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Beauty and Need Collide: Portland in Photos

For two photographers from Imago Dei Community, loving their city means really seeing it.
"When you look at a city, it's like reading the hopes, aspirations and pride of everyone who built it." - Hugh Newell Jacobsen, architect

Portland's Imago Dei Community, founded by Rick McKinley, has always prioritized taking a long, hard look at the city where it dwells—Portland, Oregon—to understand its hopes and aspirations, as well as its brokenness. Earlier this year, the nondenominational church began "Love Portland," a campaign of one-day events designed to serve the city's underserved schools, feed its hungry families, and beautify its public spaces. "Jesus chose to enter the needy and broken parts of the world in order to transform humanity's alienation into communion, our ugliness into beauty, our despair into hope," says pastor Ken Weigel. "Jesus calls Imago Dei to love Portland every day."

For Imago Dei, that love means, in part, setting aside space to see its city and neighbors in all their beauty and brokenness, asking, Where does awareness start? Where does compassion begin? Where does a sustainable, transformative engagement with the city catch fire? This summer, the church dedicated a photography series to places in Portland where beauty and need collide. Featuring images by Craig Ferroggiaro and Joshua Zirschky, the series appeared as a gallery show in August.

As you look at the following images, you might ask: What do I see when I look at my city? What are its "hopes, aspirations, and pride"? How do I respond to its broken parts? Might there be hope hidden between layers of neglect and need?

The City team extends special thanks to Martin French and Paul Ramey for permission to share these images.

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