Caminamos Juntos

An article from Grace Leader Rene Garcia on a new ministry of the church.

¡Caminamos Juntos!

We Walk Together!

With an abundance of joy I would like to introduce you to a new ministry, ¡Caminamos Juntos!/We Walk Together!

In partnership with my congregation, Grace Lutheran Church, I am answering God’s call to accompany El Buen Pastor Lutheran Church of Usulután, El Salvador in discussing and exploring issues related to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people.  Working directly with El Buen Pastor’s leader, Pastor Julio César Chávez Aguilar, I will facilitate discussions and conversations regarding what some would consider a challenging topic, especially within the context of Latin America.  My prayer is to offer one week per year to this beautiful community of faith which has opened its arms and hearts to me, a gay child of God.

As a regional coordinator of ReconcilingWorks – Lutherans for Full Participation, I bring a lot of experience in the areas of community organizing, one-to-one conversations, graceful engagement, and meeting individuals “where they are” among other skills, which have been used to assist local congregations in making the choice to become welcoming to all sexual orientations and gender identities.  All of these skills, along with my ability to fluently communicate in Spanish and a strong, working knowledge of Latin American culture, make me an uniquely qualified for this type of ministry.

What I am asking from you, my brothers and sisters in Christ, is for your prayerful, moral, spiritual, and financial support to assist me in making this ministry a reality.  Below  you will find the anticipated expenses for the first step of this journey which I have tentatively scheduled for June 13-20, 2013.

Airfare from Houston – San Salvador              $785
*Additional Baggage Fees                               $190
Car Rental                                                    $195
Gas                                                              $100
^Driver                                                         $200
+Food                                                           $300
Lodging                                                        $240
TOTAL ANTICIPATED EXPENSES                  $2,010

*Clothing and other items will be taken to donate to the people of El Buen Pastor.
^A driver will be required due to the extreme dangerous driving conditions in El Salvador.
+Due to the extreme poverty, it is necessary that when I have meals with the congregation I will need to provide money to feed those with whom I eat.

Please prayerfully consider financially supporting this pioneering ministry.  Your tax-deductible financial gifts can be sent to:
Grace Lutheran Church
2515 Waugh Drive
Houston, TX 77006
Please indicate in the memo:  El Salvador

If you would prefer you may make a gift online.  Please go to  Then click the blue “Donate Now” button, and finally indicate your gift in the “El Buen Pastor of El Salvador” section.

Thank you for considering assisting this ministry.  If you have any specific questions or would like to discuss this ministry in detail, please contact me at

Click here to read a piece that I wrote shortly after returning from El Salvador this past March.  I trust that my testimony will give you a better insight into the transforming experience that I had.

May God’s Peace be with you!
René M. García, Jr.