Commemorating David Pendleton Oakerhater in Light of the Doctrine of Discovery

 A Commemoration of

David Pendleton Oakerhater
Deacon and Missionary of the Cheyenne, 1931

 God’s Warrior








…in light of the Doctrine of Discovery




Thursday, September 1, 2011 Saint Mark’s Cathedral
Seattle, Washington

A Preface Celebrant:

For many years now, we in the Diocese of Olympia have gathered together to commemorate the faithful lives of First Nations’ Holy Women and Holy Men, including Matoaka, Enmegahbow and David Pendleton Oakerhater. As a diocese, we have acknowledged and read aloud the Apology offered to the First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest in 1987. In 2008 we commemorated the New Jamestown Covenant, in recognition of tragic legacy of an unholy alliance behind the settlement of this nation. Today, we gather again, summoned by the vows of our Baptismal Covenant to prayerful reflection, learning, and worship in honor of Oakerhater– all in light of the Doctrine of Discovery.

At the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, 2009, our church took a major step by making a repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery. This “doctrine” refers to several documents and policies of church and state that governed the arrival in and conquest of the Americas by people from Europe. Together, these documents and policies encouraged, sanctioned, blessed and made legal the attempted destruction of the Indigenous Americas. And while 1492 was a long time ago, the consequences of that arrival continue to be manifest in practices and attitudes that do great damage to Native people.

Today, we come together as God’s people to be guided by the Holy Spirit in our listening, speaking, learning and doing as we commemorate the life and ministry of David Pendleton Oakerhater in light of the Doctrine of Discovery. This is a collaborative, interactive liturgy; we all are called to listen and respond to the word of God in the Talking Circle. We all are called to offer in our own words the prayers for the Church and the world.

An Order for Celebrating the Holy Eucharist

The People and Priest gather in a circle outside the cathedral

Celebrant  Blessed be the God of our salvation:                                                                                                                                                                                                                            The People* Who bears our burdens and forgives our sins.

Canticle G A Song of Ezekiel, Ezekiel 36:24-28 (from Enriching our Worship)

Leader and The People together, say:

I will take you from among all nations and gather you from all lands to bring you home.                                                              I will sprinkle clean water upon you; and purify you from false gods and uncleanness.                                                                  And a new heart I will give you, and a new spirit put within you.                                                                                                   I will take the stone heart from your chest and give you a heart of flesh.                                                                                         I will help you walk in my laws and cherish my commandments and do them.                                                                               You shall be my people and I will be your God.


Oakerhater is pronounced: O-Kuh-ha-tah)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    * “The People” is an English equivalent for what many First Nations tribes call themselves, e.g. Dine, in Navajo, means, the people.


Leader: We pray in four directions to locate our worship in this time and place, being mindful of those who have come before us and in whose midst we live and pray. Today, as we ponder the implications of the clash between our faith and the history of our nation, we also name some of the perspectives from which we come to this challenging and important task.

(Please turn to each direction as the leader invites. East is opposite the cathedral doors. As we pray in each direction, you are invited to add water to bowl in the center. Following the prayer, this water will be used for a blessing.)

Leader: We face the East. We give thanks for our sisters and brothers: the Snoqualmie, Yakima, Colville, Kalispell and Spokane peoples, and for the gifts of the rising sun, the Cascade Mountains, Snoqualmie Falls and Mount Rainier, a place sacred to many people, and for Jesus, our Light of humility, vision and new life.

We pray with all people whose ancestors came here from Europe that we may learn to live together with respect and wisdom.

The People: Come, Light of the World, shine in our darkness.

Leader: We face the North. We give thanks for our sisters and brothers the Samish, Lummi, Stillaguamish, Nooksack, Sauk-Suiattle, Suquamish, Swinomish and Snohomish Peoples; and for First Nations Peoples of Vancouver Island, British Columbia and Alaska, and for the gift of Mount Baker, the fertile Skagit Valley and for the wisdom and dignity given to all of God’s people.

We pray with all people whose ancestors came to this land from Africa, Asia, and India, may we share power wisely.

The People: Come, Spirit of wisdom and make the circle whole.

