Author Archives : Pastor Andy Ballentine

About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Any 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 (thesis topic: 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 is Dean of the Peninsula Conference. He has served 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!

In Community With Each Other, Sinners and Saints   Recently updated !

Mark 10:2-16; Genesis 2:18-24    Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 27     October 4, 2015   Pope Francis has returned home and I’m remembering one of the saddest moments of his visit.  A woman approached him, in tears, feeling rejected by her church.  You see, she was divorced from her first husband.  Then she re-married, and […]

Preliminary Thoughts …

I’ve been honored by a young pastor who asked me to preach the sermon at the Installation service this Sunday afternoon, as she begins her new call as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Chesapeake, VA.  Leslie is one of our former Lutheran Student Association members.  She graduated from the College of William and Mary […]

A Way of Life — One Particular Practice: Listening and Speaking as a Follower of Jesus

James 3:1-12     Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 24     September 13, 2015   Listen to an arresting teaching.   You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.[1]  That’s one of the first verses in the letter of James.  […]

A Way of Life

James 2:1-17     Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 23     September 6, 2015   Are you a good Christian? Do you have to stop and think before you answer that question?  (I would have to!)  What is a “good Christian?” Some of you know that I actually try not to use the word, “Christian!”  That’s because […]

Loving What God Commands

Mark 7:1-8. 14-15, 21-23; Psalm 119 Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 22     September 30, 2015   With my whole heart I seek you;             do not let me stray from your commandments.   I treasure your word in my heart, so that I may not sin against you.   Blessed are you, O LORD; […]

Gun Violence, Public Health, Pleasing God

Well, we’re doing it again.  We’re expressing horror over yet another previously-unimaginable result of so much mental illness and so many guns in our society — this time the on-air TV murders of Alison Parker and Adam Ward on the shores of Smith Mountain Lake, in Virginia. At one time, I thought something could be […]

Daily Prayer

One practice of the faith is daily prayer. Our Evangelical Lutheran Worship has liturgies that you can use four times a day: in the morning upon waking, at noon, in the evening, and just before sleep. I came across a wonderful witness to daily prayer, written by Ebony Walden, who has been a resident at […]

How Is the Spirit Forming Your Faith?

I’ve been thinking of that question in my own life. God the Holy Spirit has been forming my faith through experiences in community – when I’ve been among other followers of Jesus who have been mentors, teachers. My first mentors were my parents. From before I was even aware, my parents simply took me to […]