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    United Methodists of Upper New YorkLiving the Gospel. Being God's Love.

    news article

    Resources for supporting CONAM

    April 5, 2023 / By Kae Woodruff Wilbert, Chair. Committee on Native American Ministries Upper New York Conference

    We are grateful for your faithfulness in working with us to educate others regarding the past, present, and future of our Native brothers and sisters. Easter is fast approaching which means Native American Ministries Sunday (NAMS) is not far behind (April 23, 2023). Although this special worship can be celebrated on any Sunday, it is designated for the second Sunday after Easter. What a fitting time to recognize and celebrate the restoration of right relationships with our Native brothers and sisters as we look forward with joy to the resurrection message of life and restoration.

    There is much to consider as you plan worship through prayer, liturgy, song, story, and sermon:

    • Begin your workshop service with a Land Acknowledgement similar to:

    “I would like to begin by acknowledging the Indigenous Peoples on whose land we are gathering today.”

    Take a moment to acknowledge the importance of the lands, which we each call home. We do this to reaffirm our commitment and responsibility in improving relationships between nations and to improving our own understanding of local Indigenous peoples and their cultures. In the spirit of the Act of Repentance, held in 2015, our Conference has offered a land acknowledgment to open Annual Conference as a reminder for all of us of the history upon which this nation was formed. It is a way to help make the invisible visible again. Land acknowledgments can be a powerful way to recognize systems that benefit from the erasure, genocide, assimilation, and colonization of the original inhabitants. By acknowledging the fact that the Native Americans who lived on and continue to live on the land where our church buildings currently stand, we seek to retell the story of the colonization and Christianization of Native Peoples.

    • Find many inspiring worship materials on the UNY conference website. Click here to check out these great resources.
    • Remember the past actions of a young America in which expansion occurred at the cost of Native lives, land, and culture. Click here to learn more, including information to increase awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG).
    • Respect and honor what was lost as the history of Indian Boarding Schools is revealed anew on the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition website.
    • Offer prayers for the work of the Truth and Healing Commission on U.S. Indian Boarding Schools through the Department of the Interior led by Secretary Deb Haaland. Click here for the most recent reports.
    • Call for support of the Protection of Unmarked Graves Act, passed the New York State legislature but vetoed by Governor Kathy Hochul in 2022. Click here to read more about the Act.
    • Recognize the gift of Indigenous ecological knowledge. Restoration of the Bison. Click here to learn more.
    • Visit our table at the Annual Conference, June 1-3, 2023, at the SRC Arena in Syracuse for conversation and materials to take home.

    Thank you in advance for your love and support of our ministry.


    With more than 125,000 members, United Methodists of Upper New York comprises of more than 800 local churches and New Faith Communities in 12 districts, covering 48,000 square miles in 49 of the 62 counties in New York state. Our vision is to “live the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to be God’s love with our neighbors in all places."