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“The bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed.” Exod. 3:2

Local Presbyterian celebrated by SDOP

By Kathy Waugh

Susan Freed-Held

Susan Freed-Held

Self Development of People (SDOP) has been a passion of Susan Freed-Held for some 25 years. “I feel a calling for the work I do with SDOP,” she states. In a recent letter to Emmanuel Presbyterian Church located in West Linn, Oregon, Josephine Njoroge, from the Presbyterian Committee on the Self Development of People writes:

“Please join the Self Development of People Committee of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in acknowledging and expressing our heartfelt thanks for the exemplary service that has been and continues to be given by Susan Freed-Held to our committee. It is because of heroic and selfless service from Susan that the Self Development Committee is able to continue. Therefore, in recognition of the high level of commitment and service of Susan we urge you to commend prayers of gratitude and appreciation to her on-going mission. Our committee operates on your generous contributions to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering. We sincerely and prayerfully thank you for your continuous support of the ministry of the church through this offering. May the Lord bless your congregation and ‘be gracious unto you.’”

Susan began working with the Cascade’s branch of SDOP in 1985. She then accepted the call to work with the National Self-Development of People Committee in 1993 and has been on and off the Committee ever since. She served as the West Task Force Chairperson from 2007-2008. During that time a great deal of focus was placed on reaching Native Americans.

Several of the local projects which have been supported by SDOP are Dignity Village in Portland, Oregon, Art Studio of the Mind’s Eye and the Workers Rights Education Project for Immigrants. Most recently, a grant was awarded to the Somali Bantu Citizens to send their high school graduates to Portland Community College Medical Interpretation classes. SDOP also funded the Wolf Creek Youth Center in Wolf Creek, Oregon, the Ho Youth Group in Washington and the Cheyenne tribe in Montana. Susan is a retired community health nurse who sees the work as an extension of the work she did before retiring. “I’m so glad to be able to find ways to help folks who face such hardship be able to help themselves,” she said. Self Development of People is part of the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.


Are you a member of a group of low-income persons working on issues of importance to you and your community, will working on these issues result in long-term positive change? Are you in need of financial assistance?  Contact SDOP at (502)-569-5782, we would welcome talking with you and possibly hosting a community workshop in your area.

Kathy Waugh serves as editor for the Presbytery of the Cascades Newsletter the Omnibus. This article originally appeared in the June-July 2010 issue of the Omnibus.


NOTE: We are not currently accepting applications from individual groups outside the United States. For more information, contact the SDOP staff.

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