Author Archives: Jan Nelson

Social Justice Camp

Spend a weekend at beautiful Suttle Lake Camp with others concerned about a faithful response to current justice issues. The retreat will be Friday through Sunday, September 15 – 17. Get all the details on this flyer.

Forum in Lake Oswego: Borders and Identity

You are invited to an evening forum at Lake Oswego United Church of Christ to view and discuss a video of Jose Antonio Vargas addressing “The borders within my identity” which include immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, undocumented immigrants, and the church. The forum will take place Monday, June 26, beginning at 7:00 pm. You can download a flyer with more details. Continue reading

Rev Alex Awad speaking in Portland

“Ten things Christians Can Do to Help Contribute to Peace and Justice for Israelis and Palestinians” will be the topic of a talk by retired UM Missionary Rev. Alex Awad at First United Methodist Church, Portland, at 12 noon Sunday, July 23.   Rev. Awad, a retired GBGM missionary who served as Dean of Bethlehem Bible College for more than 30 years, became a refugee when his family was evicted from the Jerusalem home that had been theirs for generations in the 1948 “Nakba.”  He lost his Palestinian citizenship Continue reading

May Newsletter

Here is the link to the pre-annual conference edition of the Witness newsletter. Find out what’s happening at annual conference and all the other news of our chapter.

Stop anti-BDS legislation in Oregon

Boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS) are time-honored, non-violent strategies for achieving justice. Leaders of the Christian churches of Palestine have asked their allies to use BDS to pressure the government of Israel for a just resolution of their long struggle.

BDS is under attack by those who want unconditional support for the Israeli government. Oregon is the latest state to have anti-BDS bills introduced: SCR 25SM1, and SJM9. Continue reading

March 2017 newsletter

The March newsletter is now available to download in PDF format. You can read it here or print a copy to give to a friend.

Rise Up! February 17 – 20 in Portland


Don’t miss an exciting weekend with fellow justice seekers. This invitation letter will give more details on the conference. The date is approaching fast. The deadline for the lowest registration fee is January 17.

Our keynote speaker Friday night will be Bishop Karen Oliveto. Her preaching is guaranteed to inspire and motivate you. On Saturday, workshop leader, Beth Zemsky,  will lead us in learning to develop an intersectional movement to help bring justice for all. On Sunday and Monday, you will have an opportunity to become part of an action network of people across the Western Jurisdiction to plan and carry out action in at least one specific area.

One of the goals of this conference is to involve more young people and people of color. If you know someone who should be involved in this work for justice, share this information and urge them to attend. Scholarships are available, but the deadline for those applications is even sooner: January 12. Don’t wait!

See you in Portland!

Did you miss the November newsletter?

You can download it here. Read it or print it, and share with a friend.

September Newsletter

If you have not read our most recent newsletter, you can download it here. You will learn the status of our annual conference’s work to divest from the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine, the opportunities to minister to and with disabled people, and one church’s journey with their homeless neighbors. There is also information about our fall event on October 15.

If you have already read the newsletter, why not make a copy for a friend?

Concerned about homelessness?

In places large and small across Oregon and Idaho, homelessness is increasing. Why is this happening? What can we do about it? Join us on October 15 at the Tigard United Methodist Church for our fall event: “Homelessness: Relationships and Responses”. Download this flyer for all the details and a registration form. Mail the registration form with your check made out to “MFSA”. Or you can contact registrar Janine Delauney at

The keynote speakers for the morning session will be Paul Schroeder and Rob Justus, both active in the Portland area. In the afternoon there will be a choice of workshops with presenters from cities and churches of varying sizes with different approaches to making a difference.


Paul Schroeder (MDiv) is the founder and executive director of New City Initiative (, a nonprofit whose purpose is that all people should achieve their full human potential, and whose mission is to engage faith communities in ending the cycle of homelessness. A former Greek Orthodox priest, Paul was inspired by his experience with the CUSINA program, which offered Greek cooking classes for people transitioning out of homelessness, to create a network of congregations supporting people’s efforts to end their homelessness. In 2010, Paul started New City Initiative as a project at JOIN, a local homelessness services nonprofit. New City Initiative became its own nonprofit in 2012. He is the author and translator of On Social Justice: St Basil the Great, a collection of homilies by Basil of Caesarea, a 4th-century Christian figure who founded a center called the “new city” that was dedicated to healing the whole person. He is also the creator of Building the New City, an interfaith curriculum on homelessness that has been used by dozens of congregations in the Portland area. In 2012, Paul received the Lamplighter Award from Operation Nightwatch for his organizing work in the faith community around family homelessness. In 2015, he received the Lowenstein Trust Award at Portland City Hall, which is awarded each year to “that person who demonstrated (in the opinion of the Trustees) the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in the city of Portland, Oregon.”

Rob Justus founded JOIN in 1992, an organization to support the efforts of homeless individuals and families to transition out of homelessness into permanent housing. JOIN focused on individuals sleeping outside in the Portland Metro area and launched “housing first” as a model for helping transition people into housing. Rob has a long history working with nonprofits and church communities around the issues of homeless and housing. In addition to work on housing, Rob has worked with CASH Oregon creating innovative approaches to increase income for low income Oregonians.