We want to be a church where people can ask questions, learn new concepts, and test them out.
Rather than ongoing Sunday school classes, Jubilee will have topic-based studies that last for a set amount of time (usually 4-6 weeks), some on Sunday mornings and some mid-week.
Our next study will be on the topic of Theology and the Body, lead by our Student Associate Pastor Leah Reed, beginning after the new year
The struggles we face under a capitalist economy often leave us alienated, lonely, and tired. Some of our gatherings will give people a time to be honest about those struggles so that we can remember that we are not alone.
"Workers Anonymous" will meet every 3rd Tuesday of each month to provide a support group for people to share their stories of exploitation in the work place.
These are more informal groups intended for people just to spend time having fun and getting to know each other. They include:
-Potlucks every first Sunday of each month after worship (Next on January 5)
-3rd Thursdays at the Federal in downtown Durham (Next on December 19)
The Debt Collective
In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to ask God to “forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors.”
Debt has become a common feature in the lives of most Americans. We take out loans for school, for cars, to buy homes, and to pay medical bills. We take out Payday loans or Direct Deposit Advances when emergencies arise. As living expenses rise and wages stay the same, more and more of our basic needs require us to go into debt. In our capitalist economy, we all just have to accept debt as a necessary part of life for 99% of people.
Creditors, the ones exploiting our needs in order to turn a profit, coordinate large groups of people to ensure they get every last dollar from us. Corporations, banks, or even the U.S. government all put thousands of people to work every day to extract the money they’ve handed out to debtors.
Why should creditors enjoy the advantages of cooperation while debtors go it alone?
What if we had a way to work together to get out of debt? What if there was a community that didn’t respond to debt with shame, but that said “God told us we should forgive debtors,” that was committed to “holding all things in common” (Acts 2:44), that desired to “owe one another nothing but love” (Romans 13:8)?
Jubilee Baptist Church created The Debt Collective Ministry out of our desire to struggle together and to use our common resources as a church to enact here and now God’s liberation from debt.
The Debt Collective Ministry has two components:
Debt Liberation Grants
Once per month during worship, Jubilee Baptist will give out a Debt Liberation Grant to one recipient to pay off a debt. Anyone can apply to receive a Debt Liberation Grants so long as they have a debt and can demonstrate financial need. Jubilee’s Cooperative Council decides on the recipients of the based on the funding available. The church does not reserve these grants for one type of debt (credit card, payday, medical, student, auto) nor is there a set amount for which you can apply.
Mutual Aid Teams
These teams will work with one another through the coordination of the Co-Pastor of Missions and Outreach to make direct payments on one another’s debts in order to liberate each other from debt faster than they could have if each made only their own payment on their debt. The plan for payments and accountability will be worked out beforehand and agreed upon by all members of the team before any payments made. This application will help the staff and Cooperative Council to come up with the best plan for a team by giving a full picture of the financial situations of each person involved.
You do not have to be a member of Jubilee Baptist Church to apply for a Debt Liberation Grant, but for now grants are only available to people living in our immediate vicinity of the Triangle.
The Jubilee Fund
The Jubilee Fund provides direct financial assistance that removes barriers keeping a person or family in poverty. Many of our neighbors living in poverty struggle with numerous debts and deficits that keep them trapped in constant crisis. Even if a benevolence program at a church or nonprofit helps with one of those emergencies, three more are waiting the next day.
The Jubilee Fund is designed to work with people to get a comprehensive picture of their finances and all of the factors that are keeping them in poverty, and then providing the funds to remove those barriers.
Our goal for the first year is to help 2-4 individuals or families out of poverty, either as they come to the church or through partnerships with local non-profits.