Introducing our Summer Minister, Pastor Nathan Gonzalez. Get to know him through a series of essays sharing various insights and wisdom in his own words.

Finding Hope in Our Community

Finding Hope in Our Community 

Hello, dear friends and neighbors, 

As I am introduced to Holyoke, I’m reminded of my hometown—Bayamon, Puerto Rico, an industrial town filled with hardworking people, much like here. My father was a pastor in a small church similar to ours and always believed in the power of community. 

In these challenging times, it is easy to fall apart from the people we love and care for. However, within our community lies an incredible strength. The Bible tells us in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” This Scripture reminds us to persevere and support one another. 

I encourage you to find small ways to contribute to our community. Whether helping a neighbor, volunteering at a local shelter, or simply offering a kind word, every act of kindness makes a difference. 

Together, we can build a stronger, more compassionate community. I look forward to sharing more with you in the weeks to come. 

With Love, 

Pastor Nathán González 

Finding Purpose in Small Things

Life often surprises us with the extraordinary hidden within the ordinary. Consider the story of David, who later became a renowned king. Before facing the giant Goliath, his father sent David on a seemingly mundane task: to deliver cheese and grain to his brothers on the battlefield. David had just been anointed as the future king of Israel, yet he didn’t consider the errand beneath him. By completing this small task, he not only found himself in the right place at the right time to face Goliath, but also experienced a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. This small task paved the way for him to win a significant victory and secure a better future for his people and his family.  

This narrative isn’t just a tale from ancient times but a reminder for us all. We may have grand dreams and goals, but the small, seemingly insignificant steps often pave the way to achieving them. 

Let me share a bit of my journey. I was born in Bayamón, P.R., and pursued a degree in Industrial Chemistry at La Inter Bay, yet I felt the call to become a minister. I’m the product of public education, but my path led me to earn degrees from Princeton and Yale.  

After many years, I stepped down from ministry because I was burnt out, underpaid, and unappreciated. So, I decided to pursue a career where I wouldn’t have to experience any of those frustrations. I became a schoolteacher. This transition wasn’t what I had envisioned, but it allowed me to meet incredible people—community members and students—who enriched my life and broadened my perspective. 

After moving to Connecticut, I thought my pastoring days were over. However, life had other plans. As part of a Yale program, I was asked to cover the altar at the United Congregational Church of Holyoke last April, which seemed like a small task. This opportunity turned into a summer position that might become a longer-term role. It brought me to Holyoke, which reminds me of my home city’s hardworking community. 

Had I said no, I would have lost this great opportunity. This experience has reinforced the lesson that great things often come from embracing the small, seemingly mundane opportunities that come our way. It reminds us that even minor tasks can lead to unexpected and exciting opportunities, filling our lives with hope and optimism. 

So, as you pursue your dreams and goals, remember to value and embrace the smaller tasks and opportunities. Though they may seem insignificant at the time, these moments could lead you to the extraordinary. Make each moment count, and trust that every step, no matter how small, is a part of your great journey. 

With Love, 

Pastor Nathán González