Leader: We face the West. We give thanks for our sisters and brothers, the Quileute, Quinault, S’Klallam, Makah, Shoalwater, Suquamish, and Hoh Peoples, and for the great Pacific Ocean with its mighty whales, winds, birds and water creatures; and for the gifts of compassion and unity with all of God’s creation.

We pray with all people whose ancestors have lived on this land for more than a thousand years, may we work together for healing and hope.

The People: Come, Holy Spirit, and give us grace to be your people.

Leader: We face the South. We give thanks for our sisters and brothers, the Puyallup, Nisqually, Steilacoom, Squaxin, Muckleshoot, Chehalis, Skokomish, Duwamish, Lower Elwah, and Chinook; and for the gifts of the abundance of the earth; for Mount Hood and Mount Saint Helens and the Columbia River.

We pray with all people whose ancestors come from all of these places, may we dwell together in peace.

The People: Come Creator and abide with us.

Leader: We turn toward each other to complete the circle. We look at our circle and see one another, praising you for the gifts you have given us here. We give you thanks for you son, Jesus, who binds us together in love and dignity. We honor and remember those who are not present with us this day. We ask you to bless us and make us holy by your presence with us. Give us arms ever reaching to increase the circle, ears quick to hear both laughter and tears of relatives and strangers, eyes seeking new vision and hearts strong with the courage to be God’s people in this place.

The People: Amen.

Celebrant: Almighty God, who through the water of baptism has raised us from sin into new life, and by the power of your life-giving Spirit ever cleanses and sanctifies your people. Bless, we pray you, this water for the service of your holy church; and grant that it may be a sign of the transforming power of you grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

[ An optional water blessing.]

The Smudging

As we enter the cathedral, we will be offered the fragrant smoke from a mixture of sage, cedar, fir and sweet grass. We will “wash” the smoke over our bodies as a symbol of our acceptance of God’s grace and purification. Fragrant incense has been used within the Church for centuries, to remind worshipers of the presence of God, and as a symbol of the restoration that comes from a heart open to God’s healing.

The procession continues into the cathedral

A Song Beautiful Morning (Traditional Cherokee)

We n’ de ya ho, We n’ de ya ho, We n’ de ya, We n’ de ya Ho ho ho ho, He ya ho, He ya ho, Ya ya ya Translation – “A we n'” (I am), “de” (of), “Yauh” –the– (Great Spirit), “Ho” (it is so). Written as: A we n’ de Yauh ho (I am of the Great Spirit, Ho!). This language stems from very ancient Cherokee

Celebrant:       The Lord be with you.
The People: And also with you.
Celebrant:        Let us pray.

Proclaim and Respond to the Word of God

Collect for the Day

O God of unsearchable wisdom and infinite mercy, who chose a captive warrior, David Oakerhater, to be your servant, and sent him to be a missionary to his own people and to exercise the office of a deacon among them: Liberate us, who commemorate him today, from bondage to self, and empower us for service to you and to the neighbors you have given us; through Jesus Christ, the captain of our salvation; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.

Please be seated for the readings.

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah (52:7-10)

7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” 8Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy; for in plain sight they see the return of the Lord to Zion. 9 Break forth together into singing, you ruins of Jerusalem; for the Lord has comforted his people, he has redeemed Jerusalem. 10 The Lord has bared his holy arm before the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

After each reading:

Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.
The People: We open our hearts to hear.

Psalm 96 (St. Helena Psalter)

1 Sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the whole earth. 2 Sing and bless God’s holy Name; proclaim the good news of salvation from day today. 3 Declare God’s glory among the nations God’s wonders among all peoples. 4 For God is great and greatly to be praised; more to be feared than all gods. 5 As for all the gods of the nations, they are but idols; but it is God who made the heavens. 6 Oh, the majesty and magnificence of God’s presence! Oh, the power and the splendor of God’s sanctuary! 7. Ascribe to God, you families of the peoples; ascribe to God honor and power.

Romans 8:1-6

8 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do: by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 so that the just requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.

After each reading:

Reader: Hear what the Spirit is saying to God’s people.
The People: We open our hearts to hear.

