Pastor Lem Garcia began pastoring in 2009 at Grand Advent Church in his hometown of Oakland, CA. When the opportunity came to join the PUC community, he could not pass it up. Since October 2022, Pastor Garcia has been the associate pastor for worship and administration and feels blessed to be a part of an amazing pastoral team.
What made you decide to work at PUC?
The short answer is that God brought me here! The long answer is that I could not pass up the opportunity to join an amazing community and the group of professionals who collaborate to advance the mission of our college. This requires a lot of hard work, commitment, presence, and creativity to take on the challenges that come with ministry on a college campus. We are blessed to have an amazing pastoral team and I believe that together we can make a meaningful impact on the spiritual life of our campus and the wider community.
What makes pastoring a campus special to you?
I really enjoy being able to collaborate with very talented multi-disciplinary teams on various projects throughout the year. I also appreciate the energy and creativity that our students bring to the life of the college and church.
How do you stay connected with young people and be a mentor through their spiritual lives?
I think the secret sauce is authenticity, self-awareness, and presence. My job is not to be an expert on all spiritual or worship matters, but I am an expert on my own story and journey. Faith and spirituality require space for relating, asking questions, partaking, and expressing. It all begins with creating and holding space for us to journey together, and I’m quite passionate about doing that.
What goals do you have for the PUC church and community?
That we can be one, as Jesus prayed. Just as He is in the Father and the Father in Him, we are invited to be part of something bigger than ourselves. God invites us into a community because he exists and works in the community. I believe we begin to enjoy this oneness when we learn to behold God and each other.
What is your favorite thing about PUC?
After its people, definitely the location- the surrounding nature, the mountain, Napa Valley.
How can the PUC family support you as you minister to us?
Through prayer first and foremost. I also don’t mind Giugni’s or Gott’s!
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Visiting family and friends, working on my cars, growing my vinyl collection, going on bike rides, and finding new places to eat.