A Prayer for Standing Rock: A Service to Support the Water Protectors

A Native American Celebration on Thanksgiving Eve at Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul.
A blue cloth representing the Missouri River was laid down the aisle of  Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul, as part of a service offered to support Water Protectors. The service was held Thanksgiving Eve.

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul held a Thanksgiving Eve service to honor, pray for, and support the Water Protectors at Standing Rock.

It was a beautiful service, and it included prayers and readings that could be modified and used for many faith traditions. The service is reprinted below. Continue reading

Guest Blog on Standing Rock: ELCA Pastor Joann Conroy (Oglala Sioux); This Day in History

ELCA Pastor Joann Conroy (Oglala), President of the American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association, wrote the following guest blog in response to the recent arrests of water protectors opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Today I am still struggling with the horror of Thursday and the continued abuse and dehumanization of the people who are jailed. I know that many people are rallying to support Standing Rock . We attended a rally in MN yesterday to ask the Hennepin Sheriff to withdraw his officers, who were at the front of the abuse. Every state that has law enforcement in North Dakota should withdraw them ASAP.

In my truth , President Obama can now stop the slaughter of our people, culture, and life.

As a pastor I have preached and counseled Christs’ Grace , love, sacrifice and humanity. I know that all is true but where was it for the people?

What does it mean to say today: “the Lord is the strength of my life; whom shall I fear?” (Psalm 27) What does it mean to say: “I believe I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living; wait for the Lord; be strong; let your heart take courage.” (Psalm 27) Where is the word of life when hearts are shattered? How do we stand together against white privilege, racism, discrimination and the “power” of officials?

We will return to Standing Rock in the days to come . Will continue to work to rally support even as I wrestle with the horror of October 27, 2016.

Wopila (Thank you)
Wolakota (peace)

Pr. Joann, President
AIANLC Continue reading

Upcoming Events: Thanksgiving from a Native Perspective; Book Reading “All the Real Indians Died Off” and Other Myths; Kevin Locke in Town

Lutheran Church of the Redeemer in St. Paul is planning a special Thanksgiving Eve Service that will celebrate the holiday from a Native American perspective. It will be Wednesday, November 23, starting at 7 p.m. at the church, 285 Dale Street North.

Joann Conroy (Oglala), a church member and ordained Lutheran pastor, is helping organize the event. Joann also is president of the ELCA Native American/American Indian Lutheran Association.

The details are still being worked out. Initial plans call for lifting up the ELCA’s recent vote to Repudiate the Doctrine of Discovery, the 15th Century justification given to Christian explorers to seize lands from indigenous peoples and convert or enslave them. (More details in this blog.)

Redeemer’s choir will sing, but organizers are looking for others to participate, whether song or drums or speaking on The Doctrine of Discovery. Fellowship and food will follow the service, likely both fry bread and pie. They also may take a donation for the Water Protectors Camp near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota – for winter tents and camping gear.

More details will be printed here when we know them. Interested in participating? Contact Joann at joan.conroy@gmail.com Continue reading

Update: Dakota Access Pipeline Protest

Here is an update to yesterday’s blog outlining the current protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline at the Standing Rock Reservation.

Today, a federal court in Washington D.C. will hear a suit brought by the Standing Rock Reservation seeking an injunction against the pipeline. There is no guarantee the judge will issue a ruling today, and regardless of the outcome, the losing side most likely will appeal.

Indian Country Today ran an exclusive interview with Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II on the suit. He said:

What I think is that all of our Nations have been faced with wrongs—usually projects like this where tribes don’t have the opportunity to have any consultation on something that will affect their homelands. We are never afforded the protection that the companies are afforded when they get their easements. Tribes across this nation are continually paying the costs for the benefits or gains of others. …

This pipeline is making its way through our territory—even though there was an alternative route north of Bismarck, until someone claimed that they are concerned with safe drinking water for that community. They rerouted it north of Standing Rock. We complain too, because we’re concerned for our future generations and their drinking water. They don’t listen.

Pastor Joan Conroy (Oglala Sioux Tribe), President of the American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association, issued the following statement: Continue reading