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Morning Star Lutheran: an opportunity for “Life, Light and Love in Christ”

There has to be more to this business of faith than just anticipating heaven.

Richard Ross
Richard Ross

Morning Star Lutheran Church

  • Contact: 12821 Ha Hana Road, Lakeside, CA 619-443-6032 www.morningstarlcms.org
  • Membership: 60
  • Pastor: Richard Ross
  • Age: 62
  • Born: Tacoma, WA
  • Formation: Lutheran Bible Institute, Seattle; North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, ID; Oregon State University, Corvalis, OR; Eastern University, St. Davids, PA; Concordia Lutheran Seminary, St. Louis, MO
  • Years Ordained: 20

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

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Pastor Richard Ross: Discipleship – how to grow in this word we’ve been blessed with. When we hear the word, we understand our salvation through Christ. What can I do with it between now and eternity? I’ve always been personally engaged in working with people, starting off with youth ministry. I’m always looking for ways to share with others the journey of growth and discovery and sharing in the excitement of being alive in Christ. That’s why I chose to become more deeply involved in ministry as a pastor. There has to be more to this business of faith than just anticipating heaven. How can I live more fully in the days that the Lord has provided for us?

Place

Morning Star Lutheran Church

12821 Ha Hana Road, San Diego

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PR: To seek God, to experience his presence, and to know his love for us. Really, we want people to come into God’s house to receive an opportunity to have a great experience in our worshiping community, singing, praying, hearing God’s word and receiving the Lord’s supper. We want to be open and accountable and support one another. We also want to take an opportunity to serve our community. For me, that’s almost a fourth sacrament – through active service to the community God can really speak to us. We have an opportunity to be Christ to our brothers and sisters who may be in need, or maybe they’ll be Christ to us as an opportunity for introspection and healing for ourselves. I like to say, “Life, Light and Love in Christ.” Those three things really reflect what’s going on in this ministry: Christ is the light in a world of darkness. He is love, both in this life and the next. He also shows us what it means to be alive, that life is not always a bowl of cherries, but sometimes we find even amid the sorrow of others an opportunity to live by showing them our love.

SDR: What one book has had the most influence on your ministry?

PR: Hammer of God: A Novel About the Cure of Souls by Bo Giertz. It is a great book for a person who wants to be a pastor. It’s about a conversation between a young pastor and an older pastor about their experiences and challenges in ministry. I read that book in seminary.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PR: People who want to be with Jesus go to heaven. And those who don’t want to be with Jesus go to hell. My job, then, is to help people to see that Jesus is not a bad person. So often people reject the church or don’t want to go to church or stop going or despise the church because they’ve had a bad experience with the people in the church, or they’ve had a bad experience as a child. I want to help them to understand: that’s not Jesus. I want to give them an opportunity to learn about another kind of Jesus than the one they’ve been thinking about. I want to also make it clear that Jesus is real. If I could accomplish that, I could die and go to heaven.

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Richard Ross
Richard Ross

Morning Star Lutheran Church

  • Contact: 12821 Ha Hana Road, Lakeside, CA 619-443-6032 www.morningstarlcms.org
  • Membership: 60
  • Pastor: Richard Ross
  • Age: 62
  • Born: Tacoma, WA
  • Formation: Lutheran Bible Institute, Seattle; North Idaho College, Coeur d’Alene, ID; Oregon State University, Corvalis, OR; Eastern University, St. Davids, PA; Concordia Lutheran Seminary, St. Louis, MO
  • Years Ordained: 20

San Diego Reader: What’s your favorite subject on which to preach?

Sponsored
Sponsored

Pastor Richard Ross: Discipleship – how to grow in this word we’ve been blessed with. When we hear the word, we understand our salvation through Christ. What can I do with it between now and eternity? I’ve always been personally engaged in working with people, starting off with youth ministry. I’m always looking for ways to share with others the journey of growth and discovery and sharing in the excitement of being alive in Christ. That’s why I chose to become more deeply involved in ministry as a pastor. There has to be more to this business of faith than just anticipating heaven. How can I live more fully in the days that the Lord has provided for us?

Place

Morning Star Lutheran Church

12821 Ha Hana Road, San Diego

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PR: To seek God, to experience his presence, and to know his love for us. Really, we want people to come into God’s house to receive an opportunity to have a great experience in our worshiping community, singing, praying, hearing God’s word and receiving the Lord’s supper. We want to be open and accountable and support one another. We also want to take an opportunity to serve our community. For me, that’s almost a fourth sacrament – through active service to the community God can really speak to us. We have an opportunity to be Christ to our brothers and sisters who may be in need, or maybe they’ll be Christ to us as an opportunity for introspection and healing for ourselves. I like to say, “Life, Light and Love in Christ.” Those three things really reflect what’s going on in this ministry: Christ is the light in a world of darkness. He is love, both in this life and the next. He also shows us what it means to be alive, that life is not always a bowl of cherries, but sometimes we find even amid the sorrow of others an opportunity to live by showing them our love.

SDR: What one book has had the most influence on your ministry?

PR: Hammer of God: A Novel About the Cure of Souls by Bo Giertz. It is a great book for a person who wants to be a pastor. It’s about a conversation between a young pastor and an older pastor about their experiences and challenges in ministry. I read that book in seminary.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PR: People who want to be with Jesus go to heaven. And those who don’t want to be with Jesus go to hell. My job, then, is to help people to see that Jesus is not a bad person. So often people reject the church or don’t want to go to church or stop going or despise the church because they’ve had a bad experience with the people in the church, or they’ve had a bad experience as a child. I want to help them to understand: that’s not Jesus. I want to give them an opportunity to learn about another kind of Jesus than the one they’ve been thinking about. I want to also make it clear that Jesus is real. If I could accomplish that, I could die and go to heaven.

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