Dear relatives,

As you can see from this newsletter (http://createsend.com/t/r-F40E4168650003CF), we have done much together in the last six months. I am truly grateful for all of the partners in ministry, as none of this could’ve happened without you. Together we look toward the next triennium of Indigenous Ministry with open hearts and open minds, continuing our work on building our communities together.

Every three years, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church passes resolutions that prioritize our work. These resolutions are implemented by various offices, committees, and ministries of the Episcopal Church. The 77th General Convention was a time of transition for the Episcopal Church and this transition was also felt in Indigenous Ministries. Even that name, “Indigenous Ministries,” is a transition. We have opened our ministry to our relatives in Province 9; this new relationship was confirmed through resolutions and the new appointment of a Quechua priest from the Diocese of Central Ecuador to the Executive Council Committee on Indigenous Ministry.

As you read the Doctrine of Discovery Lament offering from our Quechua brother the Rev. Eulogio Quito, you will see our struggles and our triumphs have been the same. Our similar struggle by being a people that has suffered colonization by the church we love, is the same. This church we continue to love and reconcile with because we have always known there is one Creator God. As we move forward, we will learn even more from each other and be a partner in networking with our Quechua relatives throughout the church.

This General Convention also brought a change to the funding for Indigenous Theological Training through Resolution A133. This resolution expands this work to:

“leaders in the Episcopal Church – those called to lay and ordained leadership at the following institutions: Niobrara School for Ministry, Hooghan Learning Circle, North Dakota School for Ministry, David Salmon School for Ministry, Father Paul Mather School for Ministry of the Diocese of Alaska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and the Navajoland Area Mission, and the Indigenous Theological Training Institute, as well as Indigenous training for Province IX and other areas the Episcopal Church’s jurisdiction. Funding is to be under direction and supervision of the office of Indigenous Ministry of the Episcopal Church.”

Resolution A133 gives the responsibility of implementing the work around Indigenous Theological Training solely to my office. After much prayer and consultation, I have determined an Application for Funding Process for “Established Episcopal Indigenous Theological Training Organizations” to seek funding. Applicants will be required to respond to the 5 Marks of Mission with priority given to partnerships. The Application for Funding will be released on March 1, 2013, closing on April 1, 2013, with awards announced on April 15, 2013.

Due to decreased resources, I have also had to re-envision what a churchwide event like Wintertalk will look like. Holding churchwide intergenerational events like this is important to networking our church ministries, and can only be done through partnership. It is my hope that dioceses and provinces will come together to assist with funding one intergenerational churchwide Wintertalk every three years. On other years, Wintertalk will focus on specific ministries.

The 2013 Winteralk will be held at St. Crispin’s Conference Center in Wewoka, Oklahoma, February 17-20, 2013. The 2013 Wintertalk will focus on re-enforcing youth ministry training from Strong Heart Ministries (Indigenous Youth Ministry) and advocacy training from the Anglican Council of Indigenous Women. Each diocese will be invited to send two individuals who are leaders in these areas, preferably from the same community. The nearby dioceses will be encouraged to carpool participants and will be invited to bring additional leaders depending upon availability. The maximum participation is 50 attendees. Registration will open on January 3, 2013. Each participant will be required to submit an article or video for the Waters newsletter and blog to share best practices.

For more information on Indigenous Ministry and General Convention resolutions, please go to:

http://www.episcopalchurch.org/page/indigenous-ministries

http://www.generalconvention.org/gc/resolutions

My prayers are with you for a wonderful Advent season.

Mitakuye Oyasin (We are all related),
Sarah Eagle Heart, missioner for Indigenous Ministry

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