Church of St. Joseph the Worker, Portland, Oregon
Build Community. Build Hope.
The reality of need
East Portland Poverty
80% of the youth in our community qualify for free and reduced lunch in the school system. 15,000 kids under 18, in our immediate boundaries, also live in poverty. There has been a decline in family income dropping 23% or $10,000 per household. The population of our immediate community is racially diverse, with 60% being minorities.
Candidly, our church cannot accommodate our growing community. Our Masses are overcrowded. Parish social events are limited by size and are not accessible to people with disabilities. Classroom space for faith formation, education programs and our active youth groups is inadequate. And, we lack sufficient space for our social justice ministry, which provides food, clothing and monetary assistance to the poor.
In Oregon, 27% of the population as no affiliation with a church (compared to the national figure of 16%). That's about 62,000 people in our area. Not only is the opportunity to serve the financially poor but the spiritually poor.
Outreach & Growth
St. Joseph has a number of ministries that provide outreach to those in our community: Our parishioners donate on average 3,000 pounds of food per year that is given to the St. Vincent DePaul program. St. Vincent DePaul serves on average 200 households each month (20 calls per day for food - 8400 individuals per year). All of that work is done by 30 volunteers from our parishioners. St. Joseph hosts meals for our neighbors once a quarter at our church. We have also been instrumental in bringing together a variety of other churches in a Community wide Dinner. Our hope is to be a beacon to our community and invite them to a place that offers unconditional love, forgiveness and a place to find family.
The goal of the St. Joseph Building Project is to expand and renovate our church and parish center.
Our parish is the spiritual home for 1,100 active families and continues to attract people drawn by the message of God's love, and the genuine acceptance and hope extended here at Holy Mass, and at religious education classes, social gatherings and through community service. St. Joseph the Worker was originally founded on 10 acres in 1955. Because of our exponential growth and outreach, the demand is present for more space.
We are expanding our church to strengthen ourselves spiritually.
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.
We are expanding our church so that we can reach out to others and serve them, and through our service they can come to know Jesus.
Do not turn away from the Lord but serve the Lord with all your heart.
We are expanding our church so that we can share what we have with the poor and the Lord's glory will ignite—of the poor and for the poor.
The generous will themselves be blessed for they share their food with the poor.
- Expand seating capacity to 600 people
- Add Adoration Chapel accessible 24/seven
- Expanded Cry Room area
- Baptismal Font and adoration area
- Expand narthex
- Natural lighting that illuminates the altar and adoration areas
- New mechanical and electrical system
- New roofing system
- Stain glass windows that provide a focal point throughout the church
- New confessional and sacristy areas
- Camponile (bell tower)
- Resurface and striping of parking lot areas
- Social Hall View the schematic
- Expand seating capacity to 200 people
- Full service Commercial kitchen
- Natural lighting
- Updated flooring and painting
- New mechanical and electrical system
- New roofing
Our Pastor, Father John Amsberry
Father John Amsberry enthusiastically shares the Love of God, often with the powerful reminder that "You Are Loved." Born in Stayton, Oregon, he went on to graduate with a business degree from Franciscan University, and later earned an MBA. Responding to God’s call, he enrolled at Mt. Angel Seminary from where he was ordained in 1997. Charismatic and inspiring, he has spoken to several thousands of people at youth conferences, missions and retreats throughout Canada, Mexico and Europe. His homilies and writings are found online and followed regularly by people worldwide.Visit Fr. John's Blog