On July 14th and 15th more than 15 volunteers and residents came together to address roof repair needs in the Arbor and the Cedar Shade mobile home parks in the Cully neighborhood. More than ten people had their homes looked at, and almost all of those were patched up and received repairs. Roof repairs are a critical component in home repair, because roof issues are often the root cause of other problems in the home--exterior or interior. See photos below.
The next Mobile Home Repair Program Meeting is this Wednesday, July 19th, at 5:30 pm. Dinner and childcare provided.
Upcoming repair days you can be involved in:
On Thursday, June 29th, 10 volunteers gathered at the Living Cully Plaza to learn about mold removal, safety and prevention. They then dispersed into small teams and headed to the Arbor and Cedar Shade mobile home parks to address mold issues in residents’ homes. Volunteers went to 10 mobile homes or RV's to check in about mold conditions and help with removal/clean-up.
More repair days with the Mobile Home Repair Program are coming up! We are always looking for more volunteers, no construction experience necessary. Check your calendar and see when you can join us for the following events:
Roof Repair Days:
July 14th from 2-6pm
July 15th from 9-1pm
Arbor Mobile Home Park Repair Days:
July 27th from 10-4pm
July 28th from 10-4pm
Window Repair & Replacement Day:
July 30th from 2-8pm
If you are interested in volunteering on any of these dates, email/call Brenna Bailey: firstname.lastname@example.org / 612-360-5682
by Leif Kehrwald
As I reported at Masses this past weekend, it is likely that we will end the fiscal year in the black. This is significant because it has been a decade or more, I'm told, since the parish ended a fiscal year in the black. Pasted below is the financial summary as of the end of May. As you can see we are $9582 in the black. I don't yet have June's report.
That's the good news. And I am grateful to the staff and the Administrative Council for their fiscal prudence. I am even more grateful to all parishioners for your generosity. Thank you.
The not so good news is that offertory giving in May and June were at historic lows. Offertory giving averages $10,000 - $15,000 per month. May and June were well below average. Summer is a difficult time for cash flow. Church attendance and contributions are traditionally down, but payroll and nearly all other expenses remain the same. We work hard all year long attempting to fulfill the mission of St. Charles. We are also working hard to be fiscally responsible to ensure that St. Charles has a long and vibrant future.
Five Bucks a Week. Here's an idea put forward by a couple of people on the Administrative Council. Would you be willing to increase your offertory giving by just five bucks per week? When is the last time you increased your gift to the parish? I know that for some, this just isn't possible. No problem. And yet for others, it's quite doable . . . maybe even more. Consider it. Thanks for your generosity.
Any questions about parish finances, please contact me at email@example.com or at 503-351-9889.
On Pentecost Sunday, June 5, the St. Charles community was at its best. Through the hard work and genius of the Multicultural Committee we worshipped in a way that truly celebrated the many cultures that intersect at St. Charles, and truly reflected the Spirit of Pentecost. After the Native American smudge ritual, we had Scripture readings in Vietnamese, Tagalog, and Spanish. We heard powerful and emotional stories of immigration. We shared our own stories with one another. We had music in English and Spanish. We had prayers in Tongon, German, Tagalog, Spanish, Tigrinya, Nigerian, and Chuukese. And we had a special dance/prayer by the Aztec Dancers. Oh, and we had food from all over the world!
Many thanks to all those made this celebration great, in particular the Multicultural Committee, the Decorating Committee, both music groups, and Sr Phyllis for coordinating the liturgy.
See the videos and pictures below.
We celebrate these young people who received their First Communion and First Reconciliation last weekend:
Many thanks to all the parents, godparents, and grandparents who assisted with the retreat and celebration. Thanks also to Pauline Weir, Sandy Bossom, and Fernando Madrid for their tireless help. And a special thank you to Julie Hommes and Mayra Torres for organizing the entire celebration! See the pictures below!
On May 7 the Eritrean Catholic Community of Portland "hosted" Sunday liturgy at St. Charles. What an amazing cultural and spiritual experience for all. We sang hymns and heard readings in Tigrinya. We experienced extraordinary dance. And we feasted on delicious, authentic Eritrean dishes.
