Youth attending the Cultural Exchange Night during the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference in July of 2018. Photo: Big River Youth Council Facebook Page.

By Linda Hay

Earlier this year, Goldendale United Methodist Church received a grant in the amount of $3,500 from the Pacific Northwest Conference Board of Church and Society to assist eight youth of the Big River Youth Council (local Native American youth, ages 10-20) to attend the UNITY Conference in San Diego, July 4-9, 2018.

The focus of the conference, where 2,800 indigenous youth from all over the country gathered, was wellness: mental, physical and spiritual. There was cultural sharing as well as presentations by well known athletes, singers, etc., who are American Indians.

On October 7th, all the attendees presented to our church congregation, as well as other community partners, on the highlights of the conference and what they took away from it. Each youth spotlighted something a little different from the others. The common thread, in my opinion, was that they were all more confident in their speaking and demonstrated more self-esteem.

The congregation of Goldendale UMC continues to walk with these wonderful young people by inviting and including them at United Methodist Women conferences and meetings, providing tutoring services, assisting them in applying for scholarships and financial aid, etc. It’s a God thing!!

Editor’s Notes:

You can read more about this sponsored youth trip to the United Conference in this article from the Goldendale Sentinel.

The Pacific Northwest Conference Board of Church and Society awards Peace with Justice Grants every year to groups who are doing the work of peace and justice both locally and globally.

Linda Hay is the United Methodist Women President for Goldendale United Methodist Church in Goldendale, Washington.

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