Saturday, July 7, 2007

From the News: Orthodox Anglicans from Virginia Provide Support on SD Reservations

From time to time, we have encouraged prayer for the Lakota/Dakota reservations. Perhaps this is part of God's answer:

A Virginia newspaper reports that Anglicans from that state (from churches in the Convocation of Anglicans in North America, or CANA), will mount missionary efforts to meet the spiritual and material needs on the reservations. (We spotted this on TitusOneNine)

According to Jim Oakes, vice-chair of the Anglican District of Virginia, "...our churches will remain as committed to fulfilling the Great Commission through service as they are to holding steadfast to orthodox Anglicanism and honoring the historic teachings of the church"... The Lakota Sioux in South Dakota are also being helped."They are very needy," said Oakes. "We will provide food, training, coats, encouragement and Bibles. In South Dakota it gets very cold during the winter months."

Please continue to pray for the reservations and for Anglican ministry in South Dakota. Some great insight is available through the prayers and reports of the Dakota's first missionary Bishop, William Hare, some of which are available here. Here is his Prayer for Indian Missions:

O Most Merciful God, Who hast promised that all those who dwell in the wilderness shall kneel before Thy Son, remember, we pray Thee, the Indian Tribes of our land and all those who have gone to them in Thy Name.

Guide and govern all those who are put in civil or military authority over them [please understand the historical setting - Reservations were at first under military control], that the people may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

Set up and strengthen Thy Church among them, that they may all come to know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ Whom Thou hast sent.

Endue its Ministers with Heavenly love and wisdom, and make them ensamples to the flock.

Sanctify the people. Preserve their Marriages in peace and concord; nourish their infants; lead forward their youth; sustain their aged; comfort the weak-hearted; gather together the scattered; settle the roving; and knit them all together, working with their hands the thing that is good, in Thy Holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

And lest we stereotype the Bishop as a tool of injustice, we need to hear the warnings in his First Annual Report as Missionary Bishop :

If any one wonders that the large sums of money, spent by the Government, have accomplished so little for the Indians, let him remember that for years these moneys were not used to elevate the Indians, but were devoured by those who should have been their guardians.

If he wonders that the Indians have learned so little of useful trades from the mechanics whom the Government has employed to live among them and teach them, let him consider that these mechanics have often been shrewd enough to see, and unprincipled enough to act upon, the fact that the less they taught the Indians the longer they would be dependent, and the longer their appointed teachers would retain their places.

If he wonders that the mere presence of civilization has not, long ere this, ameliorated the condition of the red man, let him remember that the van of civilization is its vilest offscourings; that its first representatives generally despise the Indians, and condescend to them in nothing but the gratification of inordinate appetites and desires; and that when civilization of a better type appears, it is too often so bent on its own progress, and so far from helpful or kindly, that its advance, like that of a railroad train at full speed, dashes in pieces those unlucky wanderers who happen to stand in its way, and leaves the others with only a more discouraging sense of the length of the road, and of the slowness with which they overcome it. In a town of Michigan, ten years ago, I saw half-wild, half-drunken Indians employed by white men to perform diabolical antics to attract men to liquor saloons. In Minnesota, ten years ago, I read in the daily papers the offer of the State of $250 for the scalp of any Indian, delivered at a designated office. In Dakota, to-day, I find, not to speak of other iniquities, the Indian woman, despised squaw though she is, made the victim of the brothel.

This state of things now stares good men in the face. It is high time, surely, for effort of another kind. The Government and the Church call upon them to stand up as champions of what is right. If ever the warning of the wise man be in season, it is now. 'If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, Behold, we knew it not; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to His works?'

2 comments:

midwestnorwegian said...

I am grateful for this posting. It is clear that the current church is no longer able to do this important work began by our beloved W.H. Hare. Their priorities are now elsewhere. We have a lot we can learn from the missionary zeal of our friends in Africa!

Alice C. Linsley said...

Tribal peoples can communicate well with other tribal peoples, whether they be in Africa or in The Dakotas.

Let me know how I can help.