Canon to the Ordinary, Navajoland Area Mission
A member of the Navajo Nation and a recent graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, I live and work in Farmington, New Mexico, where I also enjoy spending time tending sheep.
What is your relationship with the Church? Share a little about yourself. How have you ministered in the Church?
My ministry in the Episcopal Church evolved through the worship practices of my elders. Both my Mom and my Dad were active in the church. I was raised all my life with the stories of people of faith and their journeys. I decided to pursue ordination to help my people continue to connect to those stories and to see how a relationship with Jesus Christ can help our communities heal and thrive.
How and where does Bless show up in your ministry?
Bless– this is an important word in my culture. The Navajo word hózhó means the Blessing Way, which is a prayer for peace, harmony and balance. In my ministry I help people to share our stories as Diné, support one another on our journeys, and to be in relationship with Creation and with God.
How did it feel to give Blessing?
For me, both the giving away of good things and the receiving of good things puts us in a place of growth and humility. Giving and receiving is what binds us together – and that is truly a blessing from God.
What gives you hope about the future of your ministry?
There is hope in the work our church is doing to promote healing and reconciliation. There is hope in sharing our stories and building connections that bring us together as part of God’s beloved community.
The Way of Love is the Presiding Bishop’s vision for The Episcopal Church. What about the presiding bishop gives you hope?
When I heard Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preach about the Balm of Gilead I thought about my ministry here among my people, the Diné, and how we are working together as a community to find our way back to our center, to our wholeness, which has been broken apart by the traumas of the past. I think the Presiding Bishop is telling us a story in the Way of Love about coming to faith, harmony , peace, and being one with God.