youth/young adults to discuss possible attendance at the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Peoples next spring.