Deuteronomy 31:30–32:4, 6b-12a
Preface of God the Holy Spirit
[Common of a Pastor]
[Common of a Missionary]
[For the Ministry]
[For the Mission of the Church]
PRAYER (traditional language)
Almighty God, who didst raise up thy servant John Roberts to be a witness among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples: May we, inspired by his example and prayers, invite all people to the riches of thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
PRAYER (contemporary language)
Almighty God, who raised up your servant John Roberts to be a witness among the Shoshone and Arapahoe peoples: May we, inspired by his example and prayers, invite all people to the riches of your grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This commemoration adopted provisionally at General Convention 2009.
Collects revised at General Convention 2015.
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Last updated: 27 Dec. 2015
Assigned to minister to the Shoshone and Arapahos on the Wind River Reservation, he set about his work by learning all he could about Native American customs and beliefs, believing that by knowing the people he hoped to minister to he would be more effective. He also learned the native languages, eventually translating the gospel for his Native American congregates.
Roberts often said the object of his work among the Indians was to make them self supporting. With this in mind he established two schools, the Indian Boarding School at Ft. Washakie and the Shoshone Indian Mission Boarding School. Roberts cultivated friendships with tribal leaders, including Chief Black Coal and Chief Washakie, whom he later baptized. He earned the trust of the tribal leadership and was often involved in their negotiations with the agents of the federal government. The Indians rewarded Roberts for his fairness in dealing with them by giving him the name "Elder Brother."
Roberts also ministered to the non-natives of the state, establishing Episcopal churches in towns across Wyoming. Roberts retired from active missionary work in 1921 but continued to live on the reservation until his death in 1949 at the age of ninety-seven.
— from the Univ. of Wyoming
His translation of the Gospel of Luke into Arapahoe is
online at Project Gutenberg. Translations of the Lord's Prayer, Apostles'
Creed, Ten Commandments, etc., into Arapaho
and Shoshone are also online.
Further information may be found on a page devoted
to him and at Wikipedia.