May 25, 2023
In 2019, members of Memorial UCC Fitchburg studied together in connection with the Conference-wide resolution on repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery. Later, a group from Memorial made the road trip to the HoCak UCC church to worship with, listen to, and enjoy a meal and conversation with our sibling congregation. We are continuing to engage in the ongoing work of addressing racial injustices in our community. Sunday, April 23, 2023, we commissioned Art Shegonee, a member of the Menominee and Potawatomi Tribes in Wisconsin to write a land acknowledgement for the land on which our church sits. Art joined us at the beginning of worship, telling stories of hope for our shared future. Memorial UCC’s land acknowledgement is:
Our Earth, “On Sacred Ground”
As we gather here today, as a faith community in many different locations on this beautiful sacred ground on which our church building sits, we acknowledge that the land we occupy is the sacred ancestral homeland of the Ho Chunk Nation and the 11 Tribes of Wisconsin.
In gratitude, we honor this land and the untold generations of its indigenous caretakers. Because of their stewardship, the rivers ran clean, the air was pure, the trees and the land thrived. As we celebrate God’s abundance and listen to the possibilities the seeds we will be planting, have to teach us. We invite you all, as you go forward in your life’s journey, to protect the water, air, and land. To learn and honor the rich history, of native cultures ancient wisdom, the diversity of thought, and the call for an interconnected future. The Menominee Nation in Wisconsin, is known all over the world for their Forest Restoration.
“We Do Not Inherit the Land From Our Ancestors, We Borrow It From Our Children.” Chief Seattle
(Memorial UCC’s land acknowledgement written by Art Shegonee and presented on April 23, 2023.)