This past holiday season PMC shared many gifts with each other! Every year we do an Advent Tree to gather gifts for local organizations doing good work in Portland. This year we brought gifts for Street Roots, which is an organization in Portland that publishes a weekly social justice newspaper sold by people experiencing homelessness and poverty to earn an income. Over the years, PMC has connected with Street Roots in various ways, and each Sunday, vendors Nathan and Kristina join us to sell papers. For our Advent Tree, we gathered gifts of things that Street Roots asked us to donate, supplies for the vendors they work with who are experiencing homelessness. This included things like: gloves, socks, hand warmers, hats, ponchos, cough drops, and sleeping bags. PMC was quite generous! Take a look at the photos of the tree before and after. I just dropped off all these things at the Street Roots office in downtown Portland, so check out a picture of our gifts given.
PMC also did a special offering on Christmas Eve with money going toward the relief, development and peacemaking work of Mennonite Central Committee amidst the war in Gaza. MCC is providing, to the extent possible, emergency relief with existing partners in Gaza, distributing locally purchased food packages, hygiene items and bedding as well as cash transfers to families in need. MCC is also working to help children cope with the trauma. And, Kathy and Frans Van der Horst performed a program of holiday stories and songs. They took an offering at the show, and that money was added to the total sent to the MCC Gaza crisis response.
PMC raised a total of $10,223.12
for MCC Gaza support!
Additionally, many people donated their time to advocate for ceasefire and peace in Israel-Palestine. Esther Nelson, Lisa Hughes, and Paul Reid worked with the Mennonite Action group to plan a trip and letters to Oregon senators and representatives. Over 30 PMCers from across the Portland Metro area held a peace service protest at Rep. Suzanne Bonamici’s office in Beaverton City Hall on December 19. They sang hymns, and shared their personal stories of deep grief and mourning for the Palestinians and Israelis killed in this war. The group urged Rep. Bonamici to sign on to a “Ceasefire Resolution.”
Finally, a gift to all from PMC carolers! We gathered for a Holiday “living room” Hymn sing on Dec. 16, and enjoyed lots of holiday treats and cookies. We shared community together with a casual gathering and had lots of fun singing together. We sang our favorite Christmas songs and recorded them to send to others as “video carols.” Hope you enjoy!