Native American Ministries

Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM)
  • Co-chair: Ms. Barbara Christy
  • Co-chair: Ms. Sherry Wack
  • Contact the Committee:

Witnesses feel painful ‘Loss of Turtle Island’

View more colorful photos of the experience on our Flickr page (Loss of Turtle Island album).

The Loss of Turtle Island was a poignant historical journey that the opened eyes, ears, minds and hearts of those who experienced it on Sunday evening, Nov. 12, at Innabah Camp & Retreat Center.

Sponsored by the Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM), the interactive exercise posed a striking scene, as about half of the 50 people who came stood shoeless on a patchwork of colorful blankets. They stood on behalf of Native peoples who have suffered loss of land, colonization, broken treaties, forced removal, assimilation and extermination. And facing forward, they silently listened as a team of CONAM facilitators recounted this largely unknown American history. Read more

Urging more churches to promote Native American ministry

On May 9-10, 2017 MCC U.S. hosted a Doctrine of Discovery Train the Trainers event in Akron, Pa. led by Erica Littlewolf, Karin Kaufman Wall, Michelle Armster and Lorraine Stutzman Amstutz. The training ensures that regional offices have local people trained to lead the Loss of Turtle Island exercise as well as seminars on the Doctrine of Discovery. Participants included East Coast representatives, from left, Sandra Cianciulli, Barbara Christy, Verna Colliver and Sherry Wack.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 MinistriesRepresentative to learn, promote and advocate for greater awareness and support of Native American cultures, contributions and concerns in both church and society. As charge conference season begins, the committee is reaching out to district superintendents, pastors and churches with information and resources to advance its cause. Read more…

Church Bible study to focus on Native Americans

Oregon Community UMC will sponsor a monthlong “Bible study focused on Native Americans” from Sept. 21 to Oct. 19. They will use the Giving Our Hearts Away book, written by the Rev. Thom White Wolf Fassett and Brenda Connelly. Fassett keynoted our 2016 Annual Conference’s opening celebration for our Act of Repentance.

“We want to convey accurately the history,” said Mike Shifflet, the church’s Native American Ministries Representative, “and hopefully lead into an action, such as a mission trip to BUMP (Blackfeet UM Parish in Montana) to help with Pastor (Calvin) Hill’s vision there. This could also lead to a reconciliation service.”

The church, led by the Rev. Jason Perkowski, will open the Bible study to anyone in the conference who wants to attend. They will meet at their nearby sister church, Faith UMC in Manheim Township, at 1290 Fruitville Pike, Lititz, PA.

Native American Ministries ResourcesNative American Ministries logo

CONAM group photo Performance as part of the Act of Repentance Service at the NEJ Conference, July 2016. Gray ribbons, to symbolize shared accountability for making changes. Photo by John Coleman. Rev. Thom White Wolf Fassett speaks at the 2016 EPA Annual Conference. Boe Harris, 2015 Annual Conference
More photos from Native American Ministries:

UMC Acts of Repentance toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous Peoples

Visit our Acts of Repentance Resources page for articles, video and study guide resources, and recommended reading regarding the UMC Acts of Repentance services.


Native American Ministries News & Information

  • Sharing Native American worship, culture, history
    The Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM) will celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday, April 15, 4-6 PM, at Camp Innabah (712 Pughtown Road, Spring City), with a... Read more
  • CONAM sends help in Montana snow emergency
    Heavy snow–70 to 80 inches high–and 70 to 80 miles-per-hour wind gusts have created an emergency on the Blackfeet Tribal Reservation in Montana, where about 7,500 people live in10 communities... Read more
  • Wilma Mankiller
    Sherry Wack, CSM, a member of Evansburg UMC and vice-chair of the Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministry, kindly sent us this inspiring essay about Native American history-maker... Read more