Arlington Street Church, Unitarian Universalist. Gathered in Love and Service for Justice and Peace. 351 Boylston Street, Boston, MA

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Jubilee: A Time of Restoration of Right Relations*


Mission Statement

Jubilee’s commitment to advancing human rights and social, economic, and environmental justice is built upon Arlington Street Church’s mission of love and service for justice and peace. Through Jubilee we aspire to share these values beyond Arlington Street Church’s walls — developing new partnerships and strengthening relationships with spiritually enriching and justice-seeking work in our local community and throughout the world. We will share our time, energy, and financial support with short- and long-term actions. Through this giving and receiving we will deepen mutual respect and advance our most cherished values.

* Drawn from the Hebrew Bible (Leviticus 25:10), Jubilee represents the radical reordering of relationships every fiftieth year when slaves were to be freed and property returned to its rightful owner. Recently the term has been used by various movements (religious and secular) to stand for economic and social justice efforts. Similarly at Arlington Street, we understand Jubilee to signify our ongoing work to restore right relations in the world.


Request for Jubilee Support

The Arlington Street Church Jubilee Committee accepts requests for financial and other support for Arlington Street Church member activities that promote the Jubilee principles. Please download Request for Jubilee Support for information. Questions?: Email

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Guiding Principles

  • Priority on rebuilding/deepening relations in current/recent Arlington Street Church partnerships and between Arlington Street Church members and friends
  • Local (Boston area) focus recognizing extended (global) impact and importance
  • Sustained attention/action
  • Develop Jubilee work as spiritual practice; assume Jubilee work will change us as individuals and as a congregation
  • Balance inclusive process (congregational involvement) with Committee action (leadership)
  • Financial support follows service


Current Jubilee Activities

New Orleans Partner Church
After hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans, Arlington Street Church responded by first sending work crews down to help and then becoming a partner to First Unitarian Universalist Church, New Orleans. The church sustained considerable damage, through approximately 5 feet of flood water.

Picture of building crew sitting on new roof beams.

Many people from Arlington Street Church have traveled to New Orleans to help with the restoration of First Church, the surrounding community, and other parts of New Orleans, including the Lower 9th Ward. The next trip will be in the spring 2009. Jubilee has contributed scholarship money to help some volunteers with travel expenses. For those who are unable to travel to New Orleans, there are many other opportunities to help. These include helping with and contributing to fundraisers such as our New Orleans-style teas, collecting much-needed tools, and more.

For information, or to get involved, contact Susie Nacco by e-mail at

Only A Child
Only a Child is a project in Guatemala City whose goal is to help homeless young men get off the streets. The project provides a home for 10–12 youngsters and a carpentry shop where they learn carpentry skills. by making beautiful cedar boxes. In addition, a quality education is provided for each of the youth. Arlington Street Church’s own George Leger is the founder and director of Only A Child. He and the program have received steadfast support from Arlington Street Church members and friends since the project’s inception. This support and two years of funding from Jubilee are evidence of Arlington Street Church’s belief in social justice as seen in Only A ChildÂ’’s goal to offer hope and the chance for betterment to those who have little of each. A picture of boys at workbenches making cedar boxes.

Jubilee has contributed much-needed funding to Only a Child. We have also sold beautiful hand-crafted boxes, and helped Only a Child’s board set up and run an on-line auction, and donated auction items.

Jubilee has also subsidized the purchase of the book The Art of Political Murder by Francisco Goldman. George Leger has recommended this book as an accurate account of the violent atmosphere that pervades Guatemala.

For more information, or to get involved, contact Only a Child by e-mail at

Villages without Walls
A picture of women setting up an outdoor picnic at Bethel Tabernacle. Talia Rivera, Villages without Walls founder and director, inspired Arlington Street Church with her pulpit editorial in November, 2007. Jubilee has helped fund a pilot summer employment program in 2007, and the Greenwood Project in 2008.

An Arlington Street Church member has been instrumental in finding volunteers to develop the Villages without Walls Web site which Arlington Street Church hosts.

The home of Villages without Walls is Talia’s church, Bethel Tabernacle Pentacostal in Dorchester. Through our work with Talia we have established an ever-deepening connection with Bethel Church, which reaches out to the Dorchester community. We have held two potlucks and discussions, one at each church. Arlington Street Church members have donated Thanksgiving food and plastic bags to their food pantry. And some church members have helped sheetrock the former Catholic church that will become Bethel’s new sanctuary.

For more information, or to get involved, contact Anyone with technical or professional skills that would be helpful to a small but growing non-profit is especially encouraged to contact us.

In January, 2008, the Arlington Street Church congregation voted to join the New Sanctuary Movement. In doing so, we agreed to:
1) take a public moral stand for immigrants’ rights;
2) Reveal to our members and the larger community, through education and advocacy, the actual suffering of immigrant workers and families under current and proposed legislation;
3) join with other faith communities in campaigns to reduce hate, workplace discrimination, and unjust deportation of immigrants.

Picture of a street rally, with the green and white Arlington Street Church banner. In conjunction with the immigrant rights organization Centro Presente we have held several workshops to educate ourselves and others about immigration issues. One of the workshops was attended by Social Action chairs and other leaders from several other churches, bringing the issue beyond Arlington Street Church.

We took part in the Welcoming Massachusetts initiative by signing and encouraging others to sign pledge cards.

In October, we organized an immigrant rights rally, as part of the Tour of the Faithful. The rally was co-sponsored by many Unitarian Universalist and other faith organizations. Speakers included the Rev. Bill Sinkford, Unitarian Universalist Association President, and our own Senior Minister, the Rev. Kim Crawford Harvie.

For more information, or to get involved, contact Peter Lowber by e-mail at

Prison Education
The Prison Education project works with Partakers, mentoring prisoners who are enrolled in the Boston University Prison Education Program.

Currently, four people from Arlington Street Church are mentoring a prisoner. If there is sufficient interest, another group could be formed to mentor another prisoner. Jubilee also contributes financial support to Partakers.

For more information, contact





Updated June 2, 2010