Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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Mission Trip to South Dakota


June 22-29, our team of nine people went to the Rosebud Indian reservation in Mission, South Dakota.  Here are some of the highlights of our trip: 


-        Construction work: We pulled up stumps and chopped firewood for the elderly, built large wooden depositories for the firewood, leveled a dirt parking lot, scraped paint/prepped one of the Habitat buildings for painting, set posts and painted the posts for parking spaces, organized the tool shed by building shelves and tool boxes, and helped move a resident to a new home.

-        Pastoral work: We visited a nursing home for Lakota tribe members and shared in Holy Eucharist (where we sang songs in Lakota!), visited the town of St. Francis where we saw a beautiful Catholic church and the Indian history museum there, bought shoes for a teenager, helped with graveyard maintenance, prayed for a grieving man, and took groceries to a family.

-        Group growth work: We shared in nightly devotions in the adjoining chapel at the Habitat facility, where we each took turns leading the group in mutual reflection, Bible study and prayer.  We also had a nightly journaling time, where each member wrote their reflections and contributed these for use in parish-wide communications about our experience.

-        Mutual learning work: We had presentations in the evenings from Lakota tribe members: Meredith Kills-in-Water talked to us about the Lakota religious culture, including the experience of pow-wows, Sundance, rites of passage and sweat lodges. Burt Geurue taught us beading and showed us examples of his intricate work on clothes, purses, moccasins, belts, and feathers. Lauren Stanley also talked with us about her work with the Lakota communities, the cultural differences, the poverty she sees, and the painful history of Indian reservations in our country. 

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