Summer has flown by. It's hard to believe that Wiconi's 10th annual
"Living Waters Family Camp" and the first annual Richard Twiss Memorial
Powwow are now history. While our camp and powwow are over for another
year, there's little doubt that it was a great success.
Casey Church, Wiconi staff member, took on the position of Family Camp
director and in a short amount of time, he and the Wiconi staff and
volunteers were able to plan and put on an incredible camp program with
200 registered campers.
This year's camp revolved around the theme of "contextual music and
worship." Five contextual musicians including Cheryl Bear, Jonathan
Maracle and Bill Pagaran of Broken Walls, Jan Michael Looking Wolf, and
Jerry Chapman, took turns leading the main sessions. Each one followed
with a full performance of their music, sharing their personal
experience in creating contextual music, performance and ministry. In
addition, Corey Greaves and his teen group from the Yakama reservation
led us in a large talking circle as they do regularly back home on the
Bill Pagaran, drummer for Broken Walls and President of Carry the Cure in Alaska, posted this on his Facebook page:
"At the Wiconi Pow-Wow and family camp I had the opportunity to share
my story. Afterwards, I had several people (young and old) come up for
prayer. One of my highlights was when these precious young girls came up
and told me how much it meant to them. We prayed, cried...then I gave
them the CTC/BW [Carry the Cure/Broken Walls] drumstick pen that has the
quote, 'Your life was created for rhythm. Don't let the rhythm stop!'"
The camp activities continued as in previous years with family free
time which included tubing down the creek, craft time with special
presenters, and many opportunities to renew friendships and meet new
people, as well as a fun-filled evening of "Native America's Got
powwow was very special with local community members as our head man
and woman dancers, other powwow personnel along with drum groups and
honor guard making our goal to create relationships among the community a
success. This year's camp featured a "Wiping of Tears" ceremony for the
Twiss family and officially renaming our Saturday powwow as the Richard
Twiss Memorial & Living Waters Powwow. It was special this year in
that Richard's grandson Ezra Twiss, son of Ian and Toni Twiss, came
"into the circle"--Ezra's first dance ceremony. As well, Ian led in the
opening procession carrying the Eagle Staff. What a memorable way for
all present to honor Richard's life and also to have his grandson begin
his life with the Wiconi family.
Once again we were able to offer a free dinner as our Micronesian
friends provided their traditionally prepared pork with all the fixings.
It was over the top; a menu to applaud!
A big "Thank You" goes to all our Wiconi supporters and donors who came
through for us. Even without the cushion of grant funds we've received
in previous years, God was still honored by the generous giving of our
donors. You gave above and beyond and with your help 58 campers
(families and teens) were given scholarships allowing them to attend
Let me tell you about one of those who came for the first time. Audrey
(not her real name) had an interest in Native culture. Her friends knew
of this interest and when an Indian man left his possessions with them,
they passed a box of his stuff on to Audrey. In it she found a copy of
Richard Twiss' book One Church Many Tribes. After reading it, she
commented about the book on someone's Facebook page. Another couple saw
her comments and 'Liked' them. Later, when Audrey found out about Family
Camp she posted that she would really like to attend. The couple on
Facebook contacted her and told her they "just happened to be going to
the camp and they had room for her to go along." So she came and had a
Thanks to all who gave so that Audrey and dozens of others could be part of Family Camp this year.
You are awesome!
Casey Church, Director
Wiconi Living Waters Family Camp & Powwow
Next year's camp is scheduled for July 23-26, 2015 at Aldersgate
Conference Center, Turner, Oregon. Check out Wiconi's website next
spring for details about registering