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Transcript: GC2016: United Methodists’ Portland Day of Service


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(Locator: Portland, Oregon)

As thousands of United Methodists inside the Portland Convention Center were in General Conference sessions, some took a chance to travel to another area of the city and be in service.

Food pantry staffer: “The bulk food is down there. I’ll keep replacing it. I’ll keep putting it down at this end.”

Volunteers visited Bethlehem House of Bread, a ministry of Tigard United Methodist. The shopping style food bank provides emergency food supplies for 110 families each month. Outreach includes a partnership with a nearby school and a community garden where neighbors can grow their own vegetables. The ministry grew out the merger of two churches.

The Rev. Jeremy Hadju-Paulen, Tigard United Methodist Church: “Our church, Tigard United Methodist, really took a risk in taking on this property and this building and re-purposing it for ministry in this way but it’s been such a blessing to us and it’s really one of the primary ways we are connecting to the community around us.”

Ruby Anderson is an active volunteer from the Detroit Conference. She signed on to learn best practices for better ministry in her own church.

Food pantry staffer: “We get a lot of food from Oregon food bank, although we do have a lot of food drives at businesses.”

Ruby Anderson, Detroit Conference: “I want to make sure I am doing something that not only helps me to learn. And I’m always looking for things I can take back to my church and the groups I work with because I think we are all ambassadors for knowing what to do and not just doing for the sake of doing."

Some of the participants packed items at the Portland food bank.  All were thankful for a chance to shift their focus some from meetings to ministry.

László Khaled-Abdo, Hungary Provisional Conference: “We are working now with apples. It’s important because we are Christian and that means not only our faith but our service with the poor and among the people.”

Cindy Gregerson, Minnesota Conference: “I don’t think all the work of the United Methodist Church is happening in General Conference. It’s in the votes and in the legislation. It’s what we can do to make a difference in our community. I wanted to remind myself about why I’m United Methodist by doing good and making a difference in the world.”

Joselito Javien Ortiz, Northwest Philippines Conference: “To my fellow United Methodist Church members, do this also as Jesus did in our lives.”