Thursday, May 07, 2009

Smoke Signals: Wiconi Newsletter


Our 6th North American Institute of Indigenous Theological Studies (NAIITS) Symposium on Theology and Mission is just a few weeks away now in Langley, BC at Trinity Western University. "Indigenous Church: Expressions of Community" is our theme this year. This gathering will have great benefit for anyone engaged in creating communities of faith, not exclusively native. The church must be reoriented from its Western ecclesiological notions of the church as a corporate organization, heirchical leadership models and structural management systems if it is going to effectively address the concerns of future generations of people longing for community in/with Jesus and his followers. The North American church will benefit greatly by listening to and learning from our First Nations leaders as they share from their worldview perspectives about church, mission and community.

This symposium will feature a special presentation by the next generation of Indigenous leaders who will conduct a forum addressing the unique concerns and issues of their generation as followers of Jesus relative to the gospel and its relationship to/with education, leadership development, political process’ and economic development among others. There will be excellent presentation and small group discussion inspired by speakers, Prabhu Singh, Brian McLaren, Tom and Christine Sine, Adrian Jacobs, Jeanine LeBlanc, myself and special reports about teens and youth. You can get the schedule and all the registration information from our website or at This will be well worth your time if you can attend!


Plans are finalized for this years Living Waters Gathering in Turner, OR. Please visit our website and start making plans to register and attend. We have a great powwow planned for Saturday and our friend Paul Otoko will again be pit roasting two pigs traditional Micronesian style. Like previous years we will again set up two sweat lodges, one for men and the other for women, for early morning prayers and devotions. We’ve rented a nearby professional ropes course for youth leadership mentoring as well as family fun. As the popularity and success of our family camp spreads each year, we’ve grown bigger and we are near capacity for housing. We have some great prices for camping this year. Everyone is invited from the surrounding community as part of Wiconi’s vision to “Remove Barriers and Build Bridges” toward peace and reconciliation as co-inhabitants of the land.

You can help make this gathering a success by partnering with us to financially sponsor a Native family to attend. Every year we invite Native families to apply for free sponsorships to attend and with today’s economy there will be more applications that we can handle. Will you please pray about underwriting a family of four in the amount of $354? This pays for the lodging, all meals for three-and-a-half days and all the activities that take place.


Whenever you change email addresses our server company will automatically remove you from our list after attempting to send you an email eight times. Many people have asked why they stopped receiving our smoke signals email reports. That is the reason. It is easy to change your address by sending an update or correction to office (AT) in order to continue receiving our emails. Also please consider inviting your friends to start receiving our smoke signals. Thanks.


Lord, willing I will be attending this historic gathering in Johannesburg, South Africa. Check out my friends Claude and Kelly Nikondeha’s website at for details about how you can be praying. I need funds for the airline ticket and my expenses are covered in Africa.


I wrote awhile back that we received a matching grant for much needed new office equipment, phone system, software and computer system. The matching grant offer expires on June 30. We have raised $3600 and need $12,600 for our goal of $16,000. When we raise our $16K the foundation will send us a check for $16K. Thank you for your prayers and assistance.

Lila pilamaya for taking the time to read our smoke signals even if you need reading glasses and good lighting to do so. 

Richard Twiss

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