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Statement by the Arkansas Conference of the United Methodist Church Regarding Native American Ministries

LITTLE ROCK, AR (June 24, 2018) – In the 2018 session of the Arkansas Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, the voting body overwhelmingly passed a resolution to reaffirm the recent movement in the United Methodist Church for repentance, reconciliation and healing with the native peoples, including Native Indigenous People in North America, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders.

Paragraph 654 of The Book of Discipline states that in every conference there shall be a committee on Native American Ministry or other structure to provide for these ministries, and, when possible, this committee shall consist of a majority of Native Americans.

The Arkansas Conference has not had a Committee on Native American Ministry as a part of our conference since 2012. Instead, it has existed as a subcommittee of the Ethnic and Language Concerns Committee. This resolution seeks to reinstate, effective immediately, the Committee on Native American Ministry while also retaining representation within the Committee on Ethnic and Language Concerns.

This committee will also be comprised of a majority of Native Americans, to accurately represent the work and purpose of the committee.

Bishop Gary E. Muller had this to say about the resolution, “There has been a long history in this nation of mistreatment of indigenous people. We, as the United Methodist Church, recognize the past actions of our country and are working toward repentance and reconciliation with our Native American brothers and sisters in Christ.”