Sweat Lodges on the Grounds of St. Luke Presbyterian Church

July 5, 2003

Source: Star Tribune


On July 5, 2003 the Star Tribune reported that "through the trees, a small patch of blue sky lit the sacred grounds, where two empty sweat lodges stood... A mixture of smells lingered in the air -- cedar, sage and sweet grass. The grounds were prepared for the sacred drum to beat and the singing to begin. The body had to be purified before the men entered the lodges and the doors closed... For a few hours last week, [Jim] Thunderhawk and the men in his nonprofit parenting program were detached from their city lives, which they left behind by navigating through afternoon rush hour to St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka [MN], home to the sweat lodges... The sweat lodge ceremony, common among many tribes, is about purification. It involves meditation, prayer, song and personal commitments, Thunderhawk said. The heart of the ceremony comes from the beating of a hand drum accompanied with prayer songs that Thunderhawk learned from the grandfathers."