Native American Ministries Council

2023 Shared Experiences to Navajoland at Good Shepherd Mission in Ft. Defiance Arizona

The Cathedral’s Native American Ministry Council announces the summer 2023 Shared Experiences to Navajoland at Good Shepherd Mission in Ft. Defiance Arizona.  

A weeklong – session is planned for this summer – July 15th through the 22nd.  A group of 6-10 people is planned. We will be working with Navajo church leaders in offering a variation of Vacation Bible School and a building / work project –concurrently depending on volunteer personnel.

The VBS will have as it’s theme “Back to The Kitchen Table” a culinary journey through traditional Navajo dishes using many indigenous plants and herbs which the group will gather and process.  The final evening of the event will be a meal shared with the Good Shepherd and St. Mark’s communities.  The sessions will be led by Fr. Leon Sampson – Curate at Good Shepherd – who is also a trained chef.  The gathering of materials and preparation will include many spiritual stories and references as well as the inclusion of aspects of Navajo culture.

The VBS experience will last for half of each of four days.  The other half of each day will be an in depth learning of Navajo Spirituality and the Hogan Learning Circle.  This opportunity will be led by Rev. Cathlena Plummer – Canon for Spiritual Formation for The Episcopal Church in Navajoland.  The basis of the cultural experience will be the Beauty Way – one of the most sacred elements of Navajo culture.

Participants will be responsible for their individual transportation costs to and from Albuquerque New Mexico (ABQ). Some scholarship assistance will be available. Housing, meals, and on-site transportation will be provided.

All participants will need to have a current Safe Church Training Certificate https://episcopaliansinconnection.org/formation-3/ and be sponsored (validated – approved) by a member of the Clergy from their home church or leader from their Institution.

This is an excellent opportunity to get to know fellow Episcopalians who are Navajo and to share their rich culture and spirituality.  One day of the weeklong session will be involved with exploring the culture and scenic beauty of the area – Monument Valley, Canyon de Chelly or similar. 

Interested persons need to fill out an application form which is available electronically below. Completed forms need to be returned not later than May 21st, 2023.

Interested persons of High School age and above are encouraged to apply here.

Indigenous Peoples Weekend

On Monday, October 11, our nation celebrates Columbus Day. For some, this holiday serves as a painful annual reminder of the Europeans’ brutal settlement and conquest of the Americas. The Diocese of Southern Ohio has resolved to celebrate the first Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples’ Day and congregations are urged to recognize and celebrate Indigenous People’s Day on the Sunday before with special services, offerings, music, and education offered for all ages. These events are free and open to the public. Registration is required for the Saturday workshop – Addressing Truth, Healing, and Reconciliation for Native Communities.

The Native American Council

The Native American Ministry Council of Christ Church Cathedral has been active since 1984, as the result of a bequest from Nina F. Lansley. The Council’s early work included support for social work with the poor and elderly in the backcountry of the Navajo reservation and summer mission trips to Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona.

In 2010, the mission was broadened to include:

  1. Provide hands-on outreach by witnessing for and building awareness of, the contemporary needs, values, and traditions of Native American cultures in the US and Canada.
  2. Contribute to the education and theological development of leadership within Native American communities.
  3. Support initiatives to empower Native American societies and ministries related to life needs, cultural sustainability, and spiritual growth within Native American values.

Starting in 2011, the Native American Ministry Council has conducted an annual workshop and Sunday service to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day. By honoring the customs, and traditions and developing a greater understanding of the impact of the history of the Doctrine of Discovery on present-day Native Americans we inform our congregation and the larger community we serve. Native American leadership has been integral to these events. This year’s Native American Weekend will focus on the Care of Creation and the impact of governmental policies on our planet. The Council is active with the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of the Episcopal Church in Navajoland and helps underwrite its activities through direct donations and fundraising by selling Shima soaps, honey and blue corn meal that are produced by the enterprises of EDC.

Native American Council Initiatives

  • Collaborate with other agencies in providing support to the needy on reservations.
  • Involve Cathedral and Native American youth and adults in activities, such as, mission trips, interchanges, and youth gatherings.
  • Build awareness in the city of Native American issues, problems and opportunities.
  • Collaborate and partner with other institutions, e.g., the Episcopal Indigenous Ministry, Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, Native Americans in Philanthropy, the Miami Valley Council of Native Americans, and the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition.
  • Support lay and seminary theological education through grants to Navajoland Area Mission, Department of Indian Works of the Diocese of Minnesota, and the Bishops Native Collaborative.
  • Explore and act on scholarship needs on reservations and community colleges that lead to service to the church.
  • Contribute to scholarship needs through organizations, e.g., Supported Diocese, Episcopal Youth Events, United Nations Women’s Conference, and education activities of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Collaborative.
  • Promote Native American childhood education through adopt-a-school activities.
  • Enable grassroots leadership within the Episcopal Church community, e.g., Anglican Indigenous Women’s Network.
  • Provide Native American empowerment grants for environmental sustainability, arts, and culture.
  • Collaborate with other Episcopal congregations and Diocese on empowerment initiatives and projects that have the promise of lifting persons from poverty.
  • Support initiatives related to the environment, drug and alcohol addiction, and youth.
  • Collaborate with other agencies in providing support to the needy on reservations.
  • Involve Cathedral and Native American youth and adults in activities, such as, mission trips, interchanges, and youth gatherings.
  • Build awareness in the city of Native American issues, problems and opportunities.
  • Collaborate and partner with other institutions, e.g., the Episcopal Indigenous Ministry, Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition, Native Americans in Philanthropy, the Miami Valley Council of Native Americans, and the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition.
  • Support lay and seminary theological education through grants to Navajoland Area Mission, Department of Indian Works of the Diocese of Minnesota, and the Bishops Native Collaborative.
  • Explore and act on scholarship needs on reservations and community colleges that lead to service to the church.
  • Contribute to scholarship needs through organizations, e.g., Supported Diocese, Episcopal Youth Events, United Nations Women’s Conference, and education activities of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Collaborative.
  • Promote Native American childhood education through adopt-a-school activities.
  • Enable grassroots leadership within the Episcopal Church community, e.g., Anglican Indigenous Women’s Network.
  • Provide Native American empowerment grants for environmental sustainability, arts, and culture.
  • Collaborate with other Episcopal congregations and Diocese on empowerment initiatives and projects that have the promise of lifting persons from poverty.
  • Support initiatives related to the environment, drug and alcohol addiction, and youth.

Bringing Transformative Acts of Love Into Our Neighborhoods

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