August 21, 2009
LAKE JUNALUSKA, N.C. – SEJANAM, the Southeastern Jurisdictional Agency for Native American Ministries, and Lake Junaluska will be hosting the first Native Women’s Gathering and Conference October 16-18, 2009. The theme of the event is “Re-Defining Our Place: Native Women Speak!” Kicking off the event is Rev. Cynthia Abrams, a member of the Seneca tribe and Director for the Alcohol, Other Addictions, and Health Care Program for the General Board of Church and Society. The keynote luncheon speaker is Rev. Carol Gallager, with the Episcopal Church and the only Native American to serve as Bishop in a main-line denomination.
Leading worship will be Rev. Donna Smith with the Western North Carolina Annual Conference, and Louisa Locklear and April Oxendine with the North Carolina Annual Conference.
“We are excited about this gathering since it is the first of its kind for this quadrennium. It will provide timely, highly relevant opportunities training around health and social concerns for Native American women across the Southeast Jurisdiction,” said Darlene Jacobs, Director of SEJANAM.
One of the overall goals of the event is to serve as a tool to raise awareness on issues and needs for Native American women, while providing for spiritual broadening and understanding. “We expect that women will leave the conference with strengthened skills on personal safety, security, health and wellness, clearer personal tools for dealing with social and cultural issues unique to the Native American community and deepened relationships with the risen Christ and with each other.”
Some of the subject areas and activities include the psychology of cancer, domestic violence, substance abuse, tobacco and HIV/STDs.
The conference will also honor all of the national Native Women leaders within the United Methodist Church. Being honored for their outstanding leadership and contributions to Native ministries, communities and the United Methodist Church are: Cynthia Kent, former Secretary of Native and Indigenous Ministries for General Board of Global Ministry, Dr. Anne Marshall, Chair, Native American International Caucus, Rev. Cynthia Abrams, Director for the Alcohol, Other Addictions, and Health Care Program for the General Board of Church and Society, and Suanne Ware-Diaz, Assistant General Secretary, Commission on Religion and Race.
SEJANAM is the advocate for 23 Native American congregations and three other ministries in the Southeast Jurisdiction.
For more information, visit http://www.lakejunaluska.com/events_detail.aspx?id=9488, contact Darlene Jacobs, SEJANAM Executive Director, at 1.828.454.6724, or email email@example.com.