It has been a very full year since Howard Hanger announced on May 13, 2018, that he would be retiring this coming August. The transition began immediately, and it has been a deeply thoughtful and thorough process from start to finish. And now, the Board of Directors of Jubilee! is thrilled to announce that Amy Steinberg will be our new minister!
The community’s response to Amy has been very positive, and the excitement she brings is tangible. Without a doubt, she will enable us to keep and to treasure what we have always loved about Jubilee! — music, humor, inspiration, wisdom from many spiritual traditions, and the deep essence of Creation Spirituality. She brings a unique female presence that inspires people regardless of age, gender, race, and religion, and she embodies many of the qualities of our beloved founder, while at the same time being uniquely herself. The Board believes that Amy has the essential qualities that will “keep the main thing the main thing,” while lighting a path for us into a vibrant and fulfilling future.
We trust that Jubilants will open their hearts and arms to Amy. Change takes time. We invite each of you to give her that gift as she settles in and gets to know us individually and as a community. We invite you to actively support her by focusing on the big picture, and by bringing your warmth, caring, and talents to surround her and each other in the early months. We live in a culture that expects everything to happen fast, and in a world that wants perfection now. Let’s be the exception as we allow Amy the time to adjust to her new spiritual home. (After all, it took Howard 30 years to get to where he is now!) Together, we can make this a beautiful unfolding.
We have made arrangements for a five-week interim period after Howard’s last Sunday on August 11th. Jubilee! Minister Chris Andrews and Lauren Fortuna will team up to lead the celebrations during that time. Amy will step into her new role on Sunday, September 22nd, at the beginning of Via Negativa. (Are you chuckling as you read this? Via Negativa — what a perfect “gift” to give our new minister!)
Looking back, this journey began with the first meeting of the Transition Team on May 23, 2018. The responsibility of this group was to seek input, guidance, and wisdom from all members of our community. The World Café in September brought over 120 Jubilants into the Celebration Center on a Saturday morning to share their ideas and vision for Jubilee’s future. The energy in the room was tangible, and the insights you shared that day were invaluable to us. Most of you saw the amazing graphic representation of the tree that was created to visualize all of the ideas that were shared that day. During many stages of the process, including as the Board held its final discussions during two nights of long meetings, that tree banner was hung on the wall in front of us as a beautiful reminder of what we were doing, and why.
Paul Howey led the Transition Team from the beginning, and we owe him our deepest thanks for all of the time he gave to it. After he and the Transition Team studied all of the resumes we received and made a recommendation to the Board in February of the top candidates to participate in the first round of interviews, their job was complete, and the actual hiring process was turned over to the Board.
It has been an intense but exciting spring, as we have had the opportunity to see our three finalists in action over a period of six weeks, each leading two celebrations. The hundreds (and hundreds) of surveys that were completed gave the Board invaluable insight into the hearts and minds of Jubilants, and we cannot thank you enough for your input. This information was vitally important to us in our decision-making process.
I send my heartfelt gratitude to my fellow board members for the countless hours and deep discernment that they have given each step of the way. The Board consists of a strong team of independent thinkers who listen to each other with respect, and who work selflessly on behalf of Jubilee! to find consensus. As I turn over the reins of leadership in July to Vice Chair Catherine Cope, I know that we will be in the best of hands during “Phase Two” of the transition next year. While it has been a long process, in many ways it is only the beginning. The next year will bring incredible opportunities for this community to grow, and it invites each of us to step up and become more active in creating the Jubilee! of our future.
In the words of Dag Hammarskjold: For all that has been, Thank you. For all that is to come, Yes!
With love and appreciation for our beautiful community,
Claudia Sherry, Chair, on behalf of the Board of Directors
Please thank the following people when you see them!
Transition Team Members
Paul Howey, Chair, Stefanie Beierschmitt, Jessica Chilton, Jackie Dobrinska, George Fleming, Ron Katz, Jackie Lalor, Ray Raymond, Mimi Shackleford, Claudia Sherry, and Todd Williams
Board of Directors
Claudia Sherry, Chair, Catherine Cope, Vice Chair, Bill Byrne, Treasurer, Stefanie Beierschmitt, John Busse, Pam Garrett, Paul Howey, Ray Raymond, Paul Muller, Molly Pritchard and David Trout