The Mexico Trip: The Major News of OneEarth Jubilee in April
For eight days, six of us were in Mexico, traveling way south to the OneEarth Jubilee Circle in San Cristobal, Chiapas, and then heading back up to central Mexico’s state of Puebla to be with the San Mateo Circle. It was the first such trip since before the pandemic. For three of us who’d made such visits before, we saw and heard incredible development in the capacities of these Circles—profound ministries relating with people ignored by prevailing systems. We saw again that major innovation is coming from the bottom up, not the top down.
What We Saw, Heard, and Did in Mexico
Sue Shamblin, Lincoln, Nebraska, wrote after the trip: I am home safe and sound. It was an unforgettable experience.
At what point in the week did Sue feel drawn into the experiences of the week? It happened in the very first presentation. In her words:
“This was my first trip to visit the JEM circles in Mexico. I was impressed on Day 1 when Edman Lopez presented to our group. He rode the bus for seven hours from Tapachula to meet with us in San Cristobal with his wife, Rosie and their two children, grades 1 and 6. He spoke about working with some indigenous churches in the mountains but mainly they are inundated with immigrants crossing the southern border into Mexico. With very little money available they try to help them with food and some supplies as they can. The dedication they have toward this mission was admirable.”
(Note: Photo from l to r: Sue, Edman, Rosy, Idelette, and Yefte in the front. The family traveled six hours by bus to be with us on the first day and then returned to Tapachula because of Rosy’s work.)
Lindsey Mercer-Robledo of the Jubilee Circle in San Cristobal gives her response to the days the Jubilee delegation was in San Cristobal:
“As emotionally difficult as it was to share our context and reality with our Jubilee visitors from the US, I still felt joy knowing that there are still people out there wanting to learn, share, and make changes for the better good. Creating community is so, so important not just locally but globally, and the language barriers between the Mexico Circles and our American friends were so easy to break, even through music! I will never forget the moment we had dancing to disco music in the middle of Chamula, Mexico. It was a moment of joy, laughter, and community after having an emotional day prior. I wish I had a picture (or video!) of that moment, but it will forever live in my memory. These Jubilee immersion experiences are important not only to learn about our work in Mexico but to create community and relationships.”
(Note: Photo shows Lindsey and Isai in front of their home and home base of the Alter-Nativas ministries that they coordinate. In upper right of the photo you can see the sign that reads “Alter-Nativas.” They are also 5 months pregnant.)
Gloria Gonzales (Talita Cumi), San Cristobal, and John Michno, part of the Jubilee delegation respond to the trip experiences in an email exchange:
Talita Cumi: What a joy and blessing that the whole trip turned out well for the Jubilee project and our people, I wish you peace and good ????
John Michno: Talita, me too! What an amazing, eye-opening learning it was for me to meet you all. I was excited by the alternative economy and spiritual community-building and accompaniment. I am inspired to think, how can we do that more here in San Diego?
Lauren Van Ham, Richmond, CA, part of the Jubilee delegation
“Each day of the trip was its own gift, filled with stories and invitations to be in relationship with our new friends, so by Friday evening, my cup was at its brim. The Community Center (Dan Swanson Centro Cultural) which had already proven itself to be a highly versatile space, was transformed into an intimate bistro. Candles, music, tablecloths and culinary delights created by the chef and his apprentices invited us into a night of sabbath. I teared up instantly, attempting to receive the generosity that was being offered to us, one more time. How could this possibly translate in my culture, back home?”
(Note: In the photo, the chef, in black, describes the courses of the meal to us and tells about the classes he teaches at the Centro—classes in meal preparation and presentation, baking pastries and breads, making desserts, and more. Students learn skills for their own business or employment by others.)
Is it time for you to go and see for yourself? Let us know you’d like to.
We’ll plan another trip as soon as we have a few people interested.
Readers respond to the March newsletter
This is an excellent and inspiring newsletter to read. Thank you!
—Rev Lauren Van Ham (she/her)
I so enjoy the emails you send describing all the great work you and your circles continue to do. In a world where “Christian” is increasingly a term for hateful, racist, close-minded ignorance, your work is a true inspiration. Too bad the media don’t find covering good things as clickable as the opposite!
—Wes Howard-Brooke, Seattle, Teacher of the “Radical Bible” series on YouTube
Free OneEarth Jubilee Monthly Forums
You can register free by simply sending an email to
May 6 Topic — Use the Power of Local amid Global Markets and Ecological Collapse
In an animated exchange with one another, special interest surfaced on where to bank in order to support our local economies. We know that the big banks are radically out of step with OneEarth values because fossil fuel companies and other Earth-destructive businesses rely on financing through those banks. But where to bank? Check this website https://www.betterbankingoptions.com/. It will likely help you strengthen your local economy through your deposits.
In addition, we shared what we were doing and pressed one another into thinking locally. Local is essential to using an economic model that works for society’s lower tiers, not just the upper ones. A question to make part of our spiritual practice is: “Is what I’m doing strengthening the local economy?”
June 1 Topic — Christian Nationalism’s False Prophets Arise amid Collapse
Though teachers of conspiracies and falsehoods are ever among us, in times of breakdown and collapse, they rise to the surface as people look for answers. In this Forum we speak especially of “Christian” nationalists, their influence in our current context, and our choices for authentic spiritual thought and practice.
Purpose of Jubilee Forums
The demands of this moment —The real-life issues of this time go beyond language and concepts most of us have learned to use. Many people speak and act in extremist ways or, conversely, in ways that abandon our agency for understanding and changing how we live.
The Purpose —In Forums we help one another find the most accurate, non-denying language and concepts to help us describe our current reality. We connect with a spiritual power that is real and helpful.