Chapel plans trip to Pine Ridge in May

SARA WEINREIS                                  


The Chapel of Reconciliation is planning a trip to Pine Ridge Indian Reservation for May 24-27, joining hundreds of others from around the world. The event is a “pilgrimage of trust on earth” set up by Taize, an ecumenical monastery in France.

“I’m attending the event because I think it’s important to engage in conversation with our brothers and sisters living on Pine Ridge and to search for ways in which we can work together to bring about reconciliation and understanding,” junior Drew Trahms said.

“Living in some of the poorest places around the world, the Taize brothers bring their unique perspective to facilitate and enrich communication and fellowship amongst those attending.”

The brothers of Taize submerge themselves into other’s cultures to, according their webpage, “overcome barriers and differences in order to welcome and enrich one another.”

The South Dakota event coordinator, Rita Powell, spoke at chapel one Wednesday, promoting the event.

“It has never ceased to amaze me how many white South Dakotans I meet who simply have no interactions with the native population in this state at all,” Powell said. “There is a very real gap that has risen in our state that is one we honestly don’t know how to cross.”

The event will be filled with fellowships, workshops and dialogue throughout the weekend, along with food provided by those living on the reservation.

“From what I know, Taize kind of builds upon both of these ideas by drawing from multiple languages and cultures to create a new collection of memorable worship songs,” sophomore Jordan Dobroski said. “It’s also a lot more reflective than your typical worship style, so I think it’s easier for people to make a connection.”

Dobroski also said that the camping and sightseeing alone will make the trip worthwhile along with the age group involved. The event is limited to people who are 18 to 35 years-old, unless there is a supervisor needed for large groups.

“Our commitment is: If people came from all over the world, to understand and support the plight of Native Americans, and if people don’t come from South Dakota, then that’s a really unfortunate thing,” Pastor Paul Rohde said. “I’m convinced that the trips to Pine Ridge are some of the most counter-cultural events we offer at Augie.”

The event begins after noon on Friday, May 24, and ends Monday, May 27. There will be groups carpooling that Friday and then another group leaving following commencement on Saturday, May 25. Anyone interested can sign up in the chapel at any time. The trip will cost students $50.