Kairos-Milwaukie United Church of Christ

Photo: (c) iStock.com / Anegada (image #13056811)First Congregational Church of Willsburg...Ardenwald Community Church...First Congregational Church of Milwaukie... Milwaukie United Church of Christ...Kairos - Milwaukie United Church of Christ. Through five name changes, one move, 24 ministers and 127 years our church has come to 2019. 

Willsburg, Oregon, September 19, 1892. "We the undersigned, for the glory of God and for our own Christian profit and for the Christian well-being of our community, do hereby agree to unite in forming the Congregational Church of Willsburg: the pubic organization to be effected as soon as the necessary arrangements can be made." Signed by fourteen local resident land owners.

Prior to a $500.00 grant from the Congregational Church Building Society in New York, a fund was started by donations of money from folks throughout the community and by fund raising dinners, programs and events - the first of which, in the summer of 1892, was a strawberry festival for which one farmer donated his entire crop which was harvested by neighbors from miles around. Commitments of time, talent and treasure were given and the cornerstone placed at the dedication of the Church at SE 32nd and Van Water bears the date 1893.

The need for more physical space for our growing community prompted a move in the 1950's. On October 2, 1960, our new building at 4790 SE Logus Road was dedicated by a repetition of words in the original document,"...for the glory of God and our Christian profit and the Christian well-being of our community...." Several charter members participated in this service as did Governor Mark O. Hatfield. We have had our ups and downs, our strengths and weaknesses, but have never lost the dream and spirit of the original fourteen. The varied style, personality, theology and dedication of the ministers who served us brought us to this date determined to find the best ways to witness to our love of God and our love of neighbors - wherever in the world they may be.

Prior to our merger with Kairos UCC the Milwaukie Church did many missions. Food, clothing and money was donated to the Clackamas Service Center. Betty and Bill Martin led this service for many years. A team served lunch at the Milwaukie Center once per month for several years. We sponsored 150 refugees from Cambodia and Viet Nam during the 1960's and 1970's, helping set up families with a place to live, furniture and what was needed to establish a home. Vera McDonald led this effort. Land was donated to build the Swan House as a residence for men with HIV-AIDS. Lee Burleson led this effort. Donation of land for a second house was also made for women with young children who needed a safe place to live. Our Church was used by Samoan friends as a worship site, and we enjoyed worshiping together until they bought their own Church.

We ran our own Logus Road Preschool for 25 years. We now are home to the Cedar Tree Preschool which continues to share our space. Jeanie Salyers led and still leads the Two Cents A Meal mission for our combined Church. Over 60 organizations and our youth for camp scholarships have benefited from this mission. Several thousands of dollars have been donated to other charitable organizations to help them with their work with those in need. See also the missions the Kairos Church brought with them that we continue to share today. We are an active Church that tries to bring peace and justice to our world.

Originally written in 1978, updated 2015 and 2019. Original author unknown.