November 2021
When Oceans Collide …
“You have to love it before you can save it,” says Dr. Sylvia Earle, marine biologist, oceanographer, and former chief scientist of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. She is drawn to “the place where the history of life can actually be found, not in fossils but in living creatures that represent life as it has been, perhaps, from the beginning of time.”

Earle’s TED Prize wish, that we join her in protecting the vital blue heart of our planet, inspired the founding of Ocean Elders. This independent group of global leaders works to protect the ocean’s wildlife and preserve its ecosystems and species biodiversity.

This vital work has long been at the heart of the ethos of indigenous people here in the Pacific Northwest and around the world. Two recent events highlight two communities separated by oceans but united by generations of cultural efforts to sustain salmon and tuna.
Aja K. DeCoteau (Yakama) is the new executive director of the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission (CRITFC)—the first woman to lead the organization and to carry on the tribal vision of putting fish back in the rivers, which CRITFC has focused on for nearly 50 years.
For 12 years, she was the manager of CRITFC’s Watershed Department, leading a team for Wy-Kan-Ush-Mi Wa-Kish-Wit (spirit of the salmon)—the tribes’ salmon restoration plan and watershed protection, and the organization’s climate change research and response.
“Since I was a child, my family, elders and tribal leaders have taught me the significance of salmon as one of our First Foods and the importance of tribal treaty fishing rights,” said DeCoteau.
“As tribal people, our natural resources are our cultural resources, which is why I have dedicated my career to protect them. I am honored and excited to lead CRITFC and work together with our member tribes to bridge traditional knowledge, scientific expertise, and cultural connection to ensure that we have salmon and other natural resources for generations to come.”
Literally oceans away, Consul General Joe-Silem Enlet for the Federated States of Micronesia is among world leaders at the COP26 United Nations Climate Summit in Glasgow, Scotland (Oct. 31 – Nov. 12), aiming to preserve life on earth.
Based in Portland and responsible for Micronesian communities in eight western U.S. states, he is also a local pastor of the Chuuk Logos Community Church in Vancouver, Wash. 
Enlet’s good news is that eight Pacific Island states are saving the world’s tuna (read his article). They’ve tended to the richest skipjack tuna waters on the planet but for years saw the ecology and even economies diminish. As a result, they coalesced as the Parties to the Nauru Agreement (PNA)—a global model for how culturally disparate and isolated small countries can claim their agency and limit foreign fleets from the United States, China and the European Union.
As we gather around our meals this month, may we reflect on ways we can be more mindful and proactive in the care and restoration of creation by all who inhabit this earth.
The Rev. Andrea R. Cano (she, her, ella)
Interim President
Support for Afghan Arrivals in Oregon
These past few weeks have been extremely busy for EMO's Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) team, as they have resettled a number of Afghan families in the Portland metro area and will continue to do so in the months ahead. Our response to the Afghan refugee situation is system-wide, involving EMO’s Central Office team, Public Policy team, Northeast Emergency Food Program and SOAR Immigration Legal Services, in addition to SOAR.

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon thanks those of you who have reached out with interest to aid in the Afghan resettlement process. Help from the community is essential and the tremendous number of offers we have received--from volunteering, donations and housing to job offers--has been heartfelt.

In order to ease the workload for our SOAR staff team, we ask that future offers of support or questions related to Afghan refugee resettlement be directed to or (503) 221-1054, ext. 201.
SOAR staff member Yahya Kane (above) prepares 60 backpacks, donated by Church World Service, for refugee arrivals. The backpacks are filled with hygiene supplies, snacks, notepads, coloring books and crayons. Church World Service also donated hundreds of diapers for families with young children.
To give financially, you can donate to EMO's Refugee Rapid Response Fund.
To volunteer your time, please email, call (503) 221-1054, or fill out our Volunteer Interest Form. We’ll get back to you with opportunities.
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.
On Jan. 6, 2021, the world was shocked by images of protestors storming the U.S. Capitol Building. Many held a flag in one hand and a Bible in the other. Some carried crosses, while others prayed for God to restore the United States as a Christian nation.

For 54 years, the annual Collins Summit has bravely taken on subjects at the center of current events. This year is no exception. At the 2021 Collins Summit, we will explore the challenging topic of Christian Nationalism—the belief that the United States is defined by Christianity, and that the government should work to keep it that way.

Join us at 7 p.m. next Wednesday, Nov. 10, as we explore this timely subject and where we go from here.


After watching virtual presentations from our keynote speakers, a live panel of Oregon leaders will go deeper into the discussion and address your questions. Submit questions to Panelists include: The Rev. Andrea Cano, EMO; The Rev. Ernestein Flemister, St. Luke’s Episcopal, Grants Pass; Rick McKinley, Imago Dei Community; and Sylvester “Sal” Sahme, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

Registration is $20 (scholarships available). Registrants have a choice of attending in person at Imago Dei Community (masks required) or watching online on your computer, phone, tablet or smart TV.
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.

Case Manager Assistant, Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR): Assist Case Manager in providing effective basic needs support to newly arriving Afghan humanitarian parolees. Must be bilingual in Dari or Pashto. Full time, temporary. Position closes Nov. 9. View position description and how to apply.

Program Assistant, HIV Services: Provide client services, volunteer coordination, community outreach and assistance and support to other program staff in order to facilitate the daily operation HIV Services. Full time with benefits. Position closes Nov. 3. View position description and how to apply.

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. Position open until filled. View position description and how to apply.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
503-221-1054 | |