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105,000 signatures raised on no tax funding of abortions

April 23, 2018 --


By Oregon Right to Life,

As of March of 2018, over 105,000 signatures have been collected for the initiative effort to stop taxpayer funding of abortions in Oregon. This, the 4th such attempt by pro-life group Oregon Life United (OLU), is the closest they have gotten to the required 117,578 signatures the group has achieved. OLU is attempting to collect 150,000 total signatures to account for any disqualified signatures.

If successful in the signature gathering stage, the initiative will give Oregon voters the opportunity to weigh in on the issue in the November election. Oregon Life United’s leaders have high hopes that this year they will be able to stop taxpayer dollars from funding abortion.

Read the full article and discuss it »

American Atheist fires it’s President

April 20, 2018 --

By Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights,

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the firing of the leader of American Atheists:

The board of directors of American Atheists has fired its president, David Silverman. The decision was made the night of April 12. With the exception of one Internet site, there have been zero news stories on this development.

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Mercy Corps sets up Portland Yoga Refuge

April 19, 2018 --

By Mercy Corps,

Melinda was afraid of yoga. “I’m now a ‘senior’ in age,” she explained, “morbidly obese by western medical measures, and labeled ‘disabled.’” She’d decided yoga was no longer for her — until she met Kate Holly at Yoga Refuge. Mercy Corps Northwest’s programs have been vital to shaping and supporting Kate and Yoga Refuge.

“I’ve found that many who are a part of this community want to share how it’s helped them. I realize I’m in service of this bigger thing.”

“We do private yoga therapy, yoga teacher training and life coaching”. They teach yoga in a variety of styles, for both beginners and advanced practitioners, including Vinyasa, Hatha, Restorative, Yin and Gentle Yoga, all in a red brick building on the main drag of Portland’s Montavilla neighborhood. They have great views of the Douglas Fir trees on Mt. Tabor out the south-facing windows.

“There’s more of a sense of community out here,” Kate says. Yoga Refuge is one of the few studios serving Portlanders on the further reaches of its east side. It’s an environment of reflection, body positivity, creativity, and affordability, with sliding scale fees and a work-trade program.

Kate Holly didn’t set out to run a retreat inside the city from the beginning. She found Mercy Corps Northwest while trying to drum up business as a freelance videographer and yoga instructor. She participated in our IDA program and started work on a business plan thinking it could make her a better freelancer. “It never occurred to me that I could start something; I didn’t have a lot of money. Because of writing that business plan, I started to think bigger. Mercy Corps Northwest is good at helping you take yourself more seriously. They help you think creatively.”

At that point she’d been a yoga teacher for ten years. Yoga had changed her life but, she says, “I fell into teaching it. When I had my first child, in 2012, my yoga teaching schedule became much harder to maintain.”

“[Mercy Corps seminars] are great because they carve time out to think about important things. They’re at a great price point, the resources are great … I feel like they are on my side.”

The idea for a studio became real one day while Kate was surfing Craigslist; she scrolled up on the perfect space. “I still had no funding, but I had that business plan, so I went for it. I just started taking steps forward.” One of her steps forward was getting a Mercy Corps Northwest loan.

Kate, like most of our clients, opened on a small budget and cut costs wherever she could. “It’s been a constant journey of figuring out how to do things I’ve never done”, Kate said. “It’s a continuum starting at things you know, your zone of competence, and moving into the things you don’t know, your zone of incompetence. I spent a lot of time in my zone of incompetence. You learn that things don’t need to be perfect. It’s fine for them to just be good enough.”

“I guess the universe does want me to open this yoga studio”

This meant she did things like painting the space herself. Yoga Refuge has this long stairwell with a high ceiling. Right as she realized how impossible this would be, a curious man walked in. He was a local and wondered what was going on. It turned out that he worked in construction and knew where to get the kind of ladder she’d need to paint. He came back and painted the stairwell for free. Kate thought, “I guess the universe does want me to open this yoga studio”.

What started as one person and an idea is now a community of women with small businesses all gathered in one brick building: life coaches, yoga teachers, and a massage therapist. They enjoy the flexibility but Kate says, “Opening a business while parenting two children under the age of five has not been easy, but it has allowed me to set my own schedule around the needs of my family. We also have a lot of yoga teachers on our team who are parents of young children, and we try to create as much flexibility as we can to support them.”

Kate believes entrepreneurship is about having the right mindset. “We all have a set of beliefs about what’s possible,” she says. “This causes you to get in your own way.

I’m realizing the majority of my work as a business owner is examining my limiting beliefs. I’ve always been optimistic and not risk averse, but much of the time the only thing in my way is just, ‘I just haven’t tried it yet.’”

Mercy Corps Northwest seminars have been important for Kate as her business has grown. “They’re great because they carve time out to think about important things. They’re at a great price point, the resources are great … I feel like they are on my side.”

