Tag: Press Release

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.

Press Release: GPNW Emergency Funds Awarded

Press Release: GPNW Emergency Funds Awarded

As was authorized by the GPNW Mission Center conference in November of 2020—per the resolution titled “Establishment of the ‘Emergency’ Fund”—the Mission Center Financial Officer consulted with field leadership and with a sub-committee of the Mission Center Council to determine the proper uses of said Emergency Fund.  Three jurisdictions applied for the distribution of emergency funds; all three were Mission Center Campgrounds:  Camp Remote, Lewis River, and Samish Island.

 Factors for making distribution decisions were varied and contextual and included the following considerations:

·         Losses in 2020

·         Overhead expenses

·         Overhead expenses that could be further reduced

·         Depth of capacity of supporting congregations and/or individuals

·         Vulnerability to further closures and cancellations in 2021

·         Demonstrated need according to overall financial health

 The following decisions have been made:

1.       The entirety of the $70,000.00 set aside in that fund should be payable immediately.

2.       Camp Remote shall receive $14,175.00.  This represents approximately 4.5 months of its operational expenses reported in 2020.

3.       Lewis River shall receive $25,000.00.  This represents approximately 3.75 months of its operational expenses reported in 2020.

4.       Samish Island shall receive $30,825.00.  This represents approximately 2.25 months of its operational expenses reported in 2020.

The amount our three campgrounds lost in 2020 was very large.  Indeed, the losses were far more than the entire amount of the Emergency Fund.  And we realize that these naked numbers may seem inequitable (particularly to Samish Island) to people who have not reviewed the large amount of data the above-mentioned people reviewed.  Nevertheless, we are confident of the overall distribution in regards to fairness and demonstrated need.  In particular we would like to remind GPNW that Samish Island is supported by 3 mission centers, and we intend to publish our decisions with those mission centers as a challenge to them to match our distribution.

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