Community and corps unite at Moore Street

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Moore Street Corps offers basketball and worship arts.

Exciting things are happening at the Portland Moore Street Corps Community Center! Two programs basketball and worship arts are uniting the corps and community.

“Enter his courts”: Doris Verbout Salvationist Basketball Tournament
Each spring for 11 years the Moore Street Corps has sponsored a basketball tournament. Several years ago the tournament name was changed to honor Doris Verbout, a soldier of the corps, who would not miss the tournament even when her ALS disease made it difficult for her to walk or talk.

The tournament—which includes men and women—includes basketball teams from British Columbia in Canada, California, Utah and Washington. Several teams have been involved for many years.

The weekend’s priorities are: worship, fellowship and basketball. This year’s theme, “Enter his courts,” placed the emphasis on worship. Each night all teams attended a worship service, which included Bible messages, testimonies, skits and prayer time. Various combined groups provided praise and worship music, among them “Life Switch,” a Ukrainian worship team from Vancouver, Wash.

Former Harlem Globetrotter Seth Franco has been the guest speaker and a participant for the last two years. He has a powerful witness, tremendous Biblical knowledge and basketball skills. Outreach activities are an important part of the tournament, and Franco visited several schools, sharing his faith and basketball routines. More than 50 students accepted the Lord during the school assemblies.

The Sportsmanship Award is the tournament’s most important award. This year, on their first trip to the tournament, Captain Steve Ball and his team from San Bernardino, Calif. won this award.

First place trophy went to the Moore Street’s White Team, and second place to the Tacoma, Wash team. The Gresham women’s team won the first place women’s trophy, with the second place going to the “Hally Hoopers” of British Columbia.

To support the growing number of teams and games, the tournament required the use of two additional gyms in the Moore Street neighborhood.

More than 60 players and other individuals accepted the Lord during the worship tournament services.

Moore Street and the International Basketball League
The International Basketball League (IBL) has selected Moore Street to host their games. The most recent game featured the team from China-Shanxi Zhongyu, which has produced current NBA players Yao Ming (Houston Rockets) and Yi Jianlian (Milwaukee Bucks). The IBL consists of 18 teams from Canada, Japan, the Philippines, and the U.S.—including Oregon and the Portland Chinooks, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Calif., and Nevada. The owners of the Chinooks, as well as the team, are supportive partners of the Moore Street Corps and Community Center.

Youth music and arts program at Moore Street
This year—through a new partnership with the Chamber Music Society of Oregon—more than 30 students in Moore Street’s youth music and arts program received free music lessons for strings and wind instruments. The Chamber Society provided the instructors, instruments and music—an integral part of the total music and arts offerings of the Moore Street Corps, which will also hold a two-week music camp this summer. Recently 156 people attended a celebration of musical achievement at the corps. More than 75 youth participated—representing all elements of the program.

The wind group presented a composition by junior soldier Sabeth Kennedy. Youth Pastor John Morrow led the guitars, and Vernacheal Kennedy directed worship in motion. The Moore Street youth choir, directed by Tim and Vernacheal Kennedy, performed the Kids Praise musical, “Singsational Servants.” The previous evening, the youth choir received a trophy for their participation in the Moore Street community’s “Unity in the Community Showcase,” held at Jefferson High School. The principal, Dr. Cynthia Harris, presented the award.

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