Rev. Erin Tamayo will join the Southwest Conference staff full time January 14, 2019 as designated Minister for Migrant Hospitality. Her primary responsibility will be coordinating the Reception and Welcome Program being implemented by Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest throughout Arizona. Rev. Tamayo will also be a resource for Southwest Conference congregations for hospitality ministry with migrants. Rev. Tamayo’s position is made possible through a grant from LDS Charities and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services who are funding the initiative through Lutheran Social Service of the Southwest.
“I am so excited to begin this journey together,” said Rev. Tamayo when she accepted this call. “I praise God for this opportunity to serve!”
The Southwest Conference (SWC) and Lutheran Social Services (LSS) have entered a collaborative partnership designed to better coordinate hospitality for migrants after they are released from ICE custody at ports of entry and detention facilities. LSS brings case management and infrastructure experience and the Southwest Conference brings program expertise via a network of people already engaged in migrant hospitality ministry. Immigration and Customs Enforcement nationally and locally are looped in and have been a collaborative part of the conversations that envisioned this program.
“This is just one more way the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ incarnates the extravagant welcome, unconditional love, and justice of God,” commented Rev. Dr. Bill Lyons, Conference Minister. “This is one way of being a united and uniting church in this place for our time.”