First you pray for the poor. Then you feed them. That is how prayer works.
We at Church of the Resurrection recognize that the purpose of Christian community is to yearn for God and answer the cry of the poor. Visit us this next Sabbath, Saturday night or Sunday morning, and see how yearning for God in worship together can look. It is beautiful. You feel held by God and the community. Your whole being can be refreshed from a very deep well. All are welcome to join us at God’s table.
The purpose of Christian community is also to answer the cry of the poor. We can be poor in so many ways. Our minds, spirits, bodies, communities, ecosystems can be and so often are subject to poverty. Jesus taught us that God is always on the side of the poor, the destitute, the powerless. God is always on the losing side because the true power of God is found in vulnerability and brokenness not in power and strength. That is the lesson of the Cross. Victory, salvation come not in vanquishing some enemy or triumphing over someone or something, rather, salvation comes in living, in surviving, in not being overcome by the structural sin and injustice of the world, and in helping others survive, overcome, even thrive in the face of the suffering that will catch up to all of us in the end. Salvation is knowing that suffering and death happen but that that is not the end of the story in this world or in whatever is to come. That is what Jesus Christ promises. That is why we try very hard to answer the cry of the poor right here in Eugene.
As a parish we have discerned that the most pressing problem that we can work together on is serving our neighbors who live in destitute poverty. Here in Eugene, 1% of our neighbors are so poor that they do not have a place to live on any given night. 11,000 of our neighbors in Lane County were homeless at least one night last year. (3% of the population). The shame of those numbers should be unbearable to us who live in the wealthiest economy the world has ever seen.
Below are descriptions of some of our ministries to the poor in Eugene. We hope that you might learn something about this community, and might learn how you could offer some of your own gifts and resources to the poorest and most vulnerable in our midst.
Parking Lot Ministry We have hosted car campers through St. Vinnie’s for years and were the site of the very first Conestoga Huts and first Bungalow (now used at Opportunity Village Eugene). We have an exciting project ahead of us in transforming this ministry from permission to sleep here into parish based “Tiny Houses of Hospitality.” More to come!
South Hills Site of the Egan Warming Center
2nd Sunday Breakfast @ First Christian Church Church of the Resurrection is part of the long established ministry at First Christian Church to offer a good hot breakfast every Sunday to those who are hungry. It is both a ministry of meeting a basic human need and a ministry of hospitality and welcome and sharing of the grace which we have received with many who are not welcomed by society. In addition it is an opportunity for COR members to not only give, but to receive the rewards of mutual care and respect from many folks they otherwise might not encounter in their daily lives.
The actions of this ministry are simple: to prepare and serve breakfast to between 230 – 270 persons, men, women and children who are in need and to extend welcome to our guests and to receive their genuine thanks. Resurrection participates in the breakfast the second Sunday of the month. Volunteers are also needed for the Friday and Saturday prior to the second Sunday to shop and prep.
First Place Interfaith Family Shelter co-hosted with our neighbors at Unity of the Valley
Outreach Commission This group gathers on a quarterly basis to make small grants to organizations serving those in need and seeking peace and justice as well as overseeing and coordinating the outreach activities of our parish.
Home Starter Kits (HSK) This is a defining ministry of Resurrection. Founded by our beloved Emily and Neil Morris (now departed) this ministry prepares a kit with household basics for those moving into their own apartment or home. We provide kits to those coming out mental health, homeless, substance abuse and prison transitional programs. Kits include basic kitchen utensils, towels, sheets, pillows, cleaning and paper products and much more. In 2014 we provided over 250 kits. Resurrection currently partners with St. John’s and St. Mathew’s Episcopal Churches in this effort. For information on donations or to help prepare and deliver kits please contact Gerry Clark.
Keep track of what’s currently happening with HSK: Information about our next “packing party” can be found here. To see what items comprise a kit, or which items we are currently in need of, check the HSKItems page.
Interfaith Earthkeepers is a coalition of Eugene communities of faith:
…celebrating the beauty of land, sea and sky
…speaking up for the powerless and endangered
…participating in the repair and regeneration of every place
…activating communities of conscience to serve and keep our sacred Planet
Representatives from member communities connect Earthkeeper work to action teams in their home faith community. Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month; the 13 member faith communities take turns hosting.
Contact Jane R. Smith or Richard McGuinness, Resurrection’s representatives, for additional information.