Theological Reflection

This month’s theological reflection is a short excerpt from Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous wisdom, scientific knowledge, and the teaching of plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer.


LEARN

Choose one or more of the following:

READ

WATCH

  • The Episcopal Church Exposes the Doctrine of Discovery (14 min.) This video is intended to inform people about the impact of the Doctrine of Discovery in an effort to respond to God's direction; that we, the Episcopal Church, "act with justice and...do what is right" (Psalm 106:3, Book of Common Prayer), and about the unjust way the Americas were settled, and the on-going consequences of those events.

  • Adam Ruins Everything: Native American Population Misconceptions (1 min)

  • Indigenous Reflections on Christianity (13:42 min) Onondaga Faithkeeper Oren Lyons, Native Hawaiian historian Davianna McGregor, Australian Aboriginal elder and former Catholic priest Patrick Dodson, and Anishinaabe author and activist Winona LaDuke offer their insights into the history of Christianity in relation to indigenous peoples and ecosystems around the world.

LISTEN

  • Toasted Sister Podcast was born from a passion for food and conversations about Natives and food. She speaks with Native chefs, foodies, and folks passionate about food sovereignty.


NOTICE

  • List the last five meals you had. Where did your food come from?

  • Whose Indigenous land do you live on/did you grow up on? What land does your church sit on? Find out HERE.

  • Notice how land “ownership” influences decisions about the land in your city, county and state.


ENGAGE

  • Visit a local library and ask about which children’s books that focus on Indigenous peoples. How many books are there?

  • What are the representation of authors and characters in your story books for kids at your church or organization?

  • Explore the Sacred Land Film Project site and become a member of their Sacred Land Defense Team to receive periodic email alerts to stay updated on sacred land news, and what you can do to help protect cultural landscapes and promote respect for the religious freedom of Indigenous peoples.

  • Read about developing a “land acknowledgment” that could be used by you and/or any of your groups at the beginning of meetings and/or be on display at all times. To thoughtfully prepare an in-depth acknowledgment requires time and care and is best done in relationship and in dialogue with the Nations you are acknowledging.


REFLECT

  • What stood out to you the most?

  • How are you feeling?

  • What action will you take?

  • Who in your family/community may want to take action with you?


PRAY

Creator, we give You thanks for all that You are and all that you bring to us within your creation. In Jesus, you placed the Gospel in the Center of the Sacred Circle through which all creation is related. You show us the way to live a generous and compassionate life. Give us your strength to live together with respect and commitment as we grow in your spirit, for you are God, now and forever. Amen.

—from the Disciple’s Prayer Book, Episcopal Indigenous Ministries