Native American Ministries

Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM)

CONAM members share highlights of friendship journey

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…

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 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…

Suggestions for Local Churches to get involved in Native American Ministries

Be an ally. Create awareness of an issue impacting Native Americans.

Some examples:

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:

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.  

  •  Coyote Places the Stars is available at

Use UMC Resources.  Find stories, videos, bulletin inserts and more at and share them to show the impact you are making with your gifts to Native American Ministries Special Sunday Offering.  Go to

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:, and be sure to explore the further resources, below.

Native American Ministries ResourcesNative American Ministries logo
CONAM group photoPerformance 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
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