Message from the MTS Board of Directors:
Out of an abundance of safety for our pastors and staff we have made the decision to close our campus until the Governor's "Stay at Home" order is lifted. We felt it was important that our church do our part to work with and cooperate with our community, city and state at large. Closing our campus really isn’t just about protecting our staff, it is about flattening the curve as fewer and fewer people are out and about. Staff staying home keeps them safe but also ensures they don’t give the virus to someone else. Medical professionals tell us many will have mild symptoms and not know they have the virus.
In the days ahead our pastors and staff will work from home to keeping us connected in various ways. As we have all seen they are already doing an amazing job in finding ways to connect with us. As we have learned, the “church” is not the building. Just because the building is closed, ministry is alive and well. Let’s all remember to reach out to others as our staff is doing to check in on family members, church friends, pastors and our neighbors.
Please continue to cover our staff and board in prayer as we walk forward seeking His steps in all we do.
Stuart Schmaltz, Board Chair
Monica Monroe offers these helpful words…
Our Health Journey
About five years ago Dale was diagnosed with bladder cancer. A bit shocking and we wondered why since we thought we were taking good care of ourselves. In his case, his career where he was exposed to environmental toxins, definitely weakened his immune system. We decided to pursue traditional cancer treatment but also found a naturopath who specialized in oncology. We know that doing both gave us more time, but unfortunately, did not cure the cancer. The naturopath made significant suggestions that removed most side effects of treatment. We learned a lot, and when this Coronavirus entered my world, I was thankful for what I had learned, so have decided to write a few things that may be helpful.
I’m going to approach this with diet, supplemental suggestions, as well as emotional, physical and mental health ideas. I’m leaving out everything that most of us are hearing, such as washing hands, and social distancing. They are important but not the only thing we should be doing.
Here is my typical day: I awaken and make myself a cup of warm lemon water, made from ½ fresh squeezed lemon, and add ½-1 tsp. of fresh grated ginger. I follow that with 4 ounces of kombucha with the lowest sugar content available. I drink just one cup of coffee. My meals include protein, sourdough bread, fresh fruit, fresh vegetables, legumes, and salad with homemade dressing. I exercise each day by walking or gardening. This is a brief description but now I’ll list ideas by categories.
Foods to boost immune system:
- Fresh fruits and greens
- Red bell peppers
- Green tea and Echinacea tea
- Poultry and salmon
- Sunflower seeds
- Shellfish (for zinc)
Foods that weaken the immune system:
- Processed foods
- Refined carbohydrates
- Foods and drinks high in sugar (add fruit juice to this)
- Alcoholic beverages
Our country is addicted to sugar, so breaking the addiction isn’t easy. At least cut back and substitute good fruit such as apples and those mentioned above.
Supplements to build immunity:
- Vitamin D3
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin A
- Silvercillin spray (recommended by our Naturopath)
Unfortunately, some of these things are hard to locate, since demand has increased.
Physical, mental and emotional:
- Exercise daily. Right now getting outside to walk or doing inside exercises and stretching is necessary. There are many online resources to help you. Go to a lesser populated park and walk in the trees (Mt. Tabor). Select a less busy time.
- Disengage from the news. Reading too much can cause stress and weaken the immune system. I watch no live news on television.
- Think about positive things. Read uplifting books. Listen to podcasts that tell good stories that bring joy. Share those with your friends.
- Call someone and talk to him or her each day. I started this last week and find it good for my spirits. One person thanked me for the call and said it was very encouraging for them.
- Get 7-8 hours of sleep each night. Sleep before midnight is most beneficial.
- Listen to your favorite music. I like classical streaming on 89.9, instrumental hymns on Pandora as well as instrumental Bluegrass.
- Limit your time on social media, and if you share, post positive things that are not controversial. Attacking others will not build our immune systems.
Thank you for reading my thoughts. If you have questions I’d be happy to hear from you. We are in this together and we will all be better because of it.
