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!

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 […]

Drowning Our False Selves — The Selves That Need to Be Commanded!

Exodus 20:1-17     Third Sunday in Lent     March 4, 2018   Who are you? Are you your ego-driven false self?  Are you the old person who thinks the world revolves around her?  Are you the old person who is attached to (or even addicted to) safety and security, and averse to risk; or to power […]

Once We Sang and Danced

Ash Wednesday and 17 dead (at this point) at a high school in Parkland Florida. “Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return” — perhaps while in a high school classroom, because American citizens can buy military assault weapons. Tonight, during our Ash Wednesday worship, we sang Susan Briel’s words, which are […]

Faith Formation Shows Up in Our Everyday Lives

Mark 1:29-39     Fifth Sunday After Epiphany     Lectionary 5     February 4, 2018   We’re only 29 verses into the gospel of Mark and – already! – John the Baptizer has appeared, John has baptized Jesus, Jesus has endured Satan’s temptation, John has been arrested, Jesus has called his first four disciples, and Jesus has healed […]

Responding to God, Who Loves Us

Mark 1:4-11     The Baptism of Our Lord     Lectionary 1     January 7, 2018               John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.  And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him […]

How Can This Be?

Luke 1:26-38, 46b-55     Fourth Sunday of Advent     December 24, 2017 “How can this be?”  That’s what Mary asks, of the angel Gabriel. In the painting above, Irish painter Adam Pomeroy imagines Mary as a contemporary young Irish woman.  It’s a striking depiction of what Mary’s face and body language might have looked like. Specifically, […]