Virtual Trip to San Mateo, Mexico
Want to see what the San Mateo Jubilee Circle is doing? Now you can. Short of traveling there, we invite you to a Virtual Trip, Saturday, June 18, 9 am-12 pm PST. In just three hours you can meet some of the members of the Jubilee Circle there and some of the people who participate in the activities of the Dan Swanson Centro Cultural—a kind of community center.
The focus of this trip will be on some of the activities of Centro Cultural—in particular the breakfast for children program and the training of bakers program. These two programs were made possible in 2021 when the Jubilee Circle received a $3000 grant from the Gemmer Foundation and a designated gift of $1500 from a donor who receives this newsletter and had just remodeled their kitchen for a whole lot more than what San Mateo was doing. You’ll get a feel of the excitement and practical benefits the new professional kitchen is bringing. What ideas might you get for your life choices?
This all expenses paid Trip is limited to 12 participants. Quite a savings for all who get to “go.” The presentations in San Mateo will be both live and via videos. Everything will be translated. Let us know right away if you want to “go.”
The Jubilee Circle in San Mateo, Puebla, Mexico—
Exciting Projects from 2021 Continue in 2022
Written by Mariana Velez
The circle of San Mateo in 2021 welcomed 2 exciting new projects.
1) Children breakfast and culture—We have reached hundreds of children to our Centro Cultural dining room every Saturday. Our purpose: To provide a nutritious breakfast that changes eating habits to healthier ones. To interact with children with games, crafts and workshops that allow them to have a vision of caring for the earth, its habitat and living the values of the Kingdom of God. Being peacemakers in the midst of chaos.
2) Another of the projects has been strengthened. It’s the Ministry of Health, through which support is provided to people with limited resources. We offer medicines and medical consultations by physician and JEM Circle participant, Angelica Juarez.
Also, the Cultural Center continued with its water care projects—teaching the importance of implementing alternatives to care for this precious and vital liquid—such as the importance of dry toilets and rainwater harvesting. The main purpose of the workshops held at the cultural center is to reflect on our fairer practices with the land and with others, in harmony and in cooperation. The group of artisans (Artisanes Shalom) has learned how to increase their savings. They’re also teaching children the importance of saving and of sharing in community. The Cultural Center is a hotbed of talents and knowledge that are put at the service of all. 2022 is a year of exciting challenge, but as Moses exclaimed to God, we too say in our little community “If your presence is not with us, do not make us leave here.”
Tree Projects Gain Momentum
Late in 2021, JEM distributed the funds that some of you had designated fr tree planting. Enough had accumulated to distribute it among the Jubilee Circles for each to decide how to use them in their region.
From San Mateo, Angelica writes: due to the aridity of our soil, we are waiting for the rains to begin, which we hope will not take long. We believe that one option is the fruit trees that we plan to give to families that can care for them and benefit from them. We are also thinking of getting endemic plants, such as cacti that do not require much water. We hope that our plan brings good results. We will be reporting on this project.
Lindsey Mercer-Robledo writes from San Cristobal: Our Jubilee Circle is still in the process of deciding where to designate these special funds. I believe they might be divided into two projects to help support the wetlands conservation projects and reforestation. I will let you all know what we decide with the proper evidence, of course.
Photo of tree seedling by Михаил Павленко on Unsplash
The San Cristobal Jubilee Circle Organizes as
Three Separate, Yet Related, Ministries
Written by Lindsey Mercer-Robledo and Pedro Robledo Ramirez
As we move into the 2nd quarter of 2022, here’s a quick summary of the three separate, yet related, ministries of the Jubilee Circle in San Cristobal, Chiapas, Mexico. So much happening there that is building a solidarity economy and training people to live lives in the Jubilee worldview instead of the world defined by the global corporations or Mexico elites. This summary is a brief review of JEM ministries in San Cristobal in 2021.
Na-xojobal – Gloria Gonzales
Gender equality is promoted through the Grupo de Feminismo Comunitario (communitarian feminism group). Movimiento Pluricultural por la Democracia organizes women for training in using the powers of citizenship and political rights to bring change and justice for their community. Some become candidates for public office. De la Palabra a la Accion (from the Word into action) is a radio and TV program hosted by Gloria connecting the Bible with actions for justice and right living. Grupo Ecumenico (ecumenical gathering) looks at the Bible and other spiritualities through the lenses of Jubilee.
Alter-Nativas – Isai Robledo and Lindsey Mercer-Robledo
Accompaniment with people as they organized to define both their needs and resources to improve the exercise of justice, health, and economics in their lives and community. They’ve created the market, Plaza Comunitaria, to sell their products, offer workshops, and promote arts and culture from their community.
Yobel School – written by Pedro Robledo Ramirez
With the help of the sovereign God of life, our educational ministry continues. We are facilitating the courses in person and virtually.
Our continuing education program continues to meet the demands for leadership of ecclesial and seminary teaching. Faced with the Pandemic situation that is still being experienced due to COVID-19, the courses are facilitated through the Virtual Platform of Zoom. According to the availability of the teaching team and the health conditions, some courses are intensively facilitated over four sessions in a week or one month. In the case of the second option, two-hour sessions are held on the weekends. The courses offered are Bible, Theology, and Missiology. In solidarity of a teacher so far, some courses have had no cost.
During this past year, courses have been offered in alliances with the Presbyterian Theological Seminary “Nicanor F. Gómez”, the Evangelical University of Nicaragua and with the Mexican Nazarene Seminary.
