Native American Comprehensive Plan (NACP)
The Native American Comprehensive Plan enriches United Methodist Native American ministries by:
- Developing and supporting existing and new United Methodist Native American congregations ministries and fellowships.
- Developing new congregations, ministries and fellowships and enabling them to become a vital part of The United Methodist Church.
- Developing Native American Leadership for service to The United Methodist Church.
- Affirming the value and strengthen the role of traditional, cultural and spiritual contributions of Native American people for the expression of Christian faith and faith development among the membership of The United Methodist Church.
"We are wrestling with the inheritance that has come from culture clash, cultural misunderstanding and the sense of depression that comes about in a people that are regarded as persons of conquest."
—The Rev. Anita Phillips, executive director of the Native American Comprehensive Plan
The Native American Comprehensive Plan shall serve as the United Methodist entity that resources, strengthens,and advocates for the local church in Native American communities/contexts for all generations.
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Goals for 2009-2012
Develop and Support New and Existing Native American Churches and Faith Communities
- Assist annual conferences in establishing new churches.
- Offer a resource and support services to new and existing churches.
- Provide training and consultation to annual conference committees on Native American Ministries (CONAM).
- Develop curriculum specific to Native communities.
- Identify, empower, and deploy Native American writers and resource persons, and utilize their work.
- Produce a new worship resource, Voices II.
- Develop a directory of resource persons for local churches.
- Develop a "virtual listening post" for Native youth.
- Undertake a study on evangelism in the Native community and produce a written resource.
- Consult with clergy persons (both Native and non-Native) serving Native ministries and communities.
- Conduct a lay speaking school, with special emphasis on youth.
- Hold a Native American Women in Ministry Conference.
Offer the Gifts of the Native American Community to All Levels of The United Methodist Church
- Provide speakers, teachers, and facilitators for the general church.
- Provide scholarships to attend United Methodist events, such as Focus and Exploration, with special emphasis on youth events.
- Advocate for inclusion of Native American United Methodists to serve at all levels of the church.
Through the work of the Native American Comprehensive Plan Task Force, which addresses these priori-ties and objectives, Native American persons, families,churches, and communities may be served through The United Methodist Church. In so doing, the gospel of Jesus Christ and the gifts and graces of Native Americans may be conjoined -- producing new disciples, forming existing disciples, and celebrating the great diversity of God's created peoples.
A Success Story
One of the gifts offered by the Native American Comprehensive Plan to Native United Methodist Christians is a holy place for intertribal gatherings. The Native American lay speaking school is such a gathering and it was held for the third time in the fall of 2006 in Nashville, Tennessee. Both teachers and students represent a broad cross section of US tribes from every jurisdiction. All come together for the opportunity not only to learn from lay speaking curriculum, but also to commune, pray, worship, and sing within a Native American context. Encouragement and mutual support is given and received,and many of the participants are inspired to enter the ministry. Sponsoring this event each quadrennium provides over fifty lay speakers who go forth to serve Christ's church across the US.
The positive impact of these lay speakers radiates throughout their annual conferences and local churches. One example is Hazel Battice, from the Choctaw Nation in Oklahoma. After completing the lay speaking school, she faithfully served within her local congregation and was then asked by her District superintendent to become lay missioner to a local church without a pastor.