4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Next stop won’t necessarily include brimstone or clouds

Pastor Brian Oltman on where we go when we die

Brian Oltman: “I meet God in the people I talk to in conversation.”
Brian Oltman: “I meet God in the people I talk to in conversation.”

Resurrection Lutheran Church of Coronado

Place

Resurrection Lutheran Church

1111 Fifth Street, Coronado

Membership: 75–100

Pastor: Brian Oltman

Age: 59

Born: Glencoe, MN

Formation: St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN; Golden Valley Lutheran, Minneapolis, MN; Antioch University, L.A.; Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, IA; Ryokan College, L.A.

Years Ordained: 26

San Diego Reader: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

Pastor Brian Oltman: I’m always concerned about how things are applied to daily life. Right now there is a lot of division in the country. What I hear from the people I work with is that same concern. There’s a lot of uncertainty for some people.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PO: When I graduated from college, I realized I wanted to do ministry and had been accepted into seminary. I had to take a summer crash course in Greek, and that’s all I did that summer was study Greek. Even though I had already been accepted in seminary, it was that moment of passing and doing well in a subject I never thought I could do well in that convinced me it was something I could do.

SDR: Why Lutheran?

PO: I grew up in the Lutheran Church. My understanding of God and God’s grace fits with what this congregation understands and how the congregation has evolved. We believe that there’s an openness to God’s grace and that God’s grace is open to all people without restrictions.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PO: Reaching, loving, and caring. The folks in this church reach out, love those around them, and care for them. We do things here based on those three ideas. We started a Good Neighbor Sunday where we invite members of the community to celebrate the community we have together. We want to reach out because of the grace given to us and share that intentionally with others in our daily lives.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PO: I meet God in the people I talk to in conversation. When I talk to people, they’re surprised to find out that I’m a pastor and a therapist. They say they don’t want to talk to me or they don’t want me to change them. Then they start talking to me anyway. It can be at the grocery store or the gas station or anywhere. Someone saw the cross I have in my car at the gas station once, which started a conversation.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PO: When I was a kid I’d lie on the lawn and look at the clouds, trying to see angels. But there’s more mystery to the idea of heaven than that. If I worry about where I’m going, it takes away from my daily life. I’m not one to make judgment on who’s going to hell and who is not. God’s grace is sufficient and what we do is in response to God’s grace. Sometimes we don’t do as much as we can in that response, but God’s grace is self-sufficient. So to say if someone is or isn’t somewhere is God’s job. Let God take care of all that and when I die I’ll understand more. I acknowledge that there is a hell but I don’t place it in a specific place in the center of the earth full of fire and brimstone and that kind of thing, and I wouldn’t defend heaven as a place in the clouds. Heaven is where God is.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Subs off Imperial Beach, Yamamoto's killer, a kid in WWII San Diego

Tarawa, Japanese POWs, my dad's part in Hiroshima, Iwo Jima, captured in Burma
Brian Oltman: “I meet God in the people I talk to in conversation.”
Brian Oltman: “I meet God in the people I talk to in conversation.”

Resurrection Lutheran Church of Coronado

Place

Resurrection Lutheran Church

1111 Fifth Street, Coronado

Membership: 75–100

Pastor: Brian Oltman

Age: 59

Born: Glencoe, MN

Formation: St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, MN; Golden Valley Lutheran, Minneapolis, MN; Antioch University, L.A.; Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, IA; Ryokan College, L.A.

Years Ordained: 26

San Diego Reader: What’s your main concern as a member of the clergy?

Pastor Brian Oltman: I’m always concerned about how things are applied to daily life. Right now there is a lot of division in the country. What I hear from the people I work with is that same concern. There’s a lot of uncertainty for some people.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PO: When I graduated from college, I realized I wanted to do ministry and had been accepted into seminary. I had to take a summer crash course in Greek, and that’s all I did that summer was study Greek. Even though I had already been accepted in seminary, it was that moment of passing and doing well in a subject I never thought I could do well in that convinced me it was something I could do.

SDR: Why Lutheran?

PO: I grew up in the Lutheran Church. My understanding of God and God’s grace fits with what this congregation understands and how the congregation has evolved. We believe that there’s an openness to God’s grace and that God’s grace is open to all people without restrictions.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PO: Reaching, loving, and caring. The folks in this church reach out, love those around them, and care for them. We do things here based on those three ideas. We started a Good Neighbor Sunday where we invite members of the community to celebrate the community we have together. We want to reach out because of the grace given to us and share that intentionally with others in our daily lives.

SDR: Where is the strangest place you found God?

PO: I meet God in the people I talk to in conversation. When I talk to people, they’re surprised to find out that I’m a pastor and a therapist. They say they don’t want to talk to me or they don’t want me to change them. Then they start talking to me anyway. It can be at the grocery store or the gas station or anywhere. Someone saw the cross I have in my car at the gas station once, which started a conversation.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PO: When I was a kid I’d lie on the lawn and look at the clouds, trying to see angels. But there’s more mystery to the idea of heaven than that. If I worry about where I’m going, it takes away from my daily life. I’m not one to make judgment on who’s going to hell and who is not. God’s grace is sufficient and what we do is in response to God’s grace. Sometimes we don’t do as much as we can in that response, but God’s grace is self-sufficient. So to say if someone is or isn’t somewhere is God’s job. Let God take care of all that and when I die I’ll understand more. I acknowledge that there is a hell but I don’t place it in a specific place in the center of the earth full of fire and brimstone and that kind of thing, and I wouldn’t defend heaven as a place in the clouds. Heaven is where God is.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Clem’s Station, a place for talkies

Talmadge’s new neighborhood restaurant more about the company you keep
Next Article

San Franciscans and others driving San Diego's real estate

Tired of the homeless along Van Ness
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close