June 03, 2023 | by Admin
Editor's note: Pastors Nathan Sam-Whistler and Roy Pina joined Communications Associate Hanna Widlund for a brief interview to help unpack the work of Native American Ministries in California-Nevada. Click here to see the video.
The offering for the California Nevada 175th Annual Conference will benefit ongoing and new Native American Ministry initiatives across our conference. It will be gathered at the worship service on Sunday June 18th, yet you can give early and often! To give via text messaging, dial 916 238 6854 and text the initials "NATAM". You will be directed to our giving platform where you can enter your information and donation. You may also mail your checks to the conference office: 1350 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento, 95691.
Rev. Jorge Domingues, Executive Director of Connectional Ministries, reminded us that for the last two years our Annual Conference engaged in conversation about the harm that was made to Native Americans in the past who were forced to attend Boarding Schools, many ran by Christian churches, included the Methodist denomination. “After hearing the report on Native American Boarding Schools, we have an opportunity to respond in concrete ways by contributing to the offering that will support the Native American ministries in those areas.”
In California-Nevada, we have a long history of making positive change in communities with our giving. This year is a very special year because we will have the opportunity to hear the Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) report on Native American Boarding Schools. Our financial support helped fund the process of traveling and gathering stories for the report. Our funding will continue help CONAM build brighter futures in the Native community for generations to come by preserving traditional culture and providing access to technology and education for people of all ages.
Pastor Roy Pina is one of the founders of our conference CONAM in 2006 and pastors Round Valley UMC, one of our Native American churches which was founded in 1869. Pastor Roy's focus is on the future, and spends time mentoring young people seeking a life of service. "I have two young men I'm working with now," said Pastor Roy. "This is the ministry that CONAM has been able to help us with. To be able to stay in touch with the actions of the conference, to stay within the structure, to stay within the Discipline, but also raise up through our own culture.
Pastor Nathan Sam-Whistler is a product of this mentoring process. He chairs the conference CONAM, pastors Schurz and Yerington United Methodist churches and is in seminary. When former CONAM Chair Derrick Rainbow accepted a role with the conference Core Team, he encouraged Pastor Nathan to assume the leadership of CONAM. "I kind of fell into it," said Pastor Nathan. When Rainbow passed, the community continued to mentor and nurture Pastor Nathan. He has been leading the effort to bring an updated report to ACS 2023 around Native American Boarding Schools. "We made a visit to each Native community in the conference that have United Methodist Churches and we had community talks. We'll be sharing about the histories at Annual Conference, bringing an awareness to what had transpired in our histories and what continues to impact the lives of those today."
There will be two other offering opportunities at ACS 2023. The offering received on Thursday evening, June 15th, at Opening Worship and the Memorial Service will go to the Necessitous Fund. The Necessitous Fund helps our retired clergy with unexpected expenses. You may give to the Necessitous Fund anytime by texting the word "CLERGY" to 916-238-6854. You may also mail your checks to the conference office: 1350 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento, 95691.
The offering given at the Ordination Service, Saturday evening June 17th will go to the Ministerial Education Fund, (MEF). The MEF is nurtured and funded by United Methodists to provide vitally needed scholarships through annual conferences, essential funds for the support of our 13 United Methodist seminaries in the United States, programs that encourage men and women to respond to the call to ordained ministry, continuing-education opportunities for pastors across the connection and course-of-study education for local pastors. Every clergy person who has served in The United Methodist Church over the past 50 years has been shaped in part by the ministries and institutions supported by the Ministerial Education Fund. You may give to the MEF anytime by texting the initials "MEF" to 916 238 6854. You may also mail your checks to the conference office: 1350 Halyard Drive, West Sacramento, 95691.