Portland's Parkrose Community United Church of Christ celebrated 100 years of ministry yesterday. I was sorry to miss the celebration service for this faithful, progressive Christian community that I had the honor of serving for three years but I did send the following message to be shared during the worship service:
"Back in 2006 – when I first arrived for what was originally planned as a short stint as your interim minister – the future of Parkrose Community United Church of Christ was uncertain. The people of this church, not unlike the brave crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, wouldn’t accept defeat, however. Instead you made difficult and bold decisions that have brought you into a new home, in partnership with another congregation, and in ministry with our city’s homeless community. Building up the Kingdom of God became more important to you than maintaining just one building. You answered God’s call to be open and affirming to all. For some of you, this work will be your legacy. And because of that this church will remain foundational for youth in this community for years to come. As a former pastor of Parkrose Community United Church of Christ, I continue to hold you in prayer (and to miss you) as I watch from a distance as this special community of faith continues to grow and respond to the still speaking God."
It would not surprise me if one day Parkrose Community United Church of Christ celebrated two hundred years of faithful ministry. The church is filled with wonderful lay leaders and the gifts of ministry brought forward by The Rev. Don Frueh.