Kate has been surprised to realize the story of Yoga Refuge no longer belongs to her. “I’ve found that many who are a part of this community want to share how it’s helped them. I realize I’m in service of this bigger thing.”

Kate has created a place where people like Melinda don’t need to be intimidated by yoga. “She helped me begin to recover a less restricted movement” Melinda said. “A more centered self in body and mind. This is a long road … that many of us walk. I cannot imagine a more sensitive, skilled, and deeply spirited guide to help me on this journey than Kate.”

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AG debuts gun Red Flag Law website

April 16, 2018 --


Oregon Attorney General Press Release,

What you need to know to keep your family and loved ones safe

Oregon Attorney General today launched a new downloadable resource for Oregonians who are concerned about a family or household member who is in possession of a gun or other weapon. Oregon’s new “Red Flag Law”, also called the Extreme Risk Protection Order law, allows a judge to issue an order that permits the court to take weapons away from people who are deemed a risk to themselves or others.

In conjunction with National Crime Victims’ Rights Week (April 8-14 2018), the Oregon Department of Justice released the new one-page handout to educate Oregonians about the new law. This downloadable one-pager highlights how the new law works, lists those who can request an order, and details the timelines for hearings, and how long the order is effective.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Facebook faces tough questions on Catholic censorship

April 13, 2018 --

By Catholic League for Civil and Religious Rights

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the testimony of Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg before the Senate Commerce and Judiciary Committee on April 10 and the House Energy and Commerce Committee on April 11:

Sen. Ted Cruz informed Facebook chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg that his company “has blocked over two dozen Catholic pages,” noting they were prevented from posting on Facebook because “their content and brand were, quote, ‘unsafe to the community.’” None of the pages came even close to constituting hate speech.

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14 lessons from Oregon Rajneesh scandal Netflix film

April 11, 2018 --


By M. Martin,
Oregon writer

One of America’s biggest religious scandals, The Rajneesh movement, played out in Oregon in real life in the 1980s and is now featured in a six part Netflix series called Wild, Wild Country. Here are some things I learned from the series on the Rajneesh cult that came to Oregon:

1. Terrorism on a scale unseen in America: The Rajneesh poisoned 700 people at various restaurants and by mailing laced chocolates to government workers. They burned down government buildings and had plans to destroy the County Courthouse with either bombs or with airplanes.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Father Poorman makes Earth Day Challenge

April 10, 2018 --


University of Portland News Release,

This April, Fr. Mark L. Poorman, C.S.C. and the Presidential Advisory Committee on Sustainability (PACOS) are challenging the students, faculty, and staff of the University of Portland to make a commitment to take at least one tangible step that is within your own control toward increasing sustainability on campus.

Read the full article and discuss it »

Straight talk on pornography crisis

April 9, 2018 --


By Randy Alcorn
Eternal Perspectives Ministry
Ministry based in Sandy, Oregon

“Since the time we were young teenagers, many of us have heard lists of reasons for walking in sexual purity. God commands purity and forbids impurity. Purity is right. Impurity is wrong.

True? Absolutely. But it’s equally correct to say purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid.

That’s what I call The Purity Principle: Purity is always smart; impurity is always stupid. Not sometimes. Not usually. Always.

That idea forms the basis of my book by the same title, The Purity Principle.

I was delighted to see the following message to youth leaders and workers by Dustin Brown with Crossings Ministries, where he shares points from the book on how to help and encourage teenagers to walk in sexual purity. Thanks, Dustin, for sharing about the book and how it can be used to help youth!”  — Randy Alcorn

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Movie features Pope Frances up close, personal

April 6, 2018 --

By Corby Pons,

Wim Wenders’ new documentary, “Pope Francis – A Man of His Word,” is intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him. The pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary, which sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions. From his deep concern for the poor and wealth inequality, to his involvement in environmental issues and social justice, Pope Francis engages the audience face-to-face and calls for peace.

Director: Wim Wenders (“Buena Vista Social Club,” “Pina,” “The Salt of the Earth”).

Read the full article and discuss it »

Don’t depoliticize Martin Luther King

April 4, 2018 --


By Tom Krattenmaker
Oregon writer
Featured often in USA Today, Religion News Service

Whenever we remember the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., some people inevitably pull out a piece of sandpaper and try to smooth the sharp edges of the great civil rights prophet.

“Don’t politicize him,” they say.

As if that were possible without erasing the man himself and his vital place in history.

Fox News and its devotees tried to domesticate King in classic fashion back in January on MLK Day. In a commentary for the network’s website, Jeremy Hunt played up one side of King’s life and legacy — that he was a Christian minister who spoke of inner spiritual transformation—while ignoring the political nature of what King spent much of his time pursuing: specific changes to policies and practices to elevate African-Americans.

Read the full article and discuss it »
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