The Caring Ministry team was created in the last few years to help support the needs of the congregation in a variety of ways.
- Eddie and Linda Mensinger make numerous calls and visits to people who are homebound, in the hospital or care facilities. Members look forward to their warm, caring and prayerful visits. Don Gissel coordinates a team of elders to serve communion to the homebound each month.
- Joann Devlin coordinates the email prayer chain and Betty Wagner coordinates the phone prayer chain. This ministry keeps all of us informed on what is happening in the lives of our church family.
- Rev. Stasia Van Buskirk continues grief support and hospital visitation for the congregation.
- Barbara Garrett organizes and sends cards to those who are in need throughout the year. Barbara and Don Garrett organize transportation for those who need rides to church, doctor, etc.
- Cathy Searles coordinates the convalescent meals for our members.
The Mission team is comprised of many members who are busy throughout the year working with the congregation on several local mission projects. One of our main missions is the Backpack Buddies Program which Jim and Louise Anderson coordinate throughout the year. People help pack and deliver the food to the schools a couple of times per month. The end of last year we were serving about 80 children per week, and this year we are serving 100 children per week. The schools we support are Lot Whitcomb, View Acres, and Oak Hills’ Head Start Program. The food that we pack for these children help give them the extra food and nutrition they need for each weekend of the school year. A fifth grade teacher told us, “Thank you for bringing Backpack Buddies to our school. It makes a difference. It really makes a difference for the children.”
Jay Knauss coordinates the quarterly Red Cross Blood Drive at Oak Hills. Jim Anderson leads the monthly Prayer Walk where Jim and others walk and pray for neighbors in the Oak Hills’ neighborhood. Last spring Sylvia Totzke worked with North Clackamas School District to have an evening ESL class in the summer. Barbara Spisla coordinated Oak Hills’ volunteers who were teacher’s assistants, daycare helpers and food donators.
As a result of fire last summer at the Clackamas Service Center, we could not serve our traditional Christmas dinner. Norm Smith, Cathy Searles, Pastor Jeremy Sanderson and Abby Sanderson served the community a hot meal from a food cart, and they ate their meal in a tent on a cold, windy night. The people were so gracious and thankful for the hot meal!
The church received an anonymous donation last year, and $4,000 was dedicated to Missions to donate to organizations outside of our church. After praying and discerning, we decided to share $1,000 to each of these: Thiessen Roadhouse Ministries, Iglesia Shalom Youth programs, MALICO—an Ethiopian solar project, and LaHash Servant Team Ministry.
Through Missions, the church also contributes to Portland Rescue Mission, King’s Cupboard, Love INC, Shepherd’s Door, and Medical Teams International. The church continues to support Wycliffe Bible Translators’ missionaries, John and Jody Wilson and Ken and Kim Rasmussen.
Syria mother and daughter awaiting resettlement
This year over 1,000 refugees will be resettled into the Portland area. Some of them will come from Iraq and Syria. We at Oak Hills want to help some of those being resettled into Clackamas County. Most refugees arrive in the United States with next to nothing, but you can help them rebuild their lives by helping us put together restart kits. Choose one or more items from the list below, purchase them (new items only) and bring them to church Sunday, June 19. Thanks for helping us welcome refugees to Portland!
If you have questions about this project or if you’d like to learn more about helping refugees, please contact Sylvia Totzke, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Choose twin, full, or queen
- Sheets and Pillow cases
- Pillow (1 for twin or full, 2 for queen)
- Flour (5lb bag)
- Sugar (4lb bag)
- Rice (large bag)
- Pasta (3 packages)
- Pasta sauce (3 jars)
- Biscuits or cookies
- Dried fruit
- Tea, coffee and hot cocoa
- Olive oil
- Vegetable oil
- Balsamic vinegar
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Salt and pepper
Kitchen Kit 1
- Dishes (plates and bowls for 6)
- Cups/glasses and mugs for 6
- Silverware (forks, knives, spoons for 6-8)
- Silverware tray/holder for drawer
- Dish towels (2)
- Potholders (2)
- Paper towels and holder
- Hand soap
- Trash can (11-13 gallons)
- Garbage bags
Kitchen Kit 2
- Mixing bowls (2-3)
- Plastic Tupperware or storage containers
- Frying pan
- Small pot with lid, large pot with lid
- Baking dish (glass or ceramic)
- Cutting board
- Large carving knife, smaller paring knife
- Can opener
One of our key missions is the Backpack Buddies program coordinated by Jim and Louise Anderson. People help pack and deliver food for students in need at View Acres Elementary and Lot Whitcomb Elementary. In 2017, we served about 100 children per week for the entire school year! The food that these children receive gives them the extra nutrition they are needing for the weekend. The cost is about $2.45 per child per week. You are a blessing to them and their families. One student wrote in a thank-you card, “The Backpack Buddies are really helpful when we are running out of food. I love the food!”
OHPC History of Backpack Buddies
We became aware of this program in the North Clackamas School District when the Adult Spiritual Nurture (ASN) committee asked the Mission Team for suggestions for the Advent Conspiracy in the fall of 2009. Advent Conspiracy, a class led by Susann Smith on Monday evenings, was a series about giving to help others, rather than Christmas gifts with little or no meaning, merely contributing to materialism. Emma Fortier brought information about Backpack Buddies to the attention of the mission team and the Advent Conspiracy group. We agreed to give it a try. Sandy Osborn created a promotional poster, and Christmas cards to explain the alternative gifts to family and friends. The alternative cards were sold to develop the fund.
Ten people came to the first planning meeting in November 2009, funds were raised and food was donated. We began supplying weekend food for about 30 children at Concord School in January 2010. The bags of food go home with children who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, if the parents have signed a permission slip. For most of the 2012-13 school year Oak Hills has served 93 children. Each bag contains two protein items, two servings of fruit, two 100% juice boxes, and two snack items with protein.
Many people at Oak Hills are involved as donors, shoppers, packers, and delivery crew.
Program page at North Clackamas Schools
In the News at Oregon Food Bank