Church Focus: Faith found in translation

Tucked away in Spring Creek Cumberland Church in Montevallo voices blend together in jubilee as words of praise flow past their lips in both English and Spanish.

&8220;There are very few places in all the world where women of so many cultures come together to get to know one another and to hear God&8217;s word,&8221; said Carol Tipton, who began Jubilee two years ago.

In the Old Testament, Jubilee came once every 50 years and was considered a chance for restoration and renewal. Tipton said the fellowship restores many of the women involved. &8220;That&8217;s really what is happening at these meetings,&8221; Tipton said.

Yaneth Rangel has lived in Calera for seven years but for a long time felt isolated because she speaks very little English. She said Jubilee is now a significant part of her life.

&8220;For me it&8217;s a refreshment or a time of rest,&8221; Rangel said through an interpreter. &8220;I have learned so much about God here and, everything I&8217;ve learned, I can apply it to my life and share it with women who are not able to come.&8221;

The group spans across numerous cultures from Alabama to Honduras to Venezuela.

With immigration issues at the forefront of national media, these women have found common ground.

&8220;We have a common denominator here,&8221; member Beth Fowler said. &8220;The common denominator here is people love God, and they are willing to look past the skin color, really the law in some cases. But it really has made a difference in the way I see immigration. Like I said today, I don&8217;t really have the answer to that, but I know when you know someone&8217;s story, things are put it in a different perspective.&8221;

Tipton said she believes getting to know each other dispels many fears.

&8220;You begin to realize that the person sitting next to you is talking about buying groceries, not you,&8221; Tipton said.

The group began because many friends of Tipton&8217;s told her they wanted to get to know women of other cultures so they might better understand them. Tipton then organized the first meeting, which included 24 women. She said the group never stopped from there.

The women of Jubilee continue to meet the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m. Since its beginning, Jubilee has recorded lessons in Spanish for those who cannot read and has produced a CD of spiritual music straight from the voices of women in the group.