Moment for Mission
“See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.” – 1 John 3:1, NRSV
“I am walking upon with earth with people who love me on the circle of the Creator. I will always be at home. I will be loved. I will be with Creator.” These are the words from the Shawnee traveling song in our United Methodist Book of Worship (No. 197). Today is Native American Ministries Sunday. We celebrate being together as children of God and the contributions of our Native American brothers and sisters who worship among us. On Native American Ministries Sunday, we celebrate Native American ministries within our annual conference and across our connection. On Native American Ministries Sunday, we share a special churchwide offering in order to stand in partnership with Native American ministries.
The outreach we assist on Native American Ministries Sunday offers encouragement, support and belonging to people who often feel invisible. The ministries we support provide places where their Native American identity and their identity in Christ have room to coexist, allowing their unique voice and story of God’s grace and love to be told. Our gifts go to ministries that provide outreach and education and support Native American leaders with seminary scholarships. Our gifts empower people to do ministry in an authentic way that connects with Native American people where they are.
Creator of all, we thank you for the beauty of your creation in the diverse expressions of language and culture. Plant within us a spirit of unity and generosity as we celebrate Native American Ministries Sunday and the contributions made by the Native Americans in our nation and in our church. Amen.
From Discipleship Ministries: Third Sunday of Easter – Holy God, thank you for making Jesus the Author of life, whom you raised from the dead. You still do marvelous miracles of forgiveness, bringing healing and new life in our midst. We know that these gifts don’t come from our power or piety but by your goodness. As we reach out to people in our community, may they draw closer to you. Let our offerings contribute to the ongoing work of your servant Jesus, here and now. Amen. (Acts 3:12-19)
United Methodists will observe Native American Ministries Sunday April 15. It is one of six churchwide special Sundays with offerings. Funds collected on this date support ministry in annual conferences across the United State and scholarships for seminary education. We support Native American Ministries Sunday because we recognize that we are children of one God who created us all.
When we support Native American ministries and equip those who want to reach Native Americans, we reinforce the value, identity and importance of living alongside our Native American brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. The traditions and language of your United Methodist congregation and one that is primarily Native American might look and sound different; however, we share a common faith and commitment to one another. When we support Native American ministries, we affirm the unique and sacred expressions of language, practice and worship of Native Americans and their ability to reach Native American people with God’s love.