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Guest Authors
August 31, 2023

World Missions Ministry Spotlight: The Owen Project Moves to Navajoland

The Owen Project has officially relocated to the Navajoland Area Mission. A second trip was made this summer to visit Episcopal churches in Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico. Six churches and missions were visited, twenty-five HP Chromebooks were deployed, and training sessions were held to introduce the laptops and to explore their use by staff and parishioners. The Episcopal Church in Navajoland office is located in Farmington, New Mexico and has a small indigenous IT staff who coordinated these meetings and introduced possible expansions of our project. Paramount among these is a goal of creating an internet lab at each church, which could be utilized by students for homework assignments and by adults for resume building and establishing links to Zoom healthcare appointments.

Like many communities in the American West, there are concerns about access to water, mining rights, and political initiatives to empower local self-determination. Navajo elders were very interested in keeping abreast of these developments online. The primary challenge is WiFi access. I will be writing a proposal for six Starlink Satellite WiFi antennas and routers, which will link churches directly to the internet regardless of remote location or absence of fiber optic cable infrastructure. In addition to these technological investments, there is an overriding hope that members of the local communities will be drawn to these churches not only as places to connect to the web, but to find some spiritual comfort and compassion.

Mark Keddal
Owen Project Co-Founder
St. Andrew's, Seguin

A small group of parishioners from St. Andrew's, Seguin traveled to the Episcopal Church in Navajoland in 2022 to discuss moving the Owen Project there with its bishop and congregation leaders; this change would shift its focus from Honduras and Guatemala to communities closer to home. In Central America, the Owen Project team learned that there are no clear givers and receivers in mission work. Instead, two communities explore how it is that we are to love God with all of our hearts and to love our neighbors as ourselves. The Owen Project has an exciting chapter ahead as it continues learning alongside new partners in Navajoland.

  • Click here for more information and history of the Owen Project.

Photos from the Summer 2023 trip provided by Sally Keddal.

Sally and Mark Keddal during their most recent trip to The Episcopal Church in Navajoland. The Keddals founded the Owen Project in memory of their son whose high school mission trip was a transformative experience.
The Rev. Paula Henson, Deacon for the Utah Region of the Episcopal Church in Navajoland, and Mark Keddal training community members. A framed photo of Owen Keddal, the ministry's inspiration, sits on the table.

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