CONAM Gathering 2016

The annual gathering of the Northeastern Jurisdiction CONAM (Committee on Native American Ministries) opened Thursday afternoon at Christ Church UMC in Wheeling, West Virginia with representatives from 9 of the 10 Annual Conferences in the Northeastern Jurisdiction present.

The three days of business meetings were interspersed with worship and prayer, celebrations of new commitments to ministry, an all-women drum circle, and a visit to Moundsville, a sacred site near Wheeling.  

The Committee on Native American Ministry affirmed their commitment to continue its mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by: 1) supporting Native American ministry and outreach; 2) promoting awareness of these ministries and of the Native American community residing within the bounds of our annual conferences; and 3) developing leadership among the Native community and among those giving leadership to Native American ministry.

Friday evening in the courtyard of the event hotel, Ragghi Calentine, chair of the Pen-Delaware CONAM and well known story teller, led a living water covenant making with the newly installed officers. 

The West Virginia Annual Conference CONAM delegation, led by Ellesa High our WVUMC CONAM chair, hosted the three day event that brought voting delegates from as far away as New England. Bishops Peggy Johnson and Sandra Steiner Ball were present with their delegations.

During Friday morning devotions, Chair Cynthia Kent, spoke for many present when she lifted up a glory sighting; “I give thanks that the United Methodist Church makes room for me to be both a Native American and a Christian.” 

The delegations went their ways home, nourished and blessed to serve another year, until we meet again.  

Whitney is the Communications Specialist for the West Virginia United Methodist Conference.