Pastor’s Corner Blog

September 2020
Where Do We Go from Here?

Probably there is a wish inside you (as it is in me) that everything would go back as it was before the pandemic. The reality is that nobody knows how that could happen, especially here in the US, as the pandemic is still continually active and dangerous. Maybe you have a wish inside you (the same one I have) that a vaccine will fix everything, and then we will forget all about this tragic episode for humanity. Even so, I think this time of pandemic is leaving a big scar (to say the least) in our communities and societies, taking lives and reminding us that we are, after all, humans and as such, vulnerable to sickness and death.

So, I wonder as we are in the middle of this situation and rushing into the last months of 2020, where do we go from here? Well, specifically as Nestor UMC or for that matter as the entire UMC, in the short term there will be a few more weeks of video worship, then a possible reopening with a limited number of people and live streaming, and then start to get ready for Christmas (because Christmas will still happen!) Then a few months later, we may be able to reactivate other in-person activities and hopefully finish negotiations with CORE and start the building project… and still, we will see what is next.

So, although remotely and taking precautions, our goal is to create a new normal where, as it was before, we can meet the spiritual needs of our congregation, we can minister in different ways to our community, and we can share the light of the Gospel to those in search of God.

Where do we go from here? I would say to reestablish our role as “the salt of the earth and the light of the world”. It may require us to take a different approach, with a lot of creativity and willingness to do things in a new way, but that is where we should be going in order to keep strengthening and sharing our faith with others.

I am asking you for your support, prayers and involvement so that we can keep being a light in the middle of our community of Nestor and beyond. Can I have an AMEN to that?

See you Sunday in video worship,

Pastor Luis

August 2020

“I was glad when they said to me,
    “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” Psalm 122:1

Psalm 122 is a Psalm that was used to be sung as pilgrims went to special festivities, particularly to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was the city where God promised his presence. So, we can have an idea of the meaning of this song for the people of Israel during exile. As people far away from their country remembered that Psalm, as they heard the stories of the pilgrimages and festivities… we cannot but imagine the pain and sorrow that they felt not to be able to go to the temple in Jerusalem and worship their Lord.

As you know, we are back in a lock down and not able to go back to worship in-person. While it isn’t possible to carry on social and family engagements, our hearts feel pain and sorrow as we are not able to go to church. And so, what to do in the meantime.

There is a short verse in Psalm 122 that has been passed on from generation to generation and when you walk through Jerusalem there are signs on the streets, handcrafts and stickers in stores, banners and pictures for sale with this verse, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.”

Meanwhile, we endure the pandemic and should be praying for peace! Peace in the world, peace in our cities, peace in our families and in our hearts. Pray for that peace that surpasses all understanding, so it can help us to endure the present with wisdom and care and to foresee a future of peace and healing.

I invite you to look and mediate on Psalm 122. And as I pray for peace in your hearts, I also pray for our congregation, our city and the world.

See you Sunday in “video worship”,


Pastor Luis 


June 2020

When Are We Coming Together?

This past Sunday I mentioned in the Video Worship that we are starting to discuss when and how we will get back to in-person worship. We have received guidelines from the government and recommendations for our Bishop Grant Hagiya and we are working on the process to prepare a comeback for activities in person at our church.

One big issue to consider though is the large number of people in our congregation in the high-risk category for Covid 19. So, we need to consider all factors as we plan a careful strategy so that when we come back it is safe and secure for EVERYONE who may attend.

Meanwhile, I would like to share this article by Jennifer Lee, our choir director, where she shares a testimonial on how even during times of crisis we can develop and move forward in ministry and strengthen our faith.


By Jennifer Lee

Good morning/afternoon/evening Nestor United Methodist. I was asked to share a brief testimony in written words of how God has been working in my life despite this season of struggle and pandemic in our world today.