— Monica Monroe
News from our Partners in the Community
We can’t thank you enough for continuing to seek ways to engage with us at this time. We believe this is a divine moment for us to continue, as the faith community, to be leaders in this space. The Church tends to thrive in moments like this, and we’re already shining brightly together!
We are continuing to gather information on how best to serve families, children and our overwhelmed DHS staff and will relay information as we learn it.
Will you join us? Here’s how you can help!:
- As the tangible needs requests begin to increase from foster families and DHS, we’re creating a fund to help meet these needs! embraceoregon.org/donate.
- Purchase meals/gift cards for restaurants or stores with curbside pick-up to be delivered for families who have more mouths to feed multiple times a day for the next few weeks. (Start first with families in your communities, but you may also send gift cards to Walmart, Fred Meyer, Target, Whole Foods, and Amazon to the Embrace Oregon office: 809 N Russell St, Ste 203, Portland, OR 97227.)
- Amazon Wish Lists — We’ve created a wish list for each office (click the links to view):
- Alberta Branch DHS — 30 N Webster St d, Portland, OR 97217
- Beaverton DHS — 15425 NW Greenbrier Pkwy, Beaverton, OR 97006
- East Branch DHS — 11826 NE Glisan St, Portland, OR 97220
- Gresham DHS — 355 NW Division St, Gresham, OR 97030
- Hillsboro DHS — 5350 NE Elam Young Pky, Hillsboro, OR 97124
- Midtown DHS — 1425 NE Irving St # 400, Portland, OR 97232
- N. Clackamas DHS — 16440 SE 82nd Dr, Clackamas, OR 97015
- Oregon City DHS — 315 S Beavercreek Rd, Oregon City, OR 97045
- Purchase gift cards for the staff of your local child welfare office and drop them off as a way to encourage our partners.
- Are you a Foster Parents’ Night Out site? Reach out to those families you serve every month and offer support. Even a simple message of encouragement can go such a long way!
- Cleaning Teams opportunities are being added daily.
Portland Homeless Family Solutions
COVID-19 is a rapidly changing situation and I wanted to communicate a decision about the volunteer program.
Sunrise Host, Midday Host, Kid Time Host, Helping Hands, and training shifts are canceled through March 31st. We will remove you from the volunteer schedule. No action on your part is needed. Please disregard any automated email reminders from Volgistics.
Dinner Providers & Brunch Providers are still needed - meal provider shifts are NOT canceled! However, please drop off your meal. Please notify TC when you plan on stopping by so we may alert staff. If you are not able to fulfill your scheduled meal shift, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can make alternative arrangements.
Reminders to Dinner & Brunch Providers: According to the FDA, currently there is no evidence of food or food packaging being associated with the transmission of COVID-19. As always, anyone handling, preparing, and serving food should always follow safe food handling procedures, such as washing hands and surfaces often. We also strongly urge that if you are sick, to not handle any food.
What happens after March 31st? Currently, we are maintaining all scheduled volunteers on April 1st and beyond. However, we are assessing each day. We will notify all volunteers by March 31st of any further changes to the volunteer schedule.
Other ways you can help: Similar to everyone else, we are experiencing a delay of shipment and a shortage of sanitizer and cleaning products. Please consider donating any of these supplies — But please don't take away from your own personal needs.
Sign up HERE if you want to be contacted to help with food, in-kind donations, or other as-needed tasks.
Follow PHFS on Facebook and frequently check your Volunteer Portal to stay up to date on current needs.
What is PHFS doing? In addition to sanitizing, washing hands, keeping a social distance, scheduling virtual meetings, and requiring any sick staff to remain at home, PHFS is doing the following:
- We are limiting our intakes to families who have been isolated in motels, who are not displaying any signs of illness.
- We have doubled our budget for our Homelessness Prevention program and increased our rent assistance for current families.
- We created a PTO bank for staff who need to take time off due to illness or because they need to stay at home with their kids.
Thanks for your patience and understanding during this time. I am truly encouraged by everyone's outpouring of concern and support — thank you!
Stay healthy and reach out to me or TC if you have any questions.
Bethany Rocci Director of Community Engagement