Liaison report from the Executive Council’s Committee on Indigenous Ministries
The Executive Council Committee on Indigenous Ministries (ECCIM) met in Salt Lake City at the Diocesan Center on August 19 – 21. They had a majority of their members present and engaged themselves in the work of making a Blue Book Report, creating resolutions for the General Convention and for the Executive Council’s consideration.
ECCIM’s understands its work to be broad. They work with the Indigenous Missioner, Sarah Eagleheart, in a variety of ways. Part of their involvement as a Committee is programmatic, part is advisory to both the Missioner as well as to the Executive Council on matters that touch Indigenous ministry and people.
ECCIM is connective and relational. As the understanding of the Episcopal Church’s engagement of Indigenous people has grown, so the constituency of ECCIM has changed. It includes the Bishop’s of the four aided dioceses that have significant Indigenous Ministry as well as members (lay and ordained) from the spectrum of the Church to include Ecuador. The lay and ordained members of the Committee rotate terms of service.
The understanding of its work has given the staff and members much to discuss and work through. This is a long-term process as both staff and committee have gone through significant changes over the years. How much interaction should there be between staff and committee members in the projects, programs and financial oversight are questions that have been raised and are being addressed in a collaborative manner.
One idea that has been brought forward for ECCIM’s consideration is to have its members, who are named by the Presiding Officers of the Episcopal Church, also form subcommittees of ECCIM that are populated by other members of the Indigenous ministries throughout the church. In this way those interested in working, as examples, with Women’s or Men’s or Youth ministries could form those subcommittees. They could work with the Missioner or develop resources and support using their own initiative. Their work and proposals would be reviewed by ECCIM and given the support or direction from them as needed. The Bishop’s Native Collaborative is already functioning in this way in many respects.