I find myself a very introverted person normally. I like to keep to myself and spend time alone; however, with a little balance of having a social life. So, I am mostly introverted, but I need a little bit of extroverted energy to balance all the time I spend alone. This quarantine has taken away a lot of my regular routines away from me from my social life all the way to my life as a musician. Oftentimes, I find this quarantine socially depriving me, because of the social distancing rules and the quarantine regulations put in place for the safety of all of us. The inability to just simply fellowship in person has left me in the dark and has left me feeling even more lonely than what my introverted life has already been like.

Yet, I still know that God is working and that God is moving in my life even now. I thought I would be jobless, yet God is still sustaining my life with giving me the privilege to teach a few students who have agreed to take online lessons from me. Not to mention also this loving church has provided me with opportunities to express my praise to the Lord through music, despite this quarantine.

One big thing that God has been doing in my life is going back to praise, going back to the Lord. I have had the time to be able to listen to praise music and have found joy in translating Korean Contemporary Christian music (CCM) into English and English CCM into Korean. Despite the uncertainty, God has opened up doors for me to be able to be a performer and a true worshiper through means of youtube, livestream videos, and my gift of music. Going back to the things I loved doing and still love doing because it brings me closer to God is a life-long lesson that I feel God is always teaching me to do. God is working in ways that I do not understand and He is always filling my life with hope instead of fear. My life and dreams of being a performer, a musician, has not stopped just because the world has stopped. Instead, my life and dreams are continuing because God is my sustainer, my shelter, and my provider.

God has been faithful with me in how he leads me and there is a recurring theme. It is always to trust God. Although my life is not exactly as I planned it, I am filled with joy with the opportunities and the doors that God has opened for me to be able to express my love for God through music. I wouldn’t have imagined that in this time of quarantine that doing all that I was doing was even physically possible, yet God is faithful and He is my good Father. I don’t have to worry about making connections, trying to become famous, trying to find a job, trying to make a living. Yes I have worried, but in the end, worrying doesn’t do us any good. Instead, God has filled me with hope and joy to be His true worshiper through music and through my life. I may have monotonous days still, but I know one thing: I look forward to the opportunities to praise my God as God continues to work in my life.


May 2020

What Would be the New Normal?


As many people do in the morning, I get ready to work… shower, clean clothes, breakfast and so on… and these last 6 weeks I kept doing the same routine. I need to confess that like many people, I have been waiting for the time when we will go back to our normal life. But what will be our new normal life?

What is normal life anyway? Of course, it includes our daily duties, job, school, family, friends… etc. But at least for a few more weeks (I hope just a few) we will not return to our normal life, whatever that is, and eventually we are going to have a “new normal”. This virus, the smallest of the living organisms, is teaching us big lessons. Thinking about this and reflecting on what I have learned, there are a few things that have been evident during this time of pandemic.


“Then the Lord God formed man from the dust of the ground.” Gen. 2:7 – We have been (and will continue to be) divided as a human race by borders, race, color, language, etc. It is ironic that such a small thing as a virus has shown us that we are not only all physiologically similar but equally unequipped to deal with it.


“Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness…” Gen:1:26 – We are all the same in the eyes of God and it is certainly for everyone that “God loved the world (creation and humanity) in such a way that he gave his only begotten son”. I believe this pandemic has shown us that we are more similar than we would like to admit. Regardless of race or origin, geography or language, we have learned that this virus that kills (like many other sicknesses) does not discriminate based on our man-made divisions. But God’s love and kindness don’t discriminate either. Love and kindness can be spread “contagiously” if we choose to do that! Is it worth it to continue to distance ourselves based on race, language, and such? Or can we create a new and real universal family of God?


“The laborer deserves to be paid.” 1 Tim 5:18 – We have seen during these days the value of doctors, nurses, and first responders. But we have also seen the value of teachers, people working in the service area such as grocery stores and restaurants, and there is that “invisible” work force that has kept working through all of this, raising and harvesting the food from the fields. As part of the Interfaith Committee for Workers Justice, we have been pushing for years for a “living wage” for service workers. Now we can see why!

On the global level, wouldn’t it be great for both the producers of raw materials and providers of hand labor to receive a “living wage”?


