Monthly Archives: May2019

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Youth2019_BannerPROOF5The Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference (OIMC) is working alongside event planners for the Youth 2019 event in Kansas City to bring a teaching moment about Native American mascots. Youth 2019, taking place July 10-14, will bring together thousands of United Methodist youth and their leaders for 4 days of worship, bible study and service opportunities.

“We are bringing Native youth to the conference to participate in a panel to specifically address how Native mascots impact their lives as young people,” said the Rev. David Wilson, OIMC conference superintendent. “To Native peoples, our culture and heritage are an important part of who we are and how we define ourselves. Yet, from elementary schools to professional sports Native Americans have been dehumanized and stereotyped all in the name of team loyalty and brands,” he said.

thP3ZOB8KFKansas City is home to the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team. Although the team mascot is a wolf, Chiefs fans often cheer on their team in Native American headdresses and perform the Tomahawk chop after plays. Until 2012, The United Methodist Church’s Book of Resolutions included language that discouraged hosting events in cities with Native American mascots. A new resolution adopted in 2016 did not include the same text.

“Our Native community needs United Methodists to be our allies and to help us push for change when it comes to racist mascots. We believe our time in Kansas City is an opportunity to create awareness,” said Wilson.

Wilson cited the efforts made by the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) which moved to Atlanta in 2015, home to the Atlanta Braves. The agency has been actively connecting with Native leaders regarding raising awareness of the mascot issue among their board and in the Atlanta area. GBGM dedicated a full board meeting to Native American issues.

The OIMC’s goal is to raise $15,000 to cover the cost of the conference fees, travel, meals and lodging for Native young people and youth leaders to attend the conference. The panel featuring OIMC young people will take place during 4 sessions tentatively scheduled for July 11.

Donations to support the Native youth can be made online via Paypal at www.umc-oimc.org/give-online or mailed to the OIMC office at located at 602 SW 35th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73109.

safe women

Baskets of Clay | by Ray Buckley*

Leader: We remember the places where we stand
and danced and prayed
and left our lives
hanging in empty lodges
where we could not return.

We lift up our sufferings in baskets of clay. Heal them.

Leader: We remember the cries of our grandmothers
and the sorrow of our grandfathers.
We remember the names of the two-leggeds and the four-leggeds
and places of prayer, which are no more.

We lift up our memories in baskets of clay. Pour over them.

Leader: We remember those who have destroyed.
We remember that all people, everywhere,
have known enslavement and death,
from those who have no spiritual identity.

We lift up those who destroy, in baskets of clay. Restore them.

Leader: We remember the sacred hoop of which all of Your creation is a part;
all people, from all nations.
Help us to touch that we may know.
Help us to give-away that we may grow.
Help us to see each other as family.

We lift up our lives in baskets of clay. Connect them.

Leader: We remember your Spirit that makes us sing.
We remember your Spirit that causes us to dance.
With our hands we make beautiful things
to celebrate you.
Make us to sing.
Cause us to dance.
Inspire us to create,
for love of you.

We lift up our spirits in baskets of clay. Unite them with yours. AMEN.

*Ray Buckley, Lakota and Tlingit descent, is the interim Director of the Center for First Nations Spirituality, and faculty member of The Academy of Spiritual Formation. Buckley has served The United Methodist Church as a staff member of The United Methodist Publishing House, Director of the Native People Communication Office (UMCom) for nine years, and Director of Connectional Ministries and Native Discipleship for the Alaska Missionary Conference.


May 2, 2019 | A delegation from the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference is preparing to respond to calls for help from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. The Tribe remains in a state of emergency following heavy flooding in March.

“We have lost hundreds of miles of road and it is going to be a long rebuild,” said Chase Iron Eyes, Oglala Sioux Tribe Public Relations Director. “Some residents remain without access to potable water; many roads are impassable and remain blocked.”

OIMC churches have been collecting diapers, baby wipes, and baby formula. In mid-March, conference staff will deliver the donations directly to Oglala Sioux tribal leaders.

pe3“We have seen firsthand the flood disaster areas on the reservation,” said the Rev. David Wilson, OIMC conference superintendent. “This disaster has impacted more than 1,500 people. The reservation is located in a remote, isolated part of the country and they are getting little coverage or support.”

Wilson delivered a $5,000 check on behalf of OIMC in March to help with immediate recovery efforts. He has been coordinating with Oglala Sioux Tribal leaders to identify other areas of need.

“We hope The United Methodist Church will continue to remember the people struggling on the Pine Ridge reservation through donations and work teams on a long-term basis,” he said.

In addition to churches, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes donated $5,000 through OIMC to support relief efforts.

Donations will be accepted through May 10 at the OIMC office located at 602 SW 35th Street, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73109. Online donations may be made by visiting, www.umc-oimc.org/give-online. If OIMC churches need assistance with delivering items, they are asked to contact their district superintendents.