Historical Roots

29 Years of Jubilee

We begin with the words of co-founder and first director, Don Grayston, “The Pacific Jubilee Program was conceived in a conversation with Episcopal priest Jack Gorsuch and myself at my cousin Mary’s lunch table in Seattle in 1986. It was born in 1988, when the first residency took place at the Vancouver School of Theology. Originally an 18-month program, it became a two-year program in the late 1990s. In 2006, its relationship with VST came to an end (as did VST’s relationship with other co-sponsored programs), and the little boat PJP set out on the open seas. In 2010, it found safe harbour with the Centre at Naramata, largely through the work of Lois Huey-Heck; and in 2011 she succeeded me as director working with senior program director Dawn Kilarski.”  Always visionary, Don was instrumental in the beginning of the Ontario program, the affiliation of the pre-existing Atlantic program, and the forming of the Prairie program.

Since 1988, the Jubilee Program has offered formation and training to women and men in many different professions and occupations and to laypersons and practitioners of many kinds of ministry.

Grounded in the Christian tradition, this ecumenical and now interfaith program that started in Vancouver now includes programs based in Puslinch, Ontario and in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  Hundreds of participants from more than a dozen Christian denominations large and small have taken the program, together with members of the Jewish, Native and Unitarian traditions and seekers unaffiliated with any tradition. We characterize the program as contemplative, evocative, spacious, embodied, integrative, experiential and transformative – a program that encourages us both to pray and to play!