Beginnings of a Community of Service
Welcome to our new blog, Building a Community of Service. As a faith-based nonprofit, Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) serves those living on the edge of poverty. We are launching this blog as a place of learning, strategy, and inspiration for those involved in faith-based community service ministries. As this blog grows, our goal is to learn together by furthering our understanding of poverty and how churches and other faith-based groups can respond to those in need. In addition to this blog, we also offer in person or web-based training (see here)
Portland Adventist Community Services (PACS) is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the Oregon Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. We are located in the Gateway area of Portland, Oregon. We are surrounded by neighborhoods with high levels of poverty. Our emergency food program, low-cost household and clothing thrift stores, and expanding health center are all driven by the generosity of a committed staff, donors, and volunteers who make up our Community of Service. Our mission is:
“Following Christ’s example, we nourish the mind, body, and spirit while fostering dignity among those we serve.”
Our work is based on a Christian perspective although none of our services require any adherence to faith principles by those we serve. We are working to create a safe and welcoming place. More information about us can be found here: About Us
A biblical Christian perspective empowers the foundation of our work. It is estimated that in the Bible, there are over 2,000 verses of scripture about the poor, wealth and poverty, and social justice (see here). Creating a just and equitable community was a preoccupation of the old and new testament writers. Christ, in Luke 4:16-21, declared that His kingdom was (and is) present tense and based on the good news of equity, social justice, and reconciliation. At PACS, we are not ashamed to live out this gospel of Christ by engaging in a ministry of reconciliation.
So, as we launch this blog, expect to see a mix of theological and pragmatic topics born out of our collective work. This blog is a learning space that will be initially organized around three categories including 1) spiritual foundations of community service, 2) understanding poverty, and 3) practices and learning. Through this blog, our goal is to open and maintain a dialogue with the community that supports us.
Your thoughts are welcome.