Christian Citizenship Seminar 2017 Will Focus on Native American Rights and Food Security

Photo by Kendra Harbeck
The group of participants at Christian Citizenship Seminar 2016

By Paige Butzlaff

Christian Citizenship Seminar (CCS) will happen on April 22-27, 2017. The theme will be “Native American Rights and Food Security,” related to the scripture from Matthew 5:6, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.”

CCS’s goal is to provide high school-aged students with the chance to explore the relationship between their faith and a particular pressing political issue, and then act from a faith perspective regarding that issue.

Nearly one in four individuals who identify as Native American face food insecurity–uncertainty about the source of their next meal. The rate of food insecurity in native populations is nearly 10 percent higher than the rest of the United States’ population. This creates a situation in which native populations often face greater health risks and lower standards of living.

This CCS will ask how we, as followers of Jesus, can join with our native sisters and brothers to positively affect change in this situation. CCS participants will learn about the history of native land rights and the current food insecurity experienced on Native American reservations, as well as the enduring impacts on native health and well-being.

The cost of registration is $400 per person, which includes event programming, lodging for five nights, two dinner meals, and transportation from New York to Washington, D.C. Each participant will need to bring additional money for other meals, sightseeing, personal expenses, and subway/taxi fares.

CCS will begin on Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m. in New York City, and will end by 12 noon on Thursday, April 27, in Washington, D.C. All high school-age youth and their adult advisors are welcome to attend. Churches are strongly encouraged to send an advisor with their youth, even if only one or two youth attend. Churches are required to send one advisor for every four youth. CCS is sponsored by the Youth and Young Adult Ministry of the Church of the Brethren.

Registration opens Dec. 1 at 12 p.m. (central time). Registration will be limited to the first 60 participants. Please register right away! To register go to


Paige Butzlaff is a Brethren Volunteer Service worker serving with the Church of the Brethren Youth and Young Adult Ministry. She is a member of La Verne (Calif.) Church of the Brethren.



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