The Office of Public Affairs

The Public Affairs Office provides statistics, biographies, photos, background information, and other resources to media representatives reporting on the mission and ministries of The Episcopal Church

Jubilee: Episcopal Church documentary chronicles transformation in Dallas neighborhood

April 26, 2010

A 12-year relationship that comprehensively transformed both an affluent Episcopal Church and a Dallas neighborhood located in a high-crime area which residents called "a war zone" and was known locally as "the DMZ" is featured in a new documentary, Jubilee.

The poignant documentary, Jubilee, depicting the changes in a 62-block area "that had been forgotten by the city of Dallas," will debut at 7 pm on Wednesday, April 28 at a special conference, Called to Serve: The Episcopal Church Responds to Domestic Poverty, focusing on the Church"s response to the pervasive issue of domestic poverty.

Produced by the Office of Communication of The Episcopal Church, Jubilee chronicles the transformational work at Jubilee Park in East Dallas, through the Jubilee Park and Community Center which now provides an array of educational and social services to Dallas residents living below the poverty level. It also highlights the transformational effect on its sponsoring parish, St. Michael and All Angels.

"Jubilee tells the story of people changed, in both the neighborhood and the church," explained Mike Collins, director of digital media for The Episcopal Church. "Jubilee shows The Episcopal Church in action, in service, and in response to those in need. We are proud to be able to present this documentary and hope it becomes a guideline for others in their mission work and ministry. Jubilee is the first in a series of documentaries heralding the work of Jubilee Park and Community Center." Collins added Jubilee will be available on the Episcopal Church website following the conference.

In Jubilee, church members and community residents alike talk about the difference Jubilee Park and Community Center has made in their lives and in their spirituality, calling it "missionary work in our own back yard."

With as much laughter as tears, the people of Jubilee Park tell their own very personal stories – as a church member, service provider, teacher, architect, board member, services recipient, neighborhood resident, or child – sharing their aspects of rebirth, rejuvenation, and "how transformation is possible."

The relationship started 12 years ago when St. Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church was celebrating an anniversary and, "rather than another statue," the church decided to mark the milestone on a different course, explains the Rev. Dr. Robert Dannals, rector.

St. Michael and All Angels, with 7200 members and one of the largest congregations in The Episcopal Church, wanted to focus on a community in Dallas that also centered on children"s needs.

A dozen years later, among the results, thanks to Jubilee Park and Community Center, are an early childhood education center with 171 students called Davids" Place, a farmers market, a secure environment, personal enrichment programs such as an exercise program, and much more.

The biggest and most compelling result, however, is that a neighborhood has developed and grown in an otherwise neglected, forgotten area.

Called to Serve Conference

The three-day conference Called to Serve: The Episcopal Church Responds to Domestic Poverty will provide an in-depth exploration of the nature of domestic poverty and the Church"s role in addressing this ubiquitous national issue on Wednesday to Friday, April 28 to 30 at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark, NJ.

Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will lead the conference as the keynote presenter on Wednesday, April 28 discussing "Called to Serve – How Can We Respond To Domestic Poverty." Chuck Fluharty, founder of the Rural Policy Research Institute, will speak about Poverty Alleviation & Rural/Urban Partnerships on Thursday in his address "Poverty, Place, and Public Policy: Rethinking the Rural/Urban Dialectic." "A Life of Being, Having, and Doing Enough" will be presented by nationally known author, therapist, and minister Wayne Muller.

Other speakers include Kristen Lewis presenting "The American Human Development Project Report, The Measure of America." Also, a culturally diverse panel discussion will examine the affects of poverty on identity.

Schedule and info

For complete schedule and registration information:

For more info contact the Rev. Christopher A. Johnson, Jubilee Officer for The Episcopal Church,

Called to Serve: The Episcopal Church Responds to Domestic Poverty is supported by Jubilee Ministries, Episcopal Community Services in America, and National Episcopal Health Ministries.

Domestic poverty was named a major focus of the Church"s ministry and mission at last summer"s General Convention of The Episcopal Church.

The Episcopal Church welcomes all who worship Jesus Christ in 109 dioceses and three regional areas in 16 nations. The Episcopal Church is a member province of the worldwide Anglican Communion.

Called to Serve: The Episcopal Church Responds to Domestic Poverty:

St. Michael and All Angels, Dallas, TX:

The Episcopal Church Jubilee Ministries

Episcopal Community Services in America

National Episcopal Health Ministries

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori

Episcopal Diocese of Newark

Trinity and St. Philip"s Cathedral

The Episcopal Church:





Tagged in:

Nancy Cox Davidge
Public Affairs Officer