One of the ways the Episcopal Church addresses domestic poverty is through its Jubilee network, which consists of over 600 Jubilee Ministry Centers. These centers empower the poor and oppressed in their communities by providing direct services, such as food, shelter, and healthcare, and also by advocating for human rights.

 

Celebrating 30 years of Jubilee Ministry

If Jubilee Ministry were a person, it probably would have started thinking about settling down, putting aside youthful excess, and planning for the future by now.

It was 30 years ago, at the Episcopal General Convention meeting in New Orleans, that delegates finally approved Resolution A080, which established Jubilee Ministry as “a ministry of joint discipleship in Christ with poor and oppressed people, wherever they are found, to meet basic human needs and to build a just society,” concluding that this “is at the heart of the mission of the church.”

Since then, the General Convention has reaffirmed its commitment to Jubilee Ministry eight times, including at this past convention in Indianapolis in July. Resolution D094, adopted this year, resolves that Jubilee Ministry “be affirmed as a vital expression of the type of relational ministry that is being called forth from local congregations of the church today as they seek to reconcile all people to unity with God and each other in Christ.”

Since the enabling legislation that created Jubilee Ministry and the network of Diocesan Jubilee Officers was adopted, more than 600 Jubilee Ministry centers have been identified.

But in the beginning, there were eight, affirmed by Executive Council in June, 1983:

  • St. Mark’s Episcopal Church in Lewistown, Pa.
  • The Episcopal Pastoral Center in Denver
  • St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Saginaw, Mich.
  • Urban Ministries of Durham, N.C.
  • Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Miami
  • East St. Louis Metropolitan Ministry in East St. Louis, Ill.
  • Episcopal Ministries of Middle Tennessee/Urban and Regional Ministry in Nashville
  • Urban Mission Training Program in Washington D.C.

Of these eight, five remain in one form or another, and they’re continuing to do the work of Jubilee.

In this issue of Jubilate, as we seek to celebrate 30 years of Jubilee Ministry, we’ll profile some of these original Jubilee Ministries. We’re also checking in with former National Jubilee Officers to share some of their favorite memories and their observations on how Jubilee Ministry has changed through the years.

Happy anniversary, Jubilee Ministry! May the next 30 be even more productive!

Articles

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October 19, 2012
As I begin this article, I can only express my deep gratitude to each of you for the ministries you offer as an expression of your discipleship in Jesus. It has been a privilege for these past five years to be able to be a part of the developing evolution of Jubilee Ministry in the Episcopal Church, and our discovery of its implications for our common life together. I am now taking my leave to...
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October 19, 2012
The development of Jubilee Ministry as the guiding concept of mission at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, in Lewistown, Pa., was the direct result of two significant circumstances. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes brought massive flooding and destruction to the Lewistown area. Then, as a consequence of the flooding, one major industry shut down its operation altogether, and another was forced to...
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October 19, 2012
Even before the creation in 1983 of “Jubilee Center” designations, St. Paul’s Church, Saginaw, Michigan, was deeply involved in the work of Jubilee. The parish had sponsored the development of two urban low-income residences totaling over 200 units, operated an extensive feeding program, including Sunday dinner, and opened its facilities to numerous community organizations. The...
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October 19, 2012
Urban Ministries of Durham has a long history in the downtown Durham community, and it’s intricately linked to Jubilee Ministry. With leadership from area faith communities, including Episcopal churches, the Urban Ministries Center was founded in 1983 as a host site for area service organizations, including St. Philip’s Community Kitchen, a ministry to the hungry founded by St. Philip...
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October 19, 2012
Four people have served as National Jubilee Officer since Jubilee Ministry was born as a result of a resolution approved by the Episcopal General Convention in 1982. And while the ministry has changed dramatically over the intervening 30 years, some things have remained the same as ever. Top of the list: The National Jubilee Officer’s immense pride at the range and depth of outreach efforts...