The balance between religion and secularism | Miguel Torneire


5th Apr 2020 Life

There are few people who can maintain a balance between religion and secularism. When looking at the picture as a whole, it is clear that the worlds population is divided into two groups.

The people in the first group are the ones who let their religious beliefs guide their way in life. The second group comprises people with a secular mindset. It can be said that religion and secularism are considered as two parallels that can never meet. It seems like a sensible explanation considering how people from these two categories never seem to agree on anything. The discussion over whether religion and secularism can co-exist has turned into a heated debate. 

There are not many people who believe that these two traits can co-exist in a person. Maintaining a balance between religion and secularism seems impossible. However, there is a living example, who is not only a devoted Christian but also serves as an executive director of a non-profit organization and actively participates in sports. The 41-year-old pastor, Miguel Torneire, is setting an example for the world. He has extensive experience as a pastor and missionary, but he also spends his time in secular activities. He lives with his loving family and is fond of playing soccer, practicing Brazilian jiu-jitsu, and traveling. He does all this while managing the operations of his non-profit organization, Developing Our World. Reverend Miguel is an individual who lives by his religious beliefs and values while actively participating in sports and spends quality time with his family. He is a Lutheran pastor, missionary, executive director, husband, a father, and is doing well in all his life roles. 

However, some myths surround pastors and missionaries. These myths make the world look upon them differently. People think that a pastors job is only to do ministry, while in reality, a pastor has to take care of their families and help their wives with home chores just like all other people. They have a complete understanding of real-life and make efforts to keep up with their worldly duties. Moreover, pastors have to go through similar struggles and overcome hurdles in life just like everyone else in this world. These people do not have it easy, and the world needs to know. Miguel Torneire, the founder of Developing Our World, is breaking the stereotypes and is fulfilling all his religious and worldly responsibilities. 

Developing the concept of service to community 

Miguel Torneire was born in Nilópolis, a city in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 17 February 1979. He lived with his parents and his brother André. In the year 1982, when Miguel was two years old, his mother, Eugenia Schulz Torneire, died of appendicitis. After his mother’s demise, his father, Jesuino Luiz Torneire, started another family. He resides in Rio de Janeiro to date. Miguel’s father, grandparents, uncles, and aunts reached a mutual agreement to support Arthur Schulz Sobrinho and Argentina Eller Schulz, Miguel’s grandparents, to raise and take care of the young boy and his brother. 

While living with his grandparents, he developed an interest in the Christian faith and religion. He was baptized on 29 April 1979 at the Igreja Evangélica Luterana Cristo Rei in Itaguaí. Baptism, according to his beliefs, is the initiation into the family of Christ. His Confirmation of faith took place in the same church on 26 December 1993 when he was 14 years old. His grandparents were devout Lutheran Christians who were dedicated to their Lord Jesus Christ and to serve the poor.

Miguel adopted the practice of giving back to the community by helping those in need from his grandparents. By growing up with Christian ideologies and teachings in the Bible, Miguel realized the importance of serving the poor and the ways it can strengthen society. To strengthen his understanding of community service, he went to the Instituto Concórdia de São Paulo – ICSP to begin his bachelors in Divinity. 

During his time in this seminary, Miguel developed specialized skills in Evangelism and service to the community. The forte and focus of this seminary were in missions. His time with his grandparents and at this seminary helped him understand ways he could help the community. It was at the ICSP that he was able to go deeper into the mission theme from a practical standpoint. The ICSP was the platform where he acquired the essential skills that helped him with his vision at Developing Our World.

In an attempt to give back to the community and to contribute to making the lives of the poor better, Reverend Miguel Torneire founded Developing Our World in the year 2018. The organization works on the concept of holistic community development by addressing the problems in the USA and underdeveloped countries. Moreover, Miguel co-founded GELNet with Reverend Doctor Johnson Rethinasamy and Reverend Sean Chapman. 

