The Episcopal Church in Navajoland (ECN), covering the 27,000 square miles of the Navajo Nation, is the Church's only Area Mission. As such it needs and deserves support from the entire church. Through the Rt. Rev. David Bailey, the Bishop there, we of St. Andrew’s have learned of their work toward self-sufficiency while incorporating Navajo traditions and spirituality into Christian worship.
Several Episcopal medical missions with churches were built many years ago--in Fort Defiance, Arizona, in 1894, in Farmington, New Mexico, in 1922, and in Bluff, Utah, in 1942--and still form the core church presence. A few small churches serve outlying areas. Now the old buildings are to be repurposed for community development and local enterprises--a soap-making business in Fort Defiance, the Hozho Wellness Center and website services business in Farmington, and a community center and retreat center in Bluff.
St. Andrew's and ECN. Our relationship began with Bishop Bailey's visit to St. Andrew’s in 2018. In 2019, three St. Andrew’s members visited the Navajoland church the better to understand the mission and ways we might learn and help. After seeing several sites, the mission at Bluff was decided as the site for our efforts. Due to COVID the initial service trip was delayed until autumn 2022 when a St. Andrew's group was able to complete several small projects.
Through regular “Last Sunday Offerings” St. Andrew’s parishioners have raised over $50,000 to meet pressing needs including two used pickup trucks to deliver food, fuel, and medical, health, and building supplies to the widely-dispersed community.
Note: During the COVID pandemic, the clergy and staff of the mission have been stretched thin by the extreme needs of their community with food, water, and medical deliveries as well as pastoral care. Service teams such as ours, a source of revenue as well as manual labor, have been unable to visit. The current need is great.
Please see ecofnavajoland.org for more information.