Fancy Newsletters

July/ August 2020- Show up and Stick with it!

Years ago an activist from a nonprofit in Portland came to visit.  He’d heard about SLF and the effectiveness of our work in Salem-Keizer.  He wanted me to share two things:  1) SLF’s political agenda, and 2) our ‘secret recipe’ for effectiveness. For nearly an hour...

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May/ June 2020 – Signs of Hope

May/June 2020 issue: You may be receiving this letter shortly before Fancy Friday May 29 ... or you might be receiving it shortly after.  Either way, greetings and peace be with you!  With all the disruptions and challenges these days, a ‘fundraising event’ is way...

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April 2020 – Looking Back on a Tough Passover and Easter

Well, that was an interesting Holy Week, Easter and Passover. We sometimes forget that these historic events occurred in tough times themselves.  Passover, in the midst of great oppression, plagues and death in Egypt.  And Holy Week—from the Triumphal Entry to the...

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March 2020- “Someone” should do something!

Been hearing this a lot lately:  “Where does SLF stand on the Homelessness issue?  You guys seem very quiet concerning this critical community problem. Is SLF doing anything?”        We are not offended by these comments.  It’s our mission to support and magnify the...

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February 2020- Salem’s African-American Community

(Inspired by Pastor Ben McBride’s recent visit to Salem) When I think of my childhood friend Larry Wilson, I remember the little yellow house on Lincoln Street where his family lived.  It was across from Tim McFetridge’s house along the alley above Baker Elementary...

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January 2020- 68 Tons of Apples for Christmas!

Even though I’m the grey beard (literally) at SLF, I’m not the only one deploying our methodology of bridge-building.  After 23 years it’s very gratifying to see how our Staff (and our Board!) practice hospitality, ministry entrepreneurship, problem-solving,...

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Sam’s Blog

I grew up in a great Salem church where Communion was celebrated every Sunday during the Eucharist.  I worship today in a great Salem church where we take Communion once a month.  From time to time I have pondered this contrast, not with any angst or criticism … but certainly with some lament. Was it just tradition and preference that caused me to yearn?  Or something deeper.

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SLF’s Political Agenda

With politics dominating the headlines and the newscasts, I’ve been thinking about a meeting I had several years ago. The community organizer from Portland was putting together a faith-based coalition, and he wanted to identify...

Three Epiphanies

Not just the high-needs inner-city neighborhoods, but all neighborhoods across Salem-Keizer. Every neighborhood has assets; every neighborhood has needs. The trick is to organize, energize and deploy the ‘indigenous assets’ so that the ‘indigenous needs’ are met. At this point, SLF stopped deploying the ‘suburban-assets/inner-city-need’” methodology. We now ask everyone, every church, every business, every agency: “What’s Your Neighborhood?”

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