Suggestions for celebrating Native American Day
Invite a Native American speaker from a local or regional agency that is representative of the Native American community.
Develop a relationship with a Native American congregation and invite them to suggest ways they can enhance your knowledge of their culture. Use the directory to find a congregation.
Offer a screening of the DVD “I Love to Tell the Story” produced by the Native American Consulting Committee.
Create prayer bundles. “Prayer bundles” provide a way to call attention to Native American presence and ministry within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
Historically, items of value were placed into bundles, tied and put away for safekeeping. These bundles were for remembrance of events, gifts or spiritual items as well as safekeeping. Perhaps you have had such opportunity to see or use such a way to keep your personal items together.
The prayer bundles have been taken to a new level for awareness. They have been used to request prayers in the various areas of Native American Ministry. While most have been generic in nature, some have been very specific with the request. Prayers have been answered.
What do you need to create a prayer bundle?
The materials needed for a standard prayer bundle are:
- Piece of material 2x5 (Native American design is nice.)
- Piece of ribbon, yarn, leather strip 12 inches long
- Prayer request on 3x3 paper
Wrap the material around the prayer request and tie with ribbon. You now have a prayer bundle.
Prayer of Four Directions (responsive)
Gathered together as part of the sacred circle, no one closer nor further from the center; all sacred, all related, let us pray.
One: From the West comes courage and strength as symbolized in the darkness of night. We remember the stories of our parents, grandfathers and grandmothers in the faith; including Mary, the mother of Jesus whose courage and strength we still remember today.
All: O God, leader of all nations, protect us as we journey along life’s circle.
One: From the North comes the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual good health of our people as symbolized in the color of our blood. We remember the humanity of Jesus who took the form of a servant that we might be touched and made whole.
All: O God, leader of all nations, heal us as we journey along life’s circle.
One: From the East come wisdom and knowledge as symbolized in the dawning of a new day. We remember Jesus in the wilderness whose mastery over the temptations of Satan can bring us hope and guidance.
All: O God, leader of all nations inspire us as we journey along life’s circle.
One: From the South comes patience as symbolized in the color of the Milky Way and old age. We remember the death and resurrection Jesus whose promise is that we, too, will cross from this world into God’s eternal dwelling.
All: O God, leader of all nations, comfort us as we journey along life’s circle. Amen.