This year marks the 150th anniversary of the murders of innocent American Indians at their camp east of
The regional church body in 1992 adopted a resolution recognizing its role in destroying the culture and religions of Native Americans for generations.
The measure has twice been amended, in 2004 and 2008, to include vows of amends and continued repentance, including a
Descendants of those killed in the
massacre invited church members to visit their hallowed grounds and hear their stories.
Church leaders thought it was time for worshippers across the region to not just learn more about the ugly chapter of American and
"It means to turn around and look at who we are and what we have done. Ashes have served this purpose for Christians," the pamphlet says. So participants will smudge their foreheads with ashes before boarding buses to the massacre site Friday.
The journey also is intended as a means of healing, because "what happened those long years ago continues to haunt us and speak to us," and hearing the stories of massacre descendants will bring more clarity to what was done and the damage that remains.
"While we cannot repair the pain our church has created, if we do not acknowledge it, we will perpetuate the pain by our unwillingness to own what happened. Sometimes the right thing to do is not the most convenient. The time has come for us to do the right thing. . . . This is a great opportunity to learn something about ourselves, our church, and our connection to each other. We will be changed by the experience," the brochure says.
The annual conference begins Wednesday and will conclude Sunday at the
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