Help Overcome the Odds
By now we’ve come to recognize the horrible mistake of creating a way of living that simply doesn’t fit on our one planet. But correcting that mistake is baffling the best minds. Or maybe it’s that there’s so much profit in this way of living that the mind can’t prevail. We are hooked. Unable to break the addiction to profit and power. So eating the fruit in the Garden from the tree of knowledge of good and evil continues across decisions and powers.
Despite the overwhelming odds, correcting this mistake is a simple and strong definition of Jubilee. In the time of Jesus and long before, the most important day in the calendar was Yom Kippur (October 4 this year), a holy day of candor and deep honesty that urges us out of the cowardice of denial and into the strength of acknowledging our mistakes and correcting them. When the mistake is far more than personal, such as ecological breakdown, none of us can correct it alone. Then we must commit ourselves, day after day, to join with others to correct this mistake.
Across the Jubilee ministries in the U.S. and Mexico, your donations mix with deeply committed people in ministries that embody atoning for the horrible mistake of disregard for God’s Creation. This request for your donation comes just ahead of Yom Kippur. So, let’s grasp this moment to recommit to a life of atoning for mistakes, joining with others against the profits and powers bringing societies—Creation herself—to collapse. Jubilee is the way of life, standing against the storms resulting from this incredibly destructive and ongoing mistake.
Below are three of Jubilee’s many ministries of atonement.
1. The one-hour Jubilee Forum—The first forum, September 3, on “Jubilee and Climate Breakdown,” attracted people who are really passionate about the topic and eager to find better ways to make a change in the multiple crises popping up everywhere. The next Jubilee Forum will be October 1, entitled “Collapsing Systems Open to New Systems of Jubilee.”
2. The Plaza Comunitaria in San Cristobal—The San Cristobal Jubilee Circle is eager to enlarge one of their successful core ministries: the Plaza Comunitaria or community market. It features the products and art of the people. This community of lower-income people has created the plaza as a venue for sales and income of their products and art. Jubilee Circle participants Isai and Lindsey continue to share their knowledge of an alternative, solidarity economy that includes those left out of the larger economy. Lindsey writes:
Plaza Comunitaria includes 20 family and collective projects, each with 2-5 participants, that offer fruits and vegetables, herbal medicines, meats, plants, coffee, chocolate, traditional products made from corn, artisanal crafts, natural cosmetics, bakery products, prepared food, and more.
Approximately 60 persons, most of modest means who are part of the informal economy, take part in the Plaza, as we create opportunities to improve our family economies through self-employment, selling what we produce. The market benefits those who produce and sell their wares and their families, and some 500 people in the neighborhood where the market is situated.
Several of us are working with Lindsey in applying for a small grant. that, if we are awarded it, will strengthen this expression of a new, sustainable economy. Along with ongoing JEM donations, we prayerfully commit to the realization of standing with the mistakes that result in economic oppression.
3. Water in San Mateo—Extended drought is causing changes in the San Mateo region as well as the southwest U.S. where farmers are leaving tens of thousands of acres fallow and wondering about whether they can even start up in 2023. Angelica Juarez sent this update recently from San Mateo:
We have anxiously awaited the rains this year without seeing them. We have had a major drought. Farmers usually plant their corn in April or May and this year they did so, only to see how it dried up without the precious rain. We have been postponing the project of planting trees. But last night unexpectedly it rained. That brought us much joy and hope that it will be the beginning of more rainy days. If so, we will be moving forward the plan of giving the trees up for adoption to committed families in order to have more reforested land here.
Regarding dry toilet construction by the San Mateo Circle, David Delgado gives this update:
The dry toilet works very well for us here at the Centro Cultural. It allows us considerable savings. However, if it is very expensive to place. It was quite beyond our budget; so it is not a replicable project, as we had hoped. Our current situation in San Mateo is that there is more and more time between each delivery of water. We are talking about 3 weeks or even a month. Going forward, we are placing our bets more on rainwater collectors, than dry toilets. We are teaching how to use them. These we can replicate.
That said, it is true that the dry toilet at the Centro continues to have a very large impact on our facilities. Before installing the dry toilet a water pipe equivalent to 20,000 liters was bought on a monthly basis to provide enough water for our conventional toilet. The dry toilet has saved all those monthly liters.
Yom Kippur (October 4) is upon us. Whatever our religious preferences, it’s a momentous day for renewing our deepest love for Creation and all beings. And, if we may, the offering of the day is your donation to Jubilee Economics Ministries.
In partnership with you, we sign for everyone in the Jubilee Circles,
John Michno Lee Van Ham
Above photo by ANDREAS BODEMER on Unsplash