In 2012, the United Methodist General Conference — the denomination’s top legislative body — held an Act of Repentance Toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous People service. A General Conference resolution also charged the denomination’s Council of Bishops with carrying out an ongoing process to improve relations with indigenous individuals including local or regional acts of repentance.
Here in the Michigan Area a team has committed to fulfilling that charge. An Act of Repentance and Reconciliation will be part of the joint session of the Detroit and West Michigan Annual Conferences this June in East Lansing.
But before annual conference members participate in that Act of Repentance and Reconciliation on June 10, they will have an opportunity to learn more. The one-hour documentary, “Our Fires Still Burn,” reviews the history of Native Americans which is considered by many to be our “American Holocaust.” When Europeans first visited the New World there were 100,000,000 Native Americans in North and South America. Today, as the film explains, “there are but a handful.”
“Our Fires Still Burn” invites viewers into the lives of contemporary Native American role models living in the Midwest. “It dispels the myth that the American Indians have disappeared from the American horizon, and reveals how they continue to persist, heal from the past, confront the challenges of today, keep their culture alive, and make great contributions to society.”
A short portion of the film may be viewed here …
Public viewings of the documentary, with Question and Answer time, have been arranged around the Michigan Area. Please take this opportunity to make this first step on a bridge toward understanding, respect and communication. (Click church name for travel information.)
April 22, Livonia Newburg UMC, 7:00 pm
April 23, Central UMC in Traverse City, 10:00 am
May 14, Saint Clair 1st UMC, 10:00 am
May 15, Heartland District Office at CMU Wesley Foundation, 5:00 pm
May 15, Marquette First UMC, 4:00 pm