December 30, 2016

Gathering at Standing Rock: A Message from Disciples Minister Dave Bell from the Yakama Mission

Good Day All,

Well, here we are only days from gathering in Standing Rock! We come together at an interesting moment. The current success of holding off the pipeline crossing at Standing Rock and the victory yesterday of having Bears Ears become a National Monument! Neither should be taken lightly, for your work and voice has helped bring them both about! I so look forward to meeting many of you for the first time and hugging those of you whom I have had the good fortune to call friend and neighbor for years!

There are twelve of us on this gathering. Far more than I imagined would make this trip! Thank you for making this a part of you life!

--Those of you who wanted to come, but can not, thank you for your support and energy and prayers! I hope to see you at one of the upcoming events in the planning: Bears Ears National Monument in the spring and Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary [probably] in the fall.--

--Everyone, to stay in touch with upcoming events please sign up for the Mission's newsletter at

I have a few thoughts as we ready ourselves for prayer in the landscape of the Standing Rock people.

First, please be safe! The current forecast is a clear sky for Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (with snow just before we arrive). However, the high temperature for Thursday is currently figured at -1 degree! If you are not comfortable with the temperatures, please know it is okay to stay home! We will know your prayers and desire are to be in the landscape and those who are there will pray the land on your behalf!

If you are driving and have a pair of jumper cables at home, please bring them. Even the best maintained batteries have a time in low temperatures and should one of us have trouble, it would be good for us to be able to care for ourselves.

If you have not sent me you phone number, please do. (Even if we have talked on the phone with one another, I may not have saved your number on my phone.)

Second, bring with you your prayer stuff—if you use stuff. If you sketch, bring your pencils and pad; if you paint, bring your paints; if you write, bring your pencil; if you smudge, bring you sage, sweet grass, or cedar.

Third, if you have a bit of food that travels well, bring a little for everyone. I’ll be bringing our local elk and beef jerky.

Forth, give some thought to bringing small gifts for giving to local elders should you enter conversations and ask questions. These can be very simple: something you made, tobacco, sage, or cedar. If you have nothing, don’t worry it, just let me know when you arrive and I will give you a bit of something I have brought.

Last, our time together is unscripted and free. While we will surely spend much time together, I expect the landscape to be an open one and a place where you can center yourself. There may be also be opportunities/need for hands-on work.

Bring your song(s). Bring your prayer(s).

Be well, Dave

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