Native American Offering Enriches Heritage, Outreach
April 9, 2015
For the past two years – thanks to the Native American Ministries Sunday offering – Carson Jones and his daughter, Sade, have attended summer conferences of the Southeast Jurisdiction Association for Native American Ministries at the United Methodist Center at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina.
'Rich in the love of God'Triad Church is a "Native American church that strives to have Native style worship and celebrate Native traditions," says Strickland. Many of its 110 members "are retired and live on Social Security. We are not a rich church, but we are rich in the love of God. "Many Native people come to the Triad area searching for a church, and they find us," she adds. "We have many poor people, and we have middle income, but we don't look at socioeconomic conditions. We look at the heart. "Carson is just one example of a person (moving from) being homeless to owning his own home from the time he joined our church." Native American Ministries Sunday reminds United Methodists of the contributions made by Native Americans to the church as well as to society. The financial gifts benefit Native American ministries, help preserve a rich cultural heritage and empower local outreach within annual conferences and across the United States. They also provide seminary scholarships for Native Americans. "We desire to be like Jesus, so we work hard to show God's love in our communities," Strickland says. "Our first full-time pastor received help while in seminary from Native American Ministries Sunday. "Native American Ministries Sunday is crucial for native people who go to conferences because many of them live on fixed incomes," she continues. "Without the offering, many of our church members could not attend the summer conference." Heather Peck Travis is a freelance journalist living in Glasgow, Ky. RELATED ARTICLES AND RESOURCES School’s leadership program nurtures Native Americans Native American Ministries Sunday Pastor and Leader's Kit 21st century worship resources for Native American Ministries Sunday