The Rev. John Boonstra, newly appointed pastor at Bethel Congregational Church in White Salmon, will be the featured speaker at the Gorge Ecumenical Ministries' annual meeting on Sunday evening, Jan. 21, at 6 p.m.
The Riverside Community Church, 4th and First streets, Hood River, will host the meeting.
GEM is a membership organization of some 12 churches in the Hood River and White Salmon area who work together to alleviate poverty and address issues of social justice. FISH is one of the group's better-known projects.
Each January, GEM holds its annual meeting at which new officers are elected, brief reports are heard, the "Churchperson of the Year" award is presented and a featured guest speaker gives a talk followed by a question period.
As the speaker of this year's meeting, Rev. Boonstra will address the topic "The Challenge of the Ecumenical Movement: Moving from Charity to Justice."
Rev. Boonstra is a gifted Christian scholar and ecumenical leader. He comes to the area from Seattle, where he directed the Washington Association of Churches, leading ecumenical dialogue and advocacy since 1989. He has been an executive director of an internship program in Geneva, Switzerland, with a mission of cross cultural social justice. As editor and ecumenical writer of a noted journal on religion and ethics, Rev. Boonstra has promoted critical thinking on a broad range of religious issues.
Rev. Boonstra lives in Hood River with his wife, Rev. Vicky Stifter, pastor of the Riverside Community Church, and their two daughters. A third daughter attends Oberlin College.
The public is invited to attend the meeting and to hear Rev. Boonstra.
A free supper for meeting attendees will be provided at the Soul Cafe, 416, Oak Street, Hood River, at 5 p.m., prior to the 6 p.m. meeting.
Coffee and dessert will follow the meeting.
For more information call 493-4991.