The North Alabama Conference Native American Ministries Team took 22 volunteers to Cherokee, North Carolina, on an outreach mission to persons in that community. Cherokee UMC is actively involved in mission to the community and was excited to receive the request from North Alabama's Native American Ministries to help with that important work. Rev. Dale Clem is chairperson of the Native American Team and made the contact. Rev. Kim Teehan coordinated the work of the mission team. The 22 volunteers included both clergy and laity and represented 12 congregations from across the North Alabama Conference,
The mission team served September 15-19, 2014. Their tasks included working on plumbing and skirting for a trailer home; refinishing a floor; painting a parsonage; leading Vacation Bible School; and other good works.
The work flowed out of the group’s devotional time. The mission outreach also provided opportunity for appreciation of Native American culture. After work, on Wednesday, the group received a special treat with a visit from Mr. Jerry Wolfe, storyteller and wise elder. He told of his time in the military, his growth in Cherokee and his own trips with Methodist mission teams abroad. Later in the week, he welcomed the group to the Museum of the Cherokee Indian. The group also participated in the church's potluck dinner, especially enjoying the Native American fried bread.
Executive Director of Ethnic Ministries Dr. Richard Stryker says, "This was a well-rounded trip. It tended to both personal holiness of the individual and social holiness of helping others. The Native American Team organized other mission opportunities in the past and expects to continue to offer these opportunities for cultural development and outreach in the future."