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Domestic Missionary in Portlandia

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I am seeking to raise financial support for my work as a 'domestic missionary' in Portland, Oregon engaging challenging but incredible work of planting a new, emerging community and redeveloping a 118 year old church within a one, diverse, multi-cultural, open, affirming and radically welcoming 'new parish'- urban Abbey with a calling to serve the large, eleven neighborhood quadrant of north Portland.

There were less than twenty people (mostly very faithful elders) attending when I arrived in February 2013. I brought me a handful of committed younger folk who had been part of All Souls 'pop up church' (a Wednesday night monastic prayer group which I started previously).

Previous to coming to Portland, I planted Church of the Apostles, Seattle, a pioneering, emerging Lutheran and Episcopal church, now ten years old. I had judicatory funding as a church planter in Seattle for the years it was needed.

In the best of circumstances, church plants and congregational redevelopments take 5-8 years at minimum to 'take,' with funds being provided to support the planter and or redeveloper and other start up needs.

Currently I am engaging this work without church planter/redeveloper salary support, congregational development or or denominational grants. Until I can secure support elsewhere, I will keep this site up to crowd-source mission support.

This 'apostolate' to develop The Portland Abbey church' of St. Andrew and All Souls is proving me a rare opportunity within the 'here and now' to get a peek at what the The Reign of God could look like. We are an emerging 'new parish' development, dedicated to God's mission in our locality. We are multi-generational, multi-racial, and multi-cultural in a non trendy, pre-gentrification area and engaging justice community development and service with many working poor neighbors, and with people of all races, ages, abilities, and sexual orientations.

'Domestic missionary' is the only label that seems to fit. The kind of missionary who needs to raise his or her own support to be able to pursue the horizon of mission where God is calling. Thank you for your mission support and God bless.


Karen Ward
Portland, OR

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