The Native American Ministries Committee of the Holston Annual Conference seeks to advocate for ministry with and by Native Americans to share the diverse culture, history and traditions of Native peoples, with an emphasis on those peoples original to and/or living in Holston Conference.


The committee is in the process of reorganizing and reprioritizing its activities. Over the next four years, the committee will be working to:

  • Become a resource for and promote the importance and observance of Native American Ministries Sunday
  • Become a resource for and promote awareness of the Native American community residing within the bounds of our annual conference, and develop leadership among the Native community
  • Advocate for inclusion of Native American United Methodists to serve at all levels of the church.
  • Develop a series of annual events for Conference clergy and laity designed to provide education about Indigenous culture, spirituality, and contemporary issues of importance to Native Americans and Native Nations including, but not limited to, addressing the epidemic of violence against indigenous women and children, the abuses perpetrated at Indian board schools, economic and infrastructure disparities, and addressing climate justice globally
  • Develop resources for use by clergy and laity in planning and observing Native American Sunday including, educational events, printable materials, worship planning materials, and a list of available speakers
  • Identify and work to secure sources of supplemental funding for NAMC activities and Native American Ministries in Holston Conference to include possible grants and designated donations

The committee currently meets on the second Thursday of each month via Zoom. The committee has requested a change to its standing rules to increase its size from seven to nine members with a goal of one member from each District to take effect in 2023, and would like to encourage members of Holston Conference churches who are Native or who have a sincere interest in helping the committee achieve its goals to contact their District Supervisor to have their names submitted for nomination to the committee. 

For additional information, please contact Rev. Val Ohle, Chair.

(Approved for publishing by NAMC on January 13, 2022)


Discipleship Ministries

General Commission on Religion and Race (GCORR)

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Resources for Learning About Native Culture:


Book Lists:

  • Children’s Books:
    1. UMC Church & Society Book List: https://www.umcjustice.org/news-and-stories/10-great-kids-books-by-indigenous-creators-1371
    2. Frybread: A Native American Family Story, Kevin Noble Maillard, Illustrated by Juana Martinez-Neal, Roaring Brook Press, ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1626727465   ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1626727465
    3. We Are Water Protectors, Carole Lindstrom, Illustrated by Michaela Goade, Roaring Brook Press, ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250203554  ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250203557
  • Spiritual & Worship Resources:
    1. Ladder to the Light: An Indigenous Elder’s Meditations on Hope and Courage, Steven Charleston, Broadleaf Books, ISBN 978-1-5064-6573-9
    2. Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Milkweed Editions, ISBN 978-1-57131-177-1
    3. Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God, Kaitlin B. Curtice, Baker Publishing Group, ISBN 978-1-58743-431-0
    4. Not Your Princess: Voices of Native American Women, Edited by Lisa Charleyboy and Mary Beth Leatherdale, Annick Press, ISBN 
    5. Voices: Native American Hymns and Worship Resources, Marilyn Hofstra, Discipleship Resources, ISBN 0-88177-095-7 (may be out of print)
    6. Abuelita Faith: What Women on the Margins Teach Us about Wisdom, Persistence, and Strength, Kat Armas, Brazos Press, ISBN 978-1-58743-508-9


Other NAM Committees Around the UMC Connexion 

Heard in Holston: Journal, Native American ministries

Vicki Collins hoped the 20th and final Native American "Gathering" would be unforgettable, because she was.

August 27, 2018 | Briefs from around the conference

Hello, I’m Annette, editor of The Call  for lo these many years. I read a lot of newsletters and columns – as I’m sure you do – and I find that I especially enjoy some of the chattier ones. So let’s give this format a try with our new column, “Heard in Holston,” and let me know if you like it or have other suggestions.


The production of the Journal  has been a mystery in recent years, because the posting and printing date seemed to arrive later and later. The Journal, if you don’t know, is the official and complete report of the Holston Annual Conference, which always happens the second week of June. Historically, the Journal was printed a few weeks or months after Annual Conference.

In more recent years, however, the Journal didn't come out until the following year or within a few weeks before the next annual conference. The Journal  for Annual Conference 2017 never appeared at all … until now.

Enter the Rev. Terry Goodman, appointed Conference Secretary and therefore overseer of the Journal effective July 1. Last week, Terry said the 2017 Journal was finally “off to the printers, as we speak.” The digital version was posted today, Aug. 27. Terry hopes to read the hard-copy proofs this week so the 2017 book can finally be printed and finished. (You can order the print version for $55.)

As for the 2018 book, Terry says he’s “shooting for November” to finish and print. Next year, he plans to change the Journal’s size (from the current 6 x 9 inches to a larger 8.5 x 11 inches) to help “speed up the process” of incorporating reports prepared on letter-size pages. "Let’s just say I am doing the best I can as I acclimatize to my new position and its responsibilities,” Terry says.


Speaking of the Journal a conference staff member was recently contacted by a woman in Avon, Indiana, who discovered a 1906 Journal at a yard sale. Sue Weber, administrative assistant, was happy to accept the "Journal of the Sixty-Second Session of the Holston Conference of the Methodist Episcopal Church,” held Oct. 11-15 in Greeneville, Tennessee. Sue said she was surprised to see advertising in the front and back of the book, including a men’s shoe-and-hat store, coal and ice sales, and undertaker and embalming services.

Sue sent the thoughtful gift-giver in Indiana $5 for postage and passed the book on to Terry Goodman for safekeeping. Later, history buff Mike Feely pointed out that the 1906 book was actually one of two Holston Journals produced that year.

Remember that in 1865, Holston Conference divided over slavery. The “Methodist Episcopal Church” division was the northern group; the “Methodist Episcopal Church, South” was the southern group. We all reunited into one Holston Conference in 1939. Many Holstonians hope that we will stay united.


Vicki Collins knew 2018 would be the final year for “The Gathering,” Holston’s Native American ministries event held each September at Coker Creek Village in Tellico Plains, Tennessee. One of Vicki's last messages to Pat Amick was, “It ought to make a difference that I’m literally doing this from my deathbed, haha.”

On Jan. 10, 2018, Vicki died of cancer at age 67. After two decades of championing Native American ministries in Holston, she wanted this 20th and last “Gathering” to be something to remember. “She knew it had run its course and the leadership was getting older,” Pat said. “She was such a powerful, inspirational leader.” Vicki was a member of Oliver Springs United Methodist Church.

This year’s "Gathering" on Sept. 21-23 will include -- as always -- music, devotions, a powwow, and workshops on Cherokee pottery, rawhide rattles, and “walking the red road.” Registration deadline is Sept. 9.

Vicki wanted everyone to have a chance to say goodbye before "The Gathering" closed down, says Pat. Vicki herself had to say goodbye too soon.

Contact Annette Spence at  annettespence@holston.org.


See also:
Heard in Holston (Aug. 8)

Heard in Holston (July 23)