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Holiday hope springs at LO church


Hope Community Church plans early Christmas for needy in Lake Oswego

by: KEITH DICKERSON - Peggy Dickerson will be offering what kids dream of at Christmas - to be surrounded by a room full of toys and warm coats. The big day is on Dec. 18 at Hope Community Church.The Bible says that God’s eye is upon the sparrow.

It must also be upon Hope Sparrow Services at Hope Community Church of Lake Oswego.

Pastor Keith Dickerson and his wife, Peggy, along with their congregation and friends, will be making sure that the needy have a bright Christmas in 2013.

Not only that, but Christmas will come a week early at Hope Community Church. On Dec. 18 the Dickersons will open the doors between 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. for people to obtain food, clothing, shoes, toys, even wrapping paper. When all of the coats that the Dickersons have collected are laid out on tables it’s going to be an impressive sight.

“We’re doing what we enjoy doing the most,” Keith Dickerson said. “A lot of things will be moving here. We’ve never run out of anything yet. Where it gets really fun is when those things are moved to other Portland area agencies. We want Hope Sparrow Services to be the connection with those truly in need.”

Besides charity, Dickerson also overflows with gratitude. His close connections with the Lake Oswego business community have resulted in plenty of giving from such businesses as Frog Pond Toys, Albertsons, Lake Oswego Graphics and many more.

The only requirement for entering Hope Community Church on Dec. 18 is to give a ZIP code (it’s not necessary to be a Lake Oswego resident) and tell how many members are in a family. There is no effort to proselytize or preach. Dickerson believes that the giving alone is a strong enough reflection of his church’s Christian beliefs.

“On spiritual matters, people come here on their own terms,” Dickerson said.

When the Dickersons first arrived in Lake Oswego 11 years ago, Hope Community didn’t give charity, it needed charity. After traveling all the way from Georgia, the couple found that the church was $1 million in the red. It was suggested he change the name of the church to No Hope Community Church.

But instead of spending all his time on fundraising as he was advised, Dickerson instead ministered to the needs of his congregation. As the church grew, its financial problems shrank. The Dickersons made a Lake Oswego version of “Going My Way.” Another way to measure their progress is that it was 10,000 coats ago.

Dec. 18 will be a time to celebrate. The church will provide hot cocoa, coffee, snacks, holiday music and volunteers will guide people to the areas they need to go.

Dickerson said, “We tell them, ‘Take what you need.’”

For more about Hope Community Church of Lake Oswego, go to its website at hopeoswego.com. The church is located at 14790 Boones Ferry Road.

Cliff Newell can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and 503-636-1281, ext. 105.