A note about land acknowledgment is a simple, powerful way of acknowledging and showing respect to the past, present and future Traditional Custodians and Elders of the land on which the Church of The Advocate stands. The acknowledgment fosters the continuation of cultural, spiritual and educational practices of the Original Peoples here: the Occaneechi band of the Saponi Nation.
We also acknowledge that there are some Peoples from this land whose names are not known unto us, whose voices are silenced or are still working to be heard. Their names are known by and treasured by God. It is acknowledging that only when Mother Earth is well, can her children be well. It is a step toward correcting the stories and practices that erase Indigenous people’s history and culture and toward inviting and honoring the truth. It is renunciation of the Doctrine of Discovery in the United States, and the oppression of all Original Peoples in every State. It is recognizing that their struggle is interconnected with the struggles of all oppressed Peoples. It is the beginning of the inclusion of Indigenous voice, diversity exploration, incorporation in all fields, supporting Indigenous nations and organizations, empowering Indigenous peoples—including economic justice, supporting Indigenous-led grassroots campaigns, environmental justice, land and water rights and ultimately land return to Indigenous nations.
In her book Native, Kaitlin Curtice writes: “Land Acknowledgement is about listing, it is about remembering, and it is about rejecting invisibility.”
A Note about Many and Great. One of our songs will include hymn #382 from the Episcopal Hymnal 1982 Many and Great Are Thy Works, a hymn was written in 1942 in the Dakota Native American language by Joseph Renville.
Our curate Alice Graham Grant reports:
Renville was married to a Dakota and converted to Protestantism from Catholicism. Raymond Glover, editor of The Hymnal 1982 Companion suggests that the melody is a funeral song to be sung in procession, existing before the text was written. The hymn’s utmost significance is considered in light of its historical significance to the Dakota peoples.
Specifically, the hymn was present at one of the most significant, largest US mass executions: the Hanging of the 38 Dakota Indians in Mankato, Minnesota on December 26, 1862. Death by hanging for the crimes of theft resulting from desperate people confined to reservations by the government as they faced starvation. None of these people received a fair trial. It is said that Episcopal Bishop Henry Whipple intervened by writing to Abraham Lincoln, as well as traveling to Washington, DC to plead for their lives. Lincoln reviewed the cases and reduced the condemned to 38. Of the 38 executed, 37 were baptized. As they walked to their death, the condemned sang “Many and Great Are Thy Works” in the Dakota Language.
Joseph Renville was a significant political and economic presence in this community, a bridge-builder between cultures, and a partner with Protestant missionaries in the expansion of Christianity in the region. To me, this history underscores the utter messiness of evangelism, and makes me believe that we can sing this hymn only by the grace of God in Jesus. Put differently, we can only sing this tune in Lent in light of Easter.
A note about the Read, Kaitlin Curtice’s Native.
“Native is about identity, soul-searching, and being on the never-ending journey of finding ourselves and finding God. As both a member of the Potawatomi Nation and a Christian, Kaitlin Curtice offers a unique perspective on these topics. In this book, she shows how reconnecting with her Native American roots both informs and challenges her Christian faith.
Drawing on the narrative of her personal journey and the poetry, imagery, and stories of the Potawatomi people, Curtice addresses themes at the forefront of today’s discussions of faith and culture in a positive and constructive way. She encourages us to embrace our own origins and to share and listen to each other’s stories so we can build a more inclusive and diverse future for the church. Each of our stories matters for the church to be truly whole. As Curtice shares what it means to experience her faith through the lens of her Indigenous heritage, she reveals that a vibrant spirituality has its origins in identity, belonging, and a sense of place.”
A Prayer for Eco-Penance
An End to Waste
Let us pray for an end to the
Waste and desecration of God’s creation
For access to the fruits of creation
To be shared equally among all people
And for communities and nations to find sustenance
In the fruits of the earth and the water God has given us.
Almighty God, you created the world and gave it
Into our care so that, in obedience to you,
We might serve all people:
Inspire us to use the riches of creation with wisdom,
and to ensure that their blessings are shared by all;
That, trusting in your bounty, all people may be
Empowered to seek freedom from poverty, famine, and oppression.