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Trinity Fellowship: making the invisible God visible

Jesus loves sinners

Church Patrick
Church Patrick

Trinity Fellowship Church

  • Contact: 4110 Palm Ave., San Diego 619-690-5286 www.trinityfellowshipcrc.com
  • Membership: 30
  • Neighborhood: South Bay
  • Pastor:  Patrick Guarracino
  • Age: 60
  • Born: North Bergen, NJ
  • Formation: Rutgers University, Newark; Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.
  • Years Ordained: 2016

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Pastor Patrick Guarracino: I spend about six to eight hours and usually begin on Wednesday night or Thursday. My sermons are mostly biblically based; they’re not topical, although I certainly make it applicable to the needs of the people. But it’s very important that the sermons gospel-centered. The focus tends to be on how Christ fulfills the text throughout scripture, and that’s how they usually come out.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PG: Jesus loves sinners. He loves sinners and came to save the lost. There is no greater message than that — that God has made a way through Christ to redeem the world. I say that over and over as many times as I can with every sermon. I think it’s the golden thread – there has to be good news in each text because that’s what the gospel is. So even when I’m preaching a depressing text, there’s still good news in it, and I look for that.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PG: Because I’m crazy! I just felt the pull for so long that I resisted. Part of this was due to self-confidence and part was immaturity. But when the time was right, I said, “Yes.” And God confirmed that it was the right choice. Who knows? Growing up in Hudson County, NJ, I wasn’t trained to be a pastor but God has his hand in me and took me places. He’s already done more than I could ever ask or imagine.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PG: We’re a changing congregation; we’re small and realize we are a small church among many bigger churches. Our niche is the alternative: we are attractive to people who do not feel like they’ll fit in a larger context. We’re personal and family-oriented. People can be known with us. We know who we are and recently we talked together about what our mission is. Basically, we want to make the invisible God visible through Jesus in us. It’s very simple. We want to become his hands and feet, however he directs us to do that.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PG: God pops up when I’m running from him, when I’m in my sins, and that is so unexpected that it takes me by surprise. It makes me believe that he’s good and he loves me.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PG: We go into the presence of the Lord. At some point, we will all be in the presence of the Lord. I believe those who have placed their faith and trust in him, go into the presence of the Lord and are with him. Those who have not done that will also go into the presence of the Lord and stand on their own merit. So either you stand on the merit of Christ or you stand on your own merit. Then God takes it from there. We’re all separated from God from birth, but those who stand on their own merit will continue to be in that separation. Whether that separation will be an eternal judgment or eternal separation from God, I believe that’s what some people call hell. According to scripture, there is a hell that unfortunately is real.

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Church Patrick
Church Patrick

Trinity Fellowship Church

  • Contact: 4110 Palm Ave., San Diego 619-690-5286 www.trinityfellowshipcrc.com
  • Membership: 30
  • Neighborhood: South Bay
  • Pastor:  Patrick Guarracino
  • Age: 60
  • Born: North Bergen, NJ
  • Formation: Rutgers University, Newark; Westminster Theological Seminary, Philadelphia.
  • Years Ordained: 2016

San Diego Reader: How long do you spend writing your sermon?

Pastor Patrick Guarracino: I spend about six to eight hours and usually begin on Wednesday night or Thursday. My sermons are mostly biblically based; they’re not topical, although I certainly make it applicable to the needs of the people. But it’s very important that the sermons gospel-centered. The focus tends to be on how Christ fulfills the text throughout scripture, and that’s how they usually come out.

SDR: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

PG: Jesus loves sinners. He loves sinners and came to save the lost. There is no greater message than that — that God has made a way through Christ to redeem the world. I say that over and over as many times as I can with every sermon. I think it’s the golden thread – there has to be good news in each text because that’s what the gospel is. So even when I’m preaching a depressing text, there’s still good news in it, and I look for that.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PG: Because I’m crazy! I just felt the pull for so long that I resisted. Part of this was due to self-confidence and part was immaturity. But when the time was right, I said, “Yes.” And God confirmed that it was the right choice. Who knows? Growing up in Hudson County, NJ, I wasn’t trained to be a pastor but God has his hand in me and took me places. He’s already done more than I could ever ask or imagine.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PG: We’re a changing congregation; we’re small and realize we are a small church among many bigger churches. Our niche is the alternative: we are attractive to people who do not feel like they’ll fit in a larger context. We’re personal and family-oriented. People can be known with us. We know who we are and recently we talked together about what our mission is. Basically, we want to make the invisible God visible through Jesus in us. It’s very simple. We want to become his hands and feet, however he directs us to do that.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PG: God pops up when I’m running from him, when I’m in my sins, and that is so unexpected that it takes me by surprise. It makes me believe that he’s good and he loves me.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PG: We go into the presence of the Lord. At some point, we will all be in the presence of the Lord. I believe those who have placed their faith and trust in him, go into the presence of the Lord and are with him. Those who have not done that will also go into the presence of the Lord and stand on their own merit. So either you stand on the merit of Christ or you stand on your own merit. Then God takes it from there. We’re all separated from God from birth, but those who stand on their own merit will continue to be in that separation. Whether that separation will be an eternal judgment or eternal separation from God, I believe that’s what some people call hell. According to scripture, there is a hell that unfortunately is real.

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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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