The Perkins Perspective | Features | Spring 2013


Remembering Richard Twiss: A Heart for Reconciliation

By Caenisha Warren


Richard TwissRichard Twiss: June 11, 1954-February 9, 2013.

The Heart of Racial Justice by Brenda Salter McNeil and Rick Richardson, includes this prayer:

“God, too often our hearts and eyes have been closed to the suffering of others in our racially divided world. Give us eyes to see and hearts that share your heart for the unity and reconciliation of all peoples. We pray in your name. Amen.”


The church lost one such heart of reconciliation February 9, 2013, with the passing of Richard Twiss. Twiss was the co-founder and president of Wiconi International and a leader and friend of CCDA, Dr. John Perkins, and the Perkins Center at Seattle Pacific University. He was not a stranger to SPU’s campus, as he was the chapel speaker in Autumn 2008 (Listen to Systems: Exploitation & Oppression vs. Justice & Equality on iTunesU).


Richard Twiss gave voice to an all too silent story in the church by calling us to listen to Native voices. I was enlightened in reading one of his books, One Church Many Tribes, in the course of my graduate studies and privileged to hear him on several occasions at different conferences. Understanding our nation’s sordid history, including that of Western Christianity, cannot be fully realized without hearing and learning from Native voices.


"He described himself as a 'Lakota follower of the Jesus Way.' "


He described himself as a “Lakota follower of the Jesus Way.” And like Jesus, Twiss spoke in story, spoke truth in justice, stood in the places of discomfort, and defended the oppressed. His story, and the heart he shared with us, helped me to see even more the interconnected nature of all things and the need for reconciliation.

From Richard Twiss

Video: Twiss on iTunesU: Systems: Exploitation & Oppression vs. Justice & Equality, Seattle Pacific University, November 26, 2008.


One Church Many Tribes: Following Jesus the Way God Made You by Richard Twiss (Regal, 2000)


The Turtle and the Snail: A Christian Native American Perspective on Reconciliation, Missions, and Unity in the Church by Richard Twiss, 1996.


"Another Path of Jesus," by Richard Twiss (Christianity Today, Summer 2012)


About Richard Twiss

Facebook: Richard Twiss Legacy


Wikipedia: Richard Twiss


Caenisha WarrenCaenisha Warren, MA,is the budget manager and coordinator for events and student clubs for the John Perkins Center at Seattle Pacific Universty. At SPU since 2005, she has a bachelor's degree from the University of Washington and a master's degree in Christian ministry from North Park Theological Seminary



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