I was in Barcelona for a whole week (June 7-12) at my friend’s house Paulo Oliveira. Paulo is a brilliant Brazilian thinker and an amazing musician. One day, Paulo introduced me to Ignacio Simal Camps, president of the Evangelical Churches of Catalunha, affiliated with the World Council of Churches. Paulo and Ignacio took me to a huge market called La Boqueria, a wonderful place filled with great foods, vivid colors and strong smells. Then we headed to Plaza Real, a lovely square downtown with nice restaurants. We sat down and had a great conversation over coffee and beer, cheeses, hams, olives and potatoes. Ignacio told me that it was a sin to order coffee at 7 pm. I ended sinning…
Besides being the president of the church, Ignacio is also a pastor of the Bethel Church, a small and live community in Barcelona. Ignacio is a brilliant thinker, a New Testament scholar and a well-prepared pastor. He knows how to listens and to care of people. He has clearly given his life to the church of Christ in Spain. He has also created and is the current director of the website Lupa Protestante (something like a Protestant magnifying glass), an online progressive Christian theology magazine. Through this website, people receive great public theological work, and learn about the Christian faith not only in Spain but around the world. It is a great online magazine! If you read Spanish check it out!
Not long ago, Ignacio was the president of the theological seminary in Barcelona for many years and has helped make this school a powerful and respected educational institution. However, due to a conservative move by some people, he and his wife (also a brilliant PhD professor) and other professors were dismissed form the seminary showing how hard it is for Christians to live with difference. Now, Ignacio and his wife do not have other places to teach and they are now combining jobs to support their family.
To now Ignacio in Barcelona was a gift to me. His joy, his fierce political and theological positions and his pastoral heart make him a wonderful person that I loved to be around. He and his family are and will always be in my prayers. I hope that this small text will honor him, his family and his love for the church of Jesus Christ. To follow Ignacio:
Thorugh his blog: http://opinionesfalibles.blogspot.com/
Thorugh his church website: http://www.esglesiabetel.org/
To follow Lupa Protestante: http://www.lupaprotestante.com/