Easter Medical Debt Jubilee for the Rocky Mount Convocation of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina

There’s a story in the Gospel of Luke about Jesus visiting the synagogue in his hometown of Nazareth. When he’s invited to read, he opens the scroll of Isaiah and reads the beginning of the 61st chapter:

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,

because he has anointed me

to bring good news to the poor.

He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives

and recovery of sight to the blind,

to set free those who are oppressed,

to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.” (Isaiah 61:1-2, Luke 4:18-19)

The year of the Lord’s favor is known in the Old Testament as the year of Jubilee—the end of a seven-year cycle in the Law of Moses given in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. In the year of Jubilee, the Lord said to the People of God, “you shall grant a remission of debts. And this is the manner of the remission: every creditor shall remit the claim that is held against a neighbor, not exacting it, because the Lord’s remission has been proclaimed,” (Deuteronomy 15:1-2).

Last year, the pastors and people of a small group of Wilson, NC churches raised the funds to abolish nearly $5.7 Million of medical debt in Wilson County and Edgecombe County. This year, St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church is partnering with other parishes in the Rocky Mount Convocation and the Diocese to remove the remaining $4.5 Million of medical debt in the counties making up the Convocation: Wilson, Nash, Edgecombe, Warren, Halifax, and Northampton. We encourage all of our neighbors in these cities and counties to join our effort to provide a financial jubilee to our neighbors

Our goal is to raise the $17,767 necessary for Undue Medical Debt to purchase and abolish the $4.5 Million of medical debt in these counties by the end of the Easter season on Pentecost Sunday. In the season that we especially remember Jesus’ victory over the grave and our freedom in him from the debt of sin, we will help abolish crushing medical debt in these counties. We are grateful for the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina’s commitment of a $5,000 challenge grant toward this goal! If, by the grace of God and the generous hearts of you our neighbors, we exceed our goal, we will contribute toward relieving the enormous level of medical debt in Johnston County (over $14 Million), where we hope another campaign will be getting underway soon with the same deadline in mind.

We invite all of our neighbors with the will and means to contribute generously to this campaign by clicking the donate button for our campaign on the Undue Medical Debt website. Alternatively, you can mail a check to St. Timothy’s Episcopal Church with “Undue Medical Debt” written in the memo line (202 N. Goldsboro St. Wilson, NC 27893). Every Wednesday, we will wire funds that we have received to Undue Medical Debt and those sums will be added to our campaign display on the website.