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 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 […]

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 […]