ELC Adult Education

“Knowing our Neighbors:  Unsettling History, Hopeful Future”
(Adult Study:  January/February 2022)

In 2016 the ELCA repudiated the Doctrine of Discovery, “as an example of the ‘improper mixing of the power of the church and the power of the sword’ (Augsburg Confession Article XXVIII), and to acknowledge and repent from this church’s complicity in the evils of colonialism in the Americas, which continue to harm tribal governments and individual tribal members.”  In October of 2021, as a follow-up, our Church issued a Declaration “to American Indian and Alaska Native People” further solidifying sentiments that have been voiced within the ELCA and its predecessor bodies for generations.  What do such statements mean for us and how should we respond as members of an ELCA parish?   

Our study will focus on the history of our closest Tribal Nation, the Ho-Chunk people, with an emphasis on the intersections of Christianity within their story.  One of twelve Tribes in Wisconsin that comprise “Indian Country,” their complex journey illustrates the enduring challenges First Nations people face in 2022 and beyond. The goal of this introductory exploration will be to gain a deeper understanding of our broader community, coupled with prayerful consideration of creative responses moving forward.  We go forth in this process within the framework of the Jesus’ commandments to love God and neighbor (Mark 12: 30-31).

Corresponding Readings/ Exhibits

Session 1:
the Ho-Chunk Story in Context

1. Creation Stories Compared

2. Doctrine of Discovery and Counterpoint

3. 1992 ELCA Social Policy Statement

4. Repudiation of Doctrine of Discovery: 2016

5. NW Synod Social Justice Statement

6.  ELCA Declaration October 11 2021

7.  Session 1 Discussion Guide

Session 2
Navigating a Changing World:  1634-1816

1. Pre-Contact History (Patty Loew)

2. Parallel Journeys: Full Timeline

3. Reference Vocabulary

4.  Warfare 1634-1814

5.  Session 2 Discussion Guide

Session 3
Treaties and the haunting Specter of Removals:  1816-1874

(Under Construction)


Session 4
Assimilation Era and Survivance: 1874 into the 21st century 

(Under Construction)

Berglund Competing Kingdoms