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“But who do you say that I am?” Matt. 16:15

Native American Congregational Support
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For more information

Andrea D. Meriwether
(800) 728-7228, x5385
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Or write to:
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

First Presbyterian Church, Flandreau, South Dakota. Photo courtesy of First Presbyterian Church

About Native American Congregational Support

The Native American Congregational Support Office’s purpose is to enable the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to respond to Native American congregational issues, enable Native American Presbyterians to participate actively in the mission of the PC(USA), facilitate the church’s task of evangelism and leadership development and serve as a liaison to ecumenical and denominational entities in relation to issues affecting Native American Presbyterian churches and chapels.


Associate for Native American Congregational Support, Rev. Irvin Porter

Irv

Irvin is descended from three Native American tribes: Pima, T’hono
 O’odham, and Nez Perce.  He is the seventh of eight children raised by a single father after the divorce of his parents. He received an Associate of Arts degree in accounting from Haskell Indian Junior College, now a university, in Lawrence, Kansas.  He worked in banking for ten years in Idaho, and received his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Dubuque, Iowa in 1997.   He is a 2001 graduate of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary receiving his Master’s of Divinity.  Irvin met his wife, Anne-Cecile Baer-Porter at the seminary. She is preparing for ministry also and is from France.

Church of the Indian Fellowship in Tacoma, Washington called Irvin as a Commissioned Lay Pastor in September of 2001. He was ordained as a minister of the Presbyterian Church, USA, in October of 2003 and is the first Native American pastor since the church was founded by a Presbyterian missionary among the Puyallup Indians in 1876. He continues to serve at ¼ time.

Irvin’s interest in multicultural ministry stems not only from his pastorate in Tacoma where he serves a multi-tribal congregation which also includes African Americans, Hispanic and Caucasian members, but also from his work on the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns, the Native American Consulting Committees of both the General Assembly and the Synod of Alaska-Northwest as well as groups within the Tacoma, Washington area working for dialogue between the races.

Irvin has served on:

  • Presbyterian Church, USA: (National level)

                   *Native American Consulting Committee, Moderator

                   *Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns

  • Synod of Alaska-Northwest:  (Regional level)

                  *Native American Consulting Committee

                  *Finance Committee

  • Olympia Presbytery: (local level)

                  *Committee on Ministry

                  *Ad hoc committees of Presbytery

  • Cook Native American Ministries (formerly Cook College for Native Leadership)

                  *Board Member

                  *Vice-Moderator

  • Presbyterian Multi-Cultural Network, Board member

 

He enjoys music, playing the piano, Native American arts, crafts, books, as well as being a history and genealogy enthusiast. He and Anne-Cecile are the proud parents of two Cocker Spaniels: Tashina and Sitka. They live in Puyallup, Washington’s South Hill community.


Theological Context

The Church of Jesus Christ is built on the universal love of God and its power to transform people of every race, culture and class into a community living together as the Household of God. If the church honestly recognizes the gift of Christ as a cherished possession and genuinely manifests that gift in joyful celebration, then it will naturally be a gift to all people. This is the essence of the message in both the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-18).


Historical Context

The Congregational Enhancement offices were created as part of the 1986 Structural Design for Mission to ensure that the PC(USA) would become a racially inclusive and just denomination by means of enhancing racial ethnic congregations. The specific circumstances were the reunion of the two previous denominations in which the racial ethnic membership was in jeopardy of serious decline and congregations needed strengthening in order to produce a vital racial ethnic witness and leadership.

The Native American Congregational Support Office and the Native American Consulting Committee (NACC) work collaboratively on issues related to Native American Ministries.

The Native American Congregational Support is available to assist synods and presbyteries, congregations and others in developing a partnership for new ministry with Native Americans.

On this website you'll find various synods and presbyteries, ministries and committees, related institutions, resources and events related to Native Americans.


Learn about our Ministries and Committees

Native American Consulting Committee Membership Roster

The Council of Native American Ministries
American Indian Youth Council

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