Pastor Gus Vinajeras has been serving for several years as the pastor for the congregation of Santa Maria (in Exile) for those members of the original Santa Maria in Irving that did not want to leave the ELCA. Through a long and complicated relationship, Gus has been their stable spiritual leader. Because they were without their church building, the congregation of Holy Trinity opened their doors to share their building with the congregation.
Pr. Vinajeras has been planning his retirement for a while to his new home in Argentina. This has coincided with the merging of the former displaced congregation with the Holy Trinity congregation that welcomed them years ago. They are now one blended congregation with two expressions. Today was Pr. Gus’ last Sunday with them. I was blessed to be with them for his sending.
We had a sending blessing at both the English language worship and the Spanish language service. At the latter, it was particularly moving as most of the worshipers came up to gather around to lay hands on him for his blessing. I did not have my camera with me to capture that moment, but it was truly an expression of love.
After worship, everyone gathered for an excellent lunch featuring freshly grilled fajitas. Pr. Gus will board his plane on Tuesday we’ll fed and we’ll loved. He will be missed!