The Portland Area Ministerial Association
The Portland Area Ministerial Association is an interdenominational organization composed of pastors from member churches in the Portland area. Pastor Joe Robbe of Mount Hope Church is currently serving the association as its president.
“As pastors, we represent our congregations in a joint effort to be a blessing to the community,” said Pastor Robbe. “The association helps the churches to relate well with one another. This has a trickle-down effect into the community and it helps make Portland to be a great place to live.”
The ministerial association meets once a month to review the business aspects of the faith community. It also meets once every month for lunch in order to strengthen the friendships that the pastors enjoy with one another. As a group that has formed its mission over time, the association has evolved to include charitable activities.
“We help many people who are in need,” said Pastor Robbe. “The association furnishes funds to people for rental assistance and for assistance when they are facing utility shut-off notices.”
Other activities of the association include an annual Thanksgiving service.
“We worship together at Thanksgiving as a united faith community,” said Pastor Robbe.
Over the years, the association has sponsored other joint events, including a memorial gathering for 9/11. After the tornado of 2015, it sponsored a prayer meeting at the high school to remember and to reflect on the impact of the tornado on the community.
“The ministerial association is also an expression of the generosity of the Portland churches,” said Pastor Robbe. “This generosity is exemplified by the funds that we raised to send twenty thousand to thirty thousand meals to the people of Ghana in December 2016. We distributed these meals to churches there as well as to an orphanage, to a school, and to a prison. This happened because the ministerial association believed it to be a good thing to do. I personally traveled to Ghana to supervise the distribution of the food. This project shows that the generosity of Portland extends the love of Christ beyond the borders of Portland into other parts of the world.”
Pastor Robbe said that he has gained many friendships through his association with the other pastors. He said that the friendships that the pastors have developed with one another have helped make all of them to be better clergymen.
“I think that the association has given all of the pastors a deeper love for the community,” he said. “We support and encourage each other to be more effective at what we do. It has helped enrich my life and I believe that it has helped enrich the lives of Portland residents.”
Anyone who wishes to contact the ministerial association may call one of the member churches.
Member churches include Mount Hope Church, St. Patrick Church, Church of the Nazarene, St. Andrew Lutheran Church, Epic Church, Portland United Methodist Church, First Congregational Church, and First Baptist Church.