Immanuelites Frank Alton, Yolanda Morales, Imelda Tecum, Sam Pullen, Erin Tamayo, Brian Symonds and Ed Murray all took part in this event. Starting with a press conference on the Wilshire Boulevard steps of the church, it continued with an all-day fast and concluded with sharing of powerful stories in Westminster Chapel. Spanish language media gave the event good coverage. Photos courtesy of Erin Tamayo and Ricardo Moreno. Click on an image for larger view.
Whew! My internship at Immanuel went so fast! During my time with you I have grown to love your congregation; all of the lessons I have learned from you have been invaluable and precious. Let me recount some of these lessons to you.
One of these important lessons I learned while preparing for the Easter Breakfast Extravaganza. On Saturday night, prior to Easter Sunday I was in search of the implements that we would need for Easter Breakfast. I repeatedly asked Francisco if he knew where to find the “jarros.” He brought me every “vase” that he could find. Finally my husband heard what I was saying and corrected me: I think you are in search of “jarras” he mentioned and Francisco was quickly able to help me locate the “pitchers.” What a dumb mistake but one that I will never forget.
I also learned the difficulty in conducting a “children’s moment” during worship service. I am a teacher by profession and I often teach in a dialogue with my students. This doesn’t work very well however when there is only one child in the congregation who is over 8 years old. Kids who are between the years of 2-7 seem to clam up when they are asked deep theological questions in the front of a sanctuary built for over 5,000 members. What was I thinking? I ended up answering most of my own questions and I think I taught the adults more than I taught the kids.
And finally, the biggest lesson that I learned from you all and my time at Immanuel is one that I voiced in worship a few Sundays ago. Before coming to your congregation, I often got discouraged as I witnessed other churches who “talk big” but never actually do anything to reach out to work on changing reality. A few weeks ago, Elizabeth preached a sermon that ended with the message: it is true that we can’t do everything, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t do something. It is true that we won’t make the world a perfect place but we can attempt to make it better. (V. Elizondo) And this is what I see at Immanuel, a group of diverse people who are committed to responding to God’s call for a more a more just and inclusive community. You have given me hope that this can be done through church involvement. As a seminarian planning to graduate soon and take part in the ministry that God will direct me to, I thank you for this hope. May you continue to spread this hope to your members and your community alike. It makes a big difference!
Elyse Marchant and Samuel Pullen serenade the Spanish language worshipers with music of Bach; Elizabeth Gibbs Zehnder officiates at communion; Fans of Erin (FOE); Mariachi Sur de California; Erincita and Ed Murray; Erin Tamayo in the pulpit. Photos courtesy of Erin Tamayo and Tina Mata. Click on an image for a larger view.
El 16 de Enero de 2010, me reuní con 10,000 personas para marchar por las calles de Phoenix, Arizona y reclamar por reforma migratoria en el estado del gran cañón. Yo había oído antes de las políticas inmigratorias fracasadas y de las injusticias que se han cometido en el área de Phoenix, y por esta razón cuando supe de esta marcha migratoria estaba muy interesada en participar. Mientras marchábamos ese Sábado por la mañana, muchas personas expresaron su desaprobación del Sheriff Joe Arpaio. Él se autodenomina “el Sheriff más duro” de los Estados Unidos. He leído en el periódico The Arizona Republic que ha sido acusado de cometer abusos a los derechos civiles contra los miembros de la comunidad Latina.
Mientras marchaba por la ruta de 4 millas en el centro de Phoenix, estaba sorprendida de que habían personas de etnicidades y edades diferentes, tanto como personas de diferentes vocaciones. Los que estaban demostrando su apoyo cargaban letreros con los mensajes: “Somos humanos” “Reforma Inmigratoria ahora!” y “Ya Basta al Odio.” Al final de una línea muy larga de gente que marchaba, yo estaba impresionada al ver un grupo que bailaba una danza indígena. Ellos bailaron por toda la ruta de la marcha. Yo estaba muy impresionada por su perseverancia. Se me ocurrió que sería muy importante recordar esa disciplina y perseverancia. Vamos a necesitar practicar esta perseverancia como una comunidad para poder lograr una reforma migratoria comprensiva en Arizona y en el país entero. Asi como los pies de los bailarines mantuvieron el ritmo a lo largo de la marcha, nosotros debemos ser persistentes en reclamar por un tratamiento justo y humano para todos los hijos e hijas de Dios.
by Erin Tamayo
On January 16, 2010, I joined with 10,000 others who took to the streets of Phoenix, Arizona to call for immigration reform in the Grand Canyon State. I had heard about the failed immigration policies and injustices being committed in the Phoenix area and so when I learned that the Immigration march was to take place, I was greatly interested in joining. As we marched that Saturday morning, many marchers voiced their disapproval of Sherriff Joe Arpaio. He calls himself “America’s toughest sheriff,” and I have read in the Arizona Republic that he has been accused of committing civil rights abuses against members of the Latino community.
As I marched the 4 mile route through downtown Phoenix, I was struck by the fact that there were individuals of different ethnicities, ages, and from different walks of life. Demonstrators held signs stating: “We are Human!” “Immigration Reform Now!” and “Stop the Hate!” At the end of the long line of marchers I was amazed to see an indigenous dance troupe which actually danced the entire route in their support of immigration reform. I was most impressed by their perseverance. It occurred to me most of all that this discipline of perseverance will be important to remember. It will be this perseverance that we will need as a community in order to bring about comprehensive immigration reform both in Arizona and throughout the country. As the feet of these dancers tirelessly carried on their rhythm throughout this march, let us also tirelessly remain persistent in our call for the humane treatment of all God’s children.