LAMPa Names Communications and Advocacy Engagement Manager
LAMPa is pleased to welcome the Rev. Erin Jones as our Communications and Advocacy Engagement Manager.
Jones, an ELCA pastor serving in Southwestern Pennsylvania Synod since 2018, brings experience in advocacy, communications and ecumenical community-building justice work to the position.
“I’m beyond happy that Pastor Erin said ‘Yes’ to this new call,” said LAMPa Director Tracey DePasquale. The role itself is new, and the search was extensive, leaving the second ELCA Witness in Society staff position in the state vacant for two years since the churchwide restructuring. “In the process,” DePasquale said, “we were blessed to meet people with an incredible variety of gifts who are seeking to live out their faith in transformative ways. It’s a big job, requiring a challenging set of skills to find in one person.
“I’ve been so impressed with the collegiality, bold humility and commitment to accompaniment evident in the SWPA Synod teams working on hunger, creation care and housing, and particularly in efforts addressing racism and authentic diversity, with which Pastor Erin has been deeply involved,” DePasquale said. “I’ve had the opportunity to see her in action in the work that she will be facilitating with LAMPa. Our relationships in western Pennsylvania have always been strong, but having a staff member based there again will make it easier to stay connected and to support ministries on that side of the Alleghenies.”
However, Jones’ work will take her to Harrisburg and beyond, DePasquale said, as her work supports and equips the church’s advocacy across the Commonwealth. LAMPa staff, including an incoming hunger advocacy fellow, plan to visit with ministries in each of Pennsylvania’s seven synods in the coming months. Jones will get a running start at the role, which begins Aug. 28, as she has been serving on LAMPa’s policy council and active with the ELCA’s advocacy for years.
Bishop Kurt Kusserow gave Jones his blessing as he sang her praises: “I’m thrilled that Pastor Erin Jones has been called to bless the church through LAMPa as she brings wisdom, humility and courage to the important work of public advocacy.”
“I’m so excited to come on board as staff with LAMPa!” Jones said. “My faith is deeply shaped by the way I and the Church show up in the public sphere. The more engaged I am in justice work, advocating for policies that feed and house and affirm others, the more connected I feel to God’s vision of the kin-dom. I’ve incorporated lots of justice and advocacy work into my work as a parish pastor, from letter-writing Sundays to serving on policy councils in California and Pennsylvania. My preaching and teaching are often shaped by the ways in which disciples of Christ are called to speak God’s grace and justice into larger systems.”
A southern California native, Jones has deep roots in Lutheran life — having worked as program director for Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences in Oak Glen, CA, and served with Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Chicago – but her most recent work has been ecumenical. Since 2019, she has been serving the Hot Metal Bridge Faith Community, an ecumenical congregation on the south side of Pittsburgh “deeply dedicated to serving their neighbor through worship, meals shared, and a radical commitment to inclusion.”
“I’m so grateful to come on the LAMPa team, where I hope to be another point of connection for Lutheran congregations to enter in and enhance their work around advocacy and justice. My prayer is that being based in Pittsburgh gives us a new rooting in Western PA, and that congregations here can be more involved and active in the work LAMPa is doing.”
In addition to pastoring and serving on synod committees on discipline, stewardship and ecumenical affairs, Jones has also taught at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. She co-hosts and creates social media and website content for the podcast “Spirited Animation” which she produces with her husband, Dr. Tim Jones. They are parents of a three-year-old son, Griffin, and are expecting a second child in early October.
Jones received her bachelor’s degree in both religion and political science from St. Olaf College and earned a Master of Divinity degree from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. She is an alumna of Lutheran Volunteer Corps, where she served in Chicago as advocacy coordinator on Latin American foreign policy with the Chicago Religious Network of Latin America.
“Throughout my education and call, the intersection of my faith and political engagement has been central to my understanding of discipleship and how I am to work in the world,” said Jones.