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Columbia District

Fremont UMC, neighbors answer the question of HOW?

12/12/2019

Fremont UMC, neighbors answer the question of HOW?

How can we help folks who are homeless? The need is so overwhelming. In the interest of taking at least a step in answer to the question, Fremont United Methodist Church in Portland used the online Nextdoor app to invite their Irvington and Alameda neighbors to provide gift bags for folks without housing. HOW (Hand Out Windows) gift bags contained a small flashlight, small pack of wet wipes, socks, hand warmers, TriMet hop pass, and a granola or protein bar. The team packed 100 bags and about...

Letting go of old tradition leads to new connections at Oak Grove UMC

10/30/2019

Letting go of old tradition leads to new connections at Oak Grove UMC

A little more than three years ago the volunteers for Oak Grove United Methodist Church’s summer picnic were tired, the food was getting expensive, and there were only a few community members engaged, so they held what would be their last summer picnic in 2016.   But Rev. Heather Riggs said she and church members weren’t ready to give up on the idea of connecting with the community.   “In an effort to see if we could connect this great idea with our community, I went to the Oak Grove Community ...

Sunnyside Community House brimming with new opportunities

10/17/2019

Sunnyside Community House brimming with new opportunities

Sunnyside Community House in southeast Portland is teeming with community-minded ministries and even more outreach and worship opportunities, thanks to a partnership between the Greater Northwest Area Innovation Vitality (IV) team and The Groves Church PDX. The Groves Church PDX moved in this summer and will be one of the primary tenants and manager of the Sunnyside Community House, which formed after Sunnyside Centenary United Methodist Church closed. “We were definitely interested in a ...

Christ UMC hoping to build senior affordable housing

10/3/2019

Christ UMC hoping to build senior affordable housing

Sometimes a church goes out looking for a mission project and the project chooses them. That’s been the case for Christ UMC Cedar Mill on the west edge of Portland, where the congregation has been actively engaged in conversations about how to best use church property to better help the community it serves – and that happens to be affordable housing for senior citizens. While researching options on affordable housing, Rev. Ric Shewell said the congregation learned the property they own ...

WakeUp Beaverton provides back-to-school help for refugees, immigrants

8/28/2019

WakeUp Beaverton provides back-to-school help for refugees, immigrants

In a year since its inception, the WakeUp Beaverton event hosted by First United Methodist Church has more than doubled the number of immigrant and refugee families it serves. As people chatted in Korean, Mandarin, English, Spanish waiting to pick up a backpack for their child or lining up to get food from the church’s monthly free food market or sought information on affordable housing options in Beaverton, local pastor Jefferson Chao took in the chaos with a smile. “I never pictured it to be...

Day begins work with Oregon-Idaho Conference

8/1/2019

Day begins work with Oregon-Idaho Conference

Already in her work as the Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop, Laurie Day has learned what “other duties as assigned” really means in her job description. In just her second week in the office, Day found herself putting garbage bags over her legs and wading into a plumbing and sewer situation that temporarily shut down the office. “When you jump in with both feet you never know what you’re going to get into,” Day said with a laugh. “I appreciate the great team of ...

Help Needed with Friend Making

6/18/2019

Help Needed with Friend Making

A part of my work as a member of the Oregon-Idaho Cabinet is to work with the Common Table Project through Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon. I want to share with you some of that work, and to ask your help with it. On Sunday June 2nd I co-authored an Op-Ed in The Oregonian titled “An antidote to hate crimes is deliberate ‘friend-making.’”  You can read it here.  As you will see, this is a faith-based movement to bridge the increasingly toxic political divide of our times by finding common ground...

Portland churches join ‘plastics fast’ for Lent

2/27/2019

Portland churches join ‘plastics fast’ for Lent

Some people try giving up chocolate for Lent. Some people try letting go of anger or fears after their foreheads are dotted with Ashes at the beginning of the six-week holy season. But several Portland churches, spurred on by First United Methodist Church, will be attempting to care more for their planet by reducing their use of plastics during the season of Lent. “It’s a theological issue,” said Rev. Josh Kingsley, minister of discipleship from First UMC PDX. “We are in relationship with ...

Wilshire Native American Fellowship Becomes Great Spirit UMC

10/24/2018

Wilshire Native American Fellowship Becomes Great Spirit UMC

When a name no longer fits the identity of a church, it may just have to change. This is what the people now called Great Spirit United Methodist Church, formerly Wilshire Native American Fellowship located at Wilshire United Methodist Church, have discovered and formalized in a naming ceremony during Sunday morning worship on October 7, 2018. While Great Spirit has a new name, it’s still located in the Wilshire neighborhood of northeast Portland. Reverend Allen Buck was appointed to Wilshire ...

New Columbia District administrative assistant joins Conference staff

10/2/2018

New Columbia District administrative assistant joins Conference staff

Brandon Rhodes has long been interested in churches reaching outside of the traditional building space to create intentional community. “A lot of religious change is happening. Some people see it as a threat and I see it as a fantastic opportunity,” he said. Rhodes, who holds a master’s degree and doctoral degree in religious and future studies, said he loves the idea of churches transforming unused space into affordable housing or renting old church space out to local nonprofits. He was also...

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