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Nestor United Methodist is a nurturing center

You won’t find God in Hell

Luis Garcia: “We are a mutual community, a nurturing center for all, making disciples for Christ.”
Luis Garcia: “We are a mutual community, a nurturing center for all, making disciples for Christ.”
Place

Nestor United Methodist Church

1120 Nestor Way, Imperial Beach

Membership: 150 (attendance: 100)

Pastor: Luis Garcia

Age: 53

Born: Monterrey, Mexico

Formation: State University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena

Years Ordained: 14

San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Luis Garcia: Faith. If we are believers, I want to know how is the faith going to help our relationship with God and neighbor. Our faith leads us into the direction of God and also to our responsibility to people around us, our family, our church fellows but also community around us and even the worldwide community.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PG: I tell people that it was not a specific moment but a progression of events. For example, my college education led me to work in the community and from that work I saw the need to minister. I realized that this is what I need to be doing and so I went to seminary and discovered that I liked to do mission and pastoral work at the same time. Through the practice of pastoral ministry, now I know this is where I need to be.

SDR: Why Methodist denomination?

PG: I was a nominal Catholic in Mexico, and certainly through one of my sisters, I discovered the Bible and went to a youth camp. In this case Jesus wanted a closer relationship with me, and I was 17 years old and almost ready to go to college. It became a very definite foundation for my faith. That was in Mexico. It was a different story here in the States. Although there were other churches around the one I started going to was a Methodist church and I began learning about John Wesley, who started the Methodist movement. As Methodists, we have a connection to social responsibility in the community and the world.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PG: We are a mutual community, a nurturing center for all, making disciples for Christ. In that sense, the church has been playing a nurturing role in the community through ministries to the food pantry we have in connection with Metro, a city nonprofit organization, and also through cultural sense of the arts, especially the community arts…. We hope that we are a nurturing center and as Christians we need to be examples of Christ to the world.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PG: If we accept Christ and live according to his word we will live in an afterlife in the presence of God. As Christians, we accept Christ when we know him and walk with him. How does that happen in other cultures or other religions? I don’t know. I only can speak for my religion: “I am the way, the truth and the life” and that means for everyone. “I am the way,” Christ says, and that way is open to everyone, even those not exposed. They also have to make the decision to follow Christ. That’s not my decision to make for them. At the same time there are people in hell, although how hell is going to be is not a question I can answer. One thing I do know is that hell is the place where God is not — he is not there. Hell is the absence of God.

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Luis Garcia: “We are a mutual community, a nurturing center for all, making disciples for Christ.”
Luis Garcia: “We are a mutual community, a nurturing center for all, making disciples for Christ.”
Place

Nestor United Methodist Church

1120 Nestor Way, Imperial Beach

Membership: 150 (attendance: 100)

Pastor: Luis Garcia

Age: 53

Born: Monterrey, Mexico

Formation: State University of Nuevo Leon, Mexico; Fuller Theological Seminary, Pasadena

Years Ordained: 14

San Diego Reader: What is your favorite subject on which to preach?

Pastor Luis Garcia: Faith. If we are believers, I want to know how is the faith going to help our relationship with God and neighbor. Our faith leads us into the direction of God and also to our responsibility to people around us, our family, our church fellows but also community around us and even the worldwide community.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PG: I tell people that it was not a specific moment but a progression of events. For example, my college education led me to work in the community and from that work I saw the need to minister. I realized that this is what I need to be doing and so I went to seminary and discovered that I liked to do mission and pastoral work at the same time. Through the practice of pastoral ministry, now I know this is where I need to be.

SDR: Why Methodist denomination?

PG: I was a nominal Catholic in Mexico, and certainly through one of my sisters, I discovered the Bible and went to a youth camp. In this case Jesus wanted a closer relationship with me, and I was 17 years old and almost ready to go to college. It became a very definite foundation for my faith. That was in Mexico. It was a different story here in the States. Although there were other churches around the one I started going to was a Methodist church and I began learning about John Wesley, who started the Methodist movement. As Methodists, we have a connection to social responsibility in the community and the world.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PG: We are a mutual community, a nurturing center for all, making disciples for Christ. In that sense, the church has been playing a nurturing role in the community through ministries to the food pantry we have in connection with Metro, a city nonprofit organization, and also through cultural sense of the arts, especially the community arts…. We hope that we are a nurturing center and as Christians we need to be examples of Christ to the world.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PG: If we accept Christ and live according to his word we will live in an afterlife in the presence of God. As Christians, we accept Christ when we know him and walk with him. How does that happen in other cultures or other religions? I don’t know. I only can speak for my religion: “I am the way, the truth and the life” and that means for everyone. “I am the way,” Christ says, and that way is open to everyone, even those not exposed. They also have to make the decision to follow Christ. That’s not my decision to make for them. At the same time there are people in hell, although how hell is going to be is not a question I can answer. One thing I do know is that hell is the place where God is not — he is not there. Hell is the absence of God.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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