Standing Rock: Be Steadfast in Prayer and in Action

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A United Methodist clergyman is asking Christian and other supporters of Native American protesters at Standing Rock, to keep the pressure on to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline even once the conflict stops making news headlines.

“As Americans, our attention span wanes and we are suddenly off to the next big issue on the news. We can’t let that happen,” said the Rev. David Wilson, superintendent of the denomination’s Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference.

Erin Hawkins, the general secretary of General Commission on Religion and Race and Dr. David Wilson, superintendent of Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, visited Standing Rock camp, October 5, 2016.

Erin Hawkins, the general secretary of General Commission on Religion and Race and Dr. David Wilson, superintendent of Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, visited Standing Rock camp, October 5, 2016.

Vigilance in prayer and in action is still required of United Methodists interested in making a stand against further construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, N.D., Dr. Wilson added.

Dr. Wilson, along with Sioux tribal members, visits United Methodist churches to raise awareness about the situation at Standing Rock and to ask for prayers and action. He has also traveled to North Dakota several times since the standoff began in April.

The protestors ask for our prayers, but Dr. Wilson quotes a verse, reminding United Methodists cannot be in prayer without action; faith without works is dead.

“What good is it, my brothers and sisters,[a]if you say you have faith but do not have works? Can faith save you? If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and eat your fill,’ and yet you do not supply their bodily needs, what is the good of that?” – James 2: 14 -16 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

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Erin Hawkins, the general secretary of General Commission on Religion and Race, at Standing Rock camp, October 5, 2016.

“Joining the movement to stop the pipeline is the ultimate act of repentance,” Dr. Wilson said, referring to a churchwide call to all United Methodists to atone for past and current marginalization of Native Americans:

“Don’t give lip service to righting relationships with Native Americans; do what is in your ability to help protect their water and sacred land.“

To provide direct support for the demonstrators at Standing Rock:

  • Pray for a just and peaceful resolution to the conflict;
  • Give money to provide food, shelters and supplies for the protestors at the campsite through the United Methodist Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference, either via check payable to OIMC, 602 SW 35th Street, OKC. OK 73109, or by PayPal via http://www.umc-oimc.org/give-online/
  • Contact your congregational representative at http://www.house.gov, or contact other agency to express your concern:
    • Call the White House at (202) 456-1111 or (202) 456-1414
    • Sign the White House petition: bit.ly/StandingRockWH
    • Call the Army Corps of Engineers (202) 761-5903
    • Call North Dakota governor Jack Dalrymple at (701) 328-2200
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