In the world of anniversary celebrations, the word “jubilee” is meant to mark many years — usually fifty. In the Bible, however, “jubilee” has a richer meaning: it is a time to extend mercy, to forgive debts, to free the enslaved, to correct injustices and to celebrate the liberty offered by a life in Christ.
As the Episcopal Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast approaches its 50th anniversary next year, the Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick hopes that we will mark that half-century with a rich commemoration that is not only festive and celebratory but also steeped in the spirit of forgiveness and broad mercies that the Biblical Jubilee invites. To that end, Bishop Russell has formed a committee to plan a commemoration.
The committee, comprising laity and clergy from across the diocese, met for the first time on January 19 at the Duvall Center in Pensacola. Those in attendance included parishioners from as far away as Monroeville, Greenville and Troy.
In a brainstorming session, committee members presented wide-ranging ideas for the Jubilee celebration and later grouped those ideas into categories, including stewardship, evangelism, worship, communication and outreach/justice. Subcommittees were appointed to further develop those ideas as initiatives for next year’s commemoration. The next full committee meeting will be held on April 13 at the Duvall Center.