"This was such a spiritually encouraging time, when are you having the next one?," is the question I was asked numerous times. Our first Portland/Vancouver Native American Prayer Breakfast was a sacred place where people from our community gathered to hear some positive encouraging stories of life, eat a little food, get blessed with some traditional music, meet new friends and allow the prayers offered to lift our hearts and minds toward heaven ... all in the spirit of Jesus. Linda Hunter of Our United Villages stated it best, "This breakfast is about building inclusive and vibrant community."
We left that place with a feeling that our faith was real and that Jesus does make a difference and that we are connected to a larger band of conspirators who are equally committed to the common good of our city!
This prayer breakfast is a direct result of my traveling less, which I referenced in my last Smoke Signals. It's crazy, but the past nine weeks are my longest stretch at home in ten years.
This local community focus, however, is not without cost. As a matter of fact, financially, it is a significant cost. When I accept speaking invitations, the reason for all my traveling, not only are all my expenses paid for, but they provide substantial financial honorariums to support our work. These are now significantly reduced as I decline new invitations.
Dave Gomez Sharing With Elder.
As a friend, supporter or follower of Wiconi and my adventures, I am asking for your help during this period of dynamic transition.
Specifically, for the remaining nine months of this year, will you commit to send a gift for $50 each month to help us remain firmly engaged with Native people in our community? I know this will be a sacrifice. I cannot promise your income will increase or you will be blessed financially in some way if you do, but I can say it is a good investment in Wiconi International and the lives of Native people that you can feel good about as an extension of your life and faith.
You can also call our office at 360-546-1867 or mail a check to our office at Wiconi International, PO Box 5246, Vancouver, WA 98668.
Since this is also tax season, you maybe interested in donating a portion of your tax return to Wiconi International. Just click here.
You and I are called to live out our faith in a local context. May you find the grace and courage to live well as a neighbor, friend, helper and someone who likes to laugh a lot! Your gift will be wisely used and is greatly appreciated!
Lila Pilamaya "thank you so much!"
Richard Twiss, Sicangu Lakota
President, Wiconi International
Portland/Vancouver Native Prayer Breakfast
by Candace Crandall Photos by Kim Haggstrom
In these days of religious strife and division some First Nations leaders held an event that brought people together from many faith backgrounds to celebrate the good things in life we share together because of the Creator's blessing and kindness to us all, in the spirit of Jesus. Afterward, many shared of an unmet need that this one breakfast has already begun to fill; need for encouragement, sharing our stories and friendship.
Richard Twiss (Sicangu Lakota) and Wiconi International organized and hosted the first bi-Annual Portland/Vancouver Native American Prayer Breakfast on April 1st, 2011 at the Native American Youth and Family Services (NAYA) center. Richard and Donita Fry, (Shoshoni/Bannock) from NAYA, co-hosted the morning.