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Jan Elfers

In January 2016, Jan was called to be the Executive Director of Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO). EMO is a state-wide ecumenical and interfaith organization dedicated to direct community service, advocacy, and theological education and dialogue. EMO’s programs include the Northeast Emergency Food Program, an HIV Day Center, Russian Oregon Social Services (focused on women’s health and domestic and sexual violence), Sponsors Organized to Assist Refugees or SOAR (one of three refugee resettlement organizations in Oregon), SOAR Legal (providing legal assistance to immigrants and refugees), Circles of Support and Accountability (a restorative justice model for re-entry support after release from prison), Second Home (matching unaccompanied high school students with families who can provide a home though high school), the Patton Home (single unit housing for low-income seniors) and an Environmental Ministries Program which includes the Interfaith Network for Earth Concerns, Oregon Interfaith Power and Light, and Food and Farms. In addition, EMO does grass roots organizing and advocating in Salem, Oregon’s capitol, addressing the underlying and systemic issues that create and perpetuate poverty, injustice, and violence in our society. All of these efforts are grounded in deeply held theological values—ethical and moral foundations that are based on a commitment to be compassionate, to alleviate suffering in our world, and to be bridge builders and reconcilers.