Lincoln Church Infuses Christian Worship with Native American Traditions | Faith and values

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By ERIN ANDERSEN / Lincoln Journal Star

Sacred Winds Church features a blend of United Methodist worship and Native American cultural traditions, including the burning of sage, songs and prayers in the Dakota language.

Religious services are held at 11 am on Sunday at St. James United Methodist Church, 2400 S. 11th St. Sacred Winds is led by the Reverend Husband and Wife Ministerial Team. Alan Kitto Sr. and Bea Kitto. Alan Kitto is a Dakota Sioux; Bea Kitto is an Ojibwa Chippewa. Both have master’s degrees in divinity.

The Kittos, who served as missionaries in Albuquerque, NM, last year, were invited by their son Alan Kitto Jr. to come to Lincoln and lead the struggling Sacred Winds Church. With the support of United Methodist Church headquarters, the couple moved here. Soon after, they moved the church from its borrowed space to the Indian Center and accepted an invitation from St. James’s Church to use its sanctuary.

“We were very, very excited that they invited us to be with them in a chapel,” said Bea Kitto.

When the Kittos first arrived in Lincoln, only about five people attended church services. Last week 37 people attended.

Membership and interest in the Native American community is growing, said Alan Kitto Sr.

Sacred Winds Church offers its members Christian worship steeped in important Indigenous traditions, said Rev. Bea Kitto. At each service, the traditional “Prayer Song” and “Thank You Song” are sung in the Dakota language. Bea Kitto plays the traditional drum; Alan Kitto Jr. plays the piano.


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