Growing Roots, growing family at Shepherd’s Door

Travis Vice pastors Roots Community in northeast Portland.

Travis Vice pastors Roots Community in northeast Portland.

Travis Vice was ready to be challenged.

After serving as a local pastor for some time, he was commissioned to start a new church in the Parkrose neighborhood. Travis jumped at the chance to bring his passion to life – developing a supportive community of Christ-followers focused on bringing healing to hurting people. “I had done church for so long divorced from mission … so as a church planter, I spent a ton of time thinking about what it would be like to be on mission in this area, and for this area, while living in this area.”

Five years ago, Travis started volunteering on Wednesday mornings to lead a time of worship and prayer for the women in our yearlong New Life Ministry at Shepherd’s Door. Going through recovery is an intense emotional journey as women face past trauma and learn to forgive themselves and others. The mid-week worship provides an oasis for these women, a chance to reflect on their journey and be reminded as God’s guidance and love.

The ongoing commitment of Travis and Roots Community has made them feel like family at the Mission. “We started as a small community, where service was a normal part of our rhythm. Service then becomes a synonymous with relationship and then we really want to build those into friendships,” he says. We’ve made sure we’re consistent so we can invite, include and get to know the ladies at Shepherd’s Door. We want to be there to walk with them while they’re in the program,” Vice says.

Many of the women from Shepherd’s Door attend Root Community for services on Sundays. “Every time we get together in our Gospel community, and one of these ladies from Shepherd’s Door shares her story, it adds so much depth. We dig in so much deeper, Vice says. “It magnifies the grace of Christ and the forgiveness we’ve all received.”

“Roots has been a faithful partner. They love well,” says Christine Ourada, Director of Women and Children’s Ministries at Portland Rescue Mission. “They’re intricately involved with our ladies, and they don’t hesitate to plug them into ministry and their community groups.”

While Roots Community continues to invest in the women at Shepherd’s Door, Travis says the blessings they receive back as a community far outweigh anything they are able to give. “Our identity at Roots has been carved out by Shepherd’s Door. We receive so much blessings from our affiliation,” he said. “For all that we do there, what we get back in return far exceeds what we can offer.”