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Volunteer Connections is a new Resurrection Parish ministry focused on connecting those who can help with those in need. At times in our lives, all of us need help. We are a parish family and should be there for each other.
The ministry was conceived by Sally Egland, former parish business manager. After meeting with a group to discuss a role with an outreach service forming at the archdiocese for senior priests, she thought, why not at Resurrection for all parishioners?
“During my career as a manager at Nike, I hired a former professional baseball player who had been forced to retire early due to an injury,” says Sally. “After a few months, I called him into my office to provide feedback on his performance; he needed improvement as a ‘team player.’ He argued he was first to volunteer, but as we discussed further, being a good team player means that you will ask others for help when needed, which is something he had not done.”
“This is a valuable lesson for us all. Most people are more than willing to help others, but do we ever ask others for help?”
As a stewardship parish, “Service” is one of our four pillars. Parishioners are encouraged to share their time and talents with others. Volunteer help can be requested by ministries, staff members, parishioners and others.
“I would encourage each of us to be a good team/family member and reach out when you could use some help,” says Sally. These might include:
- Maybe you have always wanted to learn to knit, play chess, make a pie or build a bird house. I know there are parishioners who can teach you.
- Maybe you are exploring career options and want some advice. I bet there are people within our parish who would be willing to meet and provide mentoring.
- Maybe you are new to the area and are looking for Foster Grandparents or friends with similar interests. I bet you would have people lined up for the role.
- Maybe you are grieving the loss of a loved one. You are not alone. There are others within the parish who have been there and could provide a willing ear.
- Maybe you are “aging in place” and occasionally need help with raking leaves, walking your dog, doing minor repairs or just want a friendly visitor on a regular basis. We can help.
And, each of us has gifts and talents that should be shared. Please be sure to check the Volunteer Connections ministry page regularly for current volunteer opportunities and respond to help. Most are one-time or occasional opportunities for adults, teens and families.
“If you have suggestions or ideas for this new ministry or a talent you would like share, I would love to hear from you. Please pray for the ministry’s success and that each of us responds to the call to be good stewards.”
For further information, please contact Sally Egland, Outreach Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-482-6877.
November means Thanksgiving boxes.
The St. Vincent de Paul Society (SVdP) hands out flattened boxes to Resurrection parishioners in November, asking the boxes be filled for Thanksgiving meals for those in our community who might go without.
However, the Society is much more than this once-a-year drive.
“Our primary purpose is to bring the love and peace of Christ to those who are suffering. In doing so, we bring the gift of ourselves and our time.” SVdP collects food and raise funds in order to help and demonstrate the truth of the central message of Christianity.
SVdP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility costs. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly.
Working locally together, the members of Resurrection SVdP Conference offer their time and support to members of the community. They bring emergency food boxes to the homes of those who express need through the Portland Council Emergency phone line, the Resurrection Parish Office or by reaching out to parishioners.
Through the generous donations of Resurrection’s Parishioners and the community, the 30-plus members of Resurrection Conference provides:
- Rent and utility assistance
- Food delivery
- Thanksgiving boxes
- Supports Bridges-to-Change organization with food donations
- Supports the local Backpack Program with grant funds
In all of 2015, the Resurrection Conference provided:
- Rental and utility assistance for 55 families.
- 318 families have been provided emergency food boxes
- 2,930 volunteer hours served.
- 15,417 pounds of food donated.
- 4,010 miles driven.
Much of the Society’s funding comes from its annual appeal beginning in October.
“I am appreciative and humbled by all the support from our parish. Seeing the whole community support the great work of SVdP accomplish,” said Thomas Frank, President of Resurrection Conference. “Its mission has been rewarding and impactful to our community.”
Resurrection Conference was the first and for many years, the only conference providing and handing out food boxes for Thanksgiving Day in the Portland metro area. The boxes include the traditional thanksgiving trimmings and a $20 gift card for the purchase of a turkey to complete the thanksgiving meal.
While service is a visible outcome, so is the personal spiritual growth. “The primary role of the Vincentian is not to pay the bills, furnish groceries, or clothe someone. The role of the Vincentian is to provide loving and compassionate interest in individuals. If that interest calls for food, clothing or other assistance so be it. However, it is in loving where the contact with Christ emerges. That contact with Christ is what separates the Society of St. Vincent de Paul from just another social agency.” (Source: Who We Are, SVdP Portland Council)
Visitors and potential new members are always welcome to sit in our meetings on the third Sunday of the month at 9:15 AM (between the Sunday morning masses). Please contact us to be sure of the meeting day and location.
For emergency assistance of food, rent or utilities, please call the Portland Council Emergency Line: 503-235-8431
To read more about the St. Vincent de Paul society, go to: http://rcparish.org/ministries/svdp/
It’s a very limited commitment: try it for just four meals.
Breaking Bread offers a wonderful opportunity to get to know and enjoy members of our parish family during casual meals. “One of the most intimate ways to get to know someone is to invite people into your home,” says Jeanie Schuldt, a Breaking Bread co-organizer.
“When people join the parish, it’s a great way to get to know other people,” says Jeanie. “Once new parishioners get to know people, they join other ministries and groups. It can be hard to get to know people at such a large parish.”
Participants are randomly assigned to small groups of six to eight adults who meet in one another’s homes on their own schedule. Typically 12-15 groups are formed, but there can be as many groups as people sign up. Each host provides the meal, but there is no other agenda other than to arrive with a smile and share with each other over a simple meal. Even a Breaking Bread prayer is provided.
Casual meals and simple settings are the least stressful; the emphasis is on socializing. In the past year, a single parishioner hosted his Breaking Bread group at his apartment and served dinner on folding tables in a parking space adjacent to the apartment.
Breaking Bread is for everyone: new or longtime parishioners, single or married, young or old. These social meetings are a tradition at Resurrection that dates back to the beginning of the parish in the 1990s: “Fellowship and a welcoming attitude toward all have been goals of Church of the Resurrection since our earliest days. The Golf tournament, Coffee and Donuts after Mass and Breaking Bread dinners kept us bonded to each other,” according to an early parish history. In past years, fall and spring sessions were offered, but currently only one session is offered, beginning in the fall. Notices about sign-ups are sent in emails, posted in the bulletin, weekly parish emails as well as on the website.
Jeanie’s co-organizer is Gerry McGuire; together they assemble the groups, ideally with couples that have not previously dined together. “It can be tough for singles, but we try to pair singles up so that they can co-host and help each other reduce the effort.”
If you’d like to sign up for Breaking Bread, contact Jeanie Schuldt at 503-799-2598 or email@example.com, or Gerry McGuire at 503-343-0841 or firstname.lastname@example.org.