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth…” Matt. 6:19 – This situation has uncovered a reality that humanity has lived with throughout history, regardless of the political or economic system. We as societies are still “storing treasures on earth.” It is evident that we depend on a system that needs production and spending of money. This pandemic has shown how dependent we are on money and has also shown the inequalities of the system. While from an economic perspective it seems to be normal to have inequality, from God’s perspective we are still storing treasures where they will be destroyed.


“For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good…” Matt. 5:45 – I think this a great opportunity to rewrite economic relationships. We have a great opportunity to rewrite the way our Christian faith takes into consideration those things that this pandemic has shown to be important, such as a more just, equal, kind and loving society. How can we as Christians provide or show the way to that kind of society?


As soon as we go back to “normal life” (whatever that is), once the new season of our favorite sport starts once again, or once we go back to our normal routines, I’m afraid that we are going to forget that we had a chance to rewrite personal relationship at all levels.

I know political and economic systems won’t change for a while and yet, isn’t this a great opportunity to think about a “new normal” where we can come closer to God’s view of the human race as He created us in His image and likeness? What do you think? How can we address the future so that we can become better people and better Christians after this pandemic? Think about a “new normal” that embraces love, care, forgiveness and life!

Please let me know your thoughts.


“In the rush to return to normal, use this time to consider which parts of normal are worth rushing back to” – David Hollis


See you this Sunday… in video worship,


Pastor Luis


April 2020

Dear Nestor Family,

We are in the second week of the lock down, and as you might know nobody know for sure when this will end. I hope you have enough supplies to go thru these days. In case you need some help, let us know by calling the church.

Meanwhile, I want to ask you something… Some of us at church are reaching out to members of the church with a phone call or an email, etc. We ask you to do the same, call a friend from church, especially those who you have not seen for a while. Share a bible verse, maybe a prayer, or maybe just chat, but let’s stay connected.

Also, if you are on Facebook, give a “like” to the Nestor United Methodist church page and you will receive messages and words of encouragement. If you don’t want to join FB, visit our web site. During this time, we will post some of the messages that you need to hear.

For now, I want to keep this short and remind you to pray five time a day, read five bibles verses and this week call or email 5 people as an act of kindness and love.


May God bless you and remember…

God is our refuge and strength,
    a very present[a] help in trouble. Psalms 46:1

May God bless you and protect you, see you soon. Pastor Luis

March 2020
The Future of the Church…


Lately I have been talking about the situation in the UMC and its future, both nationally and internationally. The fact that we will be splitting into at least two branches of the Methodist church is imminent. We won’t know about the details until after General Conference on May 2020 and the decisions that are made at Annual Conference. Recently I was talking to some Methodist friends whose parents (now deceased) were very active in the conference and at the national level. They said. “I’m glad my parents are not seeing what is happening. Knowing that the church is dividing would break their hearts.” Yes indeed, this is an unfortunate situation that I doubt anybody is enjoying.


Historically we (the Christian church) have done a “good job” dividing over doctrinal issues, practices, politics and even worship issues. And even as the Methodist church, we have suffered through several “divisions” and new denominations have been formed. If there is something, we can learn from the past it is that we will survive. Maybe it will be in a different organizational structure, but in the end God’s church will prevail. It might be with a different doctrinal stance, but we in the church will figure out how to remain faithful to our mission statement to make disciples for Christ.


I agree with the words of Rev Craig Brown: “I aspire to see the local church take center stage in our life together.”  The role of the local church is vital for the fulfillment of the mission of the church. But we cannot (should not) ignore the fact that the communities around churches are in constant change (society is in constant change). We as Nestor UMC have been working on returning to center stage in the life of our community and responding to the needs (both material and spiritual) and the reality of the population around our campus.


By the same token, I know it is hard to keep up with change and trying to reach new people. Most of us would prefer uniformity and a set routine, but in this land where God has invited us to do ministry, we are a diverse and multicultural community in need of God’s word. When I see that we are trying to do so many things that are new, I like to remember the words of Alvin Toffler: “You’ve got to think about the big things while you are doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction.”


