Community > Outreach and Social Justice

Outreach and Social Justice

Good Sam isn’t just a name. It goes to the heart of everything we are and strive to be.

The parable of the good Samaritan is one of radical hospitality, in which one person sees another’s suffering, crosses the social and political divide that separates them, and takes decisive action to provide the personal and practical care needed.

Jesus said this is what it means to be a neighbor.

Our Outreach and Social Justice team works to identify where we as a community can best help with God’s loving work in the world. Then, in community, we strive to act fearlessly, generously, and with compassion on the behalf of neighbors in need: the homeless, the disadvantaged, the vulnerable, the hungry, the strangers, and the sick.

Our Vision

There are five objectives that guide our outreach and social justice efforts at Good Sam.

To discern where we can best help with God's work in the world

Outreach is the ongoing, dynamic process of discerning what God is doing in our community, and then organizing ourselves to join that work. This involves assessing, establishing, and supporting valuable service programs and agencies — but it’s also more than that. As we seek to engage in the vibrant work of God, we grow in our relationship with God and with each other. Sharing God’s love with others is part of our faith journey. It’s also a never-ending adventure.
To facilitate an ever-expanding community of caring people

God works through communities. To help demonstrate God’s love for the world, we strive to foster a supportive sense of belonging, hospitality, sharing, and caring within our own congregation. People are drawn to such a community; they sense God’s presence within it. Outreach is a vision of our community that’s expanded to embrace everyone God cares about — which is everyone.
To promote acceptance of others as part of our family
In order to best reflect God’s love, we work to be inclusive: both externally, in our outreach, and internally, in the processes and activities that define our efforts. We resist an “us/them” mentality in our relationships here at Good Sam, in Corvallis at large, and in our world. Practicing acceptance can help break down barriers that stand in the way of the compassionate and just society that God calls us to help create.
To hear God speak through a diversity of voices
We strive to be good listeners as we seek to discern our role in God’s work. God is not confined by the limitations of our own thoughts and perspectives. We want to hear what God is telling us through others, particularly those with different points of view.
To join in God’s transformative process

God’s work in our world is transformative, challenging and changing those aspects of our society that are unjust or lack compassion. As we join in that work, we acknowledge that part of the necessary change may take place within ourselves.

Putting Action to Words

Sheltering the homeless

We’ve volunteered in Corvallis inclement weather homeless shelters for men and women, and we’ve raised funds to support the Jackson Street Youth Shelter and the Corvallis School District’s homeless education fund. We’ve hosted dinner and provided financial support for Benton Habitat for Humanity work groups building low income housing. We’ve also supported the Corvallis Daytime Drop-In Center, which provides important services to the homeless population.

Helping victims of violence

We raise funds and awareness for the victims of domestic violence through a Valentine’s Day concert, as well as a designated offering donated to the Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV).

Feeding the hungry

We collect food on Sundays and at a harvest festival in the fall and donate it to local food banks and programs that serve the poor and fight hunger in Corvallis.

Welcoming immigrants and refugees

We collected and delivered Welcome Kits of household items to refugee families newly arrived from Iraq, Somalia, or Nepal. We helped establish a no-interest loan program to help immigrants pay immigration and citizenship fees. We hosted community presentations on immigration to promote understanding and compassion for immigrants. We provide ongoing meeting space, volunteers, and a welcoming atmosphere for the Crossroads English Conversation School, serving women from foreign lands drawn to Corvallis by the presence of Oregon State University.

Helping those in poverty

We regularly support We Care and Vina Moses FISH, two programs that provide one-time financial aid to local low-income families facing financial crises that may place them at risk of homelessness. Internationally, we’ve worked through Episcopal Relief and Development’s Pennies to Prosperity Program, providing microloans to help people in impoverished countries establish small businesses and raise themselves out of poverty.

Promoting healthcare for all

We’re a member of Healthcare for All Oregon, a coalition of over 120 churches and organizations promoting a statewide system of healthcare that is universal, accessible, affordable, publicly funded, and privately delivered. We’re also long-standing supporters of the Hope and Wholeness Counseling, a pastoral care counseling center that provides services with sliding scale fees based upon income.

Reach Out

Designated Offerings

Each month, we designate a particular social service organization for financial support through special collections on Sundays. (You can find it announced in your Sunday service bulletin.) Church members have responded generously to support the work of the following.

  • The Center Against Rape and Domestic Violence (CARDV)
  • Volunteer Interfaith Caregivers
  • Meals on Wheels
  • The Grace Center
  • Episcopal Relief and Development
  • United Thank Offering
  • Vina Moses/FISH
  • Housing First
  • Community Outreach Inc
  • Benton Habitat for Humanity
  • Corvallis Public Schools Homeless Education Fund
  • Jackson Street Youth Services
I want to contribute

If you’d like to contribute to our monthly designated offering, please make out a check to “Church of the Good Samaritan,” write “designated offering” in the memo line, put it in a designated offering envelope found in the pews, and place it in the plate during the regular offertory. At the end of each month, we write a single check from Good Sam to the organization.

Get Involved

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