There’s a lot of activity happening at St. Michael’s…we welcome your involvement! In general, the Outreach & Justice Council meets the first Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm in the Parish Hall. Please check the calendar to confirm. All are welcome to join us to express your interests and concerns. Contact Lynn Baker or Susan Barnett to be put on the agenda.
Outreach & Justice Ministries
In Holy Baptism we make solemn vows to “seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving our neighbors as ourselves” and to “strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being.” At St. Michael’s, we believe that worship and action go hand-in-hand as two sides of the same coin.
Listed below are a few of the current outreach and justice ministries at St. Michael’s. If you’d like to find out more or get involved, or if you have a new ministry that you’d like to start, please contact us via Contact Page. Check out the main Outreach & Justice page for upcoming events and activities.
Alternative Giving Catalog
Every Christmas, starting at Advent, St. Michael’s offers our “Alternative Giving Catalog”, enabling parishioners to make donations to ten different nonprofit organizations in honor of their loved ones as a very special Christmas gift. In December 2010, we featured the following ten organizations in our catalog, and we encourage everyone to visit them online and consider giving an honor gift for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, or any special celebration: Central City Concern, El Porvenir described below, Episcopal Relief and Development, Good Samaritan Ministries/Zambia, Habitat for Humanity Portland/Metro East Women Build, Lahash International, Maria Luisa Ortiz Clinic, Medical Teams International, and Sustainable Harvest International. These organizations thank you for your generous support.
Bread for the World
Bread for the World is a faith-based organization designed to help churches and other groups use public policy advocacy as an effective way to fight poverty and world hunger. Volunteers who care about these issues are needed to write letters to their legislators encouraging effective, lasting policy change at the state and national levels. Visit the Bread for the World website to find out more about this organization’s services.
The Community Meal
The Community Meal is a spaghetti lunch served at St. Michael’s on the last Saturday of the month from 11:30-12:30, when there’s often “more month than money” for many of our low-income neighbors. Trader Joe’s also donates 2 tables full of food items each month for folks to take home. Volunteers are needed to make meatballs and do other prep on Friday, and also on Saturday from 8:00 am-2:00 pm for setting up, preparing the meal, serving, and cleaning up.
Daybreak Shelter Network
The Daybreak Shelter Network is an overnight shelter ministry for homeless families operated under the auspices of Human Solutions. Approximately every 9 weeks, St. Michael’s shares hosting responsibilities with Rose City Park United Methodist Church. During our hosting week, volunteers are needed to provide a meal, stay overnight, or drive the shelter van to and from the Day Center. Visit Human Solutions to find out more about this organization’s services.
DHS Partners with St. Michael’s for Foster Kids
For the last two years, and in conjunction with DHS, St. Michael’s has hosted parties just before Christmas for foster children and their biological parents. Children, parents and volunteers have all had had fun together with crafts, games, gifts, good food, and a picture of the family with Santa. DHS workers appreciate our help in making this a memorable annual event for families experiencing difficulties.
The mission of El Porvenir is to make it possible for poor people in rural Nicaragua to improve their health, environment, and standard of living with sustainable self-help in potable water, sanitation, health education and reforestation. Since 2001 we have sent an annual work team to Nicaragua with El Porvenir on two-week mission trips to help with the construction of bathing stalls, community laundry centers, wells, and latrines. In 2010, we will be sending two work teams from St. Michael’s: one in January for a construction project, and the other in July for a reforestation project. Visit the El Porvenir web site to find out more about this organization’s services.
English as a Second Language Tutoring
Volunteer tutors assist students from other countries gain the confidence they need for speaking English in everyday situations. Tutor training is available through Oregon Literacy. Tutoring commitment is eight Tuesday evenings each term from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., although we also welcome tutors who can “drop in” to serve as substitute tutors. Please click here for a spring 2011 schedule.
