Our Partnership with Navajoland
Originally founded by the Episcopal Church in the nineteenth century as a medical mission to the Navajo people, Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona is undergoing a revitalization of its ministry and facilities. St. Michael's is developing a partnership with this active congregation of local residents, which incorporates many Navajo traditions into its worship—held in settings as diverse as a traditional Hogan or the extraordinary 1954 mission church by architect John Gaw Meem. Good Shepherd also sponsors initiatives in the development of local micro-businesses, agricultural projects, and ministries to the Navajo community. Members of the congregation visited St. Michael's in January 2016, when Navajoland Bishop David Bailey officiated at confirmation.
St. Michael’s Church is an active partner with Good Shepherd Mission in Fort Defiance, Arizona. Good Shepherd is a congregation of the Episcopal Mission in Navajoland, which encompasses areas in New Mexico, Arizona, and Utah.
Mission Trip and Pilgrimage to Good Shepherd Mission, June 2016.
(The next trip is planned for the second weekend of June, 2017,
to support the Convocation of the Navajoland Area Mission.)
Twenty-nine people from St. Michael's went to Good Shepherd Mission to assist with the corn planting, worship with the community, and learn about Navajo culture and spirituality. Below are photos from that trip:
Native American Study Group
A Native American Study Group meets on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 pm. We are currently reading The Inconvenient Indian, by Canadian First Nations author Thomas King. Contact the parish office for details.
Resources on Navajo Culture
Peter Iverson, Diné: A History of the Navajos (UNM Press, 2002). The most current, complete history.
Clyde Kluckhohm, et al. The Navaho (Harvard University Press, 1974). Dated, but of some interest.
Margaret Schevill, The Pollen Path: A Collection of Navajo Myths Retold (Stanford University Press, 1956). A classic retelling of the essential myths.
Paul G. Zolbrod, Diné bahane’: The Navajo Creation Story (UNM Press, 1984). Regarded by some as the clearest retelling of the emergence narrative.
John R. Farella, The Main Stalk: A Synthesis of Navajo Philosophy (University of Arizona Press, 1984). The classic in Navajo theology/philosophy.
Alwin Girdner, Diné Tah (Rio Nuevo Publishers, 2011). An insightful memoir of living on the Navajo reservation in the 1930s.
The Navajo Times. Weekly news magazine available online at www.navajotimes.com