Bishop Ward talks with Dr. Kenneth Locklear (Gateway District Superintendent) about how the Native American Ministries Offering has been instrumental in his life and ministry.
Grace and peace to you in the name of Jesus Christ.
I want to share with you a beautiful gift – this gorgeous piece of pottery crafted by one of the artisans in the Lumbee tribe member of our United Methodist Churches. Sunday is Native American Ministry Sunday across The United Methodist Church. Dr. Ken Locklear, dean of the Cabinet, will share some of the ways in which your generosity will be used.
Thank you, Bishop. It’s been quite some time since I’ve been able to share with the Annual Conference my appreciation for Native American Ministry Sundays and the offerings that you share with the Native American community. This gift began in 1988 at General Conference and I was a recipient of this scholarship in 1989 as a student at Duke Divinity School and it couldn’t have been more timely. I want to thank you as an Annual Conference for your wonderful gift of love during those financial crisis moments in my journey during seminary. These are monies that are given to Native American pastors that are attending higher education in our divinity schools across the nation. It’s not just in North Carolina. Across the nation, we have had Native Americans who have attended the seminaries for higher education to be better leaders and teachers and preachers in the local church. It is a gift also that helps churches, Native American churches, to have grant-type money to establish programs and outreach ministries within the local church.
So it’s two-fold in that it provides funding for scholarships and it provides funding for ministries and the development of ministries and some areas where new churches are started. So across the nation, we celebrate with The United Methodist Church this wonderful Sunday, making it available to Native American leaders, and preachers and teachers who otherwise would not be able to attend seminary and ministries that would not be established because of the financial struggles that many are experiencing. So once again, thank you for your offering and your gift and for the rich history that has helped and blessed me. Thank you very much.
I hope that every church in the North Carolina Conference will invite an offering for Native American Ministries this Sunday. Thank you for inviting the offering and for your generosity so that more may be blessed as Dr. Ken Locklear has been blessed through this offering.