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Richard Gantenbein
Pastor of St. Andrew. Board Member of the Sonoma Valley Community Health Center.
Interests: Rather than hiding within the walls of the church building, can the people of God discover what God's Holy Spirit is doing in the neighborhood as Jesus' followers? That is my passion.
Recent Activity
Important Note: effective April 1st, this weekly post will be sent directly from the St. Andrew office. If you are not currently receiving eBlasts from St. Andrew and wish to continue receiving this weekly post, please contact Amy in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2018 at Preacher's Post
[Important Note: effective April 1st, this weekly post will be sent directly from the St. Andrew office. If you are not currently receiving eBlasts from St. Andrew and wish to continue receiving this weekly post, please contact Amy in the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2018 at Preacher's Post
“There comes a point where we need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” Desmond Tutu Something we do at St. Andrew is “pull people out... Continue reading
Posted Mar 8, 2018 at Preacher's Post
I’ve been reading a truly disturbing book by Brian McLaren entitled, Everything Must Change: When The World’s Biggest Problems and Jesus’ Good News Collide. McClaren wrote what I now feel so strongly, “…religion, even the religion we are committed to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 1, 2018 at Preacher's Post
Imagine someone who did nothing but strengthen the right side of his or her body. Picture a weightlifter’s biceps and triceps bulging, and quads that could leg press hundreds of pounds. We’d understandably stare and question such a quest, then... Continue reading
Posted Feb 8, 2018 at Preacher's Post
King David was a man who knew the highest highs of life, and the lowest lows. On the one hand the Apostle Paul described him as “a man after God’s own heart” (Acts 13:22), yet his adulterous affair with Bathsheba... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2018 at Preacher's Post
I want to emphasize the overwhelming message revealed in the Psalms, embodied in Jesus, and championed by Paul. Living life through self-will and with ourselves as the center of the universe is a dead-end. There might be short-term gains, but... Continue reading
Posted Jan 25, 2018 at Preacher's Post
I know a lot more about conflict than peace….anger than serenity. Despair has on a couple of occasions been so overwhelming that even the slightest ray of hope is extinguished. The cry of Psalm 22 is one many of us... Continue reading
Posted Jan 11, 2018 at Preacher's Post
We struggle with the reality that life is not fair. Bad things happen to good people. Bad people seem to get away with “it” and seem to be winning. C.S. Lewis noted that while there is a basic human sense... Continue reading
Posted Jan 4, 2018 at Preacher's Post
As we bid 2017 ado, and welcome 2018, I’m feeling the need to get centered and grounded in my faith and practice. It’s not that I want to disengage with the world around me, but if I’m not spiritually grounded,... Continue reading
Posted Dec 28, 2017 at Preacher's Post
But the LORD says, "Do not cling to events of the past or dwell on what happened long ago. Watch for the new thing I am going to do. It is happening already—you can see it now! I will make... Continue reading
Posted Dec 14, 2017 at Preacher's Post
The Christmas season is upon us. How do I know this? My email box was overwhelmed with ads for all the sales on this cyber-Monday. This is a season of expectation and hope, especially around our families and friends. For... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2017 at Preacher's Post
I’m not sure if it’s good news or bad news—but the OR nurse said to me in recovery, “That was really interesting. Thank you”. Nothing around my elbow surprises me anymore as my elbow has been anything but routine and... Continue reading
Posted Dec 1, 2017 at Preacher's Post
In lieu of my usual prattle, I offer up Lincoln’s Thanksgiving proclamation. May it inspire us as we give thanks and pray for God’s mercy and direction… Washington, D.C. October 3, 1863 By the President of the United States of... Continue reading
Posted Nov 21, 2017 at Preacher's Post
Driving to church yesterday I noted with interest Altimira’s electronic sign—“Dude—Be Nice 11/13-17.” It struck me as fairly humorous to designate this as a theme for the week until I thought about it some more and realized that this was... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2017 at Preacher's Post
I had to hit the reset button Monday. The reset button for me is recognizing that I had slipped into living my life and serving as the pastor of St. Andrew with me in the driver’s seat and God riding... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2017 at Preacher's Post
On October 31, 5017, Martin Luther walked to the Wittenberg Church door, where he nailed his ninety-five theses for the reformation of the church, and set off a firestorm. (And we know about firestorms!) There was much that needed reforming.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 3, 2017 at Preacher's Post
Hebrews 10:23-25: Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise. Let us think of ways to motivate one another to acts of love and good works. And let... Continue reading
Posted Oct 19, 2017 at Preacher's Post
Last Sunday Night, we cleaned up from what was a wonderful day of service in all the schools, Mountain Cemetery and other non-profits, all capped off by a delicious barbecue. We locked the church door and all headed home not... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2017 at Preacher's Post
“Don’t Go To Church—Be the Church” is particularly timely for me this year. Everyone knows, I do like to talk, but this is not a time for more talk, it is a time to roll up our sleeves and do... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2017 at Preacher's Post
There’s an old joke that goes like this: A Scottish Presbyterian is rescued after many years on a desert island. As he stands on the deck of the rescuing vessel, the captain says to him, "I thought you were stranded... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2017 at Preacher's Post
Most songs get worn out after a while. Not so, “Amazing Grace” by John Newton. A real scoundrel who came to know God’s grace from the top of his head to the tips of his toes, his haunting lyrics speak... Continue reading
Posted Sep 21, 2017 at Preacher's Post
I’ve got a pretty good sense of direction and can get the “hang” of a city or town fairly quickly. But Bath, England baffled me. I could find my way from our hotel into the heart of town, but I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at Preacher's Post
The quote that always challenges me is from the young man who signed the Barmen Declaration in 1934, spent time in a German concentration camp, then after the war explained why he did so: “I’m not particularly devout—I only tried... Continue reading
Posted Sep 1, 2017 at Preacher's Post
The Charlottesville events which rocked the nation exposed the racism, bigotry, and the anti-Semitism we’d like to believe is part of our past, not our present life together. We can try to ignore it, but I’ve been convinced for years... Continue reading
Posted Aug 24, 2017 at Preacher's Post