The Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) will present a Zoom video-conference on Sunday, Nov. 8, at 4 PM, about the ongoing abuse of Native American identities and stereotypes as sports team names and mascots. That abuse continues in PA and other areas of the U.S.
The Coalition of Natives and Allies, a CONAM community partner, will lead the workshop as part of its mission, “Cultivating Unity to End Racism.” The group’s strategy is stated as “Decolonizing, Ending Stereotypes, Engendering Respect.”
The Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) submitted a resolution asking the 2020 Annual Conference to call upon churches to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day annually in October in place of the traditional Columbus Day as an act of justice and respect for indigenous Americans. That resolution must be delayed until 2021, since the streamlined Annual Conference session in October will only address resolutions mandated by the UMC Book of Discipline and essential to the business of the conference.
But CONAM is nonetheless making its own appeal to churches to celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day on Sunday, Oct. 11, in lieu of Columbus Day on Oct. 12. The substitution is recommended to commemorate the lives, cultures and histories of indigenous people who were tragic victims of Christopher Columbus and other European explorers who brought massive deaths and destruction to the Americas that they claimed to “discover” and went on to conquer and colonize.
CONAM offers a recommended worship liturgy for the Indigenous Peoples Day celebration. “CONAM offers this liturgy, developed by the Episcopal Church in 2016, as a template that churches are free to adapt to their individual needs,” said Sherry Wack, CONAM co-chairwoman.
Members of the Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) believe in taking road trips to visit Native friends—whether to the former Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pa., (now the U.S. Army War College), or to St. John UMC in Bridgeton, New Jersey, or to Cherokee, North Carolina, or to another favorite destination: the Blackfeet United Methodist Parish (BUMP), headquartered in Browning, Montana.
CONAM welcomed friends at another favorite venue, Innabah Camp & Retreat Center in Spring City, Nov. 3, for their traditional fall worship and fellowship gathering—just in time for the start of Native American Heritage Month. Their Sunday soiree began with worship that included special music and a Thanksgiving litany adapted from the Haudenosaunee (literally “people who build a house”), also known as the six-nation Iroquois Confederacy. Read more…
The Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CoNAM) wants to reach, teach, encourage and resource all congregations to learn about and participate in this largely overlooked area of ministry so important to The United Methodist Church.
The CoNAM is asking every local church to elect a Native American Ministries Representative to learn, promote and advocate for greater awareness and support of Native American cultures, contributions and concerns in both church and society… Read more…
Be an ally. Create awareness of an issue impacting Native Americans.
Acknowledge the land. It is important to know the history of the land where you live and worship. Research local geography for precolonial inhabitants, those who were removed, what happened to them, and what place names remain.
Research the Doctrine of Discovery. Learn the history not taught in schools and share it with your small group or congregation. A good website: www.dofdmenno.org.
Share the story. Find stories of Native peoples and their origins. Coyote Places the Stars by Harriet Taylor is a good example. Tell your own stories of how your ancestors came to settle on the land. Reflect on how your stories intersect with those of Native peoples. Note the impact of this intersection on both your settler ancestors and Native inhabitants. Incorporate these stories into a worship service.
Use UMC Resources. Find stories, videos, bulletin inserts and more at umcgiving.org and share them to show the impact you are making with your gifts to Native American Ministries Special Sunday Offering. Go to umcgiving.org/NAMS
Visit St John UMC. The closest Native American congregation to EPA Conference is also one of the oldest Native American churches in the nation. They welcome visitors every fifth Sunday when they plan a special Native American worship service.
Come to Camp Innabah. Did you know that the name “Innabah” was given by the Navajo People to the daughter of the man who donated the original $5,000 to purchase the property on which the camp was founded in 1929? EPA CoNAM has a program at Camp Innabah every spring and fall featuring guest speakers, presentations and worship. Join us as together we “walk the good road,” learning and worshiping together.
Contact us. For more information about resources and speakers send us an email: email@example.com, and be sure to explore the further resources, below.
Visit our Acts of Repentance Resources page for articles, video and study guide resources, and recommended reading regarding the UMC Acts of Repentance services.