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!

What Is Your Risky, Joyful Response, Doing the Work of the Kingdom?

Matthew 25:14-30     Lectionary 33     Pentecost 24     November 19, 2017   We have some pretty interesting passages this morning, don’t we?  I need to comment on two things that might be catching your attention. The frequent reference to slaves in the gospel story in very problematic!  Some English versions of the Bible paraphrase the Greek […]

Work, Life, Death: It is All Gift

A 15 hour work day yesterday, beginning at 5:00 AM to do final preparations for the day’s worship.  Two festival services – with Karen Ive’s music leadership, combined choirs and wind ensemble, worship done as well as any congregation celebrating Reformation Sunday.  (The weakness might have been my sermon, which was a bit too much […]

What Does It Mean To Be Lutheran? What Does It Mean To Be “Always Reforming?”

Romans 3:19-28     Reformation Sunday     October 29, 2017   Today we mark the first 500 years of the Lutheran reforming movement within the Church catholic.  On this day we celebrate the heart of our faith: the gospel of Christ – the good news – that makes us free![1] What does it mean to be Lutheran?  […]

Why Do You Refuse Jesus’ Invitation Into Joy?

Matthew 22:1-14; Isaiah 25:6-9     Lectionary 28     Pentecost 19     October 16, 2017   What a difficult story we read in Matthew this morning!  Is this a story about the future judgement?  Many Christian traditions do read it this way; as a warning: “Come to the banquet, or you’re going to hell.”  That sure sounds like […]

The Grace of Forgiveness. The Demand of Forgiveness. The Transformation of Our Hearts.

Matthew 18:21-35     Lectionary 24     Pentecost 15     September 17, 2017   You and I are saints.  We begin with this. God has made us saints because Jesus the Christ rose from the dead to “[redeem] us from death and the devil, and [to give] eternal salvation to all who believe it.[1]  You and I […]

Making The First Move Towards Reconciliation

Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20     Lectionary 23     Pentecost 14     September 10, 2017   “God is love.”[1]  Who here agrees with that? “’You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul and with all your mind.’…‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’”[2]  Who here agrees that “on these […]