“Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can.”
The mission of the Committee of Church & Society for Social Justice (C&S) is twofold:
Heeding this call to service is fundamental to who we are as Methodists, and it is a core principle of this committee. We seek to promote and facilitate opportunities for members of our congregation to get actively involved as volunteers, reaching out to serve the needy and defend the threatened.
First Church’s mission is to advocate for peace and social justice, both in our local community and the World. C&S focuses primarily on local community, addressing basic needs — homelessness, hunger and poverty — and advocating for the fundamental human rights and dignity of all members of our community.
Raising money, awareness, donations of needed goods and food are among our activities. Oregon Food Bank, Mainspring, Goose Hollow Family Shelter, Embrace Oregon, MTI Mobile Dental Van and Maybelle Center in Old Town are current recipients of our attention.
Learn more about the programs we support by clicking the links below.
On the first Sunday of each month (Communion Sunday), we fill our food barrels in the narthex with donations to help clients of MAINSPRING. Our food donations (non-perishable items) are received by many families struggling to live day to day. As people cope with lost jobs and budget cuts, they turn to MAINSPRING for help to meet their basic needs. Our generous efforts at First Church extend a hand of friendship, hope, and help to those individuals and families in need.
Several times annually C&S organizes half-day volunteer outings to the two metro OFB locations. Our mission is to repack bulk goods into family-size portions to help feed poor and hungry Oregonians who rely on OFB for supplemental food donations.
This year, as in the past, we will award two summer internships for high school seniors or college age youth to do community service as their summer internship experience. Interns are paid $2,100 for the 200 hours of service they provide.
The application for 2017 — which will be posted on the web on March 13, 2017 — outlines the qualifications for applying and general information about the program. Applications are due April 17, 2017. If interested, see Mark Ohlson at the Outreach Table in Collins Hall any Sunday after worship OR email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maybelle Center nurtures the body, mind and spirit of the forgotten poor in Old Town-Downtown Portland by building connections and community. Their Community Room offers a welcoming space where residents can come to socialize and be involved in group activities.
One of the most looked-forward-to activities each month is the “Happy Birthday” Program, where members come to celebrate birthdays in that month. In May, Church & Society will be hosting these birthday celebrations. Volunteers are needed to serve the cake, and share fellowship with the community. A volunteer sign-up sheet will be provided in Collins Hall during coffee hours in the weeks leading up to this event. Hope you can join us!
C&S helps organize donation drives for household goods and at times, acquire funding for this unique social service agency. Community Warehouse helps give families in need a “hand up” to obtain the household goods they need to make their new housing a home. Many of their clients are formerly homeless individuals who are given new hope by the generosity and compassion of Community Warehouse.
C&S is asking what we as a church can do do to help children in foster care and young adults who are “aging out”. To better inform the congregation and ourselves on the issues, we are hosting a forum, led by Embrace Oregon, an organization connecting community members with vulnerable children and families in partnership with the Department of Human Services. Church & Society’s goal is to explore opportunities to make a concrete difference in the lives of foster children and their families.
First Church is partnering with Medical Teams International to bring their Mobil Dental Program to our campus every other month, providing free dental healthcare to those within our community who lack adequate insurance and access.