Gospel Acclamation: Helelluyan (Wonder Love and Praise #783)

He-le-lu-yan, he-le-lu-yan; he-le, he-le-lu-yan; he-le-lu-yan; he-le-lu-yan; he-le, he-le-lu-yan; (Muscogee, Creek,)

                      The Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke (Luke 10:1-9)                                                                        The People: Glory to you, Lord Christ.

10 1 After this the Lord appointed seventy others and sent them on ahead of him in pairs to every town and place where he himself intended to go. 2 He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore ask the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. 3 Go on your way. See, I am sending you out like lambs into the midst of wolves. 4Carry no purse, no bag, no sandals; and greet no one on the road. 5 Whatever house you enter, first say, ‘Peace to this house!’ 6 And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. 7 Remain in the same house, eating and drinking whatever they provide, for the laborer deserves to be paid. Do not move about from house to house. 8 Whenever you enter a town and its people welcome you, eat what is set before you; 9 cure the sick who are there, and say to them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’

                      The Gospel of the Lord.
The People: Praise to you, Lord Christ.

An Invitation to a Guided Talking Circle:    “Commemorating the Life of David Pendleton, Oakerhater in light of the Doctrine of Discovery”

Creator God of the Salish Sea, Mount Tahoma and the Great River*; God of those who came to this land and of those who were here long ago;                   As you sent Jesus to be God with us, bringing healing and hope to our wounds and brokenness through your Holy Spirit;                                                      grant us wisdom to live with generosity and compassion that we may be reconciled to you and to each-other                                                                                     as we live together in this land that is yours, that you may be our God, and we may be your people. Amen.

* Earlier names for Puget Sound, Mt. Rainier and the Columbia River.

The Talking Circle

Prayers for the World and the Church

Leader: In these prayers we respond to the Four Directions Prayer, readings, music, gestures, and the Talking Circle, as we pray for ourselves, the world and the church. Today we use our own words and call upon the Spirit to help us with groaning to deep for words.

(After each bidding, we respond)

                                You are our God,                                                                                                                                                                     The People: We are becoming your people.

We remember with thanksgiving those who have come before us, especially David Pendleton Oakerhater and …

We give thanks for …                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  We lament the injustice and cruelty of our past …                                                                                                                                                                                                                We repent for the things done our behalf that do not proclaim Good News to all people…                                                                                                                              We ask your presence for healing and hope for all people….                                                                                                                                                                                          We ask for your guidance upon our efforts to learn about and attend to our past …                                                                                                                                                For what else shall we pray…

Exchange the Peace

                                               The peace of Christ be always with you.
The People: And also with you.

Giving and Receiving

Today’s offering will go to the Diocesan Ethnic Ministry in their work throughout the diocese. The First Nations Committee of the Diocese gives you a copy of the collect prepared today’s gathering.

Celebrant: Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east,  and from the west I will gather you;  I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters form the end of the earth – everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.’ (Isaiah 43:5-7)

A Song Come now, O Prince of Peace (Wonder Love and Praise # 795)

Prepare the Table

The Great Thanksgiving

Celebrant The Lord be with you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The People And also with you.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Celebrant Lift up you hearts.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         The People We lift them to the Lord.                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Celebrant Let us give thanks for the Lord our God.                                                                                                                                                                                                             The People It is right to give God thanks and praise.

The Celebrant gives thanks for God for the created order, and for God’s self-revelation to the human race in history; recalls before God the particular occasion being commemorated;

And, so we join the saints and angels in proclaiming your glory, as we say,

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,  heaven and earth are full of your glory.  Hosanna in the highest.                                                                      Blessed in the one who comes in the name of the Lord.  Hosanna in the highest.

The Celebrant now praises God for the salvation of the world through Christ Jesus.                                                                                                                                 On the night before he died for us, our Savior Jesus Christ took bread, and when he had given thanks to you, he broke it, and gave it to his friends, and said:                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      “Take, eat: this is my Body which is given for you.          Do this in remembrance of me.”                                                                                                                                      As supper was ending, Jesus took the cup of wine, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said                                                                      “Drink this, all of you: This is my blood of the new Covenant,  which is poured out for you and for all for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for remembrance of me.” …                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Remembering now the suffering and death                                                                                                                                                                                                        proclaiming the resurrection and ascension of Jesus our Redeemer, we bring before you these gifts.
Sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of Christ. …                                                                                                                           Through Christ and with Christ and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,                                                                                                                                                          to you be honor and glory, and praise, for ever and ever. AMEN.

