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!

Once We Sang and Danced 1   Recently updated !

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, […]

Light in the Darkness

The darkness is deepest during these weeks, for us in the northern hemisphere.  Dusk comes in the late afternoon.  The sun rises 14 hours later. For some ancient European peoples, the winter solstice was an important time of religious rituals, encouraging the sun to return.  One theory why December 25 was chosen as the date […]

Keep Alert, Keep Awake, in Hopefulness

Mark 13:24-36     First Sunday of Advent      December 3, 2017   Happy New Year!  You who are liturgical nerds know why I say that: it’s the first Sunday of Advent.  It’s a new year of the church calendar, and we’re reading from a new gospel.  Last year, most Sundays, we read from the gospel of Matthew.  […]

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 […]