The Episcopal Evangelism Society Board of Directors is pleased to announce the recipients of the Morgan Directors’ Award for 2022. The Rev. Joe Hubbard, along with Ashley Dobbs Hubbard and Jorin Hood of Virginia Theological Seminary are honored for their story-sharing campaign in Navajoland, and the Rev. Yuri Rodriguez is honored for her Caminemos con María concerts at Sewanee. Recipients of this award are selected for the scope, quality and particularly for the evangelical impact of their EES grant-supported evangelism projects.
Evangelism as a Posture of Discernment
Inspired by Psalm 139, the Rev. Joe Hubbard was sure that there is nowhere the church can go where the Spirit of God is not already present, and that the Spirit would welcome the church when it arrived. He envisioned a story-sharing campaign, and assembled a team from Virginia Seminary that included his spouse, Ashley Dobbs Hubbard and videographer Jorin Hood, that was intended to put them in a posture of dialogue and discernment.
Hubbard conducted dozens of interviews with leaders and elders of the community, asking them how they have experienced the Gospel, and what that gospel says to the church. The team compiled a video, which they dream may be used in other communities, as an opportunity for evangelism. The evangelism that results from the expectation of mutual listening, mutual learning and mutual transformation, is a revelation of Jesus’ living presence.
Watch The Gospel of Jesus According to Navajoland here.
Evangelism Begins With Celebration
As a first-generation immigrant to the United States, the Rev. Yuri Rodriguez has experienced finding her way in an alien land, sustained by her faith. She believes that the stories of Latinas – their gifts, their struggles, their liberation – are stories of Jesus incarnate in the lives of the most vulnerable. As an experienced and gifted musician, she dreamed of offering these stories musically, as a means of evangelism. She used EES grant funding to bring the Worship With Bravery Ensemble, with whom she had worked before, to Sewanee and to Nashville for concerts in October 2022.
The concerts, called Caminemos con María, featured songs about women named María and their triumph over suffering. She wove a storyline through the concerts, in which she shared the stories of the Marías in her own life (her mother and grandmother) and reflected on the power of naming, both in the life-giving context of Baptism and in the dehumanizing context of colonization. She also offered bilingual celebrations of the Eucharist, working with the choirs of the School of Theology and All Saints Chapel. From the celebration of culture and bilingual music that resulted from these collaborations, Rodriguez came to understand that celebration interrupts prejudice and that sharing music from the Latinx context with non-Latinx, and non-Spanish speaking, congregations is a way to make Christ known across cultural barriers.
About the Morgan Directors’ Award
Each year, the EES Board of Directors selects the grant recipient(s) whose completed work best exemplifies the objectives of the Society. The award was named in November 2007 for retiring Board Chair the Rev. Dr. Michael Morgan. Mike received support from the Society as a seminarian and served on the Board for many years. As Chair, he established the Director’s Award in 2002.
About the Episcopal Evangelism Society
EES supports innovative evangelism by awarding grants for projects that will share the Gospel in new and exciting ways, and support the formation of grantees as innovative evangelists. Any Episcopalian in any accredited seminary community or local formation program (ie. diocesan school, Iona Collaborative) is eligible. This includes students, faculty or staff or the Episcopalian spouse or partner of a student, faculty or staff member. Contact the Executive Director or the Multi-Cultural Missioner for coaching with your application. Get contact information, read about the grant work others have done, and download the application at www.ees1862.org.