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First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament
by Terry M. Wildman and First Nations Version Translation Council Translation Council

Many First Nations tribes communicate with their original tongues’ cultural and linguistic thought patterns. The First Nations Version (FNV) recounts the Creator’s Story―the Christian Scriptures―following Native storytellers’ oral cultures. With its simple yet profound beauty and rich cultural idioms, this way of speaking still resonates in the hearts of First Nations people.

The FNV is a dynamic equivalence translation that captures the simplicity, clarity, and beauty of Native storytellers in English while remaining faithful to the original language of the New Testament. Whether you are Native or not, you will experience the Scriptures in a fresh and new way.

Native American Contextual Ministry: Making the Transition
by Casey Church (Author), Ray Martell (Editor), Sue Martell (Editor)

Casey Church is convinced that if Native American churches are effective and fruitful, they must take advantage of the Native cultural context. He believes that they must do whatever is necessary to help lead every lost Native person to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. As a result of his research on organizational change, barriers to change, and the best approaches to making change, Dr. Church can help pastors and church leaders better understand the transitions and changes they will face when they transition to a Native American Contextual Ministry.

Dr. Church introduces ideas and approaches for making change and transition achievable without anxiety and fear. Learning about the process of change and growth will provide ‘handles’ that pastors and church leaders can use to manage change and transition to create the Native church of the future. Explicitly written to encourage those ready for change, this book contains personal experiences, specific situations, proven approaches, and practical advice for pastors and laity to approach change and transition confidently.

Holy Smoke: The Contextual Use of Native American Ritual and Ceremony
by Casey Church (Author)

Church argues that discipleship among Native peoples is best undertaken as a spiritual journey that has at its core biblical instruction and mentoring by individuals and families that model a lifestyle that reflects transformation in Jesus Christ. When accompanied by the ‘contextual’ use of Native rites such as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, the Pipe Ceremony, and Powwow dancing and singing with the drum, participants who go through these ‘rites of passage’ experience an increased sense of spiritual well-being and self-esteem through this authentic Native expression of their Christian faith. The book illustrates deep reflection and integration of biblical teaching in the preparation and practice of these Native rites, transforming the old embedded meanings of these rites, while retaining their distinctive familiarity for participants. Church shows how the integration of biblical instruction, the practice of a biblical lifestyle, and contextual sacred and ceremonial rites in alcohol recovery and family camp ministries have together led to recovery and spiritual development in Christ. We commend this book to anyone who has a serious commitment to making disciples in Native American communities.

Sherwood Lingenfelter, Senior Professor, and Judith Lingenfelter, Affiliate Professor, Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena, CA.

Native American Rites of Passage: The Process of Change and Transition
by Casey Church (Author)

The Christian message and discipleship training have often come with the cultural baggage of the non-native Christians who have worked among Native populations. While spiritual formation is the ultimate goal of presenting Christ’s message, the message has often been rejected as the White Man’s Gospel. This study examines traditional Native American rituals and demonstrates how these rituals can deepen Native American identity and help Native Christians grow in Christ.

The study is presented within the context of two Native American ministries: The Brethren in Christ Alcohol Overcomers program and Wiconi International and its Family Camp. These contextual ministries have started to help Native Americans see how their forms can have new meaning in helping them become stronger Christians. When accompanied by the contextual use of Native rites such as the Sweat Lodge Ceremony, the Pipe Ceremony, Powwow dancing, and singing with the drum, participants who go through these rites of passage experience an increased sense of spiritual well-being and self-esteem through the authentic Native expression of their Christian faith. This revised version of Church’s doctoral dissertation will benefit anyone who has a serious commitment to making disciples in Native American communities.

The Everlasting People: G. K. Chesterton and the First Nations
by Matthew J. Milliner (Author), Casey Church (Foreword), David Iglesias (Contributor), David Hooker (Contributor), Amy Peeler (Contributor)

What does the cross of Christ have to do with the thunderbird? How might the life and work of Christian writer G. K. Chesterton shed light on our understanding of North American Indigenous art and history? This unexpected connection forms the basis of these discerning reflections by the art historian Matthew Milliner. In this fifth volume in the Hansen Lectureship Series, Milliner appeals to Chesterton’s life and work―including The Everlasting Man, his neglected poetry, his love for his native England, and his own visits to America―to understand and appreciate both Indigenous art and the complex, often tragic history of First Nations peoples, especially in the American Midwest. The Hansen Lectureship series offers accessible and insightful reflections by Wheaton College faculty on the transformative work of the Wade Center authors.

Christ Is Building His Native Church: Strategies and Methods for Planting Indigenous Churches
by Joseph Jolly (Author)

This monograph is a review of cross-cultural principles which examines the strategies and methodologies of planting indigenous churches as a resource for Native leaders, incumbent missionaries, and missionary candidates who are or will be working among the Native Indian people of Canada. Beginning with an overview of the origin of the three distinct groups of Aboriginal People in Canada and their unique cultural differences, a historical review of the Indian people’s first encounter with European explorers and Christianity is provided, showing the failure of European missions to establish indigenous churches owing to their policies of assimilation, paternalism, and colonialism.

The birth of the national native church and its mission is next re-counted, focusing on the Native Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, Inc (NEFC) as a model. Significant attention is given to the definition of indigenous church principles, known as the three self-principles, which follow the Pauline pattern of establishing independent churches. A fourth self or self-theologizing principle is offered, explaining contextualization and the steps in developing a Native theology. The remainder of the study focuses on cross-cultural communication principles and provides a strategy for Native evangelism, with recommendations on Mission/Church relations and qualifications for the church planter.