Yes! Our mission is not only the sum of all the “small” things we do, but we try to do them with a purpose in mind… to be a nurturing place for ALL and make disciples for Christ! That is a big thing! And that is what we are called to do! Thank you for your participation, support and prayers.


See you Sunday in church,


Pastor Luis



February 2020
Confirmation Class

In the Methodist tradition we commit to raise our children in the faith by our example and teaching. I know! Raising children in the faith is not the same now as when we grew up. But we always have the help of our fellow sisters and brothers in the congregation to make this happen.

Confirmation is this time when we are reminded that we are the family of God and where all of us as sisters and brother in Christ come together to teach and lead with words and by example what Jesus asks us to do as we make new young disciples.

A good question to ask ourselves then is, “Am I a good Christian example to follow?” I hope the answer is a round sounding YES! So, confirmation is the process where the whole church is reminded once again that we all are on the same journey of faith. A journey where some are ahead, some are running, some are in the middle or resting from the journey to take a new breath, and some others are encouraging those who are tired.

So, the invitation is to pick up where we are and remember that we have a common mission in our church and that is to raise the “little ones” of the Lord in the faith. May God bless our congregation and the future leaders of the church.

For more information about Confirmation Class, please contact Jesse St. Clair or Kent Raysin.

See you Sunday in church…


Pastor Luis

January, 2020
God has been good, and we go for more…

 In January 1st, 2020, I will have 6 years and sixth months in ministry at Nestor UMC. We are seeing some of the seeds that we have planted timidly breaking the soil and starting to grow. During this time, we have redirected some of our ministries and, like one of my favorite’s bible verses says, we have “cast the net again”. Thanks be to God for what we see coming in the near future.

This edition of the Nestor Bell is full of pictures of activities during 2019 that remind us of the times of joy that we have had together this year. Some of the accomplishments that are more evident in this process have been in Worship and Music. We decided to combine Sunday worship services in English to one worship at 9:30 AM. Having more people in worship will most likely create a more uplifting experience, increase the fellowship, and better utilize our music resources. We are enjoying the ministry of talented young musicians and it definitively makes the worship service a special moment dedicated to praising God.

Along with this change in worship time, we had the opportunity to re-start our Sunday school classes for all ages. We revamped the Sunday School program with the addition of classes for adults in English and Spanish. Volunteer teachers have stepped up to this new opportunity to nurture disciples.


After several attempts in past years, this year we decided to raise the bar and hired a seminary-educated person to provide leadership for our “Young People’s Ministries”. We hired Jesse St. Clair part-time and she is rebuilding the youth group from scratch and is also in charge of the Homework Club that ministers to elementary students from the community and where middle school students are volunteering and developing leadership skills. Jesse has a new Youth Bible Study on Tuesdays and a monthly Youth Meeting has started. God has been good!


Through the hard work of Trustees and an ad hoc team, this year we closed the deal with CORE for the building of affordable housing that will be for people coming out of homelessness. I personally sensed
a sigh of relief by the congregation when this “not so small” miracle happened.


After several years of planting seeds and building a faithful group in the Thursday bible study in Spanish, this year we were able to begin a Sunday worship service in Spanish. The creation of a congregation that worships in Spanish within the midst of the larger congregation has created an exciting dynamic in the church as this ministry, like a small plant, has been prayed for, cared for, and hoped for by many of us. It is exciting to see how, little by little, new families have been added to the congregation. Praise be to God for his mercies!


…Yet, if you say so, I will let down the nets… Luke 5:5b. As a pastor friend said… (this is the) “biblical call to the revitalization of the Church”. All of the work mentioned above has been in coordination with our Committees, Ministries, staff and volunteers that work in the day-to-day and week-to-week activities in order to diligently support our church’s outreach. As the church continues to move in the direction it is taking, we hope to continue to see an overall numeric growth, and as we have dreamed,
we expect to see more young families and children connecting with our church. 


Thank you for your prayers and support and thanks be to God, for His mercies are new every morning.
And as always… see you Sunday in church! Happy New Year 2020!

