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Study Guide: Ongoing Acts of Repentance with Indigenous People (Religion & Race)



Ask about everyone’s week, along with prayer requests for joys and sorrows.

Open with Prayer

Introduction to the Ongoing Acts of Repentance Video

Reverend Chebon Kernell calls the church to participate more vigorously in ongoing acts of repentance, justice making and truth telling about the historical and continuing impact of racism, specifically on Native American and indigenous people.

Discussion Questions:

1. What is the United Methodist Acts of Repentance movement?How have various groups, particularly indigenous people, reacted to this movement?

2. What forms of racism have indigenous people encountered? What is the meaning of “love thy neighbor as thyself,” particularly for indigenous communities and people confronted by racism?

3. What is some of the history of racism against indigenous people?What has this racism meant to indigenous languages? Does history impact us today? What is the impact of spiritual violence?

4. What has your annual conference, district, congregation, or ministry done to follow up on the 2012 Acts of Repentance? If your group is not familiar with the “Acts,” what can you do to learn more and inform others in your ministry context?

5. Some non-Native persons ask, “How many times do we have to apologize? When will you be satisfied?” What should be the church’s response to these questions?

6. How does working against racism and for justice connect to our Christian discipleship?

Closing Prayer in Unison

Light a candle as a reminder of the Holy Spirit’s presence.
Lord Jesus, we humbly come to You repenting of our sins. Let us hear and support our indigenous sisters and brothers who are suffering because of a long history of racism that impacts all of us today. In our relationship with the indigenous community, let repentance move to meaningful action. Amen.



The Reverend Glen Chebon Kernell Jr. is the executive secretary of Native American and Indigenous Ministries of the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church. In this role, he spends half of his time serving as the coordinator for the United Methodist Council of Bishops’ effort to fulfill the General Conference resolution mandating an ongoing process to improve relations with indigenous persons through dialogue, study, and local or regional acts of repentance. The other half of his time is spent raising awareness, increasing advocacy, and supporting the empowerment of Native American and indigenous communities globally. Reverend Kernell is an ordained elder in the Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.

Study Guide Author

Dr. G. Faye Wilson is the minister of music and arts at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Quantico, Maryland. She is also a lay servant and vice president of the Salisbury District United Methodist Women. In the community, she is a ten-year volunteer with HALO (Hope and Life Outreach), a program providing shelter, meals, and life skills training for families experiencing homelessness.

Dr. Wilson is executive director of GeeFaye Associates, her music and education consulting firm. She gives voice lessons, writes and edits manuscripts, and gives instruction in public speaking. Dr. Wilson has worked in the areas of communications and outreach since 1978. A staff member of the General Board of Global Ministries for twenty-one years, she led seminars, visited mission projects, and wrote books and articles to help people become more involved in mission work.

When she is not working and volunteering, she likes to play Scrabble, read, travel, and entertain. She loves to cook and is constantly creating recipes using local ingredients as her part in the “farm-to-table” movement.

This resource was designed with a United Methodist perspective, but we believe the content is also relevant for non-UMC seekers who are doing anti-racism work with a spiritual foundation.