Race, Church and Change Award

Race, Church and Change Award nominations will be accepted until Nov. 10. Decisions will be finalized in December. The Race, Church and Change Award Presentation will be held Wednesday, April 8, 2015. More information is forthcoming.

2012 Race, Church and Change Award Honoree

Carolyn Jewett and Steve Jerbi

The hallmark of a good leader is the ability to inspire leadership in others. Lay leader Carolyn Jewett and Pastor Steve Jerbi of All Peoples Gathering Lutheran Church in Milwaukee, Wis., are two such leaders. Their ministry in this vibrant congregation will be celebrated Oct. 24 as they receive Luther Seminary's 2012 Race, Church and Change award.

In a struggling neighborhood that has stood up to poverty and violence, All Peoples is a place of hope in its community. Building on an active and committed core of lay leaders from its inception, this congregation and its pastor have created a sense of family, valuing each individual as a uniquely gifted child of God. "At All Peoples Church we really mean all," their website proclaims. "That means there's a place for you."

Ministries built by the leaders of this congregation include peace and justice advocacy, youth ministry with youth-led neighborhood projects, a model neighborhood gardening and free meal program that emphasizes health and care of creation, and music and worship teams that thrive under the leadership of members of all ages. The high concentration of youth in the congregation requires high-energy, committed leadership and quality programming.

Carolyn Jewett and Steve Jerbi are anxious to share a glimpse of their ministries with the students and faculty of Luther Seminary when they come to campus for the award celebration. They will be demonstrating their prayer and Bible study ideas, and will lead worship at the seminary's daily chapel service. With so much energy, love and wisdom to share, this lay and clergy team will demonstrate the hallmark of their leadership to future leaders of the church: inspiring others to lead through the message of God's love and salvation through Jesus Christ.

All Peoples is also a participant in Luther Seminary's Vibrant Congregations Project for their emphasis on youth ministry. Learn more about the Vibrant Congregations Project.

About Carolyn and Steve:

Carolyn Jewett is a sign of how faith communities can empower individuals and families. Carolyn came to All Peoples so her children could participate in the youth gardening work program. Carolyn became active in the congregation and her life began to change. She was back to school and earned a degree, she moved into a Habitat for Humanity home. She now directs the food pantry she once used to feed her family and coordinates volunteers within the church. She has grown in responsibility, supervising staff coming to All Peoples through the department of vocational rehabilitation. Carolyn also celebrates 18 years in recovery.

Pastor Steve Jerbi's call story is inspired by the prophet Amos. "I am not a prophet, but a tender of trees." After studying in Montana and directing an environmental education program in the California mountains, Steve attended the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago for the environmental ministry emphasis. There the call to urban ministry grew in him. He as served at All Peoples for 5 years, leading it into an identity of a Great Green Congregation. He loves how the congregation lives into its name welcoming all—with diversity in race, class, gender, orientation and age. Along with his wife Jennifer and daughters Eleanor and Johanna, he lives in Riverwest, an eclectic neighborhood of activists, anarchists, elders, students and working folks.

For more information about the award contact:

Mary Hess