Several times in the last 18 months I (Jeny) have heard Dr. Terry LeBlanc and others teach about the spiritual nature of creation with a challenge to interpret the Scripture through an indigenous lens. Terry suggests that instead of interpreting the Word in the context of a Western Christian view that begins with Genesis, Chapter 3, begin with Chapter 1. In summary, all of creation is very good and it is spiritual.
The most recent message on this subject was from a local pastor that we’ve been getting to know. He challenged the congregation to see that all things are spiritual, instead of the usual dualistic view that there is a separation between spiritual and secular. His message series is called “What Defines You – The Gift or the Giver?”
In the second message of the series, he reflected on the story of Zacchaeus from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 19. In seeing Jesus, Zacchaeus, the Jewish tax-collector known as a sinner, because of his profiting, had returned to Torah. This returning to his roots is evidenced by his knowledge of the Torah regarding helping the poor and making restitution to those who have been wronged by repaying what is owed four times over.
This caused me to wonder about the differences between Zacchaeus and Judas Iscariot. According to the Gospel of John, Chapter 12, Judas, also Jewish, had no concern for the poor, he was a thief, and was known for stealing from the disciples’ money box. How does one man return to Torah instantly and the other does not? What is the difference between a sinner (one who misses the mark) who legally and visibly profits greatly from others and one who breaks the law, pilfering from others, in such small, virtually unnoticed amounts he presumably remains poor? What are we to glean from these stories?
One of my reference books suggests that Zacchaeus’ opportunity for repentance was to fulfill his “birthright”. According to the Strong’s concordance, the name “Zacchaeus” means “pure”, with a root meaning “to be transparent, to be clean”. The name “Judas” means “celebrated” with a root meaning “to use the hand”, “to throw”, “to revere or worship with extended hands” or “to bemoan” as in the “wringing of hands”. Iscariot means “inhabitant of Kerioth” with the combined root meaning “to be a man” and “a city; building; flooring” originating from another root word, “light upon, bring about”. Just as it seems Zacchaeus was destined to repentance and becoming clean, is it possible Judas was destined to “bring about or shed light on the celebrated Cornerstone”. (Isaiah 28:16). He did not use his hands for worship. Instead he used them to steal. Yet, in the very end, he lamented, possibly wringing his hands in his grief. I believe it is reasonable to consider that each man had a choice in how to respond to meeting Jesus and the result of that choice potentially set the course for the rest of their journey. Although their lives reflected different states of relationship with the Divine, they each seemed to fulfill their spiritual task. All things are spiritual. People are subject to spiritual laws, consequences and blessings. Neither man was all good or all bad. They differed in their relationships and responses. — JC
2016-2017 Ministry News
Please continue to pray for God’s will and direction in our ministry.
LOCAL MINISTRY & OUTREACH. Jeny was blessed this past year to minister at both the Whitefish and Columbia Falls Methodist churches, as well as two community Good Friday services. Rikki continues to provide spiritual care and healing through reflexology, developing many relationships in the process. Both ladies continue to facilitate weddings for co-workers, clients and other community members. To see the Daily Inter Lake article featuring a wedding Rikki officiated recently, click HERE.
Jeny and Rikki were blessed to join their friend Shirley and Jeny & Dave’s daughter, Emma, in Missoula to attend the Many Tribes Ministry (Rev. Jan & Corb Morgan) Native American ministry pow-wow celebrating Christ’s Resurrection.
PARTNERSHIPS & CONFERENCES. We’ve hosted Dr. Suuqiina & Rev. Qaumaniq, Indigenous Messengers International, a few times in the last 18 months. Each visit, as always, is insightful, challenging and inspiring us to connect Jewish and Native cultural perspectives to past, present and future applications of faith. http://www.indigenousmessengers.com. In addition to the home meetings, David & Jeny had the wonderful opportunity to support the Suuqiina’s and other long-time peers by attending the 2017 First Nations All Tribes Gathering, “Healing the Sacred Circle” conference in Vacaville, CA. Jeny, Emma and Rikki attended the 2016 conference, also. For photos from the 2017 gathering, visit Jym Duane’s website, Jym Duane Photography, at:
We continue to pray for and encourage Pastor Robert Soto and McAllen Grace Brethren Church, his family and tribal community. The last 1 ½ years has been both historical and rewarding for Robert and all those affected by the eagle feather court case, victory and settlement. It has also been difficult, as Robert’s mother, “Mrs. Anita Acosta Soto (March 14, 1930 – June 11, 2017) aka “Grandma” and Elatsoe “Hummingbird” in Lipan, the matriarch of her family and an elder of the Lipan Apache Tribe of Texas” crossed over. One of the most touching of Robert’s posts on Facebook was the picture of his mother receiving her feathers shortly before she passed. Yahweh is so faithful and we are so moved by His grace and timing, that Mrs. Anita would be honored in such a great way before entering into eternity. Please pray for Robert and team members as they travel to Czech Republic in March. For more information on Pastor Robert Soto, McAllen Grace Brethren Church, SonTree Ministries, and the Eagle Feather Case, visit: http://son-tree.org/info.html and http://www.robertsoto.org .
POW-WOW. The Flathead Valley Community College Educational Pow Wow & Campus Preview: Simiiĩnekem – (Meeting of the Rivers in Nez Perce) is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018. We encourage everyone to consider attending the pow-wow, if at all possible. This event will be a ½ day educational and cultural pow-wow. The host drum will be Ee-Na-Doo-Yee (Iinatoyi), “The Spirit of the Buffalo / Buffalo Spirit Dancers and Singers,” from Browning High School. For more information on the pow-wow, click this link: TRIO-MAIS Pow Wow Announcement
FIRST NATIONS MONDAY. We continue to update and expound on our original Native American ministry prayer mobilization focus. As spring approaches, we will be celebrating 18 years of “Holding Up The People In Prayer”. Please join us in prayer as we enter into this ministry’s year of new life. Visit us on the web at FirstNationsMonday.Com or https://firstnationsmonday.wordpress.com/ .
MISSING IN AMERICA PROJECT: Rikki and Jeny continue to volunteer with the Montana State Chapter of the Missing In America Project (MIAP), a Veteran Recovery Program. The pictures below are from the August 15, 2016 interment ceremony in Helena, MT. The third photo was taken by MIAP’s Sean Verma who volunteers his time traveling from out-of-state to support the Montana State Chapter events, as well as other interment ceremonies across the nation. (Jeny is in the blue dress, Rikki is in the red dress, and our “boss”, the Montana State Chapter Coordinator, Marty, is fourth in from the left.) It is a blessing to help these once forgotten veterans be laid to rest with honor. Please continue to pray that all “lost and forgotten” cremains of veterans in Montana, as well as across the nation, will be recovered and interred with the proper respect. For more information on the Montana State Chapter of the MIAP, click HERE. For the national website, visit: www.miap.us .
Covill & Perkins Family News
(These stories are included in the email version. To be on our prayer team and/or mailing list, please contact: allnationsfellowship2017(AT)gmail.com )
THANK YOU FOR YOUR PRAYERS AND SUPPORT. KNOWING YOU ARE THERE
GIVES US HOPE AND STRENGTH!
Rev. Jeny Running Brook & David Covill
Rev. Rikki and John Perkins
All Nations Fellowship
First Nations Monday