Taking Up the Position of Lead Pastor in a Guatemalan Church

In the year 1997, Miguel Torneire decided to get a bachelors degree in Divinity. He joined three different seminars including Instituto Concórdia de São Paulo, Seminario Concordia Buenos Aires, and Seminário Concórdia de São Leopoldo. While taking courses to get his Bachelor of Divinity degree in the year 2003, Miguel went to Universidade Luterana do Brasil (ULBRA) to get another Bachelors's in Theology. He was ordained on 25 April 2004 and became a part of church leaders, while he was completing his degree from ULBRA. 

Miguel left for Guatemala to take the position of Lead Pastor at Iglesia EvangélicaLuterana El Divino Salvador, Zacapa, in 2004, after spending one year in ULBRA. He served four years in Guatemala, where he met Diane, who he later married. At this church, he was able to serve as a resident missionary, and he helped the church adopt a holistic approach to serve the community. During his time in Guatemala, he visited prisons and designed a campaign for feeding the hungry, equipped leaders for missions and serve the community. He worked with short-term teams from Central American Lutheran Mission Society - CALMS and other organizations with members of the congregation to teach Vacation Bible School and build homes for families of the community. As a Pastor at El Divino Salvador, he received several teams from CALMS to do many kinds of strategic and missional work in the Zacapa region, including Biblical Equipping and building homes for poor people. Miguel went to Belize in the Mission Trip with members of his congregation to join the CALMS team down there.

Reverend Miguel Torneire was invited to work at CALMS. He served as the Missionary-at-Large and Director for Central America at CALMS. It was during this time; he got a chance to work under the guidance of Reverend Doctor Steve Hughey, who possesses more than 45 years of experience in the mission field. He is Miguel’s mentor as he helped him develop his philosophy in missions, especially about holistic community development. At the Central American Lutheran Mission Society, he led multiple short-term mission teams and oversaw the work in Guatemala. Miguel also assisted CALMS in expanding its work throughout Central America, having Nicaragua the highlight. While at CALMS, Miguel got to know several Lutheran churches around the United States. In the year 2011, Miguel went to Concordia University in St. Paul to complete his Master of Arts in Christian Outreach. In April 2012, he took up the position of Assistant Pastor at Gethsemane Church in Tempe, AZ.

It was an essential phase in Miguels life as he not only stepped into community service practically, but it was the start of his family life. It was during this phase that he met the love of his life, and he got married to Diane on November 20th, 2007. The couple today has two sons, Sam and Lucas. Miguel spends quality time with his wife and sons. 

Actively participates in extracurricular activities while pursuing pastoral and missionary work

Miguel was a member of Lutheran churches in Brazil including Congregação Evangélica Luterana Ebenézer in São Paulo from 1994 to 1998 and returned as a member in 2001. He was also a member of Comunidade Evangélica Luterana Concórdia in São Leopoldo in the year 2002. Miguel went to Argentina in 1999 and lived there for two years, where he was a member of Iglesia Evangelica Luterana La Concórdia 1999 and 2000 and then became a member of Parroquia Emanuel in Hipólito Yrigoyen from December 2000 to February 2001. At Ebenézer and Emanuel, he did his pre-vicariate and his vicariate from Concordia. A vicar, a short for vicariate in Lutheran Churches are the pastor's assistant who is still in the course of ministerial preparation before being called and ordained.

Despite having extensive experience in missionary and pastoral service, Miguel takes the time out to enjoy secular activities. Many people might not believe it, but Miguel loves to participate in extreme sports. It is something that is not very common. Miguel is an example of a person who knows how to spend a life with a complete balance between religion and secularism. 

He is an individual who loves soccer and even supports Clube de Regatas do Flamengo while being a pastor and missionary. He also loves Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Moreover, Miguel enjoys Skydiving, Hang Gliding, and Paragliding. He spends time with his family and lives by the words of the Bible.

In addition to his strong academic background in Christianity, he is serving as the vacancy at Trinity Lutheran Church in Centralia, IL. He has been a pastor in Lutheran churches around Brazil, Argentina, Guatemala, and in the United States of America. Miguel Torneire plays his roles as a pastor, missionary, husband, father, and as an Executive Director of Developing Our World in an exemplary way. While fulfilling his responsibilities as a religious leader, spiritual trainer, disciple-maker, and a father, he has developed secular hobbies. 

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