The Great Plains Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CONAM) raises awareness about the many positive contributions of Native American persons to both the church at large and our communities. The majority of members of CONAM are of Native American ancestry and are active in United Methodist congregations within the conference.
Coordination of Native American Ministries Sunday (NAMS), create a speakers bureau.
Distribution of offering, create a process for applying for grants.
Monitor Native American Ministries with the Annual Conference.
Report how the offering funds have benefitted Native Americans in our Annual Conference.
Cultivate relationship with the United Methodist Women.
Change the attitudes of pastors and laity about Native Americans.
Promote growth at all Native American churches.
Work with the Great Plains Conference to assure all local churches elect individuals at annual charge conferences to be the liaison and advocate for Native American awareness.
Work with Great Plains Conference on 2020 Annual Conference Act of Repentance.
The Great Plains Conference supports the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference as well as congregations within the boundaries of Kansas and Nebraska. Learn more about some of our congregations.
CONAM works to support and promote Native American Ministry Sunday in all United Methodists congregations. NAMS is one of six designated yearly offerings from the United Methodist Church. It is an excellent time to share information about Native Americans and learn how we can work with and together as the Body of Christ. Fifty percent of the offerings received on NAMS stays within the Great Plains Conference to support Native American Ministries. The other 50% is sent on to the larger church to help support Native Americans in higher education. Learn more about NAMS and make a donation through UMC Giving.
CONAM encourages our bishop, district superintendents and individual congregations to elect at least one person to be their CONAM liaison. This serves as a positive starting point so all can work together to educate, love, and serve. Each local congregation is required by The Book of Discipline to formally designate a member to raise awareness of Native American contributions to the United Methodist Church.
#654. There shall be an annual conference committee on Native American ministry or other structure to provide for these ministries and maintain the connectional relationships. The basic membership of the committee shall be nominated and elected by established procedure of the respective annual conferences. Each annual conference shall determine the number and composition of the total membership. Where possible, the membership shall consist of a majority of Native Americans. It shall be the responsibility of this committee to determine the distribution of the Native American Ministries Sunday offering, coordinate the promotion of Native American Ministries Sunday, and monitor Native American ministries within the annual conference. Each committee shall report on how the offering funds have benefited Native Americans in their annual conference. Annual reports, including the amount of the total receipts from the Native American Ministries Sunday offering, should be forwarded to the conference council on ministries and to the Connectional Table.
Every local church at charge conference SHALL designate by nomination and election a minimum of one person per charge (without regard to race or ethnic origin) or a designated member of an established church committee to represent the need for better awareness of Native American contributions in the local church. These names are to be submitted to the district superintendent at charge conference to be given to the annual conference committee on Native American ministry. (Page 504, 2016 Discipline)
CONAM is offering grants to support an existing ministry or starting a new ministry targeting Native American people in the Great Plains Conference. The ministry could include an outreach project/event of a United Methodist Native American Congregation. The grants are not intended to be used as ongoing funding of a ministry program. Grants will be made as one-time awards and subsequent requests for the same ministry will require a new grant application. The funding for this grant program comes from the contributions to Native American Awareness Sunday in the Great Plains Conference.
Examples of grant purposes include, but are not limited to: lay leadership training events for Native American ministries; honoraria for speakers/presenters/native musicians for Native American events; and other opportunities to reach Native Americans in the Great Plains Conference.