Remembering the Children Worship Resources

 

As our synod dedicates 225 days as a time of remembrance and repentance, please consider these worship resources:

 

Ideas for Displays in Congregation Worship & Gathering Spaces

  • Cross with a drape of orange fabric (see sample above)
  • Orange flowers
  • A sign that says, "Remember the Children" with land acknowledgment and Remembering the Children wording near by.

 

**Remember the Bishop's invitation to share photos of your congregation's display(s)! Send photos to communications@spas-elca.org. Click here to view submitted photos.

 

 


 

 

A Prayer as We Enter Into This 225 Days of Remembering the Children

In response to the request of the AMERICAN INDIAN ALASKA NATIVE LUTHERAN ASSOCIATION and our Bishop Patricia Lull, we join the Saint Paul Area Synod in 225 days of remembering the children who have died in Indian Boarding Schools. We pray for the communities who suffered the loss of their children. Their relatives are now receiving their remains with grief and honor for burial in their homelands. We repent of the role of the Christian churches who supported the taking of the children to the schools and have remained ignorant of the harm and trauma caused over all this time. We commit to 225 days of remembering the children in this congregation, in worship and in learning more to restore loving relationship and work together toward God’s vision of beloved community between American Indian Alaska Native relatives and non-Native relatives, who are all God’s people.

 

 


 

 

Weekly Litany of Land Acknowledgment & Remembering the Children (before worship)

This acknowledgment can be made at the opening of worship, before or after prelude music, and prior to the beginning of the worship service.

 

We acknowledge that the land on which we reside, worship and gather was first the home of the Dakota and Ojibwe (Chippewa) people. Minnesota means “sky-tinted water” in the Dakota language. We honor the First Nation people who continue to live and work here as part of this community.

 

Today we remember the children who were taken from their families, especially those who died in Native Boarding Schools far away from home, in the United States and Canada.

 

A PRAYER FOR THE FIRST NATION CHILDREN AND THEIR FAMILIES may follow, with the burning of sage or smudging (if a First Nation Elder is present to lead), and possibly a prayer song or FOUR DIRECTION PRAYER.

 

The service then continues, with music, a hymn, Confession and Forgiveness, or Litany of Praise to the Creator.

 


 

Shorter Land Acknowledgment & Remembering the Children (for use in bulletins, newsletters, on website, social media, etc.)

We acknowledge that the land on which we reside, worship and gather was first the home of the Dakota and Ojibwe (Chippewa) people. Minnesota means “sky-tinted water” in the Dakota language. We honor the First Nation people who continue to live and work here as part of this community.

 

Today we remember the children who were taken from their families, especially those who died in Native Boarding Schools far away from home, in the United States and Canada.

 


 

A Prayer for the Children Who Didn’t Return Home

Almighty God, we remember before you all of the children
– our dear relatives –
who did not return home from the Residential Schools.
May you remember their suffering and pain.
May you grant them rest in the Land of Peace.
May you surround them with beautiful and sacred love and joy.
We pray to you also for ourselves and our children.
At a time like this we remember we need your Spirit so very much.
We pray to you, your Spirit prays through us, in the Name of Jesus,
who suffered with us but raised us and will raise us with our departed loved ones.  Amen.

 

Most Rev. Mark MacDonald, National Indigenous Anglican Archbishop, on September 30, 2019, at the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation ceremony honoring all children who did not return home from the Residential Schools.

 


 

A Prayer Service for Children of Indian Boarding Schools & Resources

Written and compiled by Native Theologian Kelly Sherman-Conroy (Oglala Lakota) on behalf of the American Indian Alaska Native Lutheran Association of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. This service includes music, prayers, scriptures and time for reflection.

 


 

Indigenous People's Celebration

The Indigenous People's Liturgical Celebration was created by Kelly Sherman-Conroy, a member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe of Pine Ridge South Dakota and Doctoral student at Luther Seminary. She is also on the board of directors for the American Indian/Alaska Native Lutheran Association.

 

This liturgy has been put together in a very meaningful way to integrate Native culture, spirituality and mindset, and keeping some boundaries of the Lutheran Christian traditions. The result is a profound and deeply spiritual experience that has been created for all involved in not just the worship practices but their relationship with God and the other.

 

Download the liturgy.

 


 

Thank you to the following for their leadership with the synod's "Remembering the Children" observance:

  • Pastor JoAnn Conroy
  • Pastor Jim Erlandson
  • Pastor Joy McDonald Coltvet
  • Kelly Sherman-Conroy
  • Bishop Patricia Lull