The Great Plains Annual Conference, which includes the former Kansas East, Kansas West and Nebraska conferences of The United Methodist Church, are working to establish a Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM).
“We want the committee to be geographically diverse with the majority representation coming from Native American communities,” said Harrietta Reynolds, appointed by the conference to chair the committee. There are four Native churches in the conference according to GCFA data. “The work would include bringing awareness about Native American issues within our conference because there is so much that could be done.”
Reynolds says the CONAM will be a sub-committee under the Mercy and Justice team. The Great Plains Annual Conference was the top giver to the Native American Ministries Sunday fund in 2016. The conference has also held an Act of Repentance Service in accordance with the 2012 General Conference mandate. Census data shows more than 50,000 Native people live in Kansas and Nebraska.
“We hope to also build a data bank of Native American people across the conference who could serve beyond the committee to help educate and support Native ministries,” said Reynolds.
The first organizing meeting for the CONAM is set for the end of March. Reynolds says their focus immediately will be on preparing resources to observe Native American Ministries Sunday. For more information about the CONAM contact Reynolds, firstname.lastname@example.org.