This community is made up of Eritrean immigrant families who live throughout our region. As Catholics they are members of many parishes in the area. They come together monthly at St. Charles for prayer and an occasional mass in their native language, Tigrinya. When we asked them to share their culture with us by hosting a Sunday liturgy, they were happy to do so. Enjoy the pictures and video below.
As you may know, we have received a matching grant of $10,000 from the Archdiocese to help fund new carpeting in the church. The carpeting buckles in many places, which creates a safety hazard. But in order to make use of this grant, we need to come up with an estimated $15,000 to do the job.
When we reported the above information from the pulpit and in the bulletin, many parishioners offered ideas and suggestions for how to proceed. We really appreciate the input. Seriously!
Many of the questions and suggestions center around the fact that while carpet is buckling, it is not particularly worn. Is it possible to stretch it? Is it possible to replace only parts of the carpet? So far, responses to these questions from carpet companies has been: since the carpet is glued down, it is not possible to stretch it to remove buckles. And patching creates more seams that will wear out and come up much quicker than we desire. All this said, we continue to ask these questions and more, seeking as much information and advice as possible in order to make the best possible decision.
A new issue has arisen that makes the project even more complicated. In a word: asbestos! The carpet is glued down to a tile floor; the tiles almost certainly contain asbestos. Pulling up the old carpet will surely pull up tiles, releasing asbestos. Suddenly, the cost for this project much higher than anticipated. UGH!
So, now we really welcome you comments, suggestions, and ideas. Use the comment feature in this article, or contact Leif Kehrwald directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 503-351-9889.
We celebrated well this Holy Week and Easter. You can relive it through these pictures!
Let's start with the Seder Meal.
More than a year ago, the parish entered into an agreement to rent space to Verizon Wireless that will allow them to put a booster antenna on top of the church. Through much consultation and negotiation with Verizon and with the Archdiocese, the details of the agreement have been finalized, and construction is due to begin on or around April 25.
What does this mean for St. Charles? In addition to the initial signing bonus of $9000, it will mean a steady flow of passive income of $2900 per month. From a financial standpoint, it’s equivalent to adding another weekend of income to every month.
As you might imagine, the income is much needed. For the past several years, the parish has operated in deficit mode and has had to dip into savings just to cover operating costs. We have implemented a number of measures to balance the budget, and we expect to finish this fiscal year in the black. Yet the severe winter exposed all vulnerabilities in our plant, particularly the roof and heating systems, resulting in maintenance and repair costs significantly higher than normal. Add to that, we still need to complete the brick repair on the west, north, and east sides of the church.
So, the added income from Verizon is most welcome. (We could spend the signing bonus three or four times over on urgent projects — computers, roof, boiler, bricks, carpeting!) And the monthly income will be very helpful to our operating budget.
What will it look like? Once construction is complete, you will notice the presence of Verizon in two places. First, on top of the church at the north end, there will be an eight foot by eight foot space that supports an antenna structure that will rise just ten feet above the roof. This means you will likely have to be a block or more away from the church in order to see the antenna.
Second, at ground level, near the southwest corner of the church, Verizon will install several power and equipment boxes that will occupy a space twelve feet by twenty-two feet. When finished, this area will be fenced and fully landscaped.
All of this has been reviewed and approved by the Archdiocese. Also, the Administrative Council has been fully briefed and consulted all along the way.
How long will construction take? Contractors for Verizon have told us that it will take about three months, start to finish. So, if they get started near the end of April, they should be finished by the end of June. But of course, delays are certainly possible. They have already begun paying rent.
Are there health risks involved? According the American Cancer Society:
At ground level near typical cellular base stations, the amount of RF* energy is thousands of times less than the limits for safe exposure set by the US Federal Communication Commission (FCC) and other regulatory authorities. It is very unlikely that a person could be exposed to RF levels in excess of these limits just by being near a cell phone tower.
When a cellular antenna is mounted on a roof, it is possible that a person on the roof could be exposed to RF levels greater than those typically encountered on the ground. But even then, exposure levels approaching or exceeding the FCC safety guidelines are only likely to be found very close to and directly in front of the antennas. If this is the case, access to these areas should be limited.
The level of RF energy inside buildings where a base station is mounted is typically much lower than the level outside, depending on the construction materials of the building. Wood or cement block reduces the exposure level of RF radiation by a factor of about 10. Read the full article here.
