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Conference commits $100,000 to Grocery Gift Cards for Families

4/9/2020

Conference commits $100,000 to Grocery Gift Cards for Families

After a successful pilot program of approximately 300 grocery gift cards being distributed to low-income families in and around Portland, the Oregon-Idaho Conference Ministry Leadership Team is excited to offer a $100,000 grant to help churches get grocery gift cards into the hands of families across Oregon and Idaho. The launch of “Grocery Gift Cards for Families” is meant to inspire churches to identify and engage with people in their community to reach those most in need during the COVID-19 ...

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—...

Personal essay: An inmate's journey to a second chance

2/26/2020

Personal essay: An inmate's journey to a second chance

By KH Deer Ridge Correctional Institution inmate Editor's note: KH has been mentored by Rev. Nancy Slabaugh Hart of Madras UMC. Read more about their work together on the Conference website. His initials are being used because of confidentiality concerns. I grew up in a typical middle-class neighborhood in New Orleans. The houses were nicely kept up; the parents had good careers; and the children could ride their bikes in the neighborhood and feel safe. One block away, were the projects: large ...

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 ...

Rose City Park UMC seeks community through new gospel chorus

1/9/2020

Rose City Park UMC seeks community through new gospel chorus

As we enter into a new decade, Kita Montgomery hopes to bring the Rose City Park community together through the Rose City Gospel Chorus. She envisions this group as offering their talents to the local community by performing in a wide range of places from festivals to nursing homes. In Montgomery’s estimation, community singing allows for a blending and bonding that builds up solidarity and morale among those participating. “Our community needs to bond more than before. We’re not as socially ...

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 ...

Micro grant makes space for cyclists atop mountain

10/23/2019

Micro grant makes space for cyclists atop mountain

With cyclists coming and going through the hills surrounding Mountain Home United Methodist Church, members there decided to extend a little hospitality this past year. Using the well located on church property, members added a drinking fountain to the edge of their property near the road as a rest stop for cyclists. The church used a $500 micro grant from the Cascadia District Extension Society to pay for the project. “We did it because we’re a rural church on top of the mountain and there ...

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 ...

Twin Falls UMC sponsors Drag Queen Theology event

10/3/2019

Twin Falls UMC sponsors Drag Queen Theology event

In Twin Falls, there’s a growing pocket of progressives who are working to be more loving and more inclusive and Twin Falls United Methodist Church has been doing its part to support these conversations. Most recently it resulted in a Drag Queen Theology gathering at the local Yellow Brick Café. Local drag queens performed a show while also answering questions in a pub-style question and answer session with Oregon-Idaho Conference LGBTQ+ Advocacy Coordinator, Rev. Dr. Brett Webb-Mitchell last ...

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