1) How long have you been affiliated with Jubilee Ministries, and in what capacity?
We applied for it on November 1, 2016, and were just notified of the recognition on February 15, 2017. This is something the parish has been involved in over its lifetime though since 1903.
2) What is/are your role(s) in your diocese? In your parish? In a ministry or ministries?
I am the priest at Holy Cross, when I was hired the congregation wanted the priest more involved in the community. We have had a Lenten Partnership in our community for over 20 years. This partnership has led Holy Cross Episcopal, Brown Chapel AME, First Presbyterian, St. Andrew ELCA, First United Methodist, Lively Stone, and Mount Calvary Powerhouse to create a Downtown Churches gathering and start to cross into a deeper understanding with one another. We have started a worship mob. This worship experience closes down our partner congregations and we all go to worship at Brown Chapel AME or Holy Cross or St. Andrew ELCA depending on whose turn it is. At some point in the service you should feel as though you have been to your own service. The components of Word, Spirit, Communion, and Fellowship all fall into the liturgy with readers from one church, the opening being done by another, hearing testimonies from Lively Stone, and sharing communion with Episcopalians or Lutherans. Because of this we have been able to talk with one another more deeply. Studying together about Dismantling Racism, having honest conversations, and trusting we are hearing one another. This has been a blessing of our communities reaching out to one another.
To see more of the Diocese of Missouri's important work, check out their page on the Episcopal Asset Map. While you're there, search for innovative ministries, connect with leaders across the Church and tell us about the ways the Spirit is at work in your neighborhood through a short survey.
3) What’s one way you’ve been changed by your work alongside the economically disadvantaged?
I have learned what it means to listen with understanding and caring. Our church communities can extend out beyond our walls if we just try and put the effort in. Keeping Jesus at the center, knowing our differences don't separate or divide us, can lead us into deeper relationship.
4) What does advocacy mean to you?
Advocacy means actively being there. If your feet aren't on the ground and we are not taking the time to pray and listen to our partners, we can end up seeing each other as the enemy. When we take the time to foster relationship it opens a whole new window into advocating for what is really needed here in this place at this time.
5) Where in your diocese (or parish, or ministry) have you seen Jesus?
I have seen Jesus in our colors. When we recognize that color helps us see clearly how others are treated differently, how we can make a difference by listening and learning of someone else's experiences and then the trust this builds between one another keeps Jesus present, among us all.
The Rev. Annette Joseph is the rector of Holy Cross Episcopal Church in the Diocese of Missouri.
If you are interested in having your church or ministry designated a Jubilee Ministry, please contact Mr. Christopher Sikkema at 212-716-6055 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The application to be designated a Jubilee Ministry can be found HERE.