We believe that Salem/Keizer will be the
healthiest community in Oregon - truly the

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Faith-in-Action News


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Faithfully Serving Salem's Schools

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Newest CaN Center and 'bike ministry'

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Keizer Church Serves Community

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City Vibe helps homeless find hope, a way forward

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CARECorp Teens in Salem

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A Crowning Achievement

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Free soccer camp gives kids skills on and off the field

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Church blooms at Battle Creek school

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Hub Gives Skills, Wheels

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CaN Center "Dreams" Big in West Salem

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Salem ranks 7th in country for volunteerism

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Churches share hearts and buildings with homeless families

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Free Clinic at Salem Alliance Church is "CaN" do

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CaN Center church has vibrant "Wood Ministry"

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Why I Like IKE: a Tribute to Isaac's Room ministry

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Four Corners Church Throws Block Party

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Fancy Dessert Tells Stories, Inspires Community
SLF Honored by School Board and Grant School
SLF News Archive

Amanda and Lindsey's Story

SOMA / Dinner on the Green

Holy Cross / La Casita

Capital Park / SENCC

IKE Box

Our Father's Porch

Church In The Park







Good To Be Back

October 2014

It’s good to be back.

I will also declare, it was good to be away.  After 18 years at the helm of Salem Leadership Foundation, it was time for rest.  For recharge.  For Sabbatical.

It was this time last year that I approached our Board and made my request.  The concept of sabbatical is a spiritual one … it is rooted in the word ‘sabbath’ (rest) and the Leviticus-25 principle of ‘sabbath year.’  Every seventh year was a year of rest for the land so it could recharge and be ready for new productivity.  In the modern context, sabbaticals relate more to overseas travel and extended periods of deep study.

I went with the Biblical concept.  I rested.  I unplugged from work (which many thought impossible!).  Our family went on several short trips:  The Wallowas, the beach, Hood Canal near Seattle.  I focused on exercise (daily walking) and made pilgrimages to Mt. Angel Abbey—a pair of practices I am continuing.  I also finished a long-overdue project in our 100-year-old Craftsman bungalow … our master bedroom.  We transformed an attic crawl space into a large dormer bedroom and my job was to outfit the room with vintage trim (baseboards, windows, doorways) that we’d salvaged from an old house before demolition.   Many have said, “that doesn’t sound like rest.”  Cutting-and-painting vintage fir was actually therapeutic for me, and you can’t imagine the peace I gained from finally finishing that project (don’t ask how many years it had been under construction …).

I want to thank our SLF Board for giving me the gift of sabbatical.   Similarly, I want to thank our amazing SLF Staff for keeping the ol’ SLF engine hummin’ during the two months I was away.  Special kudos to DJ Vincent, our South Salem Lightning Rod, who skillfully handled administrative duties for our team.  And to Carrie Maheu, who is mentoring the next generation of Lightning Rods (Kaleb Herring in McKay and Lindsey Walker in Keizer).  We have a great mission, great partners, and a great team at SLF.

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FAITH-BASED ESTATE PLANNING – DEC. 4

Estate-planning seminars are nothing new … two years ago SLF board member Ryan Collier developed a seminar for ‘Incorporating Faith into Estate Planning’ and the feedback has been tremendous.  We’ve scheduled the next session for Thursday, December 4, from 11:30 – 1 p.m.  A free lunch and plenty of free-and-useful information will be offered.  Ryan conducts estate-planning seminars for Marion-Polk Food Share, Union Gospel Mission and other highly respected non-profits.  Ryan is a past president of our board and loves to help SLF in any way he can (he’s one of our most enthusiastic RainFest golfers, for example).  Ryan is graciously underwriting the lunch at his corporate office near downtown:  Collier Law, 1020 Liberty St. SE, 97302.  Space is limited so please contact Desiree Hilliard here at SLF:  503-315-8924 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 
Back-To-School 2014

September 2014

It started as a dream four years ago.  Laurie Shaw with the City of Salem had a dream that Salem youth would be nationally known for their care and service of our community.  This kind of movement would need partners and momentum.  This is where SLF enters the scene.  Laurie already had Salem Keizer Education Foundation (SKEF) and the School District at the table talking about the dream  … called “CARECorps.”  They had the students and some of the resources needed.  When I sat listening to Laurie’s dream, I knew she needed to meet Mark Bulgin and hear the vision of Isaac’s Room, where formerly-divested youth become heroes.  In no time, Mark had agreed to house CARECorps at the IKE Box for the summer.  In the first year, eight Isaac’s Room mentors worked with AVID-trained teachers from the School District to harness the energy and passion of 40 high school students.  They used all their knowledge, skills and resources to help four nonprofits in Salem.  They didn’t just volunteer and complete some community service projects … they learned about the organizations and the people-in-need who would be impacted by their projects.  Moreover, each of the five teams provided more than 100 hours of work  and $4,000+ of in-kind donations.  This was Year 1 of Laurie’s dream-turned-movement.

