Moving to Michigan
The Land of the Anishinaabek
For the past 15 years Terry and Darlene Wildman have been visiting the Northwestern area of the lower peninsula of Michigan, building relationships with some local churches, houses of prayer, and the Grand Traverse Bay Band and Little Traverse Bay Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians. Over the past two summers RainSong shared our music and storytelling and helped lead the camp-meetings at all three Indian Mission churches in the Grand Traverse Bay area.
RainSong has been traveling full time for over 10 years now, sowing seeds of healing an reconciliation as we have visited state after state crisscrossing this great continent. After much recent prayer we felt a growing desire to focus our ministry on a more local level, living close to a Native community, and investing in relationships on an ongoing basis.
This past January we felt led to make a trip to the Grand Traverse Bay area of Michigan and reconnect with the churches, tribal centers, house of prayer and friends in the area. We discovered that the pastor of the Northport United Methodist Indian mission was retiring, and some of our friends thought we should pray about pastoring that church. After more prayer and waiting on Creator, we felt the desire to press forward and explore the possibility of pastoring again.
Long story, short, we met with Anita Hahn, the Grand Traverse District Superintendant of the West Michigan Conference of the United Methodist Church, to explore possibilities. And now, after 3 months of prayer and waiting on our Creator, we have accepted a pastorate at the Northport UMC Indian Mission, beginning this summer–July 1st 2015.
Since this is a part-time pay position, we will still need the financial support from those who have been so gracious to us in the past. The greatest part of our support has always come from our travels, and now our traveling will be greatly reduced (only 8 weeks out of the year), we will need to supplement what the church is able to give us with your support.
We have already sold our home in Arizona. It sold quickly and at full asking price! We packed our U-haul on May 2nd and moved our household into a storage unit near Suttons Bay Michigan. We will return to Arizona on May 17th to close on our house, pick up the RV and Jeep and begin a ministry trip that will take us through Minnesota and Wisconsin on our way to Michigan. We plan to live in our RV for the summer as we look for a new home. During the Month of June we will be sharing our music and storytelling on June 26-28th at the Sing to the Mountains Music Festival in North Carolina and July 23-25 at the Wiconi Family Camp and Powwow in Oregon.