Pastor Luis


December, 2019
Cast the Nets…

In our past Charge Conference, we reviewed this year’s work, and looked into some areas of ministry and finances for 2020 and years to come. As you know, on December 1st we will begin a new Sunday schedule. There will be one worship service in English followed by Sunday School for all ages and then worship in Spanish. As I was reminded a while ago, we “cast the nets” and pray that we can be “fishers of people.” (Matthew 4:19)

Our hope with this new schedule is to empower and strengthen worship in English. Our hope is to provide biblical teaching that is practical and that will help us to nurture disciples through our new Sunday School. And our hope is to nurture and develop our new ministry in Spanish.

This is what we are about these days. While we are “a nurturing place for all,” we continue to “make disciples for Christ”. That is the mission statement that we committed to years ago, and we reaffirm it still. Nobody knows what the future holds, but what we believe and pray for is that God will bless the work of our hands, the labor of our ministry, and the intentions of our hearts. For now, we cast the nets as we are “fishers of people”.

A special thank you to all of you that faithfully support the church with your pledges and have recommitted to support your church in 2020!

See you Sunday in church,

Pastor Luis


October 2019

Worship is for God…

 The development of worship in the Christian Church started as the new believers gathered to celebrate Holy Communion, from the Jewish tradition a hymn was sung, and the “new” Word of God was shared from the stories and teachings of Jesus. Worship has come a way long since then as today we experience a different kind of worship service that serves different traditions, cultures and even trends.

But despite the style and liturgy, worship is for God, and God is so good that he allows us to be blessed, nurtured, and filled. Worship touches the most intimate sentiments and feelings in our lives. That is why worship is a pillar of our spiritual experience.

The time has come for Nestor UMC to realize that we need to move from two worship services in English to one. Looking at the trend in attendance and listening to suggestions from families, I started to explore this possibility with our Worship Committee and the Christian Education Committee. We realize that moving to one worship in English might cause some inconvenience for some of you, and certainly will cause some pain to others, and we are sensitive to this. In both the Worship Committee and Christian Education Committee, we have weighed the options, considered the risks and foresee new opportunities that can open as we move to one worship service.

These findings were presented in our Ad. Council meeting a few days ago. Here is some of the thinking behind this new initiative.

  • A joint service will bring more people in worship together at the same time and this will bring more energy and fellowship to the worship experience.
  • Resources will be better utilized, especially in the area of music where we are adding the choir once a month and the praise band can be better utilized.
  • The whole family will be in worship and will create the opportunity for a children’s moment and activities for children during the sermon time.
  • Worship style will be a combination of both services.

One of the first questions is what time is best for the one worship service. Personally, I feel that in order to be fair to both groups we need to find a time in between the two we currently have. We are suggesting 9:30am for the one worship in English. (Worship in Spanish will remain at 11:30am.)

The other question is about Sunday School. The Christian Education Committee is creating a new plan for the Sunday School program with classes for children and youth (with children and youth from both the English and Spanish services together) and for adults (at least one class in English and one class in Spanish). So, we are creating new educational opportunities for the whole church! The idea is for the Sunday School classes to take place between the English and Spanish services, after the coffee fellowship time.

There is still a lot to be coordinated, but we are planning to start with this new model on December 1st which is the first Sunday of Advent. For now, we will keep you informed and, in the meantime, please pray for this new initiative as it is being developed.

Any question or comment, please contact me, Pastor Luis.


Blessings, and see you Sunday in church,

Pastor Luis


September, 2019
I See a New Church…

In the recent survey, where I got the opinions of the congregation on several different issues, there was an interesting comment about the question “What is your major fear regarding ministry and mission in our congregation or the nationwide UMC?” This member mentioned the future of the UMC as a whole… “will our church split off?” (that is, at the national level).

Well, it is still hard to predict what is going to happen at the conference and national levels. We recently received a letter from our Bishop Grant Hagiya where he shares his own concerns about this…


“We are going through a time of dislocation, disorientation and disconnection. Every level of our church is feeling this anxiousness and yet deep in my soul, I feel that God is stirring in our midst. Something is emerging, and a fresh wind of the Spirit is blowing even as I write this. What God has in store for us is a mystery and yet my hope is that all of us, laity, clergy and churches will help usher in the new that will break forth.”


