Happenings around Parkrose United Methodist Church
August 2009, Volume 2, Issue 8
From Pastor Bill -Joe Stroud is one of our leaders at PUMC. Before his retirement in 2003 he was teacher/mentor/preacher for over 30 years in Japan through the United Methodist Church’s General Board of Global Ministries. Joe and his wife Keiko retired to Portland and promptly ran into the brick wall of our country’s disjointed, falling apart health care system. Since then Joe has been active with the health care reform action team of the Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good (MACG). Below is a note from Joe on progress our Oregon legislators have made toward reform.
The Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good was one of several allied organizations instrumental in the passage of House Bills 2009 and 2116. However, as Rep. Mitch Greenlich, one of the strongest proponents pushing the legislation put it, “This is not the beginning of the end; it is the end of the beginning.” In other words, passage of the legislation was one thing, implementing it is quite another.
HB (House Bill)# 2116 itself is the legislation, which creates revenue to match federal funding for expansion of the Oregon Health Plan to cover uninsured children and low-income adults. It is HB2009 which spells out health reform itself. Implementation of that reform has just begun. The bill establishes an Oregon Health Authority (OHA) as well as a nine-member Oregon Health Policy Board (OHPB). Staffing and the appointive process have begun, but fleshing out the legislation will take time. One question MACG and others are asking is, How will children in need of coverage be registered? This may be a great opportunity for the church to help connect those within our congregation and community to affordable health care. But we, as individuals, and as a church, need to acquaint ourselves with this new program so we can respond.
I will continue to invest my time necessary to play a part in insuring that this legislation reaches fruition and consequently provides help for members of our community. I hope you will, too. Joe Stroud
National Night Out-huge success-Tuesday, August 4th found an estimated 900 neighbors at Knott Park enjoying the music and also the free hot dogs provided by the Parkrose United Methodist Men. Dean Creech and his team of 14 (including three women) cooked and served up 450 hot dogs with all the trimmings and 35 gallons of lemonade to grateful attendees. Yet another way that PUMC is reaching out to the neighborhood… plans are already under way for next year! Joe Stroud
PUMC Parking Lot Sale- Friday Aug. 14– we will be open to church family & friends 4:30-7:00 p.m. Saturday, August 15th 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. open to the public. Lots of great buys, BBQ Chicken dinner $4.00 & Hot Dog dinner $2.00 all with beverages served up by the United Methodist Men! Come support our mission and ministry here in the community andthe worlk. One more collection day, this Saturday Aug. 8, 10am-noon. Kudos’ to Linda Allen and her team who have worked tirelessly!
Hard Times Supper-During the late spring and early summer Vine Time’s study kept coming back to issues of hunger and community. We talked about what it means to be a community and how a community takes care of its members. While the talk was interesting and thought provoking it felt like it was time to do something that would actually make a difference. Pastor Bill suggested we volunteer to work at The Hard Times Supper. This was an opportunity for us to get our heads and hearts into the real work of community.
On July 15th, a group of 10 people from the Vine Time Fellowship helped serve dinner at The Hard Times Supper. This is a weekly dinner served to approximately 100 homeless men and women each week at Sunnyside United Methodist Church in SE Portland. Our group worked alongside a dedicated crew of regulars to prepare dinner and sack lunches on a very hot evening. Our teens – Meagan, Amber, and Karry worked at packing 70 sack lunches for the guests to take with them as they were leaving for the evening. They also helped make salads and helped entertain 5-year-old twins Alex and Zach as the adults cleaned up. The twins jumped right in and helped with recycling and handing out the lunch bags and fresh vegetables. What a great opportunity for all of our young people to be able to serve others in a setting outside their comfort zone.
The evening went by very quickly and we were all kept very busy. We were able to witness and participate in the grace given to a group of people that society pushes aside. This was a true community. The regulars who come to the dinner already knew what to expect and joined in to make the evening run smoothly. They were respectful of the leadership provided by Pat Schweibert who runs the program. At the end of the meal some of the participants stayed to help clean up, others sat around talking with one another. The regular workers knew people by name and knew their stories. I think making a personal connection with the folks who are served is what has made this weekly meal so successful. While we may not have made those personal connections in one evening of volunteering, it was evident that that is the pathway to making a real difference in the community. Shannon Starr
David’s Harp-the building has a new coat of paint and is looking sharp! Clients and staff from David’s Harp took advantage of the cooler rooms in the McKinnon Education wing this past week as their air conditioning has not yet been installed.
Youth Team works in record heat-last week PUMC hosted a twelve-member youth team from Nampa, Idaho First UMC. Although they were used to warm weather, last week was much hotter than they had expected! Through it all they worked cheerfully. One morning was spent here at our community garden, working with Katrina Kellmer directing their efforts at filling the recently constructed raised beds with soil and spreading wood chips. Special thanks to those who offered much needed and appreciated showers!
Community Garden Update-drive by the garden most any morning and you will see Katrina Kellmer (our garden director) and her daughter, Kary (assistant director), watering and tending to the new garden. Katrina spends part of her time gently reminding the “new gardeners” that they need to “come water their babies.” The garden team has all the raised beds completed and ready for more members next spring. Exciting news arrived last week with the announcement of a $500.00 grant from the Klamath Confederated Tribes.
Harvest Festival October 2, 2009-Mark your calendars for this special evening celebrating Parkrose Heights Community Garden with music, dance, food, and special dignitaries -we are extending an invitation to our Bishop, Bob Hoshibata. Katrina Kellmer’s brother, Buckley McWilliams, a Native American Indian Shaman, who drums, dances and sings will be doing a special blessing of our garden. You won’t want to miss this evening!
Infertility- Not exactly a topic you bring up as small talk at a summer picnic. In fact, it seems to be a topic that is often kept under wraps, even by the medical community and couples who are experiencing it. Kalle Fletcher, a member of PUMC, found a void where she hoped to find support as she and her husband worked toward creating a family. Kalle’s story is one of many in her book, The Waiting Room, a collection of personal stories by women she came to love and respect as they shared the trials of infertility in an on-line support group. This montage offers encouragement and support for couples currently struggling with decisions about having children. The stories also remind us that not all miracles come easily! Kalle’s book can be purchased on line at www.xlibris.com. Congratulations, Kalle, on your book, and thank you for your story. Linda James