CONAM and the Native American ministry of presence
The NIC Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) says it's never too early or too late to hold a Native American Sunday service.
On a bright, sunny Sunday morning this past Labor Day weekend, about 60 people gathered along the beachfront at Crystal Lake for worship, reaffirmation of faith and baptism. Twelve people, both young and old, from Nueva Vida UMC in Aurora, were immersed in the slightly cool waters.
Bishop Sally Dyck, newly assigned to the Northern Illinois Conference officiated the service along with the Rev. Martin Lee, Elgin District Superintendent Oscar Carrasco and Nueva Vida Lay Missioner Martin Lopez.
Bishop Dyck reminded those gathered to go forward to share God’s grace with our neighbors even if we are brand new to the neighborhood. “It was a wonderful way for me to begin my ministry in the Northern baptismIllinois Conference,” said Bishop Dyck.
“To see and participate in the baptism of these young people and reaffirmation of faith for the other adults was a blessing. The Nueva Vida congregation is an inspiration to us all!”
Rockford District Superintendent Ouk-Yean Kim Jueng and members of First UMC of Crystal Lake also attended the service which included a potluck lunch.
“What a marvelous day,” said the Rev. Oscar Carrasco. “I still wish to Praise God for the amazing day! Gloria a Dios!”
“It was the very first time for me to participate in full immersions. It was an awesome experience,” said Rev. Martin Lee, Director of Congregational Development and Redevelopment. “I could sense their recommitment as newborn Christian persons as they rose from the water.”
Rev. Lee praised Lay Missioner Martin Lopez as he works to rebuild the Nueva Vida congregation.
“They have between 60 and 70 people in worship on Sundays,” said Rev. Lee. “On this day, they received 12 new members through Profession of Faith. Praise the Lord!”
Photos Courtesy Joyce Carrasco
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