Friday, February 25, 2011

Diocese of South Dakota's new outreach to at-risk Reservation youth

The initiative is spelled out on Page 1 of the current Church News. The ministry will begin on the Standing Rock and Cheyenne River Reservations.

The Diocese of North Dakota, which also serves Standing Rock, has a successful youth ministry based on the Young Life program. Participants in that ministry are providing counsel and support for the SD initiative. A good article on the origins of that program is here; a benefit of the ND approach has been the calling forth of several Lakota clergy from the communities served.

The annual report of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe's Tribal Health Administration notes that the "Tribe has a high rate of suicides that is double the national average."

The Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe's Reservation includes Ziebach County, the poorest county in the United States.

The two year start-up budget for the new ministry is $342,627. The Church of All Angels in Spearfish, SD, has offered a $100,000 matching grant, and so far the Diocese has raised 30% of this. My parish's Vestry will consider support at its March meeting.

To find out more, call the Diocese at (605) 338-9751 or email office(dot)diocese(at)midconetwork(dot)com ; Donations can be sent to:

Standing Rock/Cheyenne River Youth Project
Diocese of South Dakota
500 S. Main Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104-6814


Julie Gehm said...

Thanks be to God! Let's hope the Church can make a difference with our young people on this heartbreaking problem.

larry kurtz said...

Make it so.