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Ministry With The Poor

Madras UMC uses drive-in food pantry to continue serving community in crisis

3/19/2020

Madras UMC uses drive-in food pantry to continue serving community in crisis

For years, Madras United Methodist Church has housed a community food pantry to serve low-income families in their community and for years, it has been well-used. But coronavirus concerns meant the normally bustling lobby outside of the pantry sat nearly vacant and volunteers were worried, knowing people depend on the food pantry for supplemental assistance. In just one week, volunteers -- not just from Madras UMC but Catholics and Baptists in the community – turned their normal “grocery store...

Madras UMC provides support, encouragement for local inmates

2/26/2020

Madras UMC provides support, encouragement for local inmates

Editor's note: KH's initials are being used in this story to protect his privacy. When Rev. Nancy Slabaugh Hart moved to Madras in 2017, she was pleasantly surprised to know the church was partnering with Central Oregon Community College to provide educational programs at the minimum-security Deer Ridge Corrections Center, but chaplaincy wasn’t what she was after. “I certainly have the skill to be helpful. But, I wanted to help the men in the education department with a wider range of options—...

Portsmouth Union earns $2.35 million for affordable housing project

2/12/2020

Portsmouth Union earns $2.35 million for affordable housing project

What started more than five years ago as a ministry to the local neighborhood is finally taking root on the grounds of Portsmouth Union Church in north Portland. The church, a combined United Methodist and Disciples of Christ Church, is the recipient of a $2.35 million grant from Oregon Housing and Community Services to build an affordable housing apartment complex on its grounds. “I can’t even begin to describe how excited we are,” said Rev. Julia Nielsen. Portsmouth Union Church is one of ...

Churches Partner with Clackamas County for Shelter

1/30/2020

Churches Partner with Clackamas County for Shelter

Where do houseless people go when it’s freezing, stormy or flooding? What if they could go to church?   “When we first talked about the possibility of providing shelter at Oak Grove United Methodist, we knew the need existed in our community and that we had enough space in our building to share, but lining up enough volunteers to staff the shelter all night long for much of the winter was too much,” said Pastor Heather Riggs. “Temporary shelter regulations require that someone be awake all ...

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...

Reflections from El Salvador: Newman UMC pastor embarks on important journey

11/20/2019

Reflections from El Salvador: Newman UMC pastor embarks on important journey

As her son quietly strummed on his guitar in the background, Candelaria García shared about the admiration she had for the four church women, US Catholic Missioners, who were killed in 1980. Just outside doors of the tin-roofed chapel, which was erected on the outskirts of Santiago Nonualco, a poor rural community in El Salvador, four US Catholic missioners were killed after having unimaginable things done to them. I say unimaginable, but that’s not really true. I was one of 18 United ...

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 ...

Disaster preparedness and response workshops offered during Mission 200 celebrations

8/21/2019

Disaster preparedness and response workshops offered during Mission 200 celebrations

When disasters happen, local churches can provide early response to help their communities. They can do this best if they have prepared in advance. This basic understanding that disaster response is local, forms the foundations for UMCOR’s (United Methodist Committee on Relief) disaster preparedness and response efforts. So how can individuals and churches be prepared to serve their communities with compassion in times of need? There will be two workshops presented at the Crossing Boundaries: ...

Madras UMC helps community one pair of socks at a time

8/14/2019

Madras UMC helps community one pair of socks at a time

  There are several different ways churches try to be in partnership with their local communities to meet the needs of those in need. In Madras, the United Methodist Church has put on community meals, held a prom for the local LGBTQ+ community and, most recently, handed out 1,000 pairs of socks – no metaphorical strings attached. Rev. Nancy Slabaugh Hart, who came to Madras UMC in 2017, had experience working with the philanthropist sock company Bombas from her previous service as a pastor in ...

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