Monday, June 22
Presbytery of Dakota
Finding time to be together can be a challenge. And while it is difficult enough for members of one congregation, the challenge is even greater when several congregations are involved. But during the Lenten season last year, the Presbytery of Dakota’s six congregations in the Sisseton tribal district found a way to do things together.
These six South Dakota congregations—Ascension, Buffalo Lake, Goodwill, Lake Traverse, Long Hollow, and Mayasan—coordinated a series of Lenten worship services and a shared Holy Week schedule. Each church had an opportunity to host one of the weekly Lenten suppers and services.
They also extended invitations to other congregations in the community to join in a shared meal and worship. And because the presbytery’s congregations can be found in four states, the Sisseton congregations reached beyond their tribal district to invite Pejuhutazizi Presbyterian Church, also a member of the presbytery though more than 100 miles away in Granite Falls, Minnesota.
Those who joined in worship enjoyed singing traditional hymns from the Dakota Odowan song book—a hymnal in the Dakota language. It is likely that those who enjoyed it most were those who still speak the Dakota language.
The opportunity to host and lead one of the services extended the reach of each congregation. Guest preachers filled some of the pulpits, widening conversations beyond typical boundaries. And friends and relatives in different congregations enjoyed the chance to worship together and to fellowship and share a meal.
Billy Kohl, the presbytery’s stated clerk, served as the accompanist for the services, playing both piano and organ.
The congregations hope to establish an association of elders and deacons to support and guide their leaders, who hope to build on this experience by developing a plan that coordinates their ministries and community activities.
Let us join in prayer for:
Elder Billy Kohl, stated clerk
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Let us pray
Most gracious God, we seek your presence whenever and wherever we gather together in Christ’s name. We know you watch over us and lead us. Continue to bless us as we look for ways to share our ministry with brothers and sisters near and far. We pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.