May 2021
Dear friends,
Jesus models a love that doesn’t have favorites or create boundaries. As much as I wish safety and goodness for my family and friends, I am compelled by my faith to make the same commitment to care for the well being of all.

In the 1830s, the French statesman Alexis de Tocqueville wrote about the potential for despotism in America. In Democracy in America he writes, “Each one of them [citizens], withdrawn into himself, is almost unaware of the fate of the rest. Mankind, for him, consists in his children and his personal friends. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, they are nothing.”

As Christians and people of faith, the knowledge of our interconnection with all of creation should deeply influence our values. Archbishop Desmond Tutu often refers to the African concept of ubuntu: I am, because you are. He explains it this way: “Ubuntu speaks particularly about the fact that you can’t exist as a human being in isolation. It speaks about our interconnectedness … We think of ourselves far too frequently as just individuals, separated from one another, whereas you are connected and what you do affects the whole world. When you do well, it spreads out; it is for the whole of humanity.”

Recognizing the centrality of ubuntu to our faith, on May 19 EMO will celebrate how our communities have worked together in the last year to meet the rising needs of our neighbors in Oregon. We invite you to join us for "Light in the Tunnel: Stories of hope and resilience from Oregon's faith community" (please see details below).

In love,
Jan Musgrove Elfers
EMO President
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.
Light in the Tunnel: Stories of hope & resilience from Oregon's faith community
May 19 @ 7 to 8 p.m.
EMO's free virtual event will feature stories and songs from across the state that highlight the kind of work being done in communities of faith to serve others and carry the banner of hope and love for all people. It will also offer the opportunity to financially support the ongoing work of EMO in direct service programs, advocacy, education and unity-building.
We will honor EMO’s “Ecumenists of the Year” Randy and Edith Woodley and learn more about their Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice. We’ll also premier mini documentaries about the warming shelter at Hood River Valley Christian Church, the Black Santa PDX project, and the United Methodist Committee on Relief’s response to the Oregon wildfires. Learn more and register.
2021 Interfaith Advocacy Day
May 25 @ 10 a.m.
Virtually attend issue briefings and workshops on advocating for legislation on issues such as housing, hunger, health care, immigration, gun violence prevention, criminal justice reform and climate justice. Following the briefings, join virtual meetings with state legislators. Free. Learn more and register.
Trauma Echoes: Virtual Workshop
May 12 @ 6 - 8 p.m.
Trauma manifests in many ways including: fatigue, fear, mood changes anxiety, and trouble with focus. Come for a support session from a knowledgeable trauma therapist to learn about how trauma impacts the brain and body, and explore tools to help you not only to cope, but to thrive. Cost: $30 per household. Registration deadline is May 11. Register and pay online at

Repairing the Breach: Songs for the Journey (benefit concert)
May 15 @ 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Well-known folk musicians Annie Patterson and Peter Blood, creators of the popular songbooks Rise Up Singing and Rise Up Again, and the dynamic activist duo Emma’s Revolution, present this sing-along Zoom event. With a focus on the theme of immigrant justice, this concert will benefit Project Voice, the Oregon/Washington immigrant rights program of the American Friends Service Committee. To purchase tickets on a sliding scale and learn more details, visit

Community Clergy Training: Moral injury and suicide prevention
May 28 (also offered on June 18) @ 12 to 2 p.m.
This workshop is presented by the Portland VA Health Care System's Community & Clergy Training, which supports rural community and clergy to learn about the specific physical, mental, social and spiritual challenges faced by veterans and their families. They will share resources on how to address moral injury and suicide as a public health crisis, and to create veteran support in the community. Download flyer to learn more and register.
Vaccine Fact Sheets for Faith Communities
The Oregon Health Authority has developed three fact sheets for Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faith communities to help address concerns that have been raised surrounding COVID-19 vaccines. Frequently Asked Questions surrounding safety of the vaccine are answered, as well as information about the development of the vaccine and quotes from faith leaders in the respective communities. EMO hopes these fact sheets can offer some clarity and guidance for individuals seeking unbiased information from our Public Health officials.

Download vaccine facts for the following faith communities:
2021 Oregon Legislative Session
During each legislative session, EMO's goal is to empower people of faith with the advocacy tools they need to put their faith into action.
To add your voice and your values to our public conversation, sign up for updates on the issues that are most important to you. Visit our Calendar of Engagement with a list of key dates for the 2021 Oregon Legislative Session, as well as events and opportunities to get involved.
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.
Administrative Support Specialist: EMO is seeking a dedicated, responsible, detail-oriented individual with a positive attitude and highly productive work ethic to support our staff and keep our central office running smoothly. This position is full time with benefits. View position description and how to apply. Open until filled.

Custodian, HIV Day Center. Provide custodial services for the HIV Day Center and assistance and support to other program staff in order to facilitate the daily operation of EMO's HIV Services. Part time, 10 hours per week, with approximate hours 1 to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday. View position description and how to apply. Open until filled.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
503-221-1054 | |