First Steps with Native Americans

The Michigan Area will welcome the Rev. Glen Chebon Kernell to the 2016 Annual Conference. Rev. Kernell is Executive Secretary of Native American & Indigenous Ministries for the General Board of Global Ministries. ~umcom photo

This spring provides many great opportunities to grow in awareness and to begin a journey with Michigan’s Native Americans.

KAY DeMOSS
Senior Editor-Writer, Michigan Area

There are over 18,000 known Native people in The United Methodist Church. The largest group are members within the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference. But Native United Methodists and ministries may also be found from the tip of Florida to the top of Alaska, including right here in Michigan.

As the Area prepares for an Act of Repentance and Reconciliation on Friday, June 10 at Annual Conference, there are opportunities this spring to prepare minds, hearts and spirits for that important experience.

First, learn much more about the tribes in Michigan, their traditions and today’s realities, by visiting http://2016.michiganumc.org/programs/first-steps/ .

Then join others watching the film, “Our Fires Still Burn.” During April and May nine viewing and talk-back sessions have been scheduled around Michigan. This one-hour documentary invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native Americans living in the Midwest. Click here for dates and venues.

Finally, Native American Ministries Sunday (NAMS) is coming up on April 10. One of six Special Offerings of the denomination, donations equip seminary students and empower Native American congregations to find fresh, new ways to minister to their communities with the love of Christ.

In recent years NAMS has touched the lives of native people in this state, supporting new programs, leadership development, and building improvements

Click here to find a Tool Kit that helps pastors and church leaders prepare for Native American Ministries Sunday. It includes social media images, videos, e-Book and other resources for electronic and print use.

 

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