The Oregon Center for Christian Voices (OCCV) grew out of the energy and interest generated by Rev. Jim Wallis’s visit to Portland in April 2005. More than 2,000 people heard Rev. Wallis, author of God’s Politics, and his message of a fresh vision of faith and values in American life. Inspired by this vision for America, OCCV was formed by committed local believers who desired to advocate for Christian values for the common good in Oregon.
A grassroots network was built up in the Portland area, focused on expanding an understanding of Christian social issues in areas such as health care, poverty, the environment, and education. We saw that the Christian community at large needed to be educated on these issues, and trained in advocacy for the purpose of changing government policies – at both the state and local level.
Since then, we have hosted Advocacy Training Seminars to help Oregon’s Christian community understand their role in the public sphere and how to communicate with their legislators and their churches.
We have mobilized the Christian community around ending Human Trafficking, hosting an annual Human Trafficking Vigil on the Capitol steps, and by introducing and backing several new bills. We have hosted nationally recognized speakers like authors Ron Sider and Shane Claiborne, who call Christians to come back to a Christianity where love for our neighbors is love for Christ, himself.
In April 2007, OCCV brought Peter Illyn, founder of Restoring Eden, to lead a discussion about a Biblical response to our relationship to God’s Creation. Over 100 participants spent the day reflecting on the theological and ecological aspects of environmental stewardship.
OCCV has continued to build the movement by establishing partnerships with local churches, colleges, and nonprofits to carry out education and advocacy training programs. We currently have a presence in Multnomah, Yamhill, Clackamas, Washington and Marion Counties and are excited to see our network expanding into Central, Eastern and Southern Oregon as well.
Click here to learn more about OCCV’s legislative activities.