From the Church Office: Your Outreach is Worship
This week posed a delicate balancing of the hard work All Saints does to help our neighbors with keeping ourselves and our community safe. Someone in desperation or truly hungry tried to jimmy the lock on the Woodstock Pantry container. A fire was set multiple times in an abandoned vehicle adjacent to our campus. Illicit and dangerous activities were happening in a van on 41st. It can be scary.
These are dire times. And people are frustrated ... including some of us and some of our neighbors. We get it! The appropriate calls are made when there is dangerous activity and they are doing what they can. We are making calls to the abandoned vehicle number daily. Homestead preschool and Whole Child Montessori are also calling daily. We are doing everything we can to keep you, our property, and surrounding area safe.
But the issue is not the portapotty. It is not the fact that we feed the hungry or clothe those in need. We have been doing our best to care for people much longer than this current crisis. The issue is much larger than the Woodstock neighborhood or even Portland ... this is a national struggle.
While it can be difficult when face-to-face with the hardships and suffering, so many people are taking this opportunity to do what they can to help:
- Last week we received a $250 check from a North Portland resident who had heard of our ministries.
- This week, a neighbor came in with $50 in cash in support of our Saturday outreach.
- Another neighbor and Homestead parent donated seven cases of soup.
- Someone from NE Portland brought in dozens of socks for the St. Francis Closet.
- A reporter for The Bee collects grocery bags and brings them weekly.
- A friend from the west side of Portland brought in some fast food gift cards to be distributed as needed.
- A houseless neighbor helped to rake leaves around our campus and shared how he stopped the break-in of the pantry container. Though the lock was damaged, the contents remained safe!
- And then another neighbor called just to say that though she is not a parishioner, she appreciates how inclusive and welcoming All Saints is. She and her daughter plan to volunteer with the Pantry and are grateful for the opportunity to worship in their own way through our outreach programs.
So, as difficult as some of this week's troubles have been, there are also some shining examples of worship and grace and sacrifice.
Thank you for your generosity and grace as we negotiate this delicate balance. And know, our reach is wide. Our reach is truly an embrace.