Jubilee Food Pantry 5-Year Anniversary Celebration!

“We can’t love God unless we love each other. And to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread and we know each other in the breaking of bread. And we are not alone anymore.” ~ Dorothy Day


I shared the above quote from Dorothy Day a few weeks back at the JFP 5-Year anniversary celebration.  The truth of the importance of breaking bread together cannot be understated.  Jesus understood the importance when he broke bread with His disciples.  When we eat together, we are not along.  It was an absolute blessing to spend time celebrating with many folks who have participated in the JFP the past five years.  It was a time filled with joy.

Through a discernment process with others and a lot of discussion and prayer, Serenity and I have decided to reduce the number of times we will be opening up the pantry each month.  Starting in June, the JFP will be open every 1st and 3rd Tuesday each month.  This decision is centered much on the biblical concept of Sabbath.  Serenity and I, as well as our children, with the desire to continue pouring into others, need to be filled up ourselves.  Having the JFP open twice a month will allow us to continue to meet the needs of our community while also giving our family time to rest and refocus on the face of Jesus.  Please be in prayer with us as we transition into this new rhythm.  Here are some photos of our celebration:

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Guarding our Nothing

It has been a very long time since I have written anything longer than a Facebook post.  I feel silly about that, but it’s true.

I was reading my Richard Rohr devotional this morning that was speaking about a sidewalk in his area that the homeless hang out at.  Richard saw an early morning graffiti that had been written on the pavement in front of the homeless that said, “I watch how foolishly man guards his nothing-thereby keeping us out. Truly God is hated here.”  This speaks to me about the idea that God is in the low, the weak, the homeless, and the poor.  I have found this to be Truth.  The Truth hurts/convicts sometimes because it shines light on what we have chosen NOT to be.

I visit a friend of the food pantry who is 93 years old and can’t get here every Tuesday.  Last night, after pantry hours, I brought her some food and stayed for a few minutes to chat.  While I stood, visiting, my eyes took in the surroundings of her home.  Suddenly, I realized, I was standing with God.  He was there with me and my friend bringing His Kingdom as His Bride chose to love.  I am His Bride, the Church is His Bride. If I want to be prepared for my Bridegroom, I will learn to go to the places He loves and learn to love like He loves.  Isn’t this how He calls for us to live?  He prepares us for the Big Day by calling us to find Love in the hidden places.  We bring His Kingdom of Light to this world that is governed by the Dark One and all the while, we are being prepared for HIs Coming.

My imagination is so important in all of this because it is easy to hate God by guarding my nothing.  It feels scary and confusing to stand in the Dark when I don’t allow my imagination to be open to His Kingdom.  Having my mind ready to enter dark, lonely and potentially uncomfortable places will guard me from the temptation to keep those things out. Kingdom eyes bring light to the dark places.  Our imaginations can choose to see the ugly, dirty, distorted, unkempt people/places OR we can retrain/renew our imaginations (Romans 12:2) to see the beauty so that we can prove what the will of God is, that which is good, acceptable and perfect.

God invites us.  He has given us the most beautiful invitation, sealing it with His Holy Spirit which empowers and gives us the ability to transform our minds for His glory.  I love to talk and think on this because there is so much hope and possibility in it.  We have the invitation to love no matter if we do it right or not.  Jesus said that even a measly cup of water counts.  Even when that water is given with a shaking hand and readiness to run.  It means something.  It makes Him smile.

I want to receive His invitation for me and believe there is no catch to it, just freedom to enjoy His love and His Kingdom.  It’s free, it’s full and we have nothing to guard with Him guarding our hearts and minds.  We can be who we are without being afraid.

Let’s be fabulous lovers who can see and therefore bring His bright, shining Kingdom.

EDITED version of the update video

Just in case you didn’t have 13 minutes, here is a shortened 7 minute version.

Update Video

Here is a new video explaining what we do and why we do it here at the Jubilee Food Pantry. A big thank you to Raul Gomez for producing it.


It’s time for Turkeys again!


Far Side by Gary Larson

All joking aside.  This is a difficult time for many in our community. Personally, in my own middle class abundance, my solution is to “solve” this problem with my affluence. Instead of filling this void with our wealth, we would challenge you to develop relationships with those in need and build relational bridges. Most of us would admit that what we seek during the holidays isn’t better gifts, but deeper relationships. That is what we strive for at the Jubilee Food Pantry, we want it to be a place that builds friendships with our neighbors and allows us to reconcile with one another across cultural lines moving towards solidarity with those who are struggling with the barrier of poverty.

During this time of year, many folks become inspired to be more involved in the lives of the poor. Our first response to these folks is always to challenge them to dive deeper into relationship with others on a regular basis: come help out at the pantry on Tuesday evenings (4pm-7pm). We would love your help, and it is always an encouragement to us when we have folks walking along side of us.

However, we also know that this is not possible for everyone, so we are asking folks who are not able to take that step but would like to help in another way to think about providing a turkey during Thanksgiving.

