Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.

The 21st Century Church

A Letter from Cesar Carhuachin, serving in Colombia

Write to César Carhuachín

IndividualsGive online to E200425 for César Carhuachín’s sending and support

Congregations: Give to D507559 for César Carhuachín’s sending and support

Churches are asked to send donations through your congregation’s normal receiving site (this is usually your presbytery)

Subscribe to my co-worker letters

Greetings from Colombia to all my friends and supporters of God´s mission in Colombia!

I am very excited that I will be in the States for several months beginning June 19. I will be on interpretation assignment (IA) sharing stories about God´s mission in Colombia, and how our church partner, the Presbyterian Church of Colombia, is working for peace in a context of violence. I will stay in Louisville, Kentucky, but I also plan to stop in Washington State, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Maryland and North Carolina. Please pray for me as I drive from one place to the next! If your congregation is in or near one of these states and you would like me to visit on a weekday or weekend, please contact me at

On the other hand, I am sad to say that as of this date, the post-conflict mood in Colombia is uneasy. Some former FARC (Colombian Revolutionary Armed Forces) guerrillas feel that signing the Peace Agreement was a mistake. This is not because they do not want peace, but because the current Colombian government has not yet implemented the agreement. It is unclear what the social-political scenario will look like under its implementation. The Presbyterian Church of Colombia is working with other faith communities and church allies to press for the agreement’s implementation. When I talk with people on the bus or in the street, I find that opinions about the Peace Agreement are divided. The main concerns of the majority of the people is the re-introduction of former guerrilla members into society without punishment and their inclusion as members of the National Congress. These two mandates were part of the original Peace Agreement. Judging from all the current discussion on these matters, peace is something we must continue to work and pray for. We ask the U.S. to please join us in praying for peace in Colombia.

César presenting at the Human Sexuality, Gender and Diversities Gathering.

In other news, in late May the Reformed University — where I serve as professor of Bible and Theology — co-sponsored with the United Church of Canada an international gathering on “Human Sexuality, Gender and Diversities” at our school. We hosted 30 speakers from countries such as Canada, Mexico, Costa Rica, Cuba, Brazil, Peru, Argentina and Colombia (from the cities of Bogota, Cali, Medellin, Barranquilla and Valledupar). The purpose of the gathering was to hear the voices and experiences of LGBTQ people in daily life and in their faith communities. We had a wonderful time sharing and learning about LGBTQ issues and how they relate to church life in Latin America, sometimes creating conflict. Most churches in this region do not accept the sexuality of LGBTQ people. Other church groups will show tolerance but won’t accept LGBTQ people in church leadership. Yet other church groups are 100% inclusive, open to receiving LGBTQ people in the church and having them serve as pastors. I was invited by our university to address the gathering. My piece was titled “Judah and Tamar: A Criticism of Established Society from the Minority Group Perspective,” based on Genesis 38. This international gathering on sexuality is the first of its kind in Latin America. The gathering made a great impact on our school faculty and student body: professors and students have been discussing issues of inclusion in the halls, with some in favor and others against it. Please pray that our Reformed University will talk about this sensitive issue with love and respect for each other, maintaining a Christian spirit.

Groups collaborate at the Pastoral Training and Evangelization workshop.

On May 31 and June 1, the Central Presbytery held a workshop on Pastoral Training and Evangelization. About five people from each of seven churches attended. I was invited to lead the training. My focus was on the following questions: Why are we losing people from our churches? Where are our outreach activities for people who don’t go to church? Why are we not growing the way that other congregations are? What do we need to do differently as pastors and elders in order to grow? We tackled these questions in seven working groups, each one a different congregation. There was great conversation and beneficial recommendations from each group. It was amazing to watch people talk and reflect on these issues. We decided that church activities that bring in new people include meals and the discussion of family issues, to which people relate more readily than speeches about religion. Activities that attract people, even those who do not attend church often, might be centered around occasions such as Mother’s Day, Easter, Christmas, Pentecost, a church anniversary, etc. Traditional weekday Bible studies might have poor attendance. I invited participants to be intentional in generating events that draw people to church, and to craft interactions that will keep visitors interested in church life. This group of 35 was greatly energized. Please pray for Central Presbytery congregations as they seek to connect with their neighbors and grow.

I want to thank you for your prayers and financial support, for they allow our PC(USA) mission co-workers to serve around the world. Your support helps me to minister in Colombia, teach Bible and Theology at the Reformed University, preach in churches, lead Bible studies and workshops, and accompany our brothers and sisters as they strive to be disciples of Christ in an atmosphere of violence. I hope to see many of you in person during my Interpretation Assignment in the U.S.

Peace and Grace,

César Carhuachín

Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

  • Subscribe to the PC(USA) News

  • Interested in receiving either of the PC(USA) newsletters in your inbox?