JEM Stands with Progressive Pastors Disciplined by
Their Presbytery — Tapachula Jubilee Ministries
from Edman Lopez
“I want to express with pain that the greatest discrimination suffered
by the poor is the lack of spiritual care” —Pope Francis
Unfortunately, the pope’s words seem to be true in many cases. Last Sunday I met with a group of brothers who were disciplined by their presbytery: “for not accepting the Presbyterian liturgy”, that is, for showing more rejoicing and joy in their Sunday celebrations. A year has passed and they have not celebrated baptisms or holy supper (that was their punishment). They have recently received another letter from their presbytery notifying them that they will be “under discipline” for another year, that is, without having an ordained minister impart the sacraments of the church. Fortunately, they decided not to accept such a decision, since they already wish to participate in the Lord’s Supper and baptize boys and girls. For the next month we will carry, God willing, this celebration and we will accompany them on their spiritual pilgrimage from now on. We look forward to that day.
This is an example of the work that we have been carrying out in the Mexican southeast: accompanying families, churches, seminaries, and migrant families that pass through the area. The important thing is not only to speak of God’s love but to show God’s love to those lives in concrete and generous ways. Many thanks to JEM for making this possible in Chiapas.
“For a free and liberating Christian education”
Earth Is Speaking but Fossil Fuel Industries Stay Deaf
We Can Use the Covenant for OneEarth Living to Increase
the Impact of Our Actions
The Covenant is loaded with suggestions for how to shape our lives for more effectively living as allies with our planet. This is not about solving climate change and the full gamut of ecological crises by fixing the problem with new technological solutions. Rather, this is about knowing Earth well enough to know how she is our ally in wanting life to thrive. Corporations make their money from strategies that ignore Earth as teacher and ally and sell us on how they are improving on how nature does it. The Covenant listens to Earth.
So how shall we live as the ecological storm increases and increases? By covenanting together on taking actions for life, with Earth as our teacher and partner. The is our resistance to the growing authoritarianism around the world denies and ignores the crisis. We can join hearts to live in deep love with one another, Mother Earth, and all our relatives of the natural world as we grow our resistance to the authoritarian lust for power that shows no care for the sacred life of wildlife, plant life, ocean life, and human life.
See the Covenant on the website. Sign it. Let us know if you’d like to be part of a virtual gathering on living the Covenant more fully. By the way, we all fall short at times. This is not about doing it perfectly, but doing it more fully.
Guides for Living the Covenant
Guides are now on the website for two of the many parts of the Covenant: (1) Practicing the Sacred, and (2) Strengthening the OneEarth Food System. These Guides suggest not only actions for getting this part of the Covenant more deeply embedded in our habits, they also explain why each action makes a difference and the kind of impact it can have—especially when we organize and do it with others. Watch for days or times during which we will focus our actions on a particular part of the Covenant. We will get together virtually to share how acting is furthering our learning and about how we can increase impact. Guides for other components of the Covenant will be posted as the weeks roll by.
Who Will Be Number 81?
The work of OneEarth Jubilee Economics Ministries gets done through the devotion and professional work of people who work on small incomes and huge chunks of time. AND you do if you are a donor. Just 80 donors financed these ministries in 2021. Would you be the 81st in 2022? No amount is too small or large.
The JEM office actively asks for donations as we communicate with donors about the work of the three Circles. Then, those funds are redistributed among our U.S. and Mexico ministries. The Mexico Circles operate in an economy where many have less-than-enough. Each month news updates of Jubilee activities in the Circles go out to JEM’s U.S. constituents (nearly 500) via MailChimp. Jerry Iversen also sends the newsletter to over 1000 constituents in Simple Living Works. The newsletter is also posted to the website under “News & Updates.” Kyle Holberg handles all mailings and postings of these updates. Quarterly funding letters inform JEM’s U.S. constituents of all that their donations accomplish and invite them to continue.
Leadership for JEM
Throughout 2022, leadership development continues as a goal with an eye toward the younger generation and people of color. No results to tell you about as yet. Can you help this initiative?
San Diego Circle Helps Trees Happen at Ministry Center
Written by John Michno
JEM is now matchmaking between the Urban Forestry community and faith communities to plant trees. In March, we co-created a planting with the Methodist Ministry Center which houses multiple congregations and nonprofits including JEM’s office!
I worked with administrator Jeannetta Watson, who guided me to pastors of two of the congregations, Don Owens and David Stump. They were interested, but had no money. That’s where I introduced them to one of our partner organizations, Kate’s Trees, who’d been looking to do a joint tree planting venture with congregations. Anne Fege, arborist and leader in the San Diego Urban Forestry community at Kate’s Trees, is particularly interested in projects where trees can survive the drought affecting 80-90% of western United States. Anne consulted with the Ministry Center to choose sites away from sewer lines and electrical wires. Recipients of trees must commit to watering for 5 years.
And just look what happened!
Where there was bare dirt, there are six trees! Though small now, they will grow to be around 20 feet tall. Passers-by will be able to see the building through the trees, and the trees will provide a buffer from the street for gatherings. There are two Redbuds, with the Ginko in the middle island. The front, large island has a Crepe Myrtle and New Zealand Tea Tree as well. Kate’s Trees donated the $250 needed to buy the three main trees, each a 5-gallon specimen.
Look for similar opportunities in your community. Often people want to do it but don’t know where to begin. Then it takes someone to bring together the need with the resources and skills—just as the Jubilee Circle did in this case.