Faith to Move Mountains
The Delgado Family is Welcomed at Morningside Presbyterian Church
The Flying Flutist
Sometimes you have just have to play the flute while you are parasailing. That’s what Dr. Alfredo Delgado’s childhood friend “Felipe” did once he was soaring above the lush Venezuelan coastline.
Although born with perinatal anoxia (which manifested itself in this case as cerebral palsy), Felipe’s condition didn’t stop him from becoming a musician, pastor, and director of a national choir in Venezuela.
As a child, Felipe was kept from climbing the tallest tree in his family’s garden. He’d watch his friends and cousins ascend, but because of his condition, he was restricted from joining them. But when his playmates departed to start other games, he would pull out the family ladder and climb to its highest rung, thinking to himself, “One day I will not only climb, but I will also fly.” And fly he has.
Alfredo remembers, “When you ask him how he was able to accomplish so much considering his physical limitations, he shrugs and offers plainly, ‘By faith in Christ.’”
Mustard Seed Faith
Dr. Delgado told Felipe’s story to introduce his inaugural sermon at Morningside Presbyterian Church (MPC, Fullerton) on World Communion Sunday as their new Transitional Pastor. The Session, which also served as MPC’s Search Committee, was looking for a leader who could “help their congregation leverage the changes and envision the outreach that began with Pastor Eliseo Morales Jr.,” reported Elder Mary Deming. [In spring 2021, Los Ranchos’ youngest minister, Rev. Morales followed God’s call to serve as a Chaplain in the US Navy.]
The search committee says of Alfredo, “His energy is clearly an asset, and his references describe him as able to generate excitement among those who work with him. We expect that he sees opportunities in our church that we don’t yet see ourselves.”
Perhaps that is why his sermon text for the day was from Matthew 17, where Jesus says privately to his disciples after they have failed to heal a young man plagued by seizures, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you” (v. 20, NIV).
Be a Mountain Mover
“When it comes to faith, a little seed of it can move a gigantic mountain,” preached Alfredo.
“Sixty years ago, faith made the pioneers of this congregation come together to start Morningside Presbyterian Church. Today, faith is still mobilizing the remnant of this congregation to give their best to create a legacy for the future.”
“That’s why you are calling a new pastor. That’s why you have remodeled this beautiful chapel and invited other communities of faith to share your campus. Why? because you have faith in the future of this place.”
Responding to the Divine Invitation
Alfredo has no illusions about the challenges of being the church today, nor of pastoring an aging congregation. “Problems are real,” he preached, “but so is faith, and faith, when it is exercised, grows to its full potential.”
“The pioneers who began this church haven’t given up because they–and we–still feel and hear the divine invitation to be a blessing to many.”
The Rev. Dr. Alfredo Delgado serves 50% time as the Consultant for New Worshiping Communities and Church Revitalization for the Presbytery of Los Ranchos. On October 3, 2021, he began serving 50% time as the Transitional Pastor of Morningside Presbyterian Church in Fullerton.