get involved


June Newsletter

Story and a Snack

By Susanna Rempel, Associate Director

Story and a Snack has gotten off with a slow but steady start, like any good novel, encouraging and connecting with families one day and one page at a time. Families that are participating are so very excited that the program exists. Here is what some of the volunteers are saying about the experience: 

Fran Berg: 
“My experience being a volunteer with the Story and a Snack program has been a joy and rewarding one. Spending time with the young children and their family members or caregivers reading stories, singing songs and playing with bubbles has been delightful.
Sitting around the table sharing a fresh snack of ripe berries some cheese and conversation with the families has been wonderful.  Giving back my love of reading to children and seeing how much they enjoy being read to have been delightful.”

Donna Gamble:
“Seven year old George remarked that he knew the story I’d brought to share when I opened my copy of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. I was pleased to read something familiar to him and engaging for his younger siblings Jeremiah, 3 and Maylynn, 5. Although the day’s agenda was full for the family it was particularly sweet that their dad allowed his children the opportunity to listen to one more picture book, THE NIGHT KITCHEN, before they headed out to the next stop in their day. “

Since, April 4th, the story began for Story and a Snack and we are excited it keeps going.  WE WANT YOU… to be a part of the story.  There are many ways one can be involved.  

Current Needs: 

VolunteeringClick here to sign up to Read from 12-2pm on Mondays

Books – Every week families are encouraged to take age appropriate books home for their child and with that we are constantly depleting our supply of books, so we can always use more books.  Please click here to see our wish list of books.  (Remember to sign up for AmazonSmile so you can give back to New City with every Amazon purchase.)

Book labeling supplies: To assist parents and volunteers we plan to institute a color labeling system that will allow books to be identifiable, based on various categories: language/age of reader/books that stay on JOIN shelves/books to take/Storytime book bin. Re-shelving books is difficult without a reference label. A Color Code Key will be displayed to assist parent and volunteers to access books of interest for their young ones. 

New or gently used toys:

The toys pictured below are in the Multnomah County Library Story-time bins at Gregory Heights. They have been divided into young and very young groups. They are sturdy enough to withstand frequent sanitizing and all are a “safe” size (no choke hazard) for small mouths.



Generous gifts help purchase snack, toys, and books that are not donated to enhance this program!  Click here to make a meaningful gift.

Six Practices Reflection

By Paul Schroeder, Executive Director

Do you find it hard to say no? Does it seem unfriendly, even unspiritual? Holding firm boundaries can be very difficult. But it’s one ofthe most important practices we teach at New City. Setting limits and saying no are essential aspects of the third of our six practices, intentional welcoming. Practicing intentional welcoming means making room in our lives for other people, deliberately carving out time and space for the purpose of inviting others in. But in order to delineate this welcoming space, we must first clearly establish our limits. Firm limits create the secure envelope in which true welcoming can take place.

When we state our limits clearly and hold them firmly, we call this setting a boundary. Oftentimes, we use this word “boundary” in a negative sense, to describe measures we are taking to limit other people’s access to our personal lives. We talk about how we are keeping others out. But we don’t as often say what our positive intention is when setting a boundary. It’s important to articulate what your boundaries are for. A boundary exists to safeguard something special, a precious resource set apart for a particular purpose. We set up boundaries to preserve valuable assets: our health, time, energy and financial resources. We do this, not to keep them for ourselves alone, but so that we can share them with others without becoming physically and emotionally depleted.

Setting a boundary is a sacred act. The word “sacred” comes from the Latin sacer, which simply means something set apart or devoted to a particular use. Every holy place, every sacred precinct and shrine, is defined by its boundaries. Likewise, when you fix boundaries for yourself, you are demarcating a zone that is set apart. You mark out certain times and activities as sacred, and you keep them inviolate. This could be time spent with a friend, attending your child’s music recitals, or volunteering for a cause you believe in. Or it could be choosing not to read work-related messages in the evening so you can give your full attention to your family. Whatever it is, you are cordoning off space in your life and holding it sacred.

Want to learn more about Intentional Welcoming? Sign up for our next lunchtime mini-seminar on July 29, “Intentional Welcoming: the Spirituality of Saying No.”

Featured Event

Intentional Welcoming: The Art and Discipline of Saying No

Friday, July 29, 11:30 AM - 1 PM

Location: First Congregational United Church of Christ (1126 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205)

Register here!

Latest from the blog

June Newsletter

Story and a Snack By Susanna Rempel, Associate Director Story and a Snack has gotten off with a slow but steady start, like any good novel, encouraging and connecting with fam...

Find out more about the issues