Tag: EMO



Released by the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

May 24, 2022

Today our nation watched in horror as yet another mass shooting claimed the lives of 21 souls. Tragically, 18 of those killed are elementary school students. Our hearts are broken for the lives lost as we stand alongside the grieving.

This massacre follows recent mass shootings in Milwaukie, Buffalo, Palo Alto, Laguna Beach and Chicago. Why is there is a mass shooting nearly every day in this county? We ask this as echoes of the Psalmist ring in our heads, “How long, O Lord?”

The United States of America stands alone when it comes to gun violence. These types of shootings simply do not happen in other countries, let alone with such frequency. In the last five months alone, a gun has been fired on school grounds in the United States 288 times. The next closest country is Mexico with eight.

Something is wrong in our country; most anyone can recognize it. Yet we live in a country where elected officials refuse to take even modest steps to protect the vulnerable. How many more children must die before these elected officials take urgent action? We implore them to do so now. Their “thoughts and prayers” ring ever so hollow and reinforce their cowardice.

Because the all too predictable pattern of outrage and shock has become not only tedious but morally inadequate, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon invites immediate action by supporting the work of Lift Every Voice Oregon (LEVO). Through LEVO, people of faith and good will can pursue with expediency IP17–Reduction of Gun Violence Act.

IP17 is a ballot initiative petition that will reduce gun violence by making gun owners more accountable and ammunition less lethal. IP17 needs signatures by the end of June to qualify for the ballot. Sign the petition at lifteveryvoiceoregon.com.

At least for Oregon, we can make a difference. May we turn our sorrow into hope and actions that will assure the day when gun violence is no longer an everyday occurrence.

Oregon faith leaders encourage COVID-19 vaccinations through EMO’s “Faith and the Vaccine” website

Oregon faith leaders encourage COVID-19 vaccinations through EMO’s “Faith and the Vaccine” website

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon Media Release

PORTLAND, ORE., March 1, 2022—Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) announces the launch of a new website, faithandthevaccine.org, featuring short video testimonies from over 25 Oregon faith leaders in support of the COVID-19 vaccines, as the pandemic continues unabated.

Faith leaders give a wide variety of compelling reasons for vaccination. While their comments are as diverse as the leaders themselves, they share a deep concern for the common good. Some reasons include: “Protection for myself, and for love of my family,” The Rev. Andrew Bansemer. “We have a responsibility to care for others,” Rabbi David Kozak. “To participate in public health and make sure I do my part to help the entire community be safe from the virus,” The Rt. Rev. Diana Akiyama. “I believe in science, and I belive god works through science,” The Rev. Ernestein Flemister.

“The devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic in families, local communities—the loss of loved ones, distress of the illness, risk of infection, especially as people gather in churches and other sacred space—prompted the urgency for this collation of commentaries,” explains The Rev. Andrea Cano, EMO interim president. “Educating people about the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines is an example of this organization’s compassion and care for the Oregon community.”

The website and videos grew out of a series of meetings EMO convened early in the pandemic with Governor Kate Brown, the Oregon Health Authority, and denominational leaders from around Oregon. Since then, EMO has provided informational resources about COVID prevention guidelines to faith communities and helped set up vaccination centers in traditionally marginalized communities. 

The faithandthevaccine.org site also offers an FAQ page and links to relevant articles and resources. The website welcomes comments and questions at vaccine@emoregon.org.

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon is a statewide association of faith partners working together to improve the lives of Oregonians through direct service programs, ecumenical and interreligious dialogue, creation justice and public policy advocacy.

Opening Prayer | 2021 Collins Summit

Opening Prayer | 2021 Collins Summit

Sean Langdon offered the following prayer to open the annual
2021 Collins Summit, sponsored by Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon,
on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. This year’s Collins Summit focused on
“Christian Nationalism: Exploring the Dangerous Union of Church & State.”

