Author Archives : Pastor Andy Ballentine

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!

Proclaiming God’s Powerful Love

Mark 6:1-13     Lectionary 14     Pentecost 7     July 8, 2018   Look at what’s been happening, in the gospel of Mark.  In the past two chapters, Jesus has been teaching and drawing “a very large crowd.”  Jesus has calmed a storm at sea!  Jesus has cast a demon out of a man who nobody else […]

Hungering and Hoping, in Faith, for Healing

Mark 5:21-43     Lectionary 13     Pentecost 6     July 1, 2018   Do you notice the desperation, in this morning’s story in Mark? Then one of the leaders of the synagogue named Jairus came and, when he saw [Jesus], fell at his feet and begged him repeatedly, “My little daughter is at the point of death.  […]

Receiving the Sabbath Gift of Freedom

Deuteronomy 5:12-15     Lectionary 9     Pentecost 2     June 3, 2018   My spiritual director said to me, “I think you’re addicted to your work.”  She told me to read Breathing Underwater, by Richard Rohr.  It’s a very helpful book.  Rohr links the journey of faith with the 12 step program of recovery for those addicted […]

Where Does the Spirit Send You, In Hope, Bringing Liberation?

  Acts 2:1-21     The Day of Pentecost     May 20, 2018   “Living With Anxiety”  That was the headline for a story on the Richmond Times-Dispatch website.  The American Psychiatric Association conducted a survey.  According the article: “Worries about personal safety topped the list of anxieties, with 36 percent of Americans describing themselves as extremely […]

Be Thankful. You’ll Find Yourself Joyful!

Sitting outside on the screened porch on a beautiful and mild Spring morning (finally!).  Listening.  Looking. After a while I open a page and read Marie Howe’s poem, “The World.”  (Is this some kind of divine inspiration or something?  I mean, this particular poem, on this particular morning?)   “I couldn’t tell one song from […]

Returning to the Rhythm

Christ is risen!  Christ is risen indeed, alleluia! Jesus the Christ has defeated death!  During the season of Easter we celebrate resurrection life!  In fact, the reason we gather every Sunday, and for every funeral or memorial service, is to celebrate resurrection. How are you doing on your journey?  Are you doing the work God […]

The Tomb Is Empty!  The Grave Is Open!  The Resurrection Has Happened – And God Invites Us To Live Into It

 Mark 16:1-8     Easter Sunday     April 1, 2018   How about that ending to the gospel of Mark?  Isn’t it shocking?  So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. This original ending of the gospel of Mark […]