Last year we had 75 families show up for a Thanksgiving turkey, we hope to bless just s many this Thanksgiving as well.


Step One: contact either Serenity or Andy to sign up to provide a turkey (this is simply so we can anticipate the number of turkeys coming in and plan accordingly for storage, etc.).

Serenity- 503-803-7823 or serenity@sterling.net
Andy – 503-819-5941 or andy@sterling.net
OR contact us via facebook: search Jubilee Food Pantry, “like” us and send us a message

Step Two: purchase a bird(s)

Step Three: Deliver the turkey during the window below. Since we do not have enough freezer space for 75 turkeys, we are asking that you deliver these to us the day before or the day of food pantry.

Monday, November 24th or Tuesday, November 25th (before 3:30pm)

Address: 2492 Baines Blvd, Hubbard, OR 97032

Juana’s Wreaths

Our good friend Juana Cortes is going to be selling wreaths again this year during the holidays.  We have known Juana for several years through the food pantry.  She has been a blessing to many.  Juana cares for her elderly father full-time who three years ago had a stroke and heart attack.  Selling wreaths during Christmas is one way she is able to stay near her father and earn some money to pay the bills.


This year, Juana has allowed us to help her with her business structure.  Juana is awesome at making wreaths, they really are amazing, but she does not have a computer or internet access.  A group of us are working together to tap into social media and other contacts to increase her sales and productivity.  In return Juana is going to donate a percentage of each sale to the Jubilee Food Pantry.  So by purchasing wreaths, you can not only help Juana, but you can also help others in the community who are in need of food assistance during the holidays.

For more information, see the website we have set up for her:


Community Garden Clean Up Day

Thank you to North Marion Fellowship for helping us clean up the Jubilee Community Garden today. We had a wonderful growing season, but with the leaves dropping along with the temperature, a clean up was in order. Here are some pictures of our clean up.







MTI Dental Van . . . coming this October!


The Jubilee Food Pantry is once again partnering with the Medical Teams International (MTI) dental van.  The dental van provides free dental care for patients who are in need of dental procedures and are economically in need.

When: Friday, October 10th

Where: Zion Mennonite Church, 6124 S. Whiskey Hill Rd., Hubbard, OR

Interviews will take place at the Jubilee Food Pantry between 4-7pm on Tuesday, September 23rd and Tuesday, September 30th.   No appointment for an interview is necessary.  Patients will be chosen on a “need” basis.  Below is how patients will be prioritized:

  1. Those with known infection (been to a doctor for pain or swelling, have taken antibiotics for a tooth/teeth) an acute toothache, or swelling.
  2. Very sensitive teeth to cold sweets, even sensitive to hot foods. Pain with chewing action.
  3. Somewhat sensitive tooth to cold and sweets, or obvious decay.
  4. No pain now or in the past, but obvious decay.


The MTI dental van primarily deals with the above dental issues.  If you are in need of a basic cleaning, both Chemeketa Community College and Portland Community College offer inexpensive teeth cleaning at their dental hygiene training schools.

Chemeketa Community College – 503-584-7101

Portland Community College – 503-977-4909

If you need more information, please feel free to call:

(English) Andy – 503-819-5941

(Spanish) Raul – 503-989-9036

A Beautiful Sign

Ken Kaufman, who attends Zion Mennonite with us, constructed this sign out of scraps of metal for the Jubilee Community Garden.  It is modeled after the JFP logo that was made for us back in 2010:


Here is the sign:


I think Ken did a wonderful job of not only making something beautiful, but something that represents our hearts accurately: Broken pieces of metal formed together to make something of strength and substance.  Thank you Ken!

Jubilee Community Garden Work Party

What a beautiful day for a work party!

We cleaned the garden up, weeded the raised beds and the pathways, set up the bean poles and tomato cages, and added 3.5 yards of soil blend.  There is something refreshing and renewing about planting a garden in the spring, digging in the soil, tilling the dirt until it turns a rich dark color, knowing that someday soon it will be producing something that tastes wonderful and fills our bellies.

We have 5 of the six plots filled, so there is still some room left if you are interested.  This year’s gardeners are: Armando and Norma, Reuben and Celina, Blanca, Annie and Mark and Serenity and I of course, with all of our children.  The garden was full of giggles and children digging in the dirt, a wonderful combination.  A total of 14 children tromped through the soil with shovels in hand, pulling weeds and tying up bean poles.  It is great to work with smiling children.  We even had a cat come by to see what the commotion was all about. A special thank you to Karen and Wendell for your hard work today as well!


Avery, Eva, Luci and Ally amazed at the amount of weeds that have already popped up this spring (the “Before” Shot)


The most beautiful gardener!


The Coulombe’s and Lopez’s + Fernando 🙂


Mark and Annie chatting with Serenity.


“The Boys” (Pancho, Fernando and Avery) finishing off the soil pile.


Serenity and Norma talkin’ bout onions.


Wendell and Reuben.


Norma and family.


Mark and Annie’s square foot gardening technique.


Luci getting in on the work.


Jubilee Community Garden 2014


The “After” Shot