Author Archives : Pastor Andy Ballentine

About Pastor Andy Ballentine

Pastor Any 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 (thesis topic: 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 is Dean of the Peninsula Conference. He has served 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!

Hopeful for the Future of the Church

This past Friday night, I was sitting around a campfire, feeling great hope for the future of the church. Some of the members of the Lutheran Student Association at the College of William and Mary were on retreat, and they had asked me to lead them in conversation on their retreat theme: “Remember the Sabbath.” […]

Your Kingdom Come

Daniel 7:9-10, 13-14; Revelation 1:4b-8; John 18:33-37   Christ the King Sunday     November 22, 2015     ISIS terrorists kill more than 40 people in Beirut and maim many others.  God suffers with those who suffer.  In hope, we look for God to end the violence of terrorism.  “Your kingdom come, your will be […]

“To Welcome the Sabbath”   Recently updated !

Last night I enjoyed an evening with some of our Lutheran Student Association members who got away to Eastover Retreat Center in Surry County. (They were so excited to get to ride the ferry across the James River!) Their theme was “Remember the Sabbath” — an incredibly healthy theme for these high-accomplishing students at the […]

Trusting God Radically, Intimately

1 Kings 17:8-16   Time After Pentecost   Lectionary 32     November 8, 2015   Who do you trust? We’ve just had another election.  Do you trust the candidates to keep their promises? It’s important to trust your doctor, isn’t it?  That’s especially so when the diagnosis is scary and there are several ways to go, […]

Coming to Know God, Coming to Trust God, Coming to Believe the Audacious Good News of Grace and Salvation

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Romans 3:19-28 Reformation Sunday October 25, 2015 On October 31, 1517, Martin Luther posted 95 Theses for debate among his fellow faculty members. He was a professor of Bible at the University of Wittenberg, in what is now Germany. Luther was agitated about what he saw to be the church’s deviation from the […]

Then Who Can Be Saved?

Mark 10:17-31    Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 28   What do you think of the man’s question?  He runs up to Jesus and asks, “Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  It’s a reasonable question, right?  It’s the kind of question we like to ask.  It’s along the same lines as, “Will this […]

In Community With Each Other, Sinners and Saints

Mark 10:2-16; Genesis 2:18-24    Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 27     October 4, 2015   Pope Francis has returned home and I’m remembering one of the saddest moments of his visit.  A woman approached him, in tears, feeling rejected by her church.  You see, she was divorced from her first husband.  Then she re-married, and […]

Preliminary Thoughts …

I’ve been honored by a young pastor who asked me to preach the sermon at the Installation service this Sunday afternoon, as she begins her new call as pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Chesapeake, VA.  Leslie is one of our former Lutheran Student Association members.  She graduated from the College of William and Mary […]

A Way of Life — One Particular Practice: Listening and Speaking as a Follower of Jesus

James 3:1-12     Time After Pentecost     Lectionary 24     September 13, 2015   Listen to an arresting teaching.   You must understand this, my beloved: let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger; for your anger does not produce God’s righteousness.[1]  That’s one of the first verses in the letter of James.  […]