November 2020
“The right to vote is precious, almost sacred. It is the most powerful nonviolent tool or instrument in a democratic society.” – John Lewis
Dear friends,
Fair, safe and respected elections are foundational to our Republic. The democratic process and peaceful transition of power must remain respected, stable and secure for a flourishing United States. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon joins people of faith and goodwill all across our country in asking our leaders and fellow citizens to honor the right to vote, protecting it for all people and respecting the outcomes.

The voting process gives a voice to every American, providing the unique opportunity for those who are often marginalized to let their views be known and bring power to account. The right to vote is especially important as we reckon with a history of racial disenfranchisement and the abuse of power in the United States. Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon invites all leaders and citizens to commit to:

  • A fair election process that provides unencumbered access to voting for every eligible American.
  • Count every vote, let every voice be heard, even if the final results are delayed the election must be legitimized.
  • Truthful communication that actively avoids demagoguery and corruption.
  • The peaceful transition of power or the acceptance of ongoing leadership.
  • Letting our voices be heard through non-violent direct action: voting, organizing, protesting, writing, education, advocacy and community service.

The United States has survived because of the ability to be reborn and remade. Elections give us this occasion, alongside every new day. We are daily presented with countless opportunities to love our neighbors, serve those in need, reckon with our past and highlight the voices of those marginalized by our governmental systems. The fight for justice and equal protection under the law is ongoing. There will be hard days ahead; there are hills left to climb.

We can create the America of our dreams: one day at a time, one voice at a time and one vote at a time.

In love,
Jan Musgrove Elfers
EMO President
PS: You can still take your ballot to an official drop box by 8 p.m. on Nov. 3. Help us all do our part and remind your friends, family and colleagues to do so as well. EMO's Board of Directors has recommended a "Yes" vote on Measures 107, 108 and 110, with no recommendation made on Measure 109. If you would like to know more about Oregon's four ballot measures before filling out your ballot, you can watch EMO's Virtual Faith Voter Forum (watch now).
Demand the Protection of Our Democracy
This year has been chaotic, and the next few months will likely follow that trend. In order to protect ourselves pre- and post-election, we must claim the power we have in this process.

Voting on Nov. 3 is key, and that is part of our power. However, we cannot overlook the call to prepare and organize before the elections, in case there is a need to mobilize after they occur.

With this in mind, Speak Up Now Oregon has started a petition calling on the media, elected officials and the armed agents of the state to commit to protect the integrity of our elections. Learn more.
Nov. 18 @ 7 - 8:30 p.m.
Can we create a just peace and real unity? We are living in unprecedented and divided times. Racial unrest, political tensions and COVID-19 have impacted nearly every aspect of our lives. What do shalom and unity look like in 2020?

Through a virtual format, we will explore these issues. The Summit will include a lecture by speaker, writer and activist Lisa Sharon Harper, a live Q&A, and the opportunity to hear from interfaith members of the Common Table. The cost is $10 (scholarships available).
Support Immigrant Justice in Oregon
While the Supreme Court delivered a victory for DACA in June, this does not provide permanent protection for Dreamers. The Court made clear the President has the power to end DACA and deport Dreamers.

EMO's SOAR Immigration Legal Services has prioritized serving Dreamers. Will you support our efforts to provide this free legal support?

We are a nation of immigrants. American greatness has always been tied to our diversity. Immigrants are innovative, talented, and resourceful. They are teachers, doctors, business owners, friends and family. In the United States, there’s room for all our dreams. Give now to help us make dreams come true.
Make a difference in a young person's life:
Become a Second Home provider
Second Home, a program of EMO, is receiving an influx of referrals of unaccompanied high school students, and we do not have enough home providers to host them! Home providers open a room in their home to host an unaccompanied youth from their community. These are high school students working on their education but struggle with housing instability.

If you would like to learn more about hosting a young person who is unhoused, please contact Jenny Pratt, Second Home Program Director, at
Upcoming (virtual) 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.
Nov. 13 - 15
This is a time for people of all faith to honor those who have given the lifesaving and healing gift of organ, eye and tissue donation. Every year during this special time, Donate Life Northwest works closely with communities of faith to bring the message of donation to congregations around the country. If you would like our faith community to participate in this year’s Donor Sabbath, reach out to Donate Life Northwest at or call (503) 494-7888, or visit to learn more and to view their free collection of faith-based educational materials.

Mindfulness Mandala (virtual workshop)
Nov. 14 @ 11 am - 2 pm
Mindfulness, creativity and meditation all help manage depression and anxiety. You do not need to be an experienced artist to reap the benefits of art therapy. Art is therapeutic for all! The cost is $45 per household (hardship scholarships available). Register online at or by phone at (503) 253-0964.

Runaway Inequality Training Workshop
Mondays, Nov. 16 - Dec. 7 @ 6 - 8 pm
Join this training to learn about the causes and solutions of income and wealth inequality, and how to build a mass movement to solve it. Les Leopold, author of Runaway Inequality: An Activist’s Guide to Economic Justice founded this educational campaign. The workshop will be led by Kris Raab, lead trainer for Runaway Inequality. Learn more about Runaway Inequality at or register now.

Managing Holiday Stress (virtual workshop)
Dec. 5 @ 1 - 3 pm
Come to a place to share, destress, and learn about new ways to set boundaries and navigate the tricky conversations and situations that this season brings. Cost: $30. Register online at or by phone at (503) 253-0964.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
503-221-1054 | |