Welcome, Juan Carlos!

Juan Carlos La Puente Tapia

Bishop’s Associate for Inter-cultural and Inter-religious Mission

Email Juan Carlos

I moved to Portland, Oregon from Peru in 2014 with Rae Anne and our daughter Isabel. It has been a wonderful adventure surrounded by the beauty of the forests, rivers, and mountains. For many years I have been working on supporting organizations and institutions on how to root their work for justice and peace into a relational culture that fosters community dialogue and discernment. Since 2016, working with leaders from the Oregon Synod and other countries, we have been doing theology to enlighten the community dialogue and discernment in communion with those we call our ancestors as a source of compassion and deep hope. All of these efforts have been developed through spiritual and theological mutual accompaniment.

When Bishop Laurie called me to join the Oregon Synod staff as Bishop’s Associate for Inter-cultural and Inter-religious Mission, my first heartfelt response was, ‘We are journeying on the path together’ – this is the meaning of the Greek word Synod (Syn-odos). But I also asked myself ‘what path?’
I feel called to walk a path that we discover together with the people when we are able to open our hearts, our stories, our vulnerabilities, and our dreams. From that openness, we share our longing to be truthful facing the threats to Life, mainly Life that is most vulnerable and damaged. This is the path that has been helping me to see once again the living Gospel. I am honored to walk this path alongside people who have been accompanying one another through the Oregon Synod (congregations, projects, initiatives, and more). This is a path of transformation, a path that is always new because it is nurtured by Love and continuously opened through diversity and the plurality of creative responses to protect Life. Sometimes I ask myself, ‘what might a People’s Synod look like?’
It is inspiring to continue to be ‘Ecclesia semper reformanda (always reforming)’ that lives and encourages us to disclose our truth with love -therefore without fear- and remove everything that is deafening us to the call to universal love, universal compassion, and to unbounded openness to be freed to love.