Native American Ministries Sunday is April 19. Through this United Methodist Special Sunday with offering, we empower local spiritual development and educate Native American seminary students to serve God.
Native American Ministries Sunday affords the opportunity of Native and non-Native United Methodists across the denomination to become aware of the lives, gifts and ministries of Native people. Conferences are encouraged to develop ministries for and with the Native people who live within them.
Proceeds from Native American Ministries Sunday offerings support Native ministries within conferences, provide educational assistance for Native Americans in the form of scholarships, and assist with the establishment of urban Native ministries.
A tribe in North America has told this story for centuries: When people “pale as birch” crossed the great water in large canoes, they brought with them “The Black Book.” The bringers of the physical Book could not have known, however, what it would mean and look like to be Native and a follower of Jesus.
Today Native Americans — with many unique languages, many unique cultures — honor their heritage, and live as Jesus-followers, led by a rotation of primarily Native American pastors.
Most Americans today recognize that the history following the arrival of the large canoes bore little resemblance to the one all Christians identify as Creator. That’s why the people of The United Methodist Church, Native and non-Native, are creating a new history.
Through Native American Ministries Sunday, we’re able to equip and empower Native American pastors, congregations and seminary students to do what only they can do: authentically worship and serve Jesus.
As a member of The United Methodist Church, your gift on this day equips Native congregations, such as New York’s Onandaga Nation United Methodist Church and Nebraska’s Native American Sacred Winds congregation, to worship and serve as only they can.
This work and hundreds of other ministries are possible because you give.
Equip seminary students
United Methodist giving allows Native Americans to encounter, worship and serve Jesus.
When you support Native American Ministries Day, you equip seminary students who will honor and celebrate Native American culture in their ministries. And you empower congregations that are finding fresh new ways to minister to their communities with the love of Christ.
Dr. Richard Twiss, a member of the Sicangu Lakota Oyate from the Rosebud Sioux Reservation in South Dakota, asked:
Will we be allowed to develop new ways of doing church that honor God’s purposes for the creative expression of our cultures? Will new ministry partnerships and coalitions form? Will you help be a part of this wonderful process of reconciliation, restoration and release?
Downloadable resources are available to help promote this Special Sunday in your congregation. A Native American Ministries Pastor & Leader’s Kit has many resources to empower your congregation to give generously.
The kit includes worship resources such as children’s sermons; PowerPoint slides, bulletin inserts, sermon starters, such as Venturing to “the other side”.
A frequently asked questions document is available at FAQ: Native People & United Methodism.
Other resources include an ebook, “10 Ways to Celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday,” an infographic about Native Americans and The United Methodist Church and Facebook issues.
You can conduct a Native American Ministries Sunday at any time convenient to your local church’s calendar.
For more information, about Native American Ministries Sunday, go to umcgiving.org.