Celebrant: As Christ teaches us we pray

(The Lord’s Prayer from A New Zealand Prayer Book)

Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker, Pain-bearer, Life-giver,
Source of all that is and that shall be,
Father and Mother of us all, loving God, in whom is heaven:

The hallowing of your name, echo through the universe,
The way of your justice, be followed by the peoples of the world.
Your heavenly will be done, by all created beings.
Your commonwealth of peace and freedom, sustain our hope and come on earth.

With the bread we need for today, feed us.
With the hurts we absorb from one another, forgive us.
From trials too great to endure, spare us.
From the grip of all that is evil, free us.

For you reign, in the glory of the power that is love, now and forever. Amen.

The Breaking of the Bread

Celebrant: We break this bread to share in the Body of Christ.
The People: We who are many are one body, for we all share in the one bread.
Celebrant: The Gifts of God for the People of God.

Hymn “Peace Before Us” Wonder Love and Praise, #791

Post-communion Prayer

Loving God, we give you thanks for restoring us in your image and nourishing us with spiritual food in the Sacrament of Christ’s Body and Blood. Now send us forth a people forgiven, healed, renewed; that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior. Amen.

A Blessing May the blessing of the God of all people,                                                                                                                                                                                                                              the peace of Christ and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit                                                                                                                                                                                                               be behind us, under our feet,   within us,   over us and all around us.                                                                                                                                                                          May all around us be peace. Amen.

Closing Hymn Many and Great (Lacquiparle, Dakota Chant) Hymnal# 385

                               Let us bless the Lord.                                                                                                                                                                  The People: Thanks be to God.


David Pendleton Oakerhater (O-Kuh-Ha-Tah)

Originally named Making Medicine, David Pendleton Oakerhater, a Cheyenne warrior, was held prisoner at Fort Marion, Florida following disputes over Indian land rights. While there in Florida, Oakerhater, moved from leadership and distinction in battle to a lifelong ministry of peace. He became “God’s warrior in a war that makes all for peace.” At his baptism in 1878 he took the name David Pendleton, in honor of his benefactress. Ordained to the diaconate in 1881, his fifty years of ministry among the Cheyenne and Arapaho included founding and operating schools and missions, and pastoral care, often through great personal sacrifice and in the face of apathy and resistance.

Oakerhater’s signature glyph portrays a man in a sun dance lodge. His long life of faith and ministry was sustained by both traditional Native spirituality as well Episcopalian Christianity. The Whirlwind Mission of the Holy Family, in Watonga, Oklahoma is still active today. St. Paul’s Cathedral in Oklahoma City has a chapel and an annual celebration to the memory of Oakerhater.


The Baptismal Covenant

is the Apostle’s Creed followed by the following questions.

Celebrant Will you continue in the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers?

Celebrant Will you persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?

Celebrant Will you proclaim by word and example the Good News of God in Christ?

Celebrant Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself?
Celebrant Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being?

The answer to each question is, ThePeople I will, with God’s help.

(See the Book of Common Prayer pp 304-305.)

Note: This Liturgy was prepared by the First Nations Committee of the Diocese of Olympia for September 1, 2011. You are encouraged to use it.          Please acknowledge where you found it.

About kathrynrickert

Possibly from watching the movie Bambie at the age of 6, I have had a life-long awareness that saying ONLY nice things, does not make the world just or kind. Thus, my 2009 doctoral dissertation..."Talking Back to God" , is one of the main aspects of the work I do. Always interdisciplinary, seeking connections across borders that are usually marked with DO NOT ENTER, I seek to pay attention, pray, think, create,and imagine using biblical laments, Christian worship texts, and the ordinary stuff of everyday life.
This entry was posted in God at Gatherings, food, drink and holy stuff, God at Work, God in Creation, God in Relationships, God in Struggle and Distress, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Commemorating David Pendleton Oakerhater in Light of the Doctrine of Discovery

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