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A Many-Splendoured Thing
Dave Martin     03/15/2024

“Love Is a Many-Splendoured Thing” is the title of a movie and theme song that came out in 1955. The song won the 1956 Oscar for Best Original Song. A few years later it was chosen as the theme of our annual “Sweetheart Serenade” banquet at Portland Christian High School (our school’s version of a formal dance).

Why do I still remember that song nearly six decades later? Well, it was a great song and a memorable time of life. But now the phrase has deeper meaning, beyond mere sentimentality, through what I’ve learned about God’s love in the years since. The love God has shown us, and the love he calls us to reflect to others, is truly a “many-splendoured thing.”

The familial relationship we have with God through Jesus is an accomplished fact, but the friend-love and partnering-love made possible through our adoption must be worked out in committed acts of kindness and service. The world is waiting to see the many splendours of this mutual love – the unity that Jesus said would draw people to himself.

The Opportunity

We believe that God is presenting us with a unique opportunity to show this many-splendoured love through a PDX Diaspora Coalition, following similar networks in Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth. With a growing population of individuals and people groups from different backgrounds coming to Portland, there’s a need for a coalition that can nurture relationships and collaborate in ministry efforts.

As suggested by our friend John Yoder at Immigrant Ministry Connections, two critical ingredients in building a coalition are a shared vision and a desire to befriend Christians from other cultures.

We know that in Portland there’s a robust foundation of a shared vision to reach all people groups with the transforming message of salvation through Jesus Christ. We could point to numerous examples of cross-denominational, cross-cultural service, prayer, worship, and evangelism.

Many of us also experience a God-given desire that propels us toward cross-cultural friendships. We believe we need a rallying point that will fan the flames of vision and relationships such that we become more united and point people to the many splendours of God’s love.


Linking existing churches and ministries, the PDX Diaspora Coalition seeks to provide holistic ministry, evangelism, discipleship, church planting, and church leadership development to Portland’s diaspora people groups until such time that there are no remaining unengaged-unreached people groups on the earth.


  • Every-member participation: We seek to get every follower of Jesus involved by using their gifts and experiences to reach those God has sent to Portland.
  • Deference to culture: We seek to respect the culture of those God has sent to Portland so they can worship Jesus without losing their identity.
  • Reaching the world: We desire to reach the diaspora of Portland so that through them their friends and family back home can reach other nations.
  • Honoring member distinctives: We respect our members' various organizational or historic commitments as we work together to represent Jesus and his Word among the nations in Portland.


Through the establishment of the PDX Diaspora Coalition, Portland has the opportunity to showcase the beauty of unity in diversity, the richness of cross-cultural relationships, and the transformative power of God’s love in action. It is through intentional friendship and shared vision that this coalition seeks to bring the many-splendoured love of God to the forefront, impacting lives in and beyond Portland.

*Some of the vision and values language here is borrowed with permission from the Houston and DFW coalitions.



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