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!

Focus, People! Focus!

Luke 21:25-36     First Sunday of Advent     December 2, 2018   I love Advent!  Do you know why?  It’s because now is when we are most weird, compared with what’s going on outside the liturgical world.  Out there, more than a month ago, as soon as the Halloween displays came down, the Christmas displays went […]

Baptized Into a New Heaven and a New Earth

Isaiah 25:6-9; Revelation 21:1-6; John 11:32-44 All Saints’ Sunday     November 4, 2018   “Jesus began to weep.”  Is this the single most moving verse in all the Bible?  How good it is to have this morning’s gospel reading for All Saints’ Sunday – to be reminded that, in Jesus, God is with us, intimately; […]

Baptized Into Christ’s Community of Servants

Mark 10:35-45     Lectionary 29     Pentecost 22     October 21, 2018   It was 1943.  General George C. Marshall very much wanted to command the Allied armies that would invade Nazi-occupied France in 1944.  But he would not put himself forward for the job.  President Franklin Roosevelt was trying to decide who should be the commanding […]

What Is God Doing in the Interruptions — Breaking In, Opening You Up, Drawing You More Deeply Into God?

Mark 7:24-37     Lectionary 23     Pentecost 16     September 9, 2018   How do you do with interruptions?  Think of when you’re intent on what you’re doing, focused on your agenda – and you’re interrupted.  Does that make you frustrated?  Impatient? Isn’t that what’s happening to Jesus, in this morning’s story in the gospel of Mark? […]

Hearing and Doing the Word

James 1:17-27     Lectionary 22     Pentecost 15     September 2, 2018   We spend the next five weeks reading the book of James in worship.  It’s a New Testament book that Martin Luther did not care for.  When Luther translated the Bible into German, he took James out of the New Testament and put it in an […]

Receiving Nourishment for the Journey

1 Kings 19:4-8; Ephesians 4:25 – 5:2; John 6:35, 41-51     Lectionary 19     Pentecost 12     August 12, 2018 Jesus speaks this invitation: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”  Those are Jesus’ first words in the gospel of Mark, the gospel we’re reading […]

Gathering Around Jesus

Mark 6:30-34, 53-56     Lectionary 16     Pentecost 9     July 22, 2018   Did you know that there are “sandwiches” in the gospel of Mark? No, I’m not talking about the food that anyone is eating, in these stories about Jesus!  “Sandwich” is the term Biblical scholars use to describe how Mark tells the stories of […]