Aberdeen, South Dakota, Congregation forms Right Relationship Steering Committee
It has been just over a year since the South Dakota congregation held their most recent Chapter of Affairs. In this time, we have begun to explore not only what the new Chapter call will look like in our congregation, but we have begun to unpack how we will live out what was developed.
Our Chapter call challenges us to see and act in new ways. One focus area for this work involves the commitment to examine our connections to, including complicity in, systemic injustice. We are also considering our relationships to those impacted by systemic injustice and determining the best way to assure right relationships. In addition, we will be exploring what reconciliation could look like. To implement this portion of the Chapter call, our leadership council has asked a group of sisters, employees and cojourners (lay associates) to form a team to discern and develop strategies to carry out the work. The team, identified as the Right Relationships Steering Team (RRST) has been asked to begin with a focus on our relationships with Indigenous people.
In 1880, the Sisters were invited to come to Dakota Territory to teach the children of the Indigenous people and French settlers. This began the long-standing connection to the Indigenous peoples in what is now South Dakota. Many sisters in our history have ministered with Indigenous people here in South Dakota and additional states, as well as in other countries such as Bolivia, Mexico, Guatemala and Zambia.
It is important to our congregation to include our Presentation people in the work that guides us into the future. The diverse members of the steering team brings varying ideas, methods, skills and experience, which inform and enrich the work. As with other Chapter calls in the past, we remain open to the Spirit working in and through us. We continue to spend time in contemplation, prayer, and dialogue so that the Creator may guide us. Through all our work, we continue a commitment to “do nothing alone.” We strive to view our work through the lens of integral ecology, recognizing that everything is connected.