Over the next three years the model grew:  cohorts of high schoolers becoming heroes through the ‘key ideas’ learned at IKE Box and serving in the neighborhoods of need.  SLF had the blessing of bringing partners to the table and providing staff support for projects across the city.  For example, the Community Partnership Team (CPT) I help lead—South Salem Connect—provided $100 mini-grants to each of the five teams which they leveraged into matching donation from local businesses.  As Laurie hoped and expected, the heroes created during CARECorps did not hang up their capes when they went back to school.  Teen Action Teams started energizing great work in every high school across the District.  Initiatives like ‘One Thousand Souls’ (South High) were started and shared from school to school.  Working together with nonprofits and churches, the process of collecting shoes began.  It’s been beautiful to see the mix of creativity and service meet urgent needs in our community.

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Herm's Hike

September 8-11...

A recap from Herm!
Day 7: 14 mile hike, from Muir Ranch though a beautiful canyon. Our very own Lindsey Walker and her artist's group came to mind... the place has a possible new canvass around every pass.
Day 8: Fifteen miles today, putting Andrew and Herm at mile 831 on the PCT. Wildlife included deer, a garter snake, some frogs, heard some coyotes, and a small rodent that looked l like a guinea pig but was gray like a mouse.
Day 9: 8 hours of hiking, traveling 12 miles... all up hill. First change in weather included on/off rain with a little hail! More deer on he trail today.
Day 10: Andrew on top of Pinchot Pass! They made it over two summits today, a total of 16 miles. Today they met people from Portland, Boston, Vail, San Francisco and Kentucky. More beautiful lakes were on route this day.

Its not too late to help Herm raise $40,000 for SLF:
• Donate $ _____ per mile or a one-time gift of any amount
• Donate $.25 per mile = $50
• Donate $.50 per mile = $100
• Donate $1.00 per mile = $200
• Donate $2.00 per mile = $400
• Be a “Trail Angel” by making a commitment of raising $500,
$1,000, $2,000 or more.

To register as a "Trail Angel" click HERE!
To make a pledge or donation to Herm’s Hike click HERE!

 

 

 

 

Thursday September 4... end of Day 5 and 13 more miles!

 

Herm is checking in and they are having a good time!  The weather has been great.  There are a few blisters, but it is expected with averaging 14 miles a day.  Spirits are high and they are seeing some beautiful country, hiking about 11 to 12 hours per day, which can make it grueling.  Herm sent pictures at halfway up a 2,000 foot elevation gain.  Herm and Andrew are seeing deer, marmots, and trout in the streams.  Herm thinks of friends, knowing DJ and Dwayne would enjoy the lakes along the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

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La Casita at Holy Cross Lutheran, Another "CaN" do Church

The Little House (or "La Casita") is owned by the Holy Cross Lutheran CaN Center Church and is operated by community partners.  It opened a year ago as a resource center to families within the Washington Elementary Fostering Hope target neighborhood.  Tuesday March 6th was a Open House for the new Library with a emphasis on early literacy and school readiness.

The community partners for the library are:  Mano a Mano, Reading for All, Delta Kappa Gamma, City of Salem Lansing Partnership, Holy Cross Lutheran Church and Salem Leadership Foundation.  A special thanks to the Union Gospel Mission for the donated book shelves and furniture, all of the volunteers who categorized, labeled and organized the 1800 books and all the amazing "bakers" who provided the refreshments.

We had 22 children sign up at the Open House for their Little House Library Card.  Stay tuned for our summer literacy program in partnership with our friends at the Salem Library.  Another exciting project at the Little House is currently underway with the East Salem Rotary,  they are designing and building a "a children's garden" in the backyard.

We are currently looking for volunteers to help with our "children's garden" this summer and staff our library for our summer literacy program.  Anyone interested in becoming a Friend of the Little House contact Carrie Maheu - McKay Area Lightning Rod @ 503-559-5677 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 
Summer 2014

Volunteers help make first “MOM” in Salem a Huge Success!
If you attended or volunteered for Salem’s first Mission of Mercy event in July you might have met a volunteer named Steve.   Those who have been around Salem for a while might have thought they recognized Steve as a man who had held a sign on Mission Street for more than 12 years.  Some may have thought his face looked familiar from articles in the Statesman Journal for having the most vagrancy tickets in the City of Salem’s history.  This was Steve’s past, but it is not his present or future.


Steve has achieved three years sobriety, obtained housing and serves as a weekly volunteer.  Steve gives his time weekly to Church@thePark (C@tP) where he has found acceptance, family and advocates for five years.  Steve also works with Marion Polk Food Share and Hope on Wheels to deliver food bags to those still living in their cars and tents.  Steve was just one of 10 volunteers at the Mission of Mercy event from C@tP who have transitioned from just receiving help to giving back to their community each week.  One of Steve’s friends on the C@tP team commented on Friday at the end of volunteer shift, “serving others is better than getting high.

