Domestic Poverty

5 Questions with John Heinemeier

March 13, 2017
Domestic Poverty

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

The Episcopal Church of El Buen Pastor, Durham, was accepted as a site for Jubilee Ministries in the fall of 2016. I developed the Jubilee Ministries proposal leading up to that acceptance.


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

I am a Lutheran Pastor, licensed to practice as a priest in the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. I serve as Interim Priest at The Episcopal Church of El Buen Pastor, Durham, NC.

To see more of the Diocese of North Carolina’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 been working alongside the economically disadvantaged since my Ordination in 1963 in Brooklyn, N.Y. I have been deeply influenced by the gracious acceptance that my family and I have received in each of the congregations and local communities (Brooklyn, The South Bronx, Roxbury (Boston), East Baltimore, and, more recently, in the Episcopal congregations in Oxford and Durham, NC. I have been the main recipient in each of these ministries.


4) What does advocacy mean to you?

Advocacy means to speak up for someone. It is not yet releasing that person’s innate power to speak up for him or herself. In other words, advocacy falls short of organizing and training people to act powerfully and collectively for themselves. That is why I have been involved in advocacy over the years, but also in faith-based organizing for the past forty years.


5) Where in your diocese (or parish, or ministry) have you seen Jesus? (Written by Ingrid Nunez, a leader at El Buen Pastor) One of the ways I have seen Jesus in my ministry is when leaders of our congregation joined hundreds of other leaders, in the Durham CAN Action on Sunday, March 5, 2017. At that action, no matter what religion or race or nationality, immigrants and refugees and Muslims and many allies came together as one to fight for their dignity and security. Jesus, the defender of all people, was in the middle of that action.


The Rev. John Heinemeier is the interim priest at La Iglesia Episcopal El Buen Pastor in the Diocese of North Carolina.

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.