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!

Unsolicited Advice from a Departing Pastor (Not a St. Stephen Pastor!)

Frank Honeycutt is a friend of mine, a pastor and author.  Frank is retiring and his final newsletter column to his congregation is below.  It deserves wide circulation with its wise comments on the basics of our faith journey as follower of Jesus! — Pastor Andy Ballentine   Unsolicited Advice from a Departing Pastor…by Pastor […]

Watching, Listening

I love this time of year.  The temperature drops below 70 degrees during the night, so we can have the windows open to cool the house.  What do I feel as the coolness wafts  in, flowing as if it is the Holy Spirit?  I am feeling the Reality that is beneath all the surface reality […]

Turning Away, and then Re-turning

Exodus 32:7-14; Luke 15:1-10      Lectionary 24 in Ordinary Time; 17th Sunday after Pentecost     September 11, 2016   All human beings hunger for God.  Many human beings do not know that it is God who they are hungering for!  It’s a hunger for something that is deeper than the surface, something indefinable.  Some […]

Following Jesus With Healthy Humility

Proverbs 25:6-7; Hebrews 13:1-8, 15-16; Luke 14:1, 7-14  Lectionary 22 in Ordinary Time; 15th Sunday after Pentecost     August 28, 2016   Do we talk about humility enough?  All three of this morning’s readings point to an important gift of the Spirit: the virtue of healthy humility. If you practice humility, you run counter […]

Sabbath Practice: The Ground From Which We Act to Heal the World

  Isaiah 58:9b-14; Luke 13:10-17      Lectionary 21 in Ordinary Time; 14th Sunday after Pentecost     August 21, 2016   The preacher is supposed to prepare with the Bible in one hand and the newspaper in the other.[1]  (Yes, this is an iPad.  I read the newspaper on my iPad!)  In addition, on any […]

Do you have other sources of wisdom?

Dear Brothers and Sisters –   With all that is making for anxiety and even distress these days, I’m meeting with anyone interested between the services (through the month of August) for conversation centered on the morning’s gospel passage.  Here’s the guide we’ve used for our conversation: What does this story say about Jesus? What […]