We spend our weekdays in work that includes teaching English classes, tending the garden, maintaining and cleaning buildings, carrying out administrative tasks, and caring for children. Each day we stop work at noon for devotions and lunch before continuing with afternoon work. Some days we also gather for times of discussion, sharing, or bible study. We eat lunch together every weekday, and share an evening meal together several nights each week. On Sunday evenings we have a worship service and a potluck meal together with some of our neighbors.
Some days and seasons in the yearly calendar are special to us. In the spring, we gather at sunrise on Easter morning to hear the good news spoken by the angels at Jesus’s empty tomb. In the summer we spend long evenings picking blueberries in our two-acre blueberry field. In the fall we harvest the sweet potatoes from our garden that we will eat for the year — usually four or five thousand pounds of them — and share a special meal together to celebrate the harvest.
Thanksgiving is a big day for us. Each year, about 200 former refugees and immigrants who’ve lived at Jubilee come back and spend the holiday here. We have a big potluck dinner with foods from around the world, and spend the day visiting and reconnecting with old friends. The Advent season which follows is celebrated in a much quieter way, with scriptures, songs, and the lighting of candles every evening. At Christmas some of us travel to visit family and friends, while others stay to celebrate the holiday together with shared meals, games and informal visiting.
The seasons of our life are also marked by arrivals and leavings. Every few months, we welcome a new group of resident volunteers and say goodbye to departing volunteers. Several times each year we welcome newly arriving families through our hospitality program or say goodbye to those who are moving on to a new home. We have ways to mark all of these comings and goings. While the long-term community members remain here over the years, Jubilee is continually shaped in new ways by these people who come to join us for a time.