By Margaret Downing


Members and volunteers from Rockton’s United Methodist Church gathered for a group picture at the Jubilee Center in downtown Rockford March 26. A good healthy lunch was provided for homeless and people with mental issues. The church’s mission group participates twice a year. Other area church members also are involved throughout the year.

Rockton United Methodist Church mission committee members and volunteers gathered at downtown Rockford’s Jubilee Center on March 26 to prepare, provide and serve lunch to those in need.

On the menu was mostaccioli with meatballs, green beans, peanut butter sandwiches, applesauce, coffee, lemonade, and water, along with a good choice of cookies.

An estimated 50 people were fed.

The Jubilee Center is associated with the Emmanuel Episcopal Church, and this program was begun 40 years ago according to Tammy Lewis, program coordinator with the Episcopal Church, in order to care for people who are homeless or facing homelessness, and those with mental issues.

Saturdays are soup kitchen days, and according to Lewis, it has not been unusual to serve up to a hundred or more for a welcomed meal and social interaction.

“During COVID, we had to resort to handing out bag lunches but now that situation has gotten better and we are welcoming people back in for dining,” Lewis explained.

Phyllis DeGraff with the Rockton United Methodist Church explained that the church’s mission group does this twice a year…once in the spring and once in the fall.

From the website, comes the following information:

“The Jubilee Center at Shelter Care began as an outreach ministry of Emmanuel Episcopal Church and is one of only 600 centers throughout the world. Jubilee Centers are places of justice and promote peace and compassion for the marginalized people who are left out of the larger community conversation. The Jubilee Center is a day program for adults who live with chronic mental illness, who may be homeless or at risk of homelessness.

“Each day, members find the doors open, the lights on, and coffee brewing at the Jubilee Center. Jubilee staff greet members at the door and throughout the day provide advocacy, case management, intervention and, more importantly, a caring, nurturing environment of hospitality and welcome.

At Jubilee, members find an environment where they are not seen as their diagnosis, but as peers, friends, and even family.

“Members enjoy activities, hot meals, and social events. Throughout the year, staff invites members to attend community functions, providing transportation and resources that enrich their lives and offer fullness that would otherwise be missing in their world.

“The Jubilee staff view members as more than their mental illness. Perhaps the single most important gift Shelter Care gives to Jubilee Members is ‘being seen.’

“At Jubilee, they are seen and here they are a part of the world; they are not invisible.”

Jubilee Center is located at 413 N. Court St., Rockford, and is open between 9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

Buy Viagra Overnight Delivery USA.