I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.

John 8:12

Bazile Creek is considered the “Mother Church of the Dakota Assocation.

Dakota Association Events & Gatherings

The photos reflect a very busy 2008.  With Neighbors in Need offerings from the United Church of Christ, churches are kept open with pastoral leadership.  A summer encampment is held between Dakota Association and the Dakota Presbytery.  Youth have their own camp and also join in with their elders.  Some go outside their walls to join in social justice causes around land tenure issues.

Pastor Byron Buffalo at the new church at Frazier Memorial. Pastor Byron Buffalo and Piospaye Gospel – Piospaye means extended family. Music group that performs throughout the Lakota community for special occasions and events.

Truman Bobtail Bear is the preacher for the worship service. Plans to be a preacher like his maternal and paternal grandfathers. Here is doing a sermon, at the annual mission meeting, which includes a youth day and workshops.

Dakota Association has joined with the Dakota Presbytery for over 100 years for a week in the summer to promote ecumenical fellowship and strengthen the bonds of friendship.  In this photo, the teenagers are leading the worship service.

Tiana, Byron, and Toni Buffalo attend the meeting of the Pacific Islander Asian American Ministries meeting in Honolulu, HI.  They presented land issues, including the desecration of Bear Butte, that affect them in South Dakota.

Toni Buffalo speaks at a Native Hawaiian Church.

Melissa Woo and Ron Fujiyoshi, Members of the Pacific Islander Asian American Ministries stand in front of Bear Butte, a sacred site.  They have come to Dakota Association to seek a partnership and find commonality on land issues.

Tiana Buffalo join young Native Hawaiians in their summer program.

This is a a group of bikers that stopped at Upper Cheyenne UCC while following the route of Big Foot Band to Wounded Knee.

Wa wo o hola Camp

An important summer experience is Youth Camp when UCC youth from the reservation churches come together at Wa wo o hola Camp. Wa wo o hola means respect. This is the first such camp where Native and non-Native youth, from the Dakota Association, the Sioux Falls and Rapid city areas, come together for a cross cultural experience,, in Bridger, South Dakota. Along with experiences in Lakota culture, they enjoy games, fellowship and food.

Activities incorporate a cultural exchange, in this photo, youth are learning to play Lakota hand games. Lots of fun, laughter and learning!

Learning how to shoot an arrow at a deer decoy. 

Tipis set up at Wa wo o hola Youth Camp in Bridger, South Dakota. Bridger is just next to the Cheyenne River and is where the Upper Cheyenne UCC is located.

Acting UCC SD Conference Minister, Marc Stewart and Upper Cheyenne UCC Pastor, Byron Buffalo setting up the Tipis for the Wa wo o hola Camp.

2008 Youth Wa wo o hola Reconciliation Camp - Louie Blue Coat, SD Acting Conference Minister - Marc Stewart and Pastor Ted Huffman of Rapid City First Congregational UCC, assisting w/ the youth at the camp.  Right now holding up the little red pick-up.

Spirit Youth Ministries Youth Camp
Messiah UCC's One Spirit Youth Ministries Youth Camp 2009

The kingdom of God is within you.

Luke 17:21