Submitted by JuDee Anderson
Chair, Yellowstone Conference CONAM
Pictured above: representatives from Western Jurisdiction conferences during the Western Jurisdiction CONAM Inaugural Meeting held March 16-18, 2018 in Sacramento, California. Photo courtesy of Nathan Sam-Whistler.
The Western Jurisdiction Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) recently met to discuss their work and plan the committee's future focus with Native American communities in western United Methodist conferences.
JuDee Anderson, chairperson of the Yellowstone Conference CONAM, reflected on the day as a success: "What a joy it was to be present and participating ... I met new people as we all contemplated our work and how to focus in the coming years."
Among the presenters at the meeting was the Bishop Minerva G. Carcano of the California-Nevada Conference. Anderson relays that she was "blessed by the presence and thoughtful contributions of Bishop Carcano."
"Although I had to leave early to catch my plane, the focus as I left was on the Doctrine of Discovery and the Acts of Repentance," Anderson continued. "We were nourished by the shared experiences and goals for the work of CONAM."
Anderson also expressed joy to be a part of this ministry, saying "I am grateful to Creator for bringing me to this work and to such a powerful group of people supporting and encouraging ourselves."
The mission of the Yellowstone Annual Conference Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM) and Healing Relationships is to create opportunities to bring people together to build authentic relationships with Native Americans for justice, healing and wholeness; to promote and determine the distribution of the Native American Ministries Sunday offering; to guide and implement a process within the Yellowstone Annual Conference to resource new and developing Native American ministries within the conference; by:
Examining our own attitudes, beliefs and actions;
Identifying people who have the heart for this ministry and supporting their learning and preparation to begin conversations with indigenous people;
Seeking occasions to mindfully approach appropriate tribal members and authorized representatives of Native American organizations;
Bringing relationships forward for the purpose of listening and learning;
Participating in the lives of Native American brothers and sisters both within and outside of the church;
Advocating for system change within our conference, the worldwide church, and society that will lead toward ceasing harm, acknowledgment of our guilt and a commitment to living differently.
For more information on the Yellowstone Conference Committee on Native American Ministries, visit www.yacumc.org/conam.