CONAM: What it is and how Ministry Shares support it
December 2, 2016 / By Blenda Smith
By Blenda Smith
CONAM, the Committee on Native American Ministries, is part of the Upper New York Conference and receives Ministry Shares to function effectively.
Native peoples need community in order to connect, build relationships, work together, and move forward. Because of the regular connections through our CONAM meetings, we are able to worship together, hearing Christian biblical teachings from a Native perspective. What a gift to share the joy of this holy time.
Meeting face-to-face in Upper New York several times a year and supplementing with conference calls as needed are vital connections for our community. Every year, Ministry Shares fund our meeting expenses, mileage, tolls, lodging, and meals. Without this fund, some people would be eliminated from attending because it is difficult for them to pay this out of their own personal finances, particularly those far away.
Ministry Shares pays expenses for three to six people to attend the Northeastern Jurisdiction CONAM meeting once a year: This is an important ministry because it is the time CONAM receives necessary training and connects those from UNY’s CONAM with other Native American UMC members in the jurisdiction.
Since 2013, we have sent four different UNY CONAM Native Americans to various learning opportunities through the United Methodist Connection: “Cook Native American Missions Workshop” (New Mexico); Native American Comprehensive Plan’s “Strengthening CONAMs” (Kansas); “Exploration 2013” (Colorado); and “Native American New Fellowship Summit” (Oklahoma).
CONAM is very grateful to be receiving this Conference support. Without this funding, the work of CONAM would be very limited.