Duwamish tribe & Bethany community Church
We would like to acknowledge that our current church site sits on the traditional land of the first people of Seattle, the Duwamish People past and present, and honor with gratitude the land and the Duwamish Tribe.
In 2016, at Bethany's 100 year anniversary, we as a church, examined our beginnings and realized our historical connection with the Duwamish Tribe. We later began to engage in a more intentional conversation around race and justice and were challenged by the prophetic voice of SPU professor, Dr. Salter-McNeil, to do more. Using her book Roadmap to Reconciliation as a guide, Pastor Phil and several lay leaders made it a priority to seek reconciliation and relationship with the Duwamish People. Bethany Community Church is excited to partner with the Duwamish today.
“Bethany began about 1900 as an Indian Mission.” One short sentence is all we have in our records that hints at what Bethany’s beginnings were all about. We have no idea how many people banded together for this endeavor, who they were, or what they did. We do know that at least some of these people stayed together in fellowship as they went through several changes that finally led them to become Bethany Baptist Church in 1916. [From “Bethany History”, 1983]
We confess that as an organization, while well-meaning and a product of our time and culture, we were directly a part of the process of stripping the Duwamish of their culture in an attempt to westernize them. We further recognize our current church site sits on land that is the traditional territory of the Duwamish Tribe. As Seattleites, we have benefited from the injustices done to the Duwamish and we as a church have been silent in the past. We confess we have not stood against the oppression, injustice, and racism against our Native American brothers and sisters. We grieve this wrong. We purpose to stand with the Duwamish and no longer be silent. We want to stand against the current systems that perpetuate racial injustice. We want to listen to and learn from the Duwamish. We want a chance to build relationship and trust. We want to serve them in practical ways.
We believe we have many things in common with the values of the Duwamish. Among many, a few are:
- Commitment to Family
- Reverence for the land and environment
- Appreciation for unity and community
- Respect for elders
- Love of the Creator
For more information on the Duwamish People, visit duwamishtribe.org
To get involved, contact Pastor Phil.
Adoption and Foster Care Ministry
The Foster Care Ministry seeks to support children and families within the foster care system, partnering with our local Department of Social and Health Services to provide for material needs, mentoring, and other services.
The Adoption and Foster Care Support Group offers support, fellowship, and education to anyone who is curious about or connected to adoption or foster care. Attendees can include those thinking of adopting or providing foster care, those currently in the process, those who have adopted, and those who have been adopted.
To learn more about how to get involved with Bethany's Adoption and Foster Care Ministry, contact Nathan Nelson.