Oh, Holy One, Sacred Guide, Loving Parent,

Whether it be physically present in this space or connected by your Holy Spirit through the power of modern technology, what a blessing it is to be in community tonight. To Learn. And to Grow together. But also, to continue the uncomfortable but necessary journey of deconstructing our fears and prejudices and the lies that our history has taught us and make way for truth to be born. Truth that comes from listening. Truth that comes from awareness. Truth that inspires an intention to seek forgiveness for the sins, not only of our own, but of those who have come before us.

God, we know that much harm has been done in your name. We know that your name has been used in ways that have brought fear, and pain, and distress, and God, yes, even death, to your children and this earth. We confess of the ways that we might have been players of this sin in the past and in the present, whether it be directly so or standing by and ignoring your nudge to stand up, speak, and do something about it. We know, O God, that this sin that I speak of is often perpetuated by religion and people who claim to follow you, but it is not of you. So as a people of faith may we not only confess of what has been and what is, may we commit to you and to our brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings in communities near and far at this time, and always, to do better. To be better. To build better. And again, to always listen better.

May we open ourselves now to letting your Holy Spirit not only flood the places that we gather from tonight but also the vessels of humanity that is each and every one of us. May we be open to the ways in which the spark of the Divine is igniting in us a new but continued sense of urgency to live out the holy text from the Prophet Isaiah that informed the mission of Jesus Christ found in the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 4.

“For the The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
    because the Lord has anointed me
        to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
    and recovery of sight to the blind,
        to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

And just as this text was Christ’s mission statement, may it be ours as well.

Oh God, there is much darkness in your land but there is also hope and light. May our eyes be open to the realities of the world around us but with a resolve to respond in ways that upholds the dignity of story and person and concern.

Oh, Holy One, I’m reminded of a beloved hymn that we now sing often in my faith community. May the text from that hymn be our plea and resolve at this time. 

Come and bring light to a people in darkness. Come, set us free from the chains we have made. We are your people, the flock that you tend. Lord, open our eyes once again.

To the ones brokenhearted, To the plight of the poor, To the innocent children: Open our eyes. Teach us compassion and love.

To the victims of violence, To the ones who seek justice, To those sitting in prison: Open our eyes. Teach us compassion and love. 

When a color divides us, When the darkness surrounds us, When we choose to look elsewhere: Open our eyes. Teach us compassion and love.

To those full of life’s sorrow, To the needs of the lowly, To the ones who seek peace: Open our eyes. Teach us compassion and love. 

To those suffering illness To those trapped by addiction, To those lost or forgotten: open our eyes. Teach us compassion and love.

Come and bring light to a people in darkness. Come, set us free from the chains we have made. We are your people, the flock that you tend. Lord, open our eyes once again.

May it be so. Amen.

To watch the 2021 Collins Summit, click here: https://youtu.be/-K7pyY2tUYI.

From Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon:

At the 2021 Collins Summit we explored the challenging topic of Christian Nationalism, the belief that the United States is defined by Christianity, and the government should work to keep it that way.  Our speakers Kristin Du Mez, New York Times bestselling author of Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation, and Kaitlin Curtice, author of Native: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God offer their unique perspectives on Christian Nationalism, helping us to understand it and imagine a better way forward.

2020 Collins Summit: Shalom in Divided Times

2020 Collins Summit: Shalom in Divided Times

On Wednesday, November 18, from 7-8:30 PM (Pacific), Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO) will be hosting their annual Collins Summit online. This provides a greater opportunity for people not just from Oregon but all over to participate. 

It’s no secret we are living in unprecedented and divided times. Racial unrest, political tensions, and COVID-19 have impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. What does shalom and unity look like in 2020? Shalom is a Hebrew word that means wholeness, harmony and peace. It’s a complex idea, often oversimplified, similar to the way “unity” becomes a euphemism for sameness. 

Through a virtual format, we will explore these racial, political and social divisions, asking how we bring our whole selves to the table and stay engaged in light of our differences, not in spite of them.The Summit will include a lecture from Lisa Sharon Harper, a live Q&A, and the opportunity to hear from members of the Common Table and their important work. 

Individual registrations are only $10 per person. To get more information and to register: https://emoregon.org/event/2020-collins/.  

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