Jubilee Ministry Centers empower those who are poor and oppressed in their communities by providing direct service, such as food, shelter, and healthcare, while also advocating for human rights and social justice.
Scripturally, jubilee is about forgiveness of debt, a way of adjusting the imbalance that happens between poverty and wealth. Every 50 years, every 7 years, every day if one believes that Jesus is the new jubilee; that is how often forgiveness and reconciliation should occur.
Charity and justice are both instrumental in alleviating poverty. Assistance must be offered even as we examine and root out the causes of systemic poverty. Charity without justice can be toxic because it assumes an answer to a problem rather than listening to the need of the one seeking help.
We are bound by our vows as baptized people “to strive for justice and peace among all people and respect the dignity of every human being.” Human dignity is violated in every oppressed person.
History of Jubilee Ministries
Jubilee Ministries was established in 1982 by the 67th General Convention 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.” That resolution further directed the Executive Council to implement and co-ordinate with other programs of the Church a priority ministry commitment by this Church to be called "The Jubilee Ministry."
At our 79th General Convention in 2018, that resolution was reaffirmed, and funds were designated for Jubilee Ministry grants.
Jubilee ministries now fall under the umbrella of The Episcopal Church's Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care.
Jubilee Ministries in the Diocese of Missouri
We have three designated Jubilee Ministry Centers in the Diocese of Missouri:
- Trinity Food Ministry (TFM), 1993, Trinity Church, CWE
- Holy Cross, 2016, Poplar Bluff
- Red Door, 2017, Christ Episcopal Church, Cape Girardeau.
There have been additional Jubilee projects in this diocese, some ended, some spun-off into nonprofits such as the Howard Park Early Childhood Center begun at St. Martin's Episcopal Church in Ellisville. There are many more groups within this diocese which easily fit into the understanding of Jubilee Ministry.
Becoming a Jubilee Ministry Center
This diocese is ready to expand its Jubilee Ministry. We are called to feed the hungry but we are also equally called to address the cause of that hunger. The goal of Jubilee Ministry is to know the difference and to be ready to work for both to the glory and honor of God.
Do you believe your parish or “ecumenical cluster” (Episcopal presence) is doing the ministry of joint discipleship in Christ to work with poor and oppressed people “to meet basic human needs and to build a just society"
Criteria for Becoming a Jubilee Ministry Center
- The mission and ministry must be an Episcopal congregation, Episcopal cluster or an ecumenical cluster with Episcopal presence, and/or an agency with connections to The Episcopal Church.
- The mission and ministry must be involved among and with poor and oppressed people wherever they are located.
- The mission and ministry must be rooted in worship.
- The mission and ministry must include several programs, including at least one human rights advocacy program and one human services program.
Once designated a Jubilee Center, the ministry must be willing to:
- Demonstrate the operation of its programs to others as models
- Maintain “how to” files
- Act as a resource center and funnel for information
- Be subject to annual review
Source: Executive Council Resolution EXC021983.29 (Criteria for the Designation of Jubilee Center)
Contact the Rev. Barbi Click, Diocesan Jubilee Officer, if you are interested in your ministry becoming a Jubilee Ministry Center. [email protected]