Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM)
Native American Ministries Sunday is April 18, 2021.
Click here to learn more about this Special Sunday offering.
The Upper New York Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) seeks to advocate for ministry with and by Native Americans and educate all regarding the rich and diverse culture, history, and traditions of Native Americans.
To view other videos from the Act of Repentence, visit our Vimeo page: https://vimeo.com/uppernewyork.
“There shall be an annual conference committee on Native American ministry or other structure to provide for these ministries and maintain the connectional relationships. The basic membership of the committee shall be nominated and elected by established procedure of the respective annual conferences. Each annual conference shall determine the number and composition of the total membership. Where possible, the membership shall consist of a majority of Native Americans.
It shall be the responsibility of this committee to:
- determine the distribution of the Native American Ministries Sunday offering;
- coordinate the promotion of Native American Ministries Sunday;
- and monitor Native American ministries within the Annual Conference.
Each committee shall report how the offering funds have benefited Native Americans in their annual conference” (Book of Discipline, 2008, ¶654).
Churches and Ministries
There are three Native American United Methodist churches in the Upper New York Annual Conference:
- Four Corners United Methodist Church, located on the Cattaraugus Territory
- Hogansburg United Methodist church located on the St. Regis Mohawk Reservation at Akwesasnee
- Onondaga Nation United Methodist Church located on the Onondaga Nation Indian Territory
Native American Outreach Transportation Program
Elders on the Onondaga Nation and in the greater Syracuse area obtain transportation to doctor appointments, medical treatments, food pantries, senior nutrition sites, and other necessary places. This program is made possible through the Onondaga County Department of Adult and Long Term Care Services, the Upper New York Annual Conference, the Committee on Native American Ministry (CONAM), and the Onondaga Nation UMC. We have received a New York State Department of Transportation grant to purchase a wheelchair accessible van in 2011. This will expand our ability to offer rides to individuals with disabilities.
We welcome support from individuals and churches to help us meet operating expenses and maintain the van. For further information contact Sharon Schmit at 315-655-2500.
There is also ongoing support for education, cultural preservation, and social justice for Native American communities within our conference.
Students from Rontewennanonhnha School thank Upper New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church for generous support.
Chair: Sharon Schmit
Administrative Assistant: Brooke Conklin
Treasurer: Blenda Smith
Secretary: Marilyn Anderson
Rev. Thomas White Wolf Fassett (Seneca)
Sharon Schmit (Mohawk)
Rev. Sue Crawson-Brizzolia (Dine, Peenpac)
Rev. Donald Washburn
Blenda Smith (R&R liaison)
Dan Cook (Mohawk)
Lisa Jacobs (Mohawk)
Rev. Cindy Makarchuk
The Native American people and Native American churches within our conference are a part of our Global Neighborhood, bringing a rich history and diverse gifts. The purpose of our work is to build relationships between all members of our churches and all Native peoples. Your can support our work by:
- Celebrating Native American Ministries Sunday
- Learning more about Native American people, history, culture
- Visiting the Native American churches in our conference
- Recommending individuals as members of CONAM
- Contributing to Native American Conference Advance Specials: Native American Outreach/Transportation Program # 3204; Onondaga Nation UMC # 3202
Submitting the name of a designated member of your church/or charge to your District Superintendent as charged in The Book of Discipline:
“Every local church at charge conference shall designate by nomination and election a minimum of one person per charge (without regard to race or ethnic origin) or a designated member of an established church committee to represent the need for better awareness of Native American contributions in the local church. These names are to be submitted to the District Superintendent at charge conference and given to the annual conference committee on Native American ministry" (Book of Discipline, 2008, ¶654).
Upper New York CONAM is a member of the Northeast Jurisdiction Native American Task Force (NEJNAMTF), which is comprised of the Conference CONAM's in the Jurisdiction. The Task Force meets once a year, usually in the Fall, to hear from each other and to learn about resources that are available to the churches, native communities, and native people of our jurisdiction through the United Methodist Church, other faith entities, and secular resources. For more information about NEJNAMTF contact Chairperson Cynthia Kent: email@example.com.
No one person or group can possibly know or speak about all Native nations and tribes, their cultures and traditions. The Committee on Native American Ministries, however, can provide information concerning Native American Ministries in the Upper New York conference, as well as assist in providing resources for local church educational programs concerning Native American information and issues.
- Giving Our Hearts Away: Native American Survival, Thom White Wolf Fassett. Discipleship Resources. Order from www.missionresourcecenter.org.
- Singing the Sacred: Musical Gifts from Native American Communities. Songbook and CD. GBGMusic, 2008. Available from Cokesbury.
- Stories From the Circle of Life (DVD with viewer’s guide). Also includes audio version of Giving Our Hearts Away. Order from www.missionresourcecenter.org.
- Connections on the Hoop: Native people and United Methodism. Available for free download: http://www.naco.umcom.org/resources.htm Native American Communications Office.
- Dancing with a Brave Spirit: Telling the Truth About Native America. Available for free download: http://www.naco.umcom.org/resources.htm Native American Communications Office.
- Native American International Caucus: http://naicumc.org
- Native American Comprehensive Plan: http://www.gbod.org/site/c.nhLRJ2PMKsG/b.4751535/k.9027/Native_American.htm
- Native American Ministries Sunday: http://www.umcgiving.org/ministry-articles/native-american-ministries-sunday
- White Bison: www.WhiteBison.org