5 Questions with Dianne Aid, TSSF
1) How long have you been affiliated with Jubilee Ministries, and in what capacity?
I have been involved with Jubilee Ministries since 1991, first as Coordinator of a Jubilee Ministry in the Diocese of Spokane. In 2003 our parish, St. Matthew/San Mateo, Auburn, in the Diocese of Olympia became a Jubilee Center. We set out to serve and partner with the growing immigrant community, mostly from Mexico. I have been blessed to be the coordinator of this work. What started as an afterschool program to assist children from non-English speaking families has become what the community has defined. Today we advocate for Comprehensive Immigration reform and have been leaders in The New Sanctuary Movement. We provide space and opportunities for indigenous immigrants from Mexico to reconnect with pre-conquest cultural heritage (currently with Mixecta and Purepecha communities). We are on the horizon of industrializing our parish hall kitchen to create opportunities for the development of micro businesses.
I served on The Jubilee Advisory Committee from 2009-2012, and currently, I am assisting Diocesan Jubilee Officer in the Diocese of Olympia.
Interested in being designated a Jubilee Ministry? Check out How to Become a Jubilee Ministry on what the process entails!
2) What is/are your role(s) in your diocese? In your parish? In a ministry or ministries?
In the Diocese of Olympia I work with Economic Justice, this work really is inter-faith serving on the Program Committee of the Faith Action Network.
In my parish, I coordinate the Jubilee Center which in addition to what is described in the first answer provides ongoing support and safety planning for Spanish-speaking victims of domestic violence and human trafficking. I also serve as the catechist in my congregation.
I am currently president of The Episcopal Network for Economic Justice and have recently been appointed to the Executive Council Economic Justice Loan Fund Committee.
I am a professed Third Order Franciscan and approach life and ministry grounded in Franciscan principles.
To see more of the Diocese of Olympia'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?
The motto, "Not about us without us" has been a revelation. I live my life from a wheelchair (since 2001); this has brought some blessings because I became vulnerable. The communities which I set out to "help" from my place of white privilege have taken care of me. For whatever reason, or how I ventured down this path my days are spent among people who struggle to make ends meet (I myself am on a fixed income), who live in the shadow of possible family separation due to immigration status.
This on the surface seems bleak, but, what I have found is the power of community, the courage to march and testify for human rights, and most of all to be able to celebrate joys of life and live in the beauty of diversity.
Our entire congregation has engaged in advocacy, community, and celebration. We are at 50% immigrant head of household membership. There are no stepchildren, we together proclaim Jubilee.
4) What does advocacy mean to you?
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to set the oppressed free and proclaim the year of the Lord's favor... And all eyes were fixed on him.”
From Luke 4:18-20
Advocacy requires moving beyond our comfort zones, hear stories, walk with oppressed and marginalized communities who fall victim to corporate greed, and step out of the way so "the other’s" voice is heard.
5) Where in your diocese (or parish, or ministry) have you seen Jesus?
Every day, cada dia, in the streets, fields, gathering around the table, in the dances.
Finally, at night the comforting words of Compline put it all in perspective. God bids me rest and approach the new day with openness and expectation.
Dianne Aid, TSSF, is a Third Order Franciscan and an assisting Diocesan Jubilee Officer in the Diocese of Olympia.
If you are interested in having your church or ministry designated a Jubilee Ministry, please contact Mr. Christopher Sikkema at 212-716-6055 or [email protected]. The application to be designated a Jubilee Ministry can be found HERE.