C@tP was joined by nine other groups recruited by SLF Lightning Rods, Herm Boes & DJ Vincent, and our amazing summer intern Matthew Rawlins, to provide food and encouragement for the 1,255 patients waiting in line to receive dental assistance.  The numbers are in: patients received 6,533 different procedures totaling $738,299 worth of free dental care.  The Oregon Dental Association spearheaded the event, which is duplicated all over the nation.  A total of 998 volunteers gave their time over 3 days to see this outreach happen at Chemeketa Community College. Thanks to all who faithfully served!

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People and Place

July 2014

Ever since the stately 1876 Capitol Building burned in 1935, Salem has had a disease.  It's called "Teardownitis."  The collapse of that beautiful copper dome into the raging flames on April 25 seared the civic soul of Salem.  So much so that, in the ensuing decades, any building that "might burn" or "might need seismic upgrades" has crumbled beneath the wrecking ball.

R.I.P. … The Marion County Courthouse, 1952 (you can still visit Lady Justice, the bronze statue, in the lobby of Willamette's Law School building).  Salem City Hall, 1972 (you can still tell time by the tower clock which was relocated to downtown Mt. Angel).  Churches.  Banks.  Theaters.  Schools. Perhaps worst of all, the 24-square block ‘Victorian mansion district’ that became the Capitol Mall
for state offices.  We are fortunate to have Bush House and Deepwood Estate as properly-preserved museums, but we should have whole districts full of such houses. 

“But Sam,” you might say, “SLF's ministry is about transforming people, not buildings.”  Quite true. People are more important than buildings.  Eternal souls much more important than bricks and mortar. Totally agree.  However, people and place are not mutually exclusive.  Especially when 'our place' is Shalom, Oregon, the city of peace and the capital city of Oregon.  What a history of people and place! The Chemawa and Chemeketa tribes of the Kalapuya nation.  Jason Lee and his band of Methodist missionaries.  Father Francis Blanchet and his mission priests in French Prairie.  The covered wagons and Oregon Trail pioneers.  Salem is steeped in history … the history of people, ministry and place.

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As the Dust Settles

June 2014

‘NEIGHBORHOOD’ GROWS AT FANCY DESSERT! They packed-out the Salem Convention Center last Friday, May 30, to enjoy the 2014 edition of the SLF Fancy Dessert.  More than 750 folks cozied together to hear how SLF and its partners are “Growing Neighborhood”  across Salem-Keizer.  We had fun with our “down-to-the-farm” theme in both décor and message.  Over the course of the evening we were able to demonstrate the power of SLF’s “Leverage Value” through Lightning Rods (our field staff) and CaN Centers (Churches serving as Neighborhood Centers.)   One dollar turns into thousands through SLF leverage.

As always, the highlight of the evening was the ‘Neighbor Stories’ that we captured and conveyed on film. 
This year we went back in time to catch up with five stories featured at previous events.  It was amazing to see God’s expanding grace and impact on individuals, then families, then neighbors, then community.

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Fancy Dessert, May 30, 2014

#FDSLF2014

Check out the photos HERE!

 

 

 
May 2014

A man named Jess Jones called.  He was the baseball coach at Whiteaker Jr. High in Keizer.  My coach at Leslie, Mike Cooley, had recommended me. “Skillern, do you want to try out for Babe Ruth?”

In 1972, Babe Ruth Baseball was the new league in Salem, and I had missed the tryouts.  I had also missed being chosen for South Salem Pharmacy, the legendary C-League team that every Leslie baseballer yearned to play for.  I was assigned to the Pharmacy’s minor league affiliate and was still licking my wounds when Mr. Jones called. 

“I hear you’re pretty good for a 7th-grader.  Is there a field nearby where I could see you take a few swings and field some grounders?”  We headed up to Fairmount Park.  My friend Brad Hinds joined us.  Mr. Jones ran us through the paces but it was hard to tell if he liked what he saw.  “Skillern,” he said as he dropped me off at home, “Babe Ruth is serious baseball and this would be a big step for you. Not to mention that 13-year-olds don’t play much in Babe Ruth.  But if you join Capitol Toyota I’ll make sure you play at least one inning per game.” 

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What's in an Acronym

April 2014

As if SLF doesn’t have enough acronyms … do you know what a CPT is?

Community Partnership Teams (CPTs) have been around Marion County for 20 years.  Outside of Salem they are called ‘Community Progress Teams’ and there are some really good ones:  Silverton Together, Friends of the Family (Stayton), Keizer United, et al.  Each CPT convenes stakeholders in a high-school feeder area to forge projects and partnerships that help build stronger kids, families and neighborhoods.  After-school programs, parenting classes, community gardens, homeless outreach, English classes, inter-cultural activities … the list is huge.  CPTs partner vigorously with schools, churches/CaN Centers, neighborhood associations, businesses, and non-profits like Marion-Polk Food Share, Boys and Girls Club, Mid-Valley Literacy Center, Catholic Community Services, Mano a Mano, IKE Box, Family Building Blocks, SKEF, MERIT and NEDCO (oops, more acronyms, sorry).

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