January 2022

During this first week of the new year 2022, Epiphany will be celebrated. It is traditionally known as the Twelfth Night—the day the Magi brought gifts as they recognized the birth of Jesus and the manifestation of the Triune God—and it is also known as the prelude to the baptism of the Christ Child.

Worldwide, Christian cultural communities honor Epiphany in distinct worship services and rituals, gift-giving and with special foods and baked goods. Both the French Gallete de Rois and the Spanish and Latin American Rosca de Reyes and King’s Cakes throughout Europe feature a feve (bean) or small baby Jesus hidden in the dough. The finder of the child hosts another celebration on Candlemas on Feb. 2, commemorating when the infant Jesus was presented at the temple. In places like Ecuador, the Christ Child is removed from creches and taken to Catholic churches for a special mass and blessing.

Epiphany derives from the Greek word epiphanaeine or reveal. Epiphania signifies the manifestation of someone divine, or simply the appearance or acknowledgment of something quite special or even miraculous apart from what we know and live as mundane. Even now, when something new occurs to us we say, “I had an epiphany just now.”

In one classical sense, the condition for an epiphany is an open heart, mind, spirit to be receptive to wonderment or an illuminating insight. It is an experience open to all people. Even Zen Buddhism teaches the concept of Shoshin, the concept of a “beginner’s mind,” a willingness to see or perceive something as if for the first time. They are the “aha” moments, perhaps of awe and amazement, that can offer new possibilities and pathways for our lives and new ways to respond to one another and to community.

As the new year begins, we are still hopscotching back and forth on COVID precautions and reeling from daily incidents of gun violence in our urban areas, the erosion of our environments from the Oregon coast to our high deserts, the proliferation of pop-up tents everywhere, and the horrific images and shattered expectations for our country’s well-being incurred by the assault on our nation’s Capitol building by insurrectionists. On one level, these all pale in comparison to the myriad issues, suffering, and challenging situations in our homes and families.

From whatever reality or place we inhabit, how best do we allow those astonishing ideas and solutions to surface? Relinquish preconception or judgement? Be courageous, open and forge ahead? Live with a sense of wonderment and appreciate the miraculous apart from what we know and experience as mundane?
May we discover and embrace the hidden gift and universal grace of Epiphany.
The Rev. Andrea R. Cano (she, her, ella)
Interim President
Remembering Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon was honored to receive Archbishop Desmond Tutu as the keynote speaker for the 2009 Collins Lecture on the theme “The Transformative Power of Reconciliation in Society" held at the University of Portland (above).
We mourn the passing of the Most Rev. Desmond Mpilo Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town, Anglian Church of Southern Africa, whose faith, wisdom, and leadership inspired how best to seek and secure justice and peace, and build and sustain community.
Africans believe in something that is difficult to render in English. We call it ubuntu botho. It means the essence of being human. You know when it is there and when it is absent. It speaks  about humaneness, gentleness, hospitality, putting yourself out on behalf of others, being vulnerable. It embraces compassion and toughness. It recognizes that my humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together. 
We are grateful to Archbishop Tutu for this tender instruction and the spirit of ubuntu botho embraced by the EMO community, as we journey with faith and community partners in assuring well-being, justice, the mutuality of presence and support, so that all who inhabit creation and all that comprises creation may flourish.
Upcoming Events
To learn more about upcoming EMO events and faith community events, visit our Event Calendar. If you would like to submit an event for our website, please fill out an Event Form.
Join us for the 2022 Oregon Legislative Conference on Sunday, Jan. 23, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. for an overview of legislative issues of concern to the faith community. The virtual event is free. Register to receive the zoom link.
On Jan. 30, the annual Oregon Interfaith Earth Summit, “Flourishing in a Time of Climate Crisis,” will bring together people of faith and goodwill to learn, connect and develop a shared vision for creation justice. Cost: $10-25. Register for the virtual event.
Jan. 16 @ 2 p.m.
Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church will broadcast their annual event virtually on Facebook live, featuring music, remarks and the full length of Dr. King’s “I Have A Dream” speech. The event also honors some of Portland’s most promising students and most venerable leaders dedicated to humanitarianism, social justice, equity and civil service. Learn more. To watch live, go to facebook.com/vafbc.

Jan. 12 @ 7 - 8 p.m.
The Episcopal Diocese of Oregon presents an in depth look at engaging in racial justice through the eyes of activists from around the country. The first live zoom event will feature Taylor Stewart. Stewart started the Oregon Remembrance Project in 2018 to help communities unearth stories of injustice and engage in the necessary truth telling and repair required to reconcile instances of historical harm. For more information, email diocesecter@gmail.com. or download event flyer. Register now for Taylor Stewart’s talk.
Lenten Devotional 2022: A Grounded Faith
In the 100 days leading up to Earth Day 2022, congregations and individuals around the nation will be participating in a unique journey with transformative potential.

Although it can also be used as a stand-alone Lenten resource, A Grounded Faith is designed to be a Lenten companion to Becoming Rooted: One Hundred Days of Reconnecting with Sacred Earth by Randy Woodley (Cherokee descendant and co-sustainer of Eloheh Farm and Indigenous Center for Earth Justice).

The devotional invites participants to reconnect with our Creator and with Creation as a core dimension of Christian practice. Journey with the authors through 40 days of exploring Lenten themes of sin, confession, repentance, renewal, the way of the cross, and the miracle of the resurrection in dialogue with Scripture and an indigenous worldview.

Learn more about the 2022 Lenten Devotional: Grounded in Faith, including how to order, at EcoFaithRecovery.org.
Employment Opportunities at EMO
Join EMO's talented team making a difference in Oregon! EMO offers a generous benefits package. Visit our employment page for more details about the positions below and how to apply.

Assistant Program Manager, Northeast Emergency Food Program. Assist the Program Manager in the daily operations of the program and fulfilling the mission of NEFP. Full time; open until filled.

Domestic & Sexual Violence Advocate, Russian Oregon Social Services (ROSS): Provide effective, culturally specific domestic and sexual violence services to the Russian-speaking refugee/immigrant population. Full time with benefits; open until filled.

Housing and Mental Health Researcher: Gather a comprehensive, holistic picture of client experiences relating to behavioral health and housing security to inform EMO's direct services. Part time (20 hours/week); open until filled.

Legal Assistant, SOAR Immigration Legal Services (Portland): Provide reception for Portland Office and administrative support for Attorneys and BIA Accredited Representatives. Position open until filled; 32 hours/week with benefits.

Program Assistant, HIV Services: Provide client services, volunteer coordination, community outreach and assistance and support to other program staff. Full time; open until filled.

Program Assistant, Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR): Provide effective reception and clerical support services for SOAR. Full time; open until filled.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
503-221-1054 | emo@emoregon.org | emoregon.org