Regarding “Pursuing a New History Between United Methodists and Indigenous People in the United States” in the March-April 2012 of Together, as I read this article the words which came to mind were those of Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce in 1879, “I have heard talk and talk, but nothing is done. Good words do not last long unless they amount to something.”

The United Methodist Church has an entire section of resolutions in The (United Methodist) Book of Resolutions, wherein we have issued statements, suggestions, admonishments, warnings, and even a “Confession to Native Americans” (adopted in 1992). According to The Book of Discipline, The United Methodist Church is to have conference-level Committees on Native American Ministry, charged with “monitoring Native American ministries within the annual conference” [BOD ¶654] as well as overseeing the promotion of the “annual special offering” for Native American Ministries and the distribution of monies raised by it. The Women’s Division has published (and the UMW have studied at School of Christian Mission) a book and DVD about Native American issues.

“I am tired of talk that comes to nothing. It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and all the broken promises” (Chief Joseph).

Repentance IS as repentance DOES.

Susan Jennys
Francesville UMC and Medaryville UMC