February 17, 2013
Ascension Episcopal Parish
William Temple House Sunday Remarks

Good morning. I want you to close your eyes (I’m watching) and picture a safe inclusive spot in Portland, Oregon that offers, regardless of cost, 30 Monday through Friday daily counseling sessions 52 weeks each and every year for families and individuals in need. Isn’t that a remarkable blessing? You may open your eyes. You have just pictured in your mind’s eye a glimpse of the wonder that is William Temple House!

I believe that through the gift of grace and with a focus on service, we receive abundantly whatever we give. I further believe that we are sacramental agents of God who are meant to share the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. The greater Portland community is blessed to have such a mission-minded action-centered expression of this philosophy in William Temple House. Founded in 1965 by Rev. Canon Clarence T. Abbott, we restore hope and renew strength in individuals and families in a welcoming and respectful atmosphere. That is our mission. I recommend that you consider scheduling a tour with our Executive Director, Allen Hunt, to discover the magic at 2023 NW Hoyt Street which is evident with clients and staff alike.

We minister to the mind, body, and spirit of our clients with counseling, food, clothing, and pastoral care. We assist folks who want to help themselves with employment, and basic Maslow needs issues. After initial assessment, every client has an individualized short-term action plan. During fiscal year 2012, we fed 3760 families and clothed 168 children. From October 2011 through June 2012, 603 families or individuals received an average of 9 counseling sessions. In that same period the William Temple House Thrift Shop provided low cost clothing and/or household items to 61,147 people. We also offered information and referral services to 9,102 individuals during our previous fiscal year. Counseling staff members seek first to understand and then be understood as they co-create doable implementation plans with their clients. I am proud to serve as the Secretary of a Board which embraces this St. Francis approach to service.

Brad Mersereau

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