Category Archives: jubilee house

Jubilee House, Immigration, and Carpooling

Here at Jubilee House, we’ve discussed how we want to respond to some recent challenges in our community related to driver’s licenses and immigration. We were encouraged to share our response with the congregation and invite them into the work we’re doing — here’s an excerpt from what we wrote. 


Dear Friends at Prairie Street,


Many of you have heard about the challenges in our community that have arisen with driver’s licenses being invalidated, including anxiety about transportation. As members of Jubilee House, we talked about it and said that since we like to give rides to our friends or other people in need (as well as getting to know new people!) we’d like to help out when we can.


As Jubilee House we’ve passed word of our interest to the Immigration Task Force – a grass roots effort in Goshen and Elkhart with task groups working on transportation, translation, publicity, voter registration, legal issues, regional outreach, and financial aid.

We’ve said that we’ll most likely be available between 8pm and midnight throughout the week, and it would need to be one or two of us from the MVS unit driving the van. We imagine that we’ll be most able to respond to one-time situtations (access to medical services, visiting sick friends or family, etc.) but are interested in thinking creatively if people would need a more regular ride.

We have been in contact with the Jubilee House Support Committee about this plan, and were encouraged to both share about our decision and invite members of the congregation to join us. So while ride-sharing is one way we’ve chosen to respond, there are a number of ways to welcome and support our immigrant neighbors.



– Have interest in improving public transportation in Michiana? Through April 2008, public comments are being sought about the proposed 2009-2013 Transportation Improvement Plan for the Michiana Area Council of Government, and the transportation task group is seeking support for increased transportation options. (carl (at), 574-642-3603)


– Do you have money to give, but not time? The Goshen Ministerial Association and the Immigration Task Force have a created an Immigrant Support Fund to assist immigrants who have settled in Elkhart County. This fund provides financial support for the Immigration Task Force, churches, community
agencies, and professionals who are helping local immigrants.*  


– Want to get out in the spring weather for service in the community? The Immigration Task Force is working with organizations in Goshen, Elkhart, South Bend and Fort Wayne to coordinate a multicultural day of service on April 19. Come join in to demonstrate the value of diverse communities! (shenkja (at), 294-4967)

– Consider including our immigrant neighbors in your prayers. We often pray for families caught up in our broken immigration system, give thanks for the cultural richness of this community, pray wisdom for elected officials, and pray for right relationships among recent immigrants and those of us whose families immigrated longer ago.


– Arrange for speakers to come to your congregation, service club, neighborhood group, etc. to answer any questions about the undocumented immigrants in our midst and how efforts to make them leave negatively affect legal immigrants as well. (ambyler (at), 533-1996).



We invite you to join with those close to you in prayerful consideration of how the Divine may be at work in this situation – calling us into closer relationship with our immigrant neighbors.

On behalf of Jubilee House,


If you have any questions, contact us at 294-4967 or Jason at shenkja (at)

*Contributions can be given to the Immigrant Support Fund by sending a check to the Goshen Ministerial Association (PO Box 165, Goshen, IN 46527) with a note designating it for Immigrant Support Fund.  Since GMA is not currently a tax-exempt organization, donations made directly to it for the ISF are /not/ tax deductible.  Churches are also encouraged to support the ISF with financial contributions.

For additional information concerning the Immigrant Support Fund, please contact ImmigrantSupportFund (at) or at PO Box 165, Goshen, IN 46527.


Our house meetings are a hoot!

Do you know what it is like when 5 amazing brains get in the same place and think about how we can best live with one another?

It is awesome.  We have house meetings once a week, and it is formal time in which we work on perplexing issues together.  I love everyone in this house for their enthusiasm, intellectual rigor,  commitment to social justice, and to creating a peaceful, environmentally sustainable home.

I don’t have time to go into all the details…I’m just writing this blog post on a study break here from my homework for the classes at AMBS (Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary)  so I’ll just write done key phrases for our household, all of which have come up at housemeeting at some point.  If you have any questions, you can ask!

Worms in tupperware in the parlor
The heat barrier
Whiteboard scribbles and notes
Eating the whole apple
Stretching our food budget
Vacuum cleaner
White Jesus is in the cupboard taking a time-out
Tofutti and other vegan treats
Bully Free Zone
Starter gardens in J’s room and on the front porch
Lavaré mis platos
Cheerios vs. Toasted Oats

These should occupy your mind for a while.  If you are a potential recruit reading this, please DO come and spend some time in Elkhart serving and learning together.  It is super awesome.


SOS = Soup of Success :).  One of my (Sarah AT) placements is at Soup of Success, where you can find me Monday, Tuesday, & Friday mornings, and Thursday afternoons…. and now, some shameless advertising…

3 weeks and a few days until Christmas…. which is the perfect time for SOS (although really, any time of the year is a perfect time for SOS cookies or brownies or soups.  and probably the dips too, although I haven’t yet tried those and can’t vouch for them yet.  All of the cookies so far though are, well, amazing.  It’s a struggle to make it to the actually cookie-making step.  Usually I just start devouring the cookie dough. :).  A lot of people are aware of the Soup of Success program and the products (if not, go to: .  Or ask me or somebody else that’s involved in SOS to tell you about this rocking program) but don’t know where to find the mixes or how to order them or buy them… and many people aren’t aware at all that we do gift baskets!  Not sure what to get friends & family for Christmas?  SOS gift baskets!!  (I hear that food never goes out of style… and seriously, it’s pretty sweet to be supporting a wonderful program like SOS while at the same time giving a gift to someone else…).  And, guess what else?  We do fundraisers too!  If you know of a school group or a group at PSMC looking to raise money… or any other group looking to raise money… how about raising money while at the same time supporting a local social enterprise that empowers women??? 


