Homelessness: a Gospel imperative

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Dear Clergy and Lay leaders of the Diocese of Oregon:

Many challenges confront our society these days and it is difficult to decide what God is inviting us to support and how specifically to be Christ to the world today. Often I feel bombarded by requests to listen to this issue or to support this other cause and most of the time I really do want to be a part of the solution to whatever problem I am hearing about at the time. As your Bishop I also try to be careful about what I support on behalf of the diocese as a whole. Whether it is gun violence or prison reform or support for the victims of the latest natural disaster, the church is called to be a force for good in the world. How to be that force for good is often a greater challenge. I suspect you have found the same to be true in your life. Both personally and professionally we need to do the good work of making choices about what and how to serve the world in the name of the risen Lord. Please know that I pray for you all daily in this struggle.

Recently I was asked to support the work of Paul Schroeder and the New City Initiative in working to prevent homelessness in the City of Portland. Faith leaders in the city have partnered together to write a statement on housing justice and to share that statement with Portland legislators. I have chosen to sign on to this statement as I feel that the issue of homelessness in America is a Gospel imperative. I believe that this work is part of the work of the church in response to the Gospel. I invite you to consider how homelessness is being dealt with in your community and find ways to be a part of the solution. Specifically I ask all of you who live and work in Portland to read the statement by the New City Initiative and consider signing it as well.

Blessings to you all,

+Michael Hanley
Bishop of Oregon

To read and endorse the statement on housing justice, click the link below.

The New City Initiative Interfaith Statement on Housing Justice