Presbyterian church welcomes new pastor
Submitted to the Tribune
A new pastor, Reverend Nicholas D. Valadez and his family, is being welcomed at Lake Tahoe Community Presbyterian Church.
Pastor Nick will be preaching beginning Sunday. Members of the community are invited to attend the 10 a.m. service on any Sunday at the church, 2733 Lake Tahoe Blvd.
Although Pastor Nick grew up in Garland, Texas, a suburb of Dallas, he arrives in Tahoe by way of Wapato, in central Washington, where he served a rural church for six years. Living in a mountainous landscape will be a new experience.
“It’s very beautiful, and there’s a lot to do around here,” he said. “But that wasn’t a part of my decision to come to Tahoe. The outreach of this church into the community appealed to me. I like the involvement in Bread & Broth and other programs. There’s a lot of energy in this church.
“I’m a people person. I like to get involved and know people’s stories and know who they are. I like to be engaged with people in their lives. I bring a lot of energy, too.”
As with any new job, there are issues to deal with.
“The challenge at any church is for people to know that we’re there,” he said. “To encourage them to stop in and come to worship. We’re not scary.”
“One of the challenges is that people will see that we’re Presbyterian and have the idea that we’re one way or another way, rather than saying, ‘Let me just check them out and see what they’re about.”
When asked if his own young family situation indicated an emphasis on family worship and children’s programs, he replied that every aspect of worship is important.
“We have to figure out how to best work with all people. We need to involve everybody. The focus of the church is not just one group. It’s everybody.”
Pastor Nick graduated from San Francisco Theological Seminary with a Masters of Divinity in 2007. He received his undergraduate degree, a Bachelor of Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies with a focus on Communications, from the University of Texas at Dallas. While serving at the church in Washington, he met his wife, Patty. They were married in 2010 and now have a 2-year-old daughter, Diana. In Wapato, Patty had been employed by the Yakima County Prosecutors office in the Child Support Division, but her immediate plans in Tahoe focus on getting the family settled in their new location.
The call to Pastor Nick came after more than a year’s work by the church’s nine-person Pastor Nominating Committee, which examined more than 100 applicant resumes from all over the United States. Top candidates were interviewed by Skype. The Valadez family came to Lake Tahoe for a weekend visit to see the area, and Pastor Nick preached at a nearby church.