We are now in the third week of our #GivingTuesday campaign for 2017 with the goal of raising $5000 by November 28. Thank you to those who have donated so far! We still need to raise around $4,000. Will you donate today to help us reach our goal?
Ten percent of all proceeds will go to disaster relief efforts in Mexico and Puerto Rico.
This year’s campaign is very important as donations will go toward bringing Indigenous representatives from throughout the Americas to our 2018 Summer Conference in Keuka Park, NY. Especially as the theme for our 2018 conference is "De-centering Power & Privilege: Becoming the Stranger" -- and as we move together as an organization through the work of dismantling our own legacy of colonialism, white supremacy, and oppression -- it is necessary for us to provide space and resources toward empowering the voices most impacted by these toxic systems.
In Vancouver, BC, Jodi Spargur is the former pastor of a church with a large Indigenous community and currently runs Healing at the Wounding Place, a movement seeking to catalyze justice and healing between church and Indigenous peoples.
“A large aspect of my work is to help non-Indigenous communities learn from Indigenous leaders who already know what is best for their communities. They know where healing is needed, they know where practical work is needed, where solidarity is needed. We’re working to give theological construct for why and how it is that we actually embrace our identity as perpetrators… This is our foundation, but we’ve gotten our audiences wrong. We’ve preached repentance to Indigenous people, and we have not done it ourselves. It’s time to turn that around. The church that’s now awakened to these realities has real things to do on the ground.”
When asked by Chief Bobby Joseph, an Elder and survivor of Canada’s residential school program, Jodi also became involved with Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation process.
“The violence of removing children from their homes and abusing children—using that as the tactic to conquer people—is insidious and so gross and ugly. And it’s couched in the language of faith. We are going to Christianize, we are going to kill the Indian in the child and save the man. All couched in salvation language. The church was the hand of the state in carrying that out… It’s my experience from pastoring a church that, for so many people, it doesn’t matter what label the church had that ran the school, the reality is that people who look like me came in the name of Jesus and did horrible things.”
Jodi came as a first timer to our 2017 Summer Conference in Mexico where she was able to connect with others working with Indigenous communities in different parts of the Americas and those who are Indigenous themselves. Jodi commented that this provided a great opportunity to discuss ways to join efforts to empower and connect Indigenous communities.
“The sharing of resources and the sharing of connections between Indigenous communities is huge. I think the advantage of this [BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz] network is that it could also facilitate the making of connections… A cross-pollination of Indigenous communities directly would be really exciting. And I think it would benefit us all. Some people think we’re separate in our work, but actually when we do this work well it bleeds out into all these other aspects of our lives and theology and our frameworks.”
This is why we’re asking you to give generously to our 2017 #GivingTuesday campaign. With your help, we can create a similar environment at our 2018 Summer Conference and keep building these connections. As an organization, we see this as an important and necessary next step in reaching across borders and boundaries to create God's peace rooted in justice. Click here to donate online or mail a donation to 300 Hawthorne Ln, Suite 205, Charlotte, NC 28204 USA.
Thank you for helping to make this possible.