It is with deep joy that I write this letter of gratitude for the amazing opportunity afforded me to serve as the diocesan Canon for Border Ministries. As I’ve stated on many occasions, when called by Bishop Jennifer to serve in this capacity, I was keenly aware that I was being called to be a good steward of the hard work that many leaders, over the course of many years, have been faithfully leading along the Arizona-Mexico borderlands. For the past four years, I have learned a ton from border ministry leaders both in the US, Nogales, Sonora, across the US/Mexico borderlands, and throughout America Latina.
And words fall short of capturing and expressing the many lessons I’ve learned from our migrating neighbors; the resilience, faith, hope, community, love, and dogged commitment to life and future, have instructed me and on many occasions carried me through tough seasons while serving in spaces also marked by racism, impoverished and toxic paternalism, and the overall allergic reaction to our migrating siblings.
As I take the next step in my vocational journey, I go in the confidence that the life that Jesus calls us to demonstrate in word and deed, will continue to shape and inform the ministry I am being called to lead and share with the wonderful and warm people of, All Saints of the Desert Episcopal Church.
I would like to thank all of the members of the Borderlands Ministry Council, the leaders of the Cruzando Fronteras Steering Committee, friends from Episcopal Migration Ministries, the Search Committee and Vestry of All Saints of the Desert, and the amazing leaders at La Casa de Misericordia y de Todas Naciones Shelter, in Nogales, Sonora. De todo corazón, gracias, Hermana Lika, Consuelo, Ismael, and Esther; seguimos en la lucha!
My heartfelt thanks to Bishop Jennifer for trusting me to lead this area of ministry; the support and encouragement throughout my time on the diocesan staff has been an incredible journey of vocational clarity and spiritual growth.
The Rev. Canon David Ulloa Chavez
Canon for Border Ministries