Church and Society for Social Justice
From Letter Writing Chair Liz Jacob:
The following is a recap of our 2013 Offering of Letters. 69 letters were recieved. Of that number, three were submitted by our Sunday visitors, 15 were from Gladys Shaw’s Calaroga living complex, and form letters were submitted from residents of Terwilliger Plaza. Letters to our two senators and two representatives who have local offices were hand delivered there. Others were mailed to Washington, D.C. Signed petitions to the president were mailed to the Bread for the World headquarters in D.C.
Our thanks to Liz for serving our church community and the world in this important annual effort.
May 26th Deadline for Internship Applications!
High school and college youth take note: Application deadline for a summer Greathouse Intern position is May 26th! If selected you will spend up to 210 hours this summer working in the organization of your choice. And you’ll receive $2,100.00 in compensation while you intern.
For full information, see Mark at the Outreach Table after worship or fill out an application online at the Church website: fumcpdx.org.
Once each quarter, Church and Society plans a volunteer trip to the Oregon Food Bank where we serve in the “Repacking Room” by preparing household size portions of bulk foods. These food items are then distributed to the thousands of hungry Oregon families living among us.
Our next volunteer trip is scheduled for:
Saturday, May 18th
Oregon Food Bank, Portland Location
7900 NE 33rd Drive
Portland, OR 97211
Time: 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM
This particular day’s effort is our contribution to the United Methodist “Change the World” Weekend program. Please see the sign up sheet at the Outreach Table in Collins Hall to join our group. Or email for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org. See you at the Food Banki!!!
This thank you note from Rena Satre Meloy, Communications Director at Community Warehouse sums up their appreciation for our support during our recent “Everything Drive” for household goods:
“I want to extend a HUGE, huge thank you on behalf of all of us here (and the 50+ families who came in last week, as well those coming in this week) for all of the wonderful contributions your congregation collected for the Warehouse. You’ve knocked our socks off (now several years in a row) and we are so grateful to all of you for your ongoing support.”
Once again, the congregation at First Church shows that in our hearts, we really care about those less fortunate than ourselves. Another successful Outreach effort under our belts. Thank you to all for participating!
Starting now, internship positions are open to high school and college age students. The purpose of the internships is to create and maintain a connectional relationship between FUMC and Portland/Metro community organizations whose primary mission is to work to alleviate human suffering caused by economic hardship, poverty, health, safety, and/or environmental concerns.
Each applicant awarded an internship by FUMC will have 210 hours of service as agreed to by each of two interns and sponsoring organizations. Internship service work is to be completed between June 1 and September 1.
Compensation for 2013 is $2,100 total per intern @ $10 per hour (210 hours). The prospective agency or organization, to be selected by FUMC in collaboration with the intern, should be one that is already affiliated in some way with FUMC or would like to form a connectional relationship with FUMC in service to others. This organization, to which an intern would be assigned, should evidence in its ministry the spirit of Jesus’ words: “I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you welcomed me; I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to see me.”
The Intern, in conjunction with the Organization and FUMC Internship Selection Committee, is expected to create a written learning, serving plan with goals and expectations of both the Intern and the Organization. The plan should contain a timeline with action steps and/or points to evaluate the progress of the internship. Consideration is given to whether the Intern’s project will “make a difference” to the organization and its clients. Consideration is also given to how a learning, serving internship experience will benefit the Intern in having the opportunity to explore his or her potential for community service, and future educational goals.
Greathouse Internships are a program of the Church and Society Committee at First Church. Applications will be reviewed and internships will be awarded on or about May 15, 2013.
Save the date: Sunday April 28th starting at 1:00 PM. The 2.7 mile CROP Walk starts and finishes at First Christian Church, 1413 SW Park Ave., and takes walkers along the picturesque waterfront and park blocks. This is an ecumenical event and all are welcome. You can support this effort by walking, or by sponsoring those who walk. To sign up for the Walk or to sponsor walkers, check out the Volunteer/Outreach table in Collins Hall during coffee hour.
Seventy five percent of the funds raised will go to Church World Service; fifteen percent will go to Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s Northwest Emergency Food Program, and ten percent to the Oregon Food Bank. The CROP Hunger Walk raises funds for Church World Service (CWS). CWS was founded in 1946 by Protestant, Anglican and Orthodox denominations in the United States, including the Methodist Church, as a cooperative ministry to deliver excess wheat and other crops to post-war Europe. Its mission has evolved over the decades to address hunger and poverty issues throughout the world. UMCOR funnels much of its relief efforts through CWS, which provides actual delivery, as well as coordination with the relief efforts of other denominations.
Portland’s Community Warehouse will again benefit from the compassion and generosity of First Church members.
For three Sundays…April 14th, 21st, and 28th…large collection barrels will be located in the narthex to recieve your unneeded household goods. These items will be distributed to Portland’s poorest families needing help to get by. Your gently used items large and small are needed.
Kitchen utensils, cookware and dishes, small appliances, linens and bedding, pillows, lamps, etc. are in high demand. And if you have a large appliance such as a washer, dryer, or refrigerator that you don’t need, Community Warehouse will come and pick it up at your home. For these oversized items, there will be a form in the narthex to fill out arranging your pick up time.
Community Warehouse supplies furniture and household items to low income folks in our neighborhoods. They serve over 180 families each month! Clients include victims of domestic violence, disabled, recovering from substance abuse, elderly, and working poor. Think about making a difference in their lives by donating items you no longer use or need!
Save the date: Saturday, February 2nd! From 9:00 – 11:30 AM, First Church Volunteers will help repackage bulk food at the Oregon Food Bank’s Beaverton location (1870 NW 173rd, Beaverton).
