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Gethsemane Land Acknowledgment

Gethsemane Lutheran Church wishes to acknowledge and honor the Osage, Quapaw, Myaamia, Očhéthi Šakówiŋ, Kaskaskia, and Kickapoo peoples upon whose ancestral homelands we gather for worship, as well as all our Indigenous siblings who have and continue to care for this place—this land—and call it their home.

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Presentation: Land Acknowledgement and Land Back Movement

Governments, organizations, churches and individuals around the world have been honoring Mother Earth, Indigenous peoples and Native Nations with land acknowledgments for the past two decades. Since the ELCA repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, the church has also been committed to practicing land acknowledgments at every expression of the church. This class will introduce participants to the history and purpose of land acknowledgments, how the church has been committed to doing land acknowledgments, and how and when to use them. In addition, at the 2022 Churchwide Assembly, the ELCA voted to encourage all expressions and affiliate ministries to consider land back practices when opportunities arise. Class participants will learn more about the land back movement and reparations and how best to engage in these restorative justice practices.

No pre-registration is required to participate. Just click "join the class" to attend.


Thursday, November 9, 2023

Presentation: Land Acknowledgement and Land Back Movement
7 - 8 p.m. Central time

Beginning on Sunday, October 8, 2023, you will hear the above land acknowledgment statement read at the beginning of each worship service at Gethsemane. As the Sunday closest to Indigenous Peoples’ Day, it seems an appropriate time for us as a congregation to begin the practice of land acknowledgement.


So what IS a land acknowledgment? A land acknowledgement is a way to name and honor the original inhabitants of the land on which we worship, work, and live. This is an opportunity to name the Indigenous peoples who have often been ignored or erased in history and community. Vance Blackfox, ELCA Director for Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations, describes land acknowledgements as a “ritual of respect and gratitude for the land and our Indigenous neighbors.” He continues: “a land acknowledgement is a ritual intended solely to show gratitude to the land and acknowledge the original and Indigenous peoples from the whom the land was stolen.” By including a land acknowledgement in our worship, Gethsemane Lutheran Church is taking a first, and important, step toward actively living into the ELCA’s Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. 


- Maryn Olson, taken from the September 23 Messenger

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