Domestic Poverty

5 Questions with Barbi Click

October 26, 2016
Domestic Poverty

1) How long have you been affiliated with Jubilee Ministries, and in what capacity?

I have been manager of Trinity Food Ministry at Trinity Church in the Central West End-St. Louis for three years. As I learned more about TFM, I learned that it became a Jubilee Center in 1993.

Curious as to what it was, I looked into the concept of Jubilee and the Episcopal Church. Learning about it, I took the information to Bishop Wayne Smith and after discussing it, he named me Diocesan Jubilee Officer for the Diocese of Missouri.

2) What is/are your role(s) in your diocese? In your parish? In a ministry or ministries?

As of May 2016, I am the Diocesan Jubilee Officer for the diocese. I manage a food ministry that includes a food pantry with meal three days per week plus a Sunday Hot Lunch. 

We serve meals to 60 people throughout the week and an average of 85 on Sundays. In 2015, the Food Pantry served almost 9000 individuals. At this time, Trinity is the only Jubilee Center in the Diocese of Missouri.

As DJO, I am in conversation with two parishes regarding their ministries. I am hopeful that there are several other ministries within this diocese who meet the Jubilee criteria to qualify as Jubilee Centers.

Jubilee Ministries, created by an Act of the 1982 General Convention, are those ministries which provide direct services to and advocate on behalf of the economically disadvantaged. For more information on becoming a Jubilee Ministries, as well as the annual Jubilee Ministry Grant program, please click HERE.

3) What’s one way you’ve been changed by your work alongside the economically disadvantaged?

Every day, it is clearer to me that our only hope lies in community, in our relationships with one another. Sharing meals is a wonderful way to get to know one another. As long as we can meet at the table, our stories can be shared. Everyone has at least one story; some people have many stories; many of the stories are tragic. We learn to love in our compassion. I am changed by love.

I think that the number one thing that has changed is my fear factor. I am no longer afraid of meeting a stranger face to face, of reaching out my hand, of looking that person in the eye. I have found that when I do that, I earn respect and I offer respect. In that respect, dignity can be found. There is no room for fear in abundance.

4) What does advocacy mean to you?

Advocacy means working with those who are underserved or disrespected,speaking out for those who do not have or do not think they have the voice to speak out against injustice, whatever that injustice might be. Whether it is by means of social media, preaching, teaching, rallies, writing to legislators, advocacy is action that can change unjust policy.

Interested in faith-based advocacy? Check out the Episcopal Public Policy Network, a grassroots network of Episcopalians across the country dedicated to carrying out the Baptismal Covenant call to “strive for justice and peace” through the active ministry of public policy advocacy.

5) Where in your diocese (or parish, or ministry) have you seen Jesus?

I see Jesus in the abundance with which volunteers and donors support the Trinity Food Ministry. I see Jesus the faces of the people that we serve. I feel Jesus with every handshake, with every tear, with every smile or hug, with every I love you that is said in the course of each week.

Barbi Click is the Diocesan Jubilee Officer for 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 Christopher Sikkema. The application to be designated a Jubilee Ministry can be found HERE.

The Rev. Melanie Mullen

Director of Reconciliation, Justice and Creation Care

Click here