Sand Creek Massacre research center supported

Editor's note: Third paragraph, starting with "The Sand Creek", corrected on March 20, 2012 to reflect that Col. John Chivington was a Methodist pastor.

Support for The United Methodist Church to contribute $50,000 to the development of a research and learning center at the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site was expressed April 28 in action by General Conference 2008.

The United Methodist Church's top legislative body authorized the contribution. However, the action will not be final until the conference adopts the denomination's 2009-2012 budget May 2.

The Sand Creek Massacre National Historical Site is a memorial to more than 160 Native Americans mostly women and children who were massacred in 1864 by troops led by a Methodist pastor, Col. John Chivington. The historic site, 160 miles southeast of Denver, opened to the public in June 2007.

In 1996, the United Methodist General Conference expressed regret for the Sand Creek massacre and issued an apology for the "actions of a prominent Methodist."

The Rev. Alvin Deer

The United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns will work with the United States National Park Service to develop the Sand Creek Massacre National Historic Site Research and Learning Center, according to the petition passed by a vote of 426 to 378.

"This is an act that the whole church needs to own," said Lonnie Brooks, a delegate from the Alaska Missionary Conference and board member of the United Methodist Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns.

Opposition to the legislation focused on finances because the $50,000 contribution is not part of the $642 million general church budget. "It should have been included in the budget," said Jeff Jernigan, a lay delegate from North Georgia.

"We really need to show that we're in support of healing the generations (of Cheyenne people) that have come out of that story. This is a good thing that the church is doing to fund this," said the Rev. Alvin Deer, former executive director of the Native American International Caucus.

Josh Davies, a lay delegate from the Rocky Mountain Conference, said, "I urge members to please do our part to wipe this smear off our history."

*White is associate editor of Interpreter magazine.

News media contact: Deborah White, e-mail: [email protected].

Phone calls can be made to the General Conference Newsroom in Fort Worth, Texas, at (817) 698-4405 until May 3. Afterward, call United Methodist News Service in Nashville, Tenn., at (615) 742-5470.

Related Articles

General Conference headlines

Commentary: Massacre site offers historical truth

Kiowa United Methodists share culture

Resources

General Conference 2008

Sand Creek Site

Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships

Sign up for our newsletter!

umnews-subscriptions
General Church
The Rev. William B. Lawrence.  Photo by H. Jackson/Southern Methodist University.

Possible steps after General Conference delay

A global pandemic has postponed General Conference, but the former Judicial Council president argues there is still work that cannot wait a year.
General Conference
Clergy members bless the elements of Holy Communion during the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore. The Commission on the General Conference met March 21 to discuss next steps after coronavirus concerns forced the postponement of this year’s legislative assembly. File photo by Paul Jeffrey, UM News.

Updated: Looking at new General Conference dates

General Conference organizers met in closed session to explore when they could reschedule the lawmaking assembly after the coronavirus-compelled delay.
Global Health
The Minneapolis Convention Center — scheduled to host the 2020 General Conference — announced it is now canceling gatherings of 50 or more people through May 10. The decision comes as General Conference organizers already were considering postponement. Photo by Dan Anderson, courtesy of Meet Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Convention Center.

Church leaders postpone 2020 General Conference

With the venue that was scheduled to host is canceling large events through May 10, General Conference organizers decided they have no choice but to find new dates.