Our partnership with the Green Grass Church began in 1985 when their minister, Henry Good Bear, visited our congregation and shared his dreams and vision for the future of their community. We then helped finance construction of a new church building large enough to accommodate their youth ministries, Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and other fellowship activities. During the ensuing decades of this partnership, over 300 members and friends of our church have traveled to South Dakota to learn, share and further strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two congregations. During our visits, we have also had the privilege of participating in sacred Lakota rituals such as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, the Sun Dance and Vision Quest while several members of our church have even been honored with their own Lakota names.
Likewise, our congregation has been blessed by visits from many members of the Green Grass community who have shared with us their history, culture, hopes and dreams. A recent addition to our partnership has been a Morningstar summer camp where our youth enjoy an educational experience with youth from the reservation.
Another important aspect of our partnership is Tribal Crafts, Inc. Recognizing that the Green Grass community is not on a well-travelled tourist route and wishing to affirm and celebrate the traditional skills for which the Lakota are known, we established a nonprofit organization that buys and sells the beautiful Star quilts, jewelry and other crafts and works of art made by our Native American friends.