A Moment for Mission
“A second time he said to him, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Tend my sheep.’” – John 21:16, NRSV
This Sunday we celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday. The United Methodist Church includes approximately 18,000 Native Americans. These members represent many tribes and customs. Our gifts today enrich local church and annual conference Native American ministries and seminary education.
As we celebrate, we recognize the unique gift and voice of this community within our United Methodist Church. We also recognize the journey toward healing and reconciliation that we continue to travel as a church. While our methods of communicating the gospel with our Native American brothers and sisters have not always recognized that their rich culture complements the message of Christ, we continue to walk united in our mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
We do this by supporting individuals called to be in pastoral ministry in United Methodist Native American communities and across the connection. Our gifts toward seminary education help to equip those who have the unique knowledge of culture and life experiences to tend to their flocks in authentic, dignified ways. Our generous gifts also fund urban and annual conference ministries with Native Americans.
When we give on Native American Ministries Sunday, we are a part of creating a renewed legacy of this rich culture. Honoring their traditions while sharing their United Methodist faith, Native American pastors give of themselves daily to benefit Natives and non-Natives alike.
Creator God, thank you for our Native American brothers and sisters. Open our eyes to see your image revealed in the gifts they bring to our church. Open our ears to hear their voices. Open our minds to walk united in hope and healing. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday of Easter - Our gracious and kind Heavenly Father, we praise you for raising Jesus Christ from the dead. With joy, we witness the miracles that you continue to perform by the power of your Holy Spirit. Help us to listen to the risen Christ, who urges us to feed his lambs and tend his sheep. May we join together as a congregation to faithfully feed people who are hungry and show kindness to those in need. Use our tithes and gifts in miraculous ways for Jesus’ sake. Amen. (John 21:1-19)
On April 10, United Methodists celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday, a churchwide Special Sunday with offering. Our gifts go toward conference and local Native American ministries as well as the seminary education of Native Americans.
Many Native Americans who live on reservations continue to experience difficult living conditions. For many, economic recovery is a distant dream. In fact, our Native American population has seen the highest rates in teen suicide, diabetes and tuberculosis, and one in four lives in poverty.
Our gifts on Native American Ministries Sunday support ministries that include healthcare, transportation, children’s outreach and pastoral care. Our gifts equip Native American called to the ordained ministry by helping them obtain a seminary education. With our help, they share Christ’s love and shine light into dark places. They lead us in our journey of healing and reconciliation in a way that maintains dignity and honors the unique identity of every one of God’s children.
Together, we empower local spiritual development and educate Native American seminary students to serve God faithfully.