(* RF = radio frequency waves)
As always, we welcome your comments and questions. Contact Leif Kehrwald, Parish Pastoral Administrator at 503-351-9889 or email@example.com.
by Fr Elwin Schwab
(Ver traducción al español)
We need to keep you informed about what the parish is doing for our members and neighbors who are threatened by our government about their right to be living here in the United States.
We are joined up with several neighborhood churches and organizations so that among us we will be able to provide a safe place for those threatened to be deported or for families pulled apart by imprisonment or deportation of one or more of their members.
In our parish office, we have packets of information that anyone may pick up that contain the facts and information that a person or family will need to know to be prepared in case of arrest or detention.
With the other churches and organizations we are making sure that we have the things that people will need if detention r deportation happens to any member of our families.
We are organizing a workshop of legal experts so that our parishioners and neighbors will know the laws and their rights and will be able to lessen and lower their natural fears on Sunday, April 23rd.
We have not declared our parish a “Sanctuary Parish” because the exact meaning of those words are not clear in the laws of the United Stated, nor in the minds of most people. We do not want to promise something that we cannot deliver. However, we are a refuge and a safe place to be. No one will be turned away.
There is one exception to that:
No immigration police will be allowed on our property nor in our buildings, unless they have a court order - a warrant- signed by a judge.
Note” You as a homeowner or renter, have the same right. They cannot come into your home unless you let them in. they will threaten you, but the law is clear: They cannot force their way in without a warrant.
Our Social Justice Ministry, our Multi-Cultural Ministry, our Pastoral council and our staff will be continuing to be involved in all these various parts of the developing situation, and you will continue to be asked to help us to help our parishioners and neighbors in need.
We thank all of you most enthusiastically, because you have been right there when we needed anything. We pray for you and hope that you continue to pray for us as we try to be the parish Jesus would have wanted to belong to.
Necesitamos mantenerle informado acerca de lo que la parroquia está haciendo por nuestros miembros y vecinos amenazados por nuestro gobierno por su derecho a vivir aquí en los Estados Unidos.
Nos juntamos con varias iglesias y organizaciones de barrio para que entre nosotros podamos proveer un lugar seguro para aquellos que son amenazados a ser deportados o para familias separadas por encarcelamiento o deportación de uno o más de sus miembros.
En nuestra oficina parroquial tenemos paquetes de información que cualquier persona puede recoger que contengan los hechos e información que una persona o familia necesitará saber y para prepararse en caso de arresto o detención.
Con las otras iglesias y organizaciones estamos asegurándonos de que tenemos las cosas que la gente necesitará si la detención y deportación le sucede a cualquier miembro de nuestras familias.
Estamos organizando un taller de expertos legales para que nuestros feligreses y vecinos conozcan las leyes y sus derechos y puedan reducir y disminuir sus miedos naturales el Domingo 23 de abril.
No hemos declarado nuestra parroquia como "Parroquia del Santuario" porque el significado exacto de esas palabras no está claro en las leyes de los Estados Unidos, ni en la mente de la mayoría de la gente. No queremos prometer algo que no podemos cumplir. Sin embargo, somos un refugio y un lugar seguro para estar. Nadie será rechazado.
Hay una excepción a eso:
Ninguna policía de inmigración será permitida en nuestra propiedad ni en nuestros edificios, a menos que tengan una orden judicial -una orden- firmada por un juez.
Nota "Usted como propietario o inquilino, tiene el mismo derecho. Ellos no pueden entrar a tu casa a menos que los dejes entrar. Te amenazarán, pero la ley es clara: No pueden forzar su entrada sin una orden judicial.
Nuestro Ministerio de Justicia Social, nuestro Ministerio Multicultural, nuestro Consejo Pastoral y nuestro personal seguirán involucrados en todas estas diversas partes de la situación en desarrollo, y se seguirá pidiéndonos ayuda para ayudar a nuestros feligreses y vecinos en necesitar.
Agradecemos a todos ustedes con entusiasmo, porque han estado allí cuando necesitamos algo. Oramos por ustedes y esperamos que sigán orando por nosotros mientras tratamos de ser la parroquia a la que Jesús habría querido pertenecer.