Dear Brothers and Sisters in Ministry,
My bag is packed and I’m ready to go.
Bishop Smith asked that I fly to Bismark, North Dakota today and drive to the encampment on the Standing Rock Sioux Indian Reservation close to Canonball, North Dakota in response to the call for clergy to come and Stand with Standing Rock. I am so humbled to be working in a Diocese, my home, where our Bishop sees the need to stand with our brothers and sisters anytime there is a threat to our dignity, to our land, to our people.
I wish I was carrying our Diocesan flag to place along the long row of flags representing those who have been there. My tribe’s flag, the Pascua Yaqui flag, is there. It will be a powerful sight to see.
My emotions are running high. This is a sacred journey with a sacred purpose. I understand that we will be joined by more than 600 clergy from multiple denominations. Together we will focus our energy on putting a face on the continuing impact of the Doctrine of Discovery –that which our church has denounced. I ask for your prayers as I embark on this journey for you, representing all of you and all our voices together. Pray with us these next two days. Pray with me and help guide my feet, eyes, ears and voice to be the face of God for the Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Arizona.
Lios enchi hiokoe utteesia
Thank you and many blessings,
The Rev. Canon Debbie Royals
Canon for Native American Ministries