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I am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness but have the light of life.
Dakota Association, organized on September 2, 1888, is a unit of ministry of the Council for American Indian Ministry of the United Church of Christ.
Dakota Association includes 13 Lakota/Dakota churches located on reservations throughout South Dakota and two churches over the border in Nebraska and North Dakota. Dakota Association also relates collaboratively to the South Dakota Conference United Church of Christ.
Dakota Hymn Recording Session April 16, 17, 18, 2009 - Eagle Butte Learning Center
Thanks to Jose DeJesus, Local Church Ministries staff from the National UCC headquarters in Cleveland at least fifty of our Dakota hymns will be available on CD. Jose has a long-time interest in Indian ministry having been an instructor at Cook College and Theological School, now called Cook Native American Ministries, an instructor at the Eagle Butte Learning Center, and a workshop presenter at a number of our annual Mission Meetings. He also spent a three-month sabbatical in Dakota Association.
Rev DeJesus proposed a Dakota hymn recording project to Administrator Winifred Boub several months ago. The purpose is to make CD’s available to DA congregations that for the most part have no musical accompaniment for congregational singing. The diminishing number of church members familiar with Dakota hymns does not feel comfortable singing without the support of accompaniment. The CD’s can be played to assist with hymn singing in the churches. Recording the congregational singing of hymns will not only serve its primary purpose but also provide a way for new comers to learn Dakota hymns and, just as important, serve to assist in the preservation of our Lakota language.
A group of about twenty-five singers enjoyed the technical and musical expertise provided by Jose as we practiced and then recorded a total of 33 hymns. This was done in three days’ time from Thursday through Saturday. We perhaps didn’t start out to be in “good voice” but with practice and direction from Jose as he operated the recording system we actually sounded like a good choir. Besides that we had a very enjoyable time in the process.
Funding for the project is provided by the Local Church Ministries. The funding provided mileage for participants and a daily catered lunch. Another recording session will be held the first week in May. The goal is to record at least fifty hymns.
The kingdom of God is within you.