Bishop Hagiya has called each individual congregation to (and I quote)…


“This is the very reason for my request that each of our California-Pacific Annual Conference local churches take time to vision what their church will look like to their own congregation, their neighborhood and community. Under the tagline: ‘I See a New Church,’ what will your church look like and embody in your local community? This is a chance for all of us to participate in the fresh wind from God that is blowing for our whole United Methodist denomination.”


I’m convinced that in the Methodist Church “we think and let people think” our issues. Since congregations have different issues than other UM congregations, we now have a new opportunity to re-vision the future of our church.


You will receive more information about the next steps in this process, and I personally invite you to share your ideas and dreams around questions like the ones below.

What central mission and purpose is your church called to at this time?

What is the central need of your neighborhood and surrounding community?

How can your church fulfill its purpose in “Making Disciples for the Transformation of the World?”

What compelling missional message would relate to the non-churched people living in your community?

Who is God calling your church to be?


One last thing…I concur with Bishop Hagiya when he says… “By tackling the creation of this vision, we just might be remaking the very core of our churches and setting the stage for new ministries to emerge far into the future.” And so be it!


See you Sunday in church,


Pastor Luis



Dear Nestor Family,                                                                   8/14/19

I wanted to share something that has really bothered me for a while. Last week as I heard about the shootings in El Paso and as the days passed and I learned from the news that the person who committed this barbaric act said, ” I want to get rid of as many ‘Mexicans’ as possible”. As the days pass, this unsettling feeling made me write these lines, so please bear with me.

Once people start referring to humans as nothing and think they can take away their dignity by insults, mockery, verbal abuse and such, somehow, beyond civil standards (not even touching Christian values), the inhumanity of these thoughts and actions are not only evil but sickening beyond imagination. Imagine then the level of inhumanity, desecration of life when somebody, as in the case of El Paso shooting, takes the life of people because their origin or color of their skin.

These kinds of thoughts and feelings, that some people are better than others because of their place of birth or because of the color of skin are not new, especially where we live. The political rhetoric has ignited a new wave or “unquenching fire” that feeds anger, xenophobia, hate, retaliation, and a false sense of superiority, not only in front of the law but in front God.

As a native of Mexico and with strong family ties and culture to that country, this situation is not only sad but scary. As a pastor in a congregation in the middle of a community where more than 70% are Hispanics, this situation is upsetting and troubling. Even more so when we are developing a new ministry to bring the Gospel in Spanish.

But being sad, scared, upset, or troubled does not prevent me (us) from the scripture, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.” Rom.12:21

Personally, I have experienced expressions of hate, mockery, and retaliation because of my color, my origin, and my accent. I don’t wish for anyone to experience this and that is why, despite other actions that you might take to address the issue of xenophobia and ethnic violence in our society, I invite you to “overcome evil with good” starting in our place of worship at Nestor United Methodist Church.

So, what can we do?

I previously shared with you the email from our District Superintendent (and it is attached here as well) where he is calling on all congregations to procure and provide a “community of acceptance that values the unique gifts which with God has endowed each person, each race and each culture.”

I not only join this effort but invite you to join as well, to seek out relationships among our church members based on our common vision and our shared spiritual journey. I urge you to begin at your home church, but also extend this into our community, to begin a new era of relationships of kindness and conversation. Let’s focus on the big issue of a Gospel that is for everyone! Let’s explore new ways to share how this Good News that was sealed with Jesus’ blood can transform hate into love, and where we see people of all kinds, origins, or races as human beings made in God’s image.

Let us be in prayer…

Pastor Luis

Nestor UMC

August, 2019
The Big Five – Our Commitment to God and the Congregation

    During the last Annual Conference our Bishop, Grant Hagiya; invited congregations to come together and discern, discuss, and even dream about the kind of church that we want to be in the future. We as a congregation are joining this process in order to be renewed and reach that place where we fully and completely rely on God’s guidance and let God’s will and purpose be made real through us, with us, and even despite us.

