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Pastor Joseph Castañeda Carrera to serve as Assistant to the Bishop for Authentic Diversity and Ethnic-Specific Ministries

We are pleased to announce that The Rev. Joseph Castañeda Carrera will continue his ministry within this synod as Assistant to the Bishop for Authentic Diversity and Ethnic-Specific Ministries.  Earlier this year, the SWCA Synod Council approved a resolution to add this new ministry into the work of the SWCA Synod. This staffing decision has been a work-in-progress in SWCA Synod for many months. Beginning September 16, 2020, the position is secured until August 31, 2021, the last day of this transitional interim time. When a new Bishop takes office on September 1, 2021, that person will decide how best to staff the SWCA Synod’s Office of the Bishop for the years to come. Pastor Castañeda Carrera will embrace this shared-time synod staff position as he carries on his work as Mission Developer with Adore LA. He will remain with Hollywood Lutheran in a pulpit supply agreement until an interim is appointed.

As Pastor Castañeda Carrera begins his work, he and we together as the SWCA Synod staff will keep you informed and appeal for your participation and support. Please offer a word of prayer for Pastor Castañeda Carrera, for all of us on the SWCA Synod Staff and our partners within the ELCA, and pray for our Christ-centered mission together in one of the most pluralistic places on earth. May God give us all the faith, hope, and love we need each day to meet the challenges before us in these times.

Bishop Murray D. Finck


Nos complace anunciar que el Reverendo Joseph Castañeda Carrera continuará su ministerio dentro de estesínodo, como Asistente del Obispo para la Diversidad Auténtica y Ministerios Étnicos Específicos.  A principios de este año, el Consejo sinodal aprobó una resolución para agregar esta nueva descripción del ministerio a la labor del Sínodo SWCA. Esta decisión sobre el personal ha sido un trabajo en curso en el Sínodo SWCA durante muchos meses. A partir de hoy, la posición está asegurada hasta el 31 de agosto de 2021, el último día de este tiempo intermedio de transición. Cuando un nuevo obispo asuma el cargo el 1 de septiembre de 2021, esa persona decidirá la mejor manera de tener personal en la Oficina del Obispo del Sínodo para los años venideros.

El pastor Castañeda Carrera adoptara esta posición sinodal de tiempo compartido y continuara su trabajo como Desarrollador de Misión con Adore LA. El continuara predicando los domingos en Hollywood Lutheran como pastor provisional hasta que se designe un pastor interino para ellos.

Al comenzar esta posición, se están estableciendo objetivos en colaboración con los otros miembros del personal para satisfacer las necesidades del ministerio diverso e inclusivo del Sínodo SWCA. También se abordarán las iniciativas y resoluciones aprobadas por la Asamblea Nacional de la Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América. A medida que el Pastor Castañeda Carrera comience su trabajo, él y nosotros juntos como el personal del Sínodo SWCA los mantendremos informados y solicitaremos su participación y apoyo.

Sus comentarios a estos mensajes semanales son bienvenidos, y agradezco a  aquellos de ustedes  que se han comunicado y comentado en el pasado.

Obispo Murray D. Finck


About Pastor Joseph Castañeda Carrera

I am Joseph, child of Yolanda, who enjoys radical laughter with our Creator. Child of George, who creates intimate, rooted music alongside our Creator. I have her curiosity & wild sense of humor and his insatiable desire to connect and to love always more deeply. They gave me my first and longest family, & they taught me how to form new family and community. I end my emails with, “Blessings & warmth, Rev. Joseph Castañeda Carrera, MPP,” but I never introduce myself this way in-person. I make art that notices people and the world longing for God’s abundant presence and aching for the sacred joy of God’s inclusion, diversity, innovation, connection, creation, and compassion. One of my greatest commitments is discerning the same people who long as I serve as pastor. I balance being a pastor of beloved people in outrageously different contexts and reaching for the vision of being one church together; when it gets difficult, I laugh or I cry. Since 2016, I have served as pastor developer of ADORE LA, a queer faith community experiencing God in unconventional ways and Hollywood Lutheran Church since a year later. I have served as a coordinator or member of many synod, churchwide, and community committees and boards over the last decade, including the Strategic, Authentic Diversity Task Force, the Authentic Diversity Advisory Team, the McCune Foundation’s Community Organizing Institute planning team, Oxnard’s Community Relations Commission, and Latino Lutheran Netword for Diversity. Prior to ordained ministry, I have worked beside many different people to stir up change in the world, failing and succeeding throughout the journey. I served as executive director and in various positions for over ten years at El Centrito Family Learning Centers, an organization committed to multilingual and multicultural education and community organizing. And prior to that had many experience in other nonprofit organizations as well as serving in the Peace Corps in Ecuador. I am an alumni of UCLA, CSUN, PLTS, and the University of Birmingham (England). I have two lovely, sassy dogs, Remy and Pippy. My spouse Jaffa and family make life better and an adventure of discovering mystery and responding to God’s Will.