What do saddle horses, bishops, prairie dogs and parish clergy have in common? About 40 dusty South Dakota Episcopalians discovered the connection recently at the second annual Rattlesnake Roundup in the tiny Badlands community of Red Shirt table.
The event did not gather up any rattlesnakes, but instead brought together Indians and non-Indians for food, fun, and fellowship.
Led by the Rev. Robert Two Bulls, vicar of St. Matthew’s Church in Rapid City, and accompanied by the Rt. Rev. Craig Anderson, Bishop of South Dakota, adventurous participants of all ages camped and explored rugged canyons during the weekend jamboree.
The roundup developed as a result of the efforts of Fr. Two Bulls and the Rev. David Cameron, rector of Emmanuel Church in Rapid City, to encourage fellowship, as 75 of the diocese’s 110 congregations are located on Indian reservations.
“It is unconventional to think of an event like this as evangelism, but when Christians share food and fellowship in beautiful surroundings, that is exactly what occurs,” Bishop Anderson said. “In addition to being great fun, the roundup allows us to celebrate the differences of our cultures while working toward reconciliation between them.”