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!