Now, as part of this reflection process, I think a good way to start would be to review our church’s plans and dreams, and in order to do that you are receiving a little survey that I ask you to fill out and bring to church. If you already responded, many thanks and if you want to add something else, you are welcome to do so.

Another aspect that I thought important in this process is to revisit and review the commitments that each of us have made when we became members of this congregation: prayers, presence, gifts, service, and witness, I will call these new member commitments “The Big 5”.

We are in the middle of a sermon series I am calling “The Big 5” where we are revisiting those commitments that we made as members of this congregation. These commitments keep the church of God moving as each one of us grows in our spiritual journey.

We want to become people of prayer, active participants in worship and activities, offering to God our gifts and talents, contributions and tithes. In response to these actions bringing fruit as we are involved in active service to our neighbor and respond to the call to make disciples of Christ.

I invite you to follow the sermon series, read the emails, and reignite your commitment to pray, to be present, to be a cheerful giver, and to share your faith in words and deeds.

See you Sunday in church!


Thank you!

Pastor Luis and his family wanted to thank you for your prayers and support as we begin our 7th year of ministry in this congregation. We thank God for the opportunity to serve him and expand God’s kingdom on earth from this corner of the world that we call home.


July 2019
It is summer! Not that the workload is less but it is summer, and we relax a little. So, I want to share the following lines as an honest attempt at humor…


A Tribute to a Faithful One

I tip my hat to you, old and faithful, little dirty white coffee maker. You have finished the course of your journey! You suddenly took your last breath one Saturday morning, ironically on Garage Sale day! The strength of your circuits could not finish your task of making yet another pot of coffee… your last one.

When did you come to us? Who cares! Because until the last drop of coffee that you warmly dripped into the coffee pot, many people tasted a sip of your transformational work of art from some ground coffee beans mixed with water and fused by the warmth of your energy!

No! You were not the star coffee maker. You didn’t show up at special functions or even for the traditional Sunday morning coffee. You were mostly a backup and kept in a corner. But you were there, ready and waiting. We knew where to find you when we needed for you to provide a tasty hot beverage for an occasional committee meeting or an informal reunion. You were particularly and especially appreciated on those cold early mornings when it was still dark, and you provided a wake-up cup of coffee for a random sleepy shelter volunteer!

Yes, you were there, never complaining that nobody cared to clean your stains that evidently became part of your personality. Because you! Yes, you, old and faithful little dirty white coffee maker. You were unique, and YOU WILL BE REMEMBERED (and of course, replaced for a newer, cleaner, eco-friendly model). But still! You will be remembered for years to come!

Prayers for Wisdom
June 2019


During this month of June, we will have our Annual Conference in Redlands CA. This is our Conference’s main meeting where many different issues are addressed, along with times for study, legislation, worship and renewal.

If from the moment you read this newsletter until Annual Conference we don’t hear anything different, on July 1st I will be starting my 7th year as your pastor. As with the beginning of any new year, the moment invites us to review our congregation’s ministry and explore new possibilities.

It is important to mention that we are closer and closer to reaching a deal with CORE for the Senior Housing Project and, although the actual building of the project will take time to start, we can start planning around the fact that in the near future we will have a big ministry that will beautifully transform our church campus and provide new opportunities for ministry.

In the meantime, we need to prepare different areas of our ministry. During June and July, I will be meeting with individuals, committees and ministries to discuss how each and every ministry is trying to reach our mission of being “a nurturing place for ALL, making disciples for Christ”.

At the moment, a good way for each one of us to support this church is with our prayers! Pray for the UMC, for our Annual Conference to have wisdom in every decision, for our beloved Nestor UMC. Pray, so we can close the deal with CORE, pray for each and every ministry of our church including the new worship service in Spanish. God willing, we will see the fruits of our prayers and labor.

There is gratitude in my heart for the support and prayers for me and my family, prayers that enable us to continue ministry in this place that we call church and in this community that we call home.

See you Sunday in Church.

