In a June 17 letter to all annual conferences, Cynthia Kent, Chair of the Native American International Caucus (NAIC) and of the Northeastern Jurisdiction Committee on Native American Ministries, encourages them plan their Acts of Repentance Services with eyes cast not only to the past but also to the future.
“This is not a one time event,” she writes, “but it must be a part of the work of the Church if Native people are to be full participants of our denomination.” See her letter and the one from Bishop Robert Hayes to fellow members of the UMC Council of Bishops.
As you are aware, there was an Act of Repentance Service at the 2012 General Conference. It was said at that time, that Annual Conferences should look at having their own Act of Repentance Service. Some of our Conferences have done that this year, others are planning for next year and others are working on one to be held in the future.
Our CoNAM’s have been working very hard to plan, have and go beyond an Act of Repentance. Attached are two letters. The first is a letter from Bishop Hayes of the Oklahoma and Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference to the Council of Bishops. He is sharing with them the second letter that was written by myself as the Chair of the Native American International Caucus (NAIC), Rev. Anita Phillips, the Executive Director of the Native American Comprehensive Plan (NACP) and Rev. Glen “Chebon” Kernell, the Executive Secretary for the Native American and Indigenous Office of the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM.)
This letter is sent to you so that you can use it as you plan your Act of Repentance Service as well as how you can work with your Annual Conference afterwards. This is not a one time event, it must be a part of the work of the Church if Native people are to be full participants of our denomination. We have a long way to go, but we have the faith, gifts and talents to take our place in leadership and planning in this Church.
If you have questions or need more information, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chair of the Native American International Caucus (NAIC)
The United Methodist Church