Our group will tackle large bins of bulk food and break it down into family-size bags that can be distributed to the hungry Oregonians among us. It’s a fun effort and the time flies by as you work shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow First Church volunteers and others in this worthwhile effort.
If you’ve never been to the Oregon Food Bank, now’s your chance. Sign up sheet will be on the Outreach Table in Collins Hall Sunday, January 27th. Plan to be there!
Thanks to the generosity and compassionate hearts of our First Church members, in November we raised $1,656.72 for FISH Emergency Services. That amount will buy over $4,000 worth of healthful groceries at the Oregon Food Bank to help feed the hungry fellow Portlanders in our midst.
Interim FISH Executive Director, the Rev. Hollis Bredeweg, was on hand at First Church Sunday morning, December 2nd to gratefully accept your cash donations to the FISH program.
In December, we continue our practice of placing FISH barrels in the narthex where your generous donations of non-perishable food items are always vital to feeding the hungry in Portland.
Thank you to every single one of you who rose to the ocassion and donated to this important November Outreach effort.
Our effort to fill the shelves at FISH Emergency Services continues. All during November we are encouraging actual cash donations to maximize our support for FISH this month.
Here’s why: For every dollar you donate to FISH, they can purchase about three dollars’ worth of food by buying at discounted prices from the Oregon Food Bank.
As you can see in the picture, $20 buys the amount shown in the basket on the left, far greater than what the same $20 would get if purchased from Safeway as shown in the basket on the right.
Let’s continue to help feed our fellow Portland families whose needs are so much greater than our own.
On December 2nd, we’ll have another visit from the Rev. Hollis Bredeweg, interim Executive Director at FISH and we can all celebrate the grand total amount of our November donations to this important program.
At First Church, one of our on-going outreach efforts is to bring in non-perishable food donations to support FISH Emergency Services in SE Portland. Each month, through your generosity, we donate approximately 300 pounds of food to help feed Portland’s hungry families.
During November, when we give thought to giving thanks for God’s abundance in our lives, there will be a slight twist in our FISH donation efforts. While we will still welcome actual food items in the Narthex, we will also place in effect another means to help the FISH program.
Besides our donations, FISH actually buys food supplies from the Oregon Food Bank to help needy families. The items they purchase cost about one third the amount that they would sell for in a grocery store. Thus, if you donated $1 to FISH, they could actually purchase about $3 worth of food to help the needy.
So, taking that reality a step further, we will have in the Narthex and at the Outreach table in Collins Hall
“Shopping Lists” featuring the most needed items at FISH along with the discounted Oregon Food Bank prices for each item. You can check off each item you wish to “share” with Portland’s hungry families, add up the total amount, and then make your November FISH donation in cash to multiply your support threefold for their food program. It’s that simple. And you don’t even need to make a trip to the grocery store to make your contribution.
Check out the food display in the Narthex or Collins Hall. Members of the Church and Society team who are sponsoring this effort will be on hand to further explain the program and answer your questions. As we find ourselves nearing the Thanksgiving Season, let’s also give a special thanks for God’s abundance in our lives and help those whose needs are so much greater than our own at this time of year!
For more information go to the FISH Emergency Service website
The Grange: “Fun for You, Great for Oregon” or “The Grunge” an enormous gambling center that would boost crime and cater to people hooked on slot machines” … Stop Gillnets Now….. Legalize Marijuana ….. “Phase out Oregon’s estate tax”.
Do all the political ads confuse you? Who is behind the ballot measures? Who benefits from their passage? Who is harmed?
Join us for a Voter’s Forum in the Fireside Room on Sunday, October 21, following worship. The Director of Public Policy Advocacy for Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon will provide special insight into these measures. Learn more about EMO’s advocacy work and how you too can be an advocate.
Jointly sponsored by United Methodist Women and Church and Society.
This Saturday, the second in our series, our Graceful Aging workshop will center on dealing with the daily challenges of life as we age.
Topics will include home safety, driving and transportation, and the everyday “nitty gritty” issues of daily life.
It takes place from 10 – 11:30 AM this Saturday Sept. 29th in the Fireside Room. Please join us.
Save the date: September 22nd. That’s the Saturday from 9-11AM that our First Church Volunteers will meet at the Oregon Food Bank location, 7900 NE 33rd in Portland to help repackage bulk food for Oregon’s hungry children and adults.
If you’ve never been to the Oregon Food Bank, it’s an eye opening experience. You’ll see how vital they are to meeting the needs of hungry Oregonians. And you’ll work side-by-side with other volunteers, often from other church organizations, who share your passion to help the hungry.
For more information and to sign up for the Sept. 22nd effort, see Mark at the Outreach Table in Collins Hall this Sunday after worship.
This September and October, Graceful Aging will be a four week workshop series at Portland’s First United Methodist Church designed to provide solutions to the issues of pro-actively managing the aging process and providing support for loved ones who face those issues. Ms. Jeanette Chardon, MSW and owner of Portland based, Elder Care Consultants will lead each workshop in the series.
Each workshop will take place on a Saturday morning from 10 to 11:30AM. Dates are September 15th and 29th, and October 13th and 27th.
Attendees will include: Seniors who want to pro-actively manage their OWN future, seniors in the midst of major live changes, and adult children of aging parents.
A wide range of topics will be discussed including residental transition choices, care-giving options, advance directives, illness and memory loss, estate planning, and grief issues.
This program is free to all and is not limited to just First Church members. Bring friends or family for this series of important discussions.