Pastor Luis


April 2019

On the Road to Calvary

As we have been walking through Lent following Jesus, we have found profound lessons and inspiring examples of how Jesus put his faith into practical actions of love, compassion, obedience and grace. We might say, “Well, that was Jesus the son of God, that was easy for him.” But as we consider and look at the mystery of his God/human nature, we can see hints of how difficult this road was for him, especially as we approach Jerusalem and the Holy Week.

“Not my will but yours.” The God/human nature of Jesus cannot be explained as a dual personality, that is, two persons in one. It is a mystery indeed, but what we can see is the human struggling with human issues, for example the misunderstanding of his disciples, the merciless attitudes of the authorities, and the indifference of the religious people to share his message of mercy and love.

At the same time, we see the Godly nature of Jesus as he “walked the talk” and through his lessons, examples, and practical actions, showed that he certainly was the son of God!

As we approach Jerusalem, we will inevitably get to that point when we start walking with Jesus on the road to Calvary. By then we will see Jesus in an attitude of complete obedience and surrender to the will of God.

What have we learned from this season? What have we learned on this road to Jerusalem? My prayer is that as we approach Calvary, we are ready to understand the will of God and to surrender ourselves to His will.

See you Sunday in church,

Pastor Luis

March 2019
The Way Forward

As I’m writing this article, I’m connected via internet to the historic General Conference of the United Methodist Church in St. Louis MO. After a long study of “The Way Forward” commission, several options were suggested by the commission regarding the issue of human sexuality, and this special General Conference will decide which way to go forward. You can read more about the issues at or at

John Wesley said, “We think and let (others) think.” We are around eight million United Methodist people in the United States and another four million in different countries around the world. Twelve million people have a lot of ideas and opinions! Churches face unique situations and multiple factors in their places of ministry that determine the way the church should move forward. While things are still being decided, nobody at this time knows what the aftermath of this General Conference will bring to our beloved UMC as a whole.

One of the most frequent questions is… how is this going to affect the local congregation? That is exactly what we will see in the future. For now, I can say that as Nestor UMC, in the last 5 years we have been dealing with our own issues and conflicts, our dreams and vision, our possibilities and challenges.

We continue to look for new ways to serve and do ministry. The CORE Nestor project has been approved by the District, so our prayer is that doors can be opened for the financing for this project. At the same time, we recently “cast the net” and started a new worship service in Spanish, responding to the fact that almost 75% of the population around our campus is Hispanic. It is proven that when you start a new ministry in a church (and particularly a new worship service) the other ministries also benefit as there is more exposure and interest from the community. This is not a recipe, but I’m a firm believer that if we are faithful to our mission of being a nurturing place for all, making disciples for Christ, God will bless the intention of our hearts and the work of our hands.

Finally, I’m blessed to see the response of the congregation with donations for several ministries that the Methodist Church of Mexico has for deportees. We also have several members in our congregation that are volunteering at the Safe Harbors ministry in San Diego, providing support for refugees.

My prayer is for wisdom, vision and that God might bless the intention of our hearts and the work of our hands.

See you Sunday in church,

Pastor Luis

February 2019

Days of New Beginnings

As I am walking in the intricate streets of the old city of Jerusalem. I arrive to an apparently regular street that looks like any other street, but then I see that this street goes up… up to Calvary.

This is the traditional Via Dolorosa, the street that it is believed Jesus walked, carrying the cross to Calvary.  Along the street you can stop at certain stations that commemorate both the three passages that happened in the Bible as well as others that are traditional and believed happened that day.

It is Friday afternoon, so part of the city has slowed down because of the Jewish Sabbath. There is a feeling of quiet, reflection, and meditation. During this pilgrimage, the Bible readings that I have read many times have a special meaning as I can put together places, people and events. Events both of sorrow and pain as well as of joy and hope.

That is one of the lessons I have learned from this pilgrimage. The road is still uncertain and many times goes uphill. Am I willing to walk this way? Although it can be hard, there’s so much joy and hope at the end of the road. We have a message that in the end happened “on the third day”. It was a day of new beginnings!

Shalom. See you Sunday in church!  


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