Note: This Fall a new United Methodist ministry with college students and young adults in the Bloomington area (Indiana University and Ivy Tech in Bloomington) was started. Jubilee Ministries, under the leadership of Darren Wright and Travis Jeffords and with the support of the reorganized Bloomington Wesley Foundation and area churches, is celebrating God at work in the new ministry. Enjoy this update from Darren and Travis on the exciting ministry happening in Bloomington.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Walking with young adults as they transform their lives and mature is a slow, beautiful process. From our early planning stages, we knew that we didn’t want to judge the success of our ministry by the number who showed up every week, but wanted to work towards helping students and young adults form authentic, deep relationships with Christ and community.
We want to help students discern what it might mean for them to live life with God at the center of who they are as they discover what they are doing here. We’re moving quickly – creating Vision Teams, small groups, mission events, curriculum, but also trying to move carefully enough to take time to build real relationships, and to listen to what students are saying and what their needs may be.
The truth is we have one thing and one thing only to offer – a loving and accepting Christ-centered community. That’s it! That’s the truth. And it’s a radical, life-changing and life-giving truth. It is a truth and a community we’re always in the process of building and creating. After three months of getting to know these young adults, we can tell you confidently they’re not just showing up week-after-week out of habit. They’re building, investing and creating the present and the future of the church right now, right here, in the midst of us. It’s an absolute joy to witness.
Thirty or so of us meet each week over dinner at the Bloomington Sandwich Company – a local place in town that stays open late every Wednesday night, so we can have a place to come together and share a meal. After eating, we head to the chapel at First United Methodist Church and spend another hour in conversation together. It’s a time when we can come together and talk about how God is moving in our lives and in our world. Students help lead us in worship, plan our discussion topics, put together the newsletter, share their stories in church services, meet in weekly small groups and with mentors, plan service projects, organize events, gather for pot-luck dinner, and the list goes on and on.
You and your church can support Jubilee in three ways:
To send financial gifts to the Bloomington Wesley Foundation, which supports Jubilee, send a check made payable to The Indiana Conference UMC, 301 Pennsylvania Parkway, Suite 300, Indianapolis, IN 46280, and designate the gift to the Bloomington Wesley Foundation.
To send financial gifts directly to the ministry, send a check made payable to First United Methodist Church Bloomington with Jubilee Ministries in the memo line, 219 E Fourth Street, Bloomington, IN 47408.
If you have a student or young adult in the area you would like to recommend to connect with the ministry, visit www.inumc.org/campusministries.
This fall, a student volunteered to head up an effort to put together a team to participate in the Jill Behrman 5K – a walk that helps to raise awareness of sexual assaults and helps fund a house where cancer patients can stay during treatments. Jubilee, in our first few months of existence, was the largest community organization to participate in the event.
Jubilee finished its first semester as a college and young-adult ministry for the Bloomington area. Inspired by the Wesley Foundation, the First United Methodist Church of Bloomington has partnered with other area United Methodist churches to create an exciting new ministry that focuses on connecting Indiana University students, Ivy Tech students and area young adults to each other.
We believe it is important to have a space for young adults to process their changing ideas about faith, life and God in community. We also believe that it’s important to use the strengths of The United Methodist Church – our members and our history – as part of that process.
We do this by creating opportunities for relationships between adults and young adults in our mentorship programs, and by stressing the value of participating in the life of a local congregation, because we know that the body of Christ is made up of all of us, together, living out the church and teaching each other what it means to be people seeking to follow Christ.
That’s what God is up to at Jubilee. We neither have all the answers nor have it all figured out, but we know when we gather together, God shows up, lives are changed, community begins to blossom, love flourishes, and we begin to grow into the people we have been made to be. It’s beautiful, and it’s a lot of fun to be a part of.
Thank you so much for support and your prayers. God is moving.
We want to help students discern what it might mean for them to live life with God at the center…
IU Campus in Bloomington