Who We Are

We are representatives of some of Oregon’s rich and varied faith communities, bound together by the shared dream of peacemaking.  As such, the list below is incomplete.  But because it is our hope is to extend this “Common Table” through friendships new and old all throughout our state, the following represents our initial circle of hosts, invitation-makers, and co-conveners as the work continues to spread:

Picture1.jpg

Dave Brauer-Rieke - Oregon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Pat Bell - Episcopal Diocese of Eastern Oregon

T. Allen Bethel - Maranatha Church

Michael Cahana - Congregation Beth Israel

Molly Carlson - Central Pacific Conference of the United Church of Christ

Todd Cooper - Office of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Portland in Oregon

Jan Elfers - Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon

Michael Ellick - Metanoia Peace Community 

Michael Hanley - Episcopal Diocese of Western Oregon

Brian Heron - Presbyterian Church USA (Presbytery of the Cascades)

Terry McCray Hill - African Methodist Episcopal Church

J.W. Matt Hennessee - First Vancouver Avenue Baptist Church

David Kosak - Congregation Neveh Shalom

Margaret Marcuson - American Baptist Churches of the Central Pacific Coast

Rick McKinley - Imago Dei

Nathan Meckley - Metropolitan Community Church

Tim Overton-Harris - Cascadia District of the United Methodist Church

Allen Oyler - The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

Wayne Patterson - Young Life

Wajdi Said - Muslim Educational Trust

Ben Sand - Portland Leadership Foundation

Gurpreet Singh - Sikh Center of Oregon

Joe Snyder - Religious Society of Friends

Yuki Sugahara - Oregon Buddhist Temple

Tara Wilkins - Community of Welcoming Congregations

Dave Williams - University Fellowship / Lane Leadership Foundation

Randy Woodley - Eloheh Indigenous Way

Edith Woodley - Eloheh Indigenous Way

 

In an era of unprecedented division, strife and polarization, The Common Table offers a glimmer of hope.  This last fall 28 state-wide faith leaders from all around Oregon gathered to put aside their spiritual and political differences to re-discover what they have in common. Tired of being turned against one another by a political landscape that seems to thrive on animosity and villain-making, participants gathered as wisdom keepers to re-imagine how Oregon’s wide range offaith traditions might demonstrate peacemaking in the public square.

 

In this historic gathering, the Common Table leaders committed to go on deepening their relationships and working together in the common square by creating a new meeting place between faith leaders, the public, and elected officials in Oregon. They recognized the potential to change the political landscape of Oregon by organizing across the traditional political lines and re-dedicating themselves to serving the most vulnerable populations in our state.   By reframing an approach that isn’t rooted in “right vs. left,” but “right vs. wrong,” they knew they wouldn’t be able to address all the issues that have become hallmarks of faith-based politics. But given the untapped overlapping interests shared by all people of faith (who universally proclaim a love of neighbor, a love of enemy, and love of the disenfranchised), these faith leaders believe the Common Table can make a significant impact in Oregon while creating the context for deeper healing in the American public square.