Our Work on a Reservation
Our church’s first partnership began in 1985 with the Green Grass Church on the Cheyenne River Reservation in South Dakota. Henry Good Bear, the church’s minister, came and shared with our congregation his vision for the Green Grass Church – a new church building that would be large enough for youth ministries, Alcoholic Anonymous meetings and fellowship activities. In a spirit of partnership, we agreed to help finance that project.
Since 1985, more than 300 members of our congregation have traveled to South Dakota to learn, share and further strengthen the bonds of friendship between our two communities. During our visits, we have had the privilege of participating in sacred Lakota rituals, such as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony and the Sun Dance; and several members of our church have even been honored with their own Lakota names.
Our congregation has been blessed in return by visits from many members of the Green Grass community, who have shared with us their history, culture, hopes and dreams. Several have also taken part in our mission journeys to South Africa, Israel and Palestine. A recent addition to our ongoing partnership has been the Morning Star Camp, where our local youth enjoy an educational experience with youth from the reservation.
Another important component of our partnership is Tribal Crafts, Inc., a nonprofit organization that buys and sells beautiful star quilts, jewelry and other crafts made by our Native American friends. Since the Green Grass community is not on a well-traveled tourist route, the Tribal Crafts mission is to help affirm, share and celebrate the traditional skills for which the Lakota are known.