Linfield Chaplain David Massey was appointed board president of one of the leading ecumenical agencies in the country, the Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon (EMO), on April 10.
Massey will serve as president for a year. During his term, he will do a lot of public representation of the agency, help with grants, and guide and plan different committee meetings, he said.
“It’s an exciting challenge to become more informed about ways we can better our communities. I will be at the front line of doing that at the state level, being the bridge builder for common outlets to serve and enhance life,” Massey said.
EMO is a “statewide association of Christian denominations, including Protestant, Roman Catholic and Orthodox bodies congregations, ecumenical organizations and interfaith partners working together to improve the lives of Oregonians,” according to its website.
The agency strives to come together for a common purpose to heal. There are EMO agencies all across the country, but not all are statewide like Oregon. This EMO is broader based. It’s one of few that offer direct services, on the ground ministries, Massey said.
“This is partly what makes us unique. We are known to put faith to action, to cross theological boundaries,” he said.
EMO is organized around four committees: Public Witness Peacemaking, which focuses on legislative matters; Theological Dialogue, which focuses on generating dialogue between faiths; Community Ministries; and Environmental Ministries.
Massey first became involved with EMO as a member about 10 years ago. He chaired the Theological Dialogue committee for about five years, which also gave him a spot on the board. Last year, he was asked to be president elect.
However, Massey’s interest in exploring other religions started long before his time at EMO. It actually began when he was a student at Linfield.
“I became aware that my religious journey was not the only route people could travel,” Massey said. “Respecting other people’s religion led me to discover and appreciate what other religions bring to the world through their teachings. I didn’t have to abandon my own convictions. I could come alongside other traditions where we had common values.”
Massey said that Linfield’s connection to EMO will offer opportunities for student internships.
“I would encourage students to take advantage of the opportunities we have on campus to learn about other traditions. Get engaged and change the world.”
For more information about EMO and the services it offers, visit www.emoregon.org.
Jessica Prokop can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.