The Environmental Stewardship Team helps us to be more aware of the need to care for “this fragile earth, our island home.” In addition to educational opportunities, the Environmental Stewardship team provides twice annual ingathering of hazardous wastes and Styrofoam and works closely with Oregon Interfaith Power & Light and the Global Warming Steering Committee with Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and with the Environmental Commission of the Diocese of Oregon. Read more about this ministry
Episcopal Peace Fellowship
The Episcopal Peace Fellowship meets at 7:00 pm on the fourth Thursday of each month at Trinity Cathedral, 147 NW 19th Ave., Portland. Volunteers assist with the newsletter, hosting information tables, peace education, and being present at peace gatherings. Visit the Diocese of Oregon EPF web site or the National EPF web site to find out more about this organization. NEW! St. Michael’s is now officially a member of the EPF “Peace Partner” network, consisting of individuals, congregations, dioceses, seminaries and other Episcopal institutions who are seeking to grow their peace and justice ministries. Over the next three years, the Peace Partners initiative will encourage and support expanded access to nonviolence training, provide liturgical and educational resources to local congregations, nurture new generations of peacemakers, and promote regional and ecumenical efforts toward peace in our world.
St. Michael’s parishioners delight in bringing joy to our neighbors at Hollywood East throughout the year – an ice cream social in the summer, cider and donuts in the fall, and a caroling and hot cocoa party in December. Volunteers are needed to help with shopping, serving and clean up.
Loaves & Fishes / Meals on Wheels
Loaves and Fishes serve lunch to senior citizens and others at Rose City Park Presbyterian Church. The St. Michael’s team serves on the fourth Thursday (and the fifth Thursday if there is one!) , both to package about 200 lunches to be delivered by Meals on Wheels, and to help prepare and serve lunch to 30-40 people who come to the church for their meal. Volunteers are needed from 10 am-1:30 pm. Also, volunteer drivers are needed for the Meals on Wheels Program to deliver prepared meals to homebound persons. Read more about this ministry or visit the Loaves and Fishes web site to find out more about this organization’s services.
Rahab’s Sisters is a ministry with homeless women and female sex workers on 82nd Ave. The ministry operates at Sts. Peter & Paul Episcopal Church on 8147 SE Pine Street on Friday evenings, from 7:00 to 10:00 pm, offering hospitality, a light meal, clothing and conversation. Volunteers (women only, please) from St. Michael’s are needed on the 2nd Friday of each month for this ministry of presence. Donations of personal care items can also be placed in the Rahab’s Sisters box in the Gallery next to the church office. Read more about this ministry or visit the Rahab’s Sisters web site to find out more about this organization’s services.
2nd Saturday Lunch
Due to the growing need in our local community, we are now hosting a lunch on the 2nd Saturday of each month, to supplement our Community Meal on the last Saturday. Using gleanings from the Trader Joe’s Food Transfer Program, we offer a different entrée each month. Volunteers are needed and welcome. We also ask that parishioners pick up the invitation/meal cards available in the Gallery to give to those they encounter who might benefit from them, especially women and children in need. 2nd Saturday Lunch is a wonderful opportunity for newcomers and old-timers at St. Michael’s to share a good meal with our hungry neighbors.
Streetlight and Porchlight Shelters Meal Ministry
This ministry provides meals on the third Friday of each month to the homeless youth staying in shelters run by Janus Youth Services – the Porchlight and Streetlight Shelters. The Streetlight shelter provides short-term housing for 30 homeless youth, ages 13 to 20 who work with a case manager to exit street life. The Porchlight shelter provides emergency housing for 30 youth, ages 13 to 20, who are new to the streets or in immediate need of shelter and aid. This shelter serves over 500 youth every year by providing a safe place to sleep, nourishing meals, and hygiene facilities. Volunteers from St. Michael’s are needed to prepare fried or baked chicken (18 pieces), casseroles, canned fruits and vegetables, bread, cereal, cookies, and other components of dinner and breakfast. You can drop off your donation at St. Michael’s by 3pm on third Fridays if you’d like to help. Visit the Janus Youth Services web site to find out more about this organization’s services.
Trader Joe’s Food Transfer Program
Help distribute donated food from Trader Joe’s to the Harbor Light Shelter in Old Town and to the Northeast Emergency Food Program every Tuesday through Sunday at 6:30 am & 11:00 am. Both regular and back-up volunteer drivers are needed. A van, pickup truck, or station wagon works best for this ministry.
Thank you to all of our St. Michael’s parishioners who are reaching out and making a difference in the lives of others!