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  • Brian Ferschweiler

Executive Director's Easter Appeal

"All Suffering Is Extinguished In the Light of Presence.” –Bert McCoy


Happy Easter! We will soon gather together for this most Holy Day of celebrating the Resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ. It is my hope that all who read this are bathed in the Joy and Light of this day, as God intended. Of course, as the Executive Director of SVdP, I would be remiss in not addressing the people who are NOT reading this. The people who are NOT on any donor list. The people who, even if it were their desire to give, could not do so. The unavoidable part of my job at SVdP is witnessing firsthand the suffering of those less fortunate than ourselves.

As Christians, we say of Jesus each week “For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate, he suffered death and was buried, and rose again on the third day in accordance with the scriptures.” Before we celebrate the joy of Easter, we have to acknowledge the heartbreak of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Only then can we truly begin to understand the various forms of heartbreak that many of our brothers and sisters are experiencing throughout our community today. Should they be lucky enough to have shelter, many are struggling to deal with uncertainty and acute discomfort because of their inability to pay their rent or utility bills on time. Inflation has done nothing but severely exacerbate these circumstances.


The Portland Council answered 2,151 rent and utility calls in February, up from an average of 829 calls per month for the prior 4 months. Many of those families and individuals requesting rental and/or utility assistance are dealing with past due balances ranging from $1,000 up to $18,000. These high balances represent a real-life threat of people potentially losing their water, their power, and/or their homes.


As quoted above, “All Suffering is Extinguished In the Light of Presence.” Just as Jesus has brought light into our lives, I ask that you be the presence for someone who you may never know. Be the person who extinguishes the stress, the suffering, and the heartbreak in the lives of those around us. Be the person who brings joy into the life of a complete stranger. That same kind of joy that Our Lord, Jesus Christ, allows us to celebrate on Easter Sunday.


Suffering, by its nature, can be extinguished. Please give, and by doing so, share your joy. Share your light.


Blessings to you and your families this Easter Season. –Brian Ferschweiler

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