Exciting News! Presenting our Minister Finalists

Dear Jubilants,

It has been more than nine months since Howard announced his upcoming retirement, and during this time we have conducted an inclusive, thoughtful, and very thorough transition process.  We have now narrowed our search for a new Minister of Ritual & Celebration to three finalists, and we have invited each of them to come to Jubilee! two different times to lead the Sunday Celebrations and to meet Jubilants.

We want input from Jubilants during these visits with the finalists. After you have seen and heard them at each of these Sunday celebrations, we ask that you stop by the Hospitality Room to fill out a very short survey to give us your feedback.

In case you cannot attend a celebration, each candidate will be videotaped on Sunday morning, and it will be posted on Jubilee!’s Facebook page. We hope you will watch the videotape and send your feedback to Jackie Dobrinska afterwards at: [email protected].

We are delighted to introduce you to these finalists (in alphabetical order):

David LaMotte is likely to be familiar to many of you. He is a well-known musician/ songwriter/author/social activist who travels the country to lead workshops, often for faith communities, and to perform solo or with his group, “Abraham Jam.”  He is also a consultant for the North Carolina Council of Churches, helping to create and implement programming on justice and peace issues, and to advocate and organize ecumenical, interfaith, and secular justice efforts. He lives in Black Mountain with his wife and 10-year-old son.

David wrote to us, “It is not hard for me to see in this position a confluence of much of the work to which I have devoted my life: inviting people into holy space through music, poetry, and rich and meaningful conversations; engaging in activism; writing; pastoral care; creating spaces where people can be real and vulnerable; wrestling with our understandings of how Spirit moves in the world, how we can grow beyond the strictures of our traditions, and in what directions we might be called to stretch, as individuals and communities.”

Justin Martin is already known to many Jubilants because he has filled in for Howard on several different Sundays.  He is an ordained Jubilee! minister, as well as an ordained Unitarian Universalist minister. He first started to attend Jubilee! as a student at Warren Wilson College, where he majored in religion.  He then received a Master of Divinity degree from Wesley Theological Seminary in 2011. Justin currently lives in Charlotte with his family. He has been the caregiver for his young children during the past few years, while also serving as youth minister at Caldwell Presbyterian Church.

Justin wrote, “I feel very inspired by the work that you have done as a community to project a vision of what you want to be going forward…  I believe that I can embody the joy and spirit of Jubilee! while enhancing the existing focus on social justice and adding my skills in religious education and pastoral care to walk with this community as it takes its next steps.  In short, this is the role I believe I am called to do, and I believe my experience can make this wonderful community even more engaged and connected.”

Amy Steinberg currently lives in San Diego, but she has strong ties to North Carolina and to Asheville. She is a singer, writer, musician, speaker, and “multi-instrumentalist.”  She serves as the musical director and choir director of the Universal Spirit Center in San Diego, and prior to that, she served in the same position at the Spiritual Light Center in Charlotte, NC.

Amy wrote to us, “The sweet calling of God, Great Spirit, One Infinite Love, within me is booming, beaming, and bursting! The first time I sang at Jubilee!, I fell in love with you, and I thought to myself, ‘If I ever lead a community, it will be JUST LIKE this one!’ As a wild seeker of truth, JOY, connection, beauty, and expression, I wish to be of the MOST service to God in this wonderful world. If we are meant to be, Jubilee!, to explore, celebrate, inspire, and grow, I’m open and willing to journey with you down the winding road of ecstatic mystery.”

Now it is time to mark your calendars!
Here is the schedule for the visits of our finalists:

  • Sunday, March 17 — Justin Martin’s first visit to lead the Sunday Celebrations
  • Sunday, March 24David LaMotte’s first visit to lead the Sunday Celebrations
  • March 30 & 31 — David LaMotte’s second visit:
  • Saturday, March 30, 5 to 6:30 — Finger-food potluck at Hanger Hall to meet and talk with David. (Bring your own drink)
  • Sunday, April 7 — Amy Steinberg’s first visit to lead the Celebrations and to meet Jubilants.
  •   5 to 6:30 — Finger-food potluck at Hanger Hall to meet and talk with Amy. (Bring your own drink
  • April 27 & 28 — Justin Martin’s second visit:
  • Sunday, April 28 — Justin leads the Sunday Celebrations.
  • Saturday, April 28, 5 to 6:30 — Finger-food potluck at Hanger Hall to meet and talk with Justin. (Bring your own drink)
  • Sunday, May 5Amy Steinberg’s second visit to lead Sunday Celebrations.

We have three strong, dynamic, and extremely talented finalists, and we cannot wait for you to see them in action. It will be a busy spring, and a time of transformation and new beginnings for us all. In anticipation of all that is to come!

Claudia Sherry, Chair of the Jubilee! Board of Directors

Paul Howey, Chair of the Jubilee! Transition Team