Recent events, such as the shooting in Ferguson, MO and the “Trail of Tears” banner displayed at an OSU football game, have demonstrated how much ground our nation has yet to cover in the area of race relations.
Race, diversity and reconciliation is where 5 Small Loaves strives to be a source of education and dialogue, helping our nation and the church as they attempt to move towards restored relationships and communities. We also seek to expand the dialogue beyond the traditional “black and white” struggle that tends to dominate the attention of both the media and the nation. Our vision statement states that we are pursuing racial reconciliation through honest education, intentional conversation, and meaningful action. By engaging in topics of diversity in the church, systemic racism, and seeking healing for the indigenous hosts of this land (Native Americans), 5 Small Loaves strives to be a voice and a leader for communities and people groups that have been underrepresented or misrepresented in both the nation and the church.
Our organization is working hard to connect with new partners as we continue to grow our work and expand our financial capacity, seeking to fully fund our staff and our projects. Would you consider contributing $5 – or anything else as you can afford – to help us continue in our efforts to educate through articles, speaking events, consultations, seminars, mission planning, and conference planning? Our current crowdfunding campaign is called 5 Small Buck and 2 Little Shares. To contribute, please visit our crowd funding page on GoFundMe.
Over the past 6 months, our newly formed organization has gained some great momentum. Two new partners, Tim & Martha Stoner, have moved to Fort Defiance, AZ and joined our staff. We have recently opened a coffee shop to better engage with our local community. Over the next few months, 5 Small Loaves has many projects in progress:
- Retracting the 2010 Apology to Native Peoples: In 2012 we worked hard to make this buried apology known by hosting a public reading of it in front of the US Capitol building. This year we are going to take this campaign one step further by starting a petition on the White House website asking President Obama to retract this disrespectful and inadequate apology. 100,000 signatures are required within 30 days in order for the issue be addressed by the White House. We will begin this campaign on Columbus Day 2014 and run it through Thanksgiving Day 2014.
- Would Jesus Eat Frybread? Conference: A Native American Christian conference for college students will be held this year on the Fond du Lac reservation in Minnesota in November. This conference is planned in partnership with CRU, InterVarsity and the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and provides space for Native students to ask questions like “What does it mean to be Native American and be a Christian?”
- Doctrine of Discovery: Educating our nation and churches on this over-looked and yet extremely foundational doctrine that has led the church, the nations of Europe, and the United States down a path of dehumanizing other races for the sake of discovering and laying claim to lands not their own.
- Blanket Exercise: Development of a tool to honestly educate through an experiential and participatory exercise that exposes people to the injustices against Native Americans by the United States government. (In partnership with the Christian Reformed Church of North America)
- Missions: Developing a Navajo mission team to help rebuilding efforts in the Philippines. Also creating informational guides and training to American churches and mission agencies to come to Native communities through methods that empower its intended recipients.
- Southwest CCDA Regional Conference:A newly developed networking and learning conference for CCDA (Christian Community Development Association) ministries from Texas to California. Our organization is hosting this premier conference on the Navajo reservation in April 2015.
We have been committed to this work and to projects like these for many years, often operating on a shoe-string budget. By being fully-funded, we look forward to investing more focused time to complete these projects and explore other conversations that we can initiate and be engaged in. We invite your help, prayers and financial support in our work of pursuing racial reconciliation through honest education, intentional conversation and meaningful action.
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**5 Small Loaves does not currently have non-profit status and is unable to provide tax deductible receipts. We are in the process of establishing a fiscal partnership with another organization that will be able to provide us with a 501(c)(3). We expect this partnership to be finalized before the end of the 2014 calendar year.