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Siler stepping away from Love INC

Religion news — The ministry clearinghouse losing its first and only executive director


Twelve years ago, Polly Siler and representatives from various churches in the Newberg area got together to brainstorm how they could work together to help people in need.

The result of that meeting was the creation of Love INC (In the Name of Christ) of the New­berg Area as a local affiliate of the national movement and organization.

As executive director, Siler has facilitated and overseen the steady growth of the organization, including the major steps of obtaining nonprofit status, opening the Love INC clearinghouse, equipping its numerous gap ministries, starting the Newberg Com­mun­ity Shelter, developing the medical/dental clinic and establishing the relational ministry program. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Busy -- As executive director, Polly Siler has facilitated and overseen the steady growth of Love INC, including the major steps of obtaining nonprofit status, opening the ministry clearinghouse, equipping its numerous gap ministries, starting the Newberg Community Shelter, developing the medical-dental clinic and establishing the relational ministry program.

Having built Love INC into a well-established and wide-reaching presence in the community in her dozen years in charge, Siler announced last month that she will step down at the end of July.

“I want to leave while I still love it and I do,” Siler said. “I think Love INC is an amazing organization and it has allowed the community to come to­gether. It’s kind of been a vehicle that’s been used, so I appreciate being a part of it.”

Siler said she will miss many parts of the job, like breaking down big proj­ects into manageable tasks and seeing plans come to fruition, but for her, it’s really been about helping others discover their God-given talents and putting them to use in the community.

“All of this happened when people made themselves available for the work of the Lord!” Siler wrote in the June newsletter announcing her decision to resign. “There have been times when serving as Executive Director of Love INC that I have found myself way over my head. It was in those times that I learned the most and heard the Lord’s voice the clearest.”

Taking over for Siler will be Jodi Hansen, a current Love INC board member who was also looking to make a change after serving as missional communities pastor at 2nd Street Community Church.

Hansen has been a volunteer host at the community shelter for the past three years, taught and mentored in the relational ministry and spearheaded the creation of Love INC’s newest ministry, the drop-in center located in the 2nd Street Community Church offices.

She credits Siler for building up such a broad organization that is strong and efficient enough to smoothly handle a change in leadership.

“The team that’s she’s built, the foundation that she’s laid for meeting needs in the community is incredible,” Hansen said. “I feel like I have a very easy transition into that role because I have been a volunteer and because she did such an incredible job.”

Despite her experience in the organization, Hansen knows better than to think taking over won’t require a lot of learning on her part.

“The first order of business is to get a sense for how all the pieces operate and then look at what the needs are as far as growth,” Hansen said. “The whole Love INC model is driven by what are the needs in the community and how can the churches be mobilized to help.”

Love INC is inviting the community to help see Siler off with a picnic at 6 p.m. July 30 at Memorial Park. The event is a pot luck: those with last names beginning with the letters A through F asked to bring appetizers, sides or salads; G through P tasked with bringing main dishes; and Q through Z to provide desserts.

For more information, call 503-537-3999.



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