I am attempting to upload three things to this post: a gift basket order form; a regular-soup-cookie-dip-mix-candle order form; and a fundraiser order form.  Please download and use if you’re interested!  Use the order forms yourself.  Print out a bunch and give them to friends or family or coworkers.  Print a bunch and set them out at work.  Then do one of several things: call, e-mail, fax, or send the order to Soup of Success (phone: 574-523-1551; fax: 574-295-5593; e-mail:; address: 629 S. 3rd St., Elkhart, IN, 46516). 

 Also, all of the pictures on the order forms?  Taken by me over at Jubilee House 🙂 (those of you who have visited in the past few months likely noticed that our front living room has been taken over by a homemade light box… basically, a very white cloth surrounded by nearly every lamp in the house…).

 **Edit: So, I couldn’t upload the fundraiser form because it’s an excel file.  So I took a screenshot of it and uploaded it as a jpg… it might be a bit fuzzy and not as nice.  So, if you’re truly interested in using SOS stuff for a fundraiser, e-mail or talk to me :).**

Gift Baskets!!!

Regular Order Form

Fundraiser Order Form

Again, it is, in fact, a blog.

So after that senseless slaughter of commas, I’ve got news! Sorta.

Tomorrow is green bean casserole night, everyone’s invited, as usual.

Wheelchair Help work progresses through frustration and confusion.

I think I really lucked out when I signed on to this unit to find such easy-to-live-with people. However, the lack of interwebs (The Internet for all of you normal folk) is starting to make me go a little coocoo. Actually its probably the best thing that ever happened to me, but still, it’s a drastic departure.

REST march comin’ up, everyone be there.

What else can I say? Hmmm… Halloween should be fun. Still not sure what to do for it.

Watched The Fountain last night. Had weird dreams afterwords. Attributing it to The Fountain. Not watching it again.

Sing the Story, contrary to popular/Jason belief is purple.

This chapter in my life is now entitled ‘In Which CJ learns that dry milk costs 7.00.”

Also, I’ve been writing a good deal now, and I finally have something finished! Go me! Only took me… 6 years. Oh. Well, hey, now I get to enjoy the run around of publishing companies. Whoo.

Aside from that, life is grand. Later all!


Hey, it’s a blog.

So here are my myriad thoughts. Be prepared, gentle reader, for a blast of weirdness.

Started off last week at Wheelchair help. Fun stuff, involving paper, clipboards, a boss who goes about a million miles a minute, which is ok, I suppose. Not my style of doing things, but I didn’t make the rules of the universe. Can’t beleive they forgot to ask. Seriously, folks. Beyond that, I dropped a piece of a paper folding machine on my left big toe, which explains the lovely bandage. Thank you, Dr. Sarah.

Beyond that, life continues on. We had Tempura this evening, and were joined by Pastor Paula, Ross and Jordan Weibe-Powell, a real treat, all. We’re getting a ramp put in by Simon, and we’re really really hoping that he’s not moving all those concrete blocks by his lonesome. It’s currently a big nasty pile of dirt, which made it harder for our dear brother Ross to get into our humble abode, but we continued undaunted. Jeanette was gracious enough to loan us an electric wok for making the Tempura in, which, for those of you who don’t know, requires boiling veggie oil. This was uncool in Sarah’s book, so Jason and I took charge. It was a smashing success, and I can now add this to the (admittedly miniscule) roster of foods I can make.

Totally off-topic, but does anyone know the best way to get from Rio Grande, Ohio to Elkhart?

I have a trip coming up soon, I believe, but I am entirely unsure at this point. I was planning on going to West Virginia to meet up with some people but it looks like that’s falling through. This disheartens me greatly, making me quite the sad panda. Still, there may still be hope. If not, life goes on, however sadly and panda-y it may be.

Had a meeting with RSVP, which is another volunteer organization, so that’s good. They’ll funnel people over towards Wheelchair Help for me, which makes my job about ten times easier, that is, whenever I get to that particular part of the job. Right now, I’m a glorified handyman. Had some issues today putting a chair together, which was most vexatious. I had to pull the darn thing apart, screws, bolts, nuts, and all and it turned out that half of that work was entirely unneeded when I got it put back together. And don’t even get me started on the foot pedals that I had to dig through a ten-gallon drum for. Then, it turned out they were on the other side of the building. It’s getting better over there, but still, there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth at the shoddy organization.

So it’s about 12:30 at night, so it’s about time for me to seal my hatch, or stop typing, or whatever, and get some glorious, glorious sleep. Until later, kids!