September 2021
Dear friends,
I see faces when I read these words. Faces of people of the Levant whose words the Gospel writer captured. Faces of the people who filled our news every night throughout August.

August, a month when the winds and waters drenched coastlines and flooded urban and rural communities … fires devastated lush forests and inhabited lands here and in Europe ... the foundation of life and certainty were literally shaken in Haiti … COVID began claiming even more victims than a year ago… and Afghan people fled for their lives and futures.

The Gospel reference is not only an expression of gratitude but also a reminder of how we as people of compassion, empathy, generosity and grace respond to the myriad needs of our siblings at any given time.

And that time is now as September begins. 

The response, the restoration, the repair has been prompted by such urgency and immediacy. If not for our deep relationships and partnerships with communities of faith and so many people from throughout the state of Oregon, we could not do so in such a timely fashion.

I’ve spoken with the bishops and executives of our member denominations how best to coordinate efforts of support for all that we really must do. For example, we are all closely monitoring and responding to the Afghan refugee situation. We are grateful that Lutheran Community Services NW, Catholic Charities and EMO’s Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR) are deeply involved in the official resettlement process, and that an expansive network of partnerships with IRCO, legal and social service agencies, and, most importantly, representatives of the Afghan community in the Portland metro area are part of those efforts.

While housing, clothing, food, medical care, employment and school enrollment for children are most urgent needs to fulfill, we hope that the next tier of support will continue to be informed by the refugees themselves. We will learn more about ethnic and cultural distinctions, spiritual practices, dietary considerations, family systems and parenting, social courtesies, culturally adaptive therapies for trauma and healing, and ways they wish to be received in our communities and in our homes.

Through hearing and understanding these aspirations, can we give authentic witness to caring and giving as unconditionally as those who did two millennia ago.

The Rev. Andrea R. Cano (she, her, ella)
Interim President
Refugee Rapid Response
We’ve been overwhelmed by those of you looking to support EMO's refugee work in light of recent events in Afghanistan. To learn more about Afghan refugees, visit the website of our partner organization Church World Service.

If you’d like 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.

If you’d like to give financially, you can donate to EMO's Refugee Rapid Response Fund.
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.
Sept. 30
Dine in or take out at participating restaurants on Sept. 30 and a percentage of the cost of your meal will be donated to EMO's HIV Day Center and OHSU's Partnership Project to help people living with HIV in the Portland metro area.

Sept. 19
Sept. 18, 1902, was the day of Alonzo Tucker’s lynching in Coos Bay, Ore. We invite you to acknowledge this anniversary by joining us on the following day, Sept. 19, to honor Alonzo Tucker’s memory during a state-wide “Day of Remembrance.” Learn more about how you can participate.

Sept. 25, 9:15 am - 3:45 pm
Join the ELCA Oregon Synod for a Day of Learning. Everyone is welcome to this online event, which will explore the theme “Faithful in the Fray: Facing our Histories of Racism.” Keynote speaker The Rev. Lenny Duncan will talk about “Racism and the Church,” and there will be workshops in the morning and afternoon. The entire day’s event is $50 per screen for adults over 21 (under age 21 is free). Learn more and register
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 (French and other languages common to Congolese refugee population), Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR): Provide effective case management services to refugees. Full time with benefits. Position closes Sept. 15. View position description and how to apply.

Case Manager (Russian-speaking), Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees (SOAR): Provide effective case management services to Russian-speaking refugees. Full time with benefits. Position closes Sept. 15. 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.

Project Coordinator, HIV Services: Provide client services, assistance and support to other program staff in order to facilitate the daily operation of EMO’s HIV Services. Full time with benefits. Position closes Sept. 13. View position description and how to apply.
Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon
503-221-1054 | |