Emptying Out

The town is emptying out of college students. Sigh… I think the ‘burg is a pretty boring place without the students. (Indeed, one of my hopes, now that a William and Mary student has been elected to City Council, is that Williamsburg might become more interesting than it now is. Compare Charlottesville as a college town — with its music spots and funky restaurants and shops — with Williamsburg and, well, there is no comparison.

I feel grief this time of year, because of the seniors who are graduating. (Didn’t they just arrive three weeks ago?)

It’s not like they drop off the face of the earth, of course. (Well, some do …) One of the joys of longevity is being able to track those who are journeying through young adulthood. For instance, Doug and Stacey graduated soon after I arrived as pastor of St. Stephen, went away to establish their professional paths, and then moved back! What a joy to baptize their daughter! I’m excited about officiating at Scott and Leslie’s wedding coming up over Memorial Day weekend, and about attending Joel and Danielle’s wedding. I got to officiate at two weddings last summer, of other former LSAers. I even look forward to participating in some ordinations in the coming years, of students who came to clarity about their call to ordained ministry while they were at William and Mary!

What joy God gives!

About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Andy Ballentine loves being a parish pastor! Pastor Ballentine took his BA degree from the University of Virginia (with a major in sociology) and earned the Master of Divinity degree at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He earned the Master of Sacred Theology degree at the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia, with the thesis topic of: "How Benedictine Monastic Spirituality Nourishes Parish Ministry." He has completed the program of Spiritual Direction from the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation. In the Virginia Synod, Pastor Ballentine has served as Dean of the Peninsula Conference and as chaplain to the candidates in the Virginia Synod’s Candidacy process (those on the way to being approved for ordained and professional ministries in the church). He has staffed many, many Virginia Synod youth events!