September is the month of remembrance for Indian Boarding Schools for the ELCA’s Truth and Healing Movement. There will be opportunities to learn about federal Indian Boarding School policies and to address the ongoing trauma those policies have caused. As a church, we are committed to understanding our role in this tragic and sinful history so that we can journey towards healing together.
Let us pray:
We remember the innocent children who were torn from their families, taken to boarding schools and abused by their caregivers, and who died so far away from their communities. Hear our prayer for the innocent sacred lives of all Indigenous children who survived, who have been found and who remain lost. Move our hearts by your mercy as we acknowledge and repent all the suffering that our churches caused. Guide and restore us to act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
(from A Prayer Service for Children of Indian Boarding Schools [ELCA Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations])
The ELCA’s Truth & Healing Movement is an opportunity for members of the ELCA to increase our understanding of our colonizing impacts on Indigenous people in the past and present. Over the next several months, there will be opportunities to learn, raise awareness and engage in other ways to impact hearts and lives across this church. We believe that the truth, and our knowing and embracing it, is the first step toward healing for all of us.
Over the next months the ELCA Truth and Healing Movement page will provide opportunities to learn the true history and current realities of Indigenous people. It is these truths, truths that have been ignored by most for hundreds of years, that will bring healing for both Indigenous people and non-Indigenous people.
Some of these opportunities will be calls to individual action, and some will be activities that congregations and small groups should coordinate and participate in together. All these opportunities can be easily promoted by sharing links on social media or other communication platforms.
Here are some initial activities that you can share with your circles and networks. All gatherings are one hour and begin at 8pm ET. No pre-registration is required to participate; just click “join the class” (found on the Truth & Healing Movement Upcoming Events Page) to attend.
· A Conversation With Indian Boarding School Survivors (September 13) [recording will be posted online next week]
· A Conversation With Descendants of Indian Boarding School Survivors (September 18)
· The ELCA’s Truth Seeking and Truth Telling Initiative (September 21)
· Introduction to the Truth and Healing Movement (September 26)
· Class: “Indian 101” (September 28)