My wife and I belong to the First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis, and we have recently experienced firsthand what it means to “love thy neighbor.” Since over 20 houseless persons arrived on our property in July, we, as a church, have been compelled to sincerely examine our values and hold the concerns of the community at the same time. In the end, we simply cannot ignore Jesus’ mandate to welcome the stranger.
We do not know how this story will unfold, but we do know we will honor the human beings encamped on our property. It has not been without challenges, but what great undertaking has ever been easy? And what great solutions have ever come from taking the easy path?
Let us be patient with the process. No matter the outcome, our community is learning a great deal of valuable information about how to work together, reach some common ground, and find a few answers to the great question of the underhoused in our society. We can not afford to take any shortcuts here.
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Robin Frojen and Searainya Bond-Frojen
Corvallis (Aug. 27)
Searainya Bond-Frojen serves on the governing council of First Congregational United Church of Christ in Corvallis.