Bishop Akiyama will visit with the community at St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Dallas, OR for a visitation.
In a town of roughly 15,000 people, St. Thomas is a church dependent on lay members and deeply engaged with the Dallas community. Vicar Fred Heard says, “We are a family and that is how we function. Occasionally we have family squabbles, but we come together and recognize we are Christ-centered.”
Whether it’s for their family-and-friends Thanksgiving dinner or people who came in when the church was open as a winter warming shelter, St. Thomas welcomes all who come through their doors.
St. Thomas is committed to promoting community health. They were the first church in Dallas to open their doors for meetings of 12 Step programs, and currently host weekly meetings for AA, Al-Anon, and Weightwatchers. In 2018, when a local gun shop owner was raffling off AR-15 weapons, church members went to the school board and the city council to express their concern.
This dedication to family, community, and health also expresses itself in fun: this past Valentine’s Day, the congregation stepped out to spread love throughout the town by taking cookies to businesses, service personnel, and their neighbors to say “Thank you!”