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St. Mark’s United Methodist Church: restoring hope, empowering community, and growing in grace

Constant loving presence

Darin Arntson
Darin Arntson

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church

Contact: 3502 Clairemont Dr., San Diego www.stmarksumcsd.org 626-714-8097

Membership: 350

Pastor: Darin Arntson

Age: 40

Born: San Diego

Formation: University of California-Irvine; Candler School of Theology, Altanta, GA

Years Ordained: 7

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

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Pastor Darin Arntson: The message we hear at Jesus’ baptism, where before Jesus began any work at all, before he began ministering, teaching, or preaching, God said, “This is my beloved, and I am already well pleased with him.” He didn’t throw in the “already”— that’s a bit of editorial comment. But if we could hear anything from God on a regular basis, it would be to hear that we are already loved exactly as we are. It’s from that place of love that we should feel confident and moved to love others, to have that sense, that confidence and grounding, because we trust in God’s love for us.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PA: Some would assume it’s because my mother is a pastor and I followed in her footsteps. By the way, you interviewed my mother for Sheep and Goats in 2016 — Cindy Arntson of the Community United Methodist Church of Julian. But I joke that I went the 360-degree route to come back the other way. The church was always a place I felt welcomed, accepted and valued, and in expressing my gifts and finding my own leadership and voice in the church, I also learned that there was a call for me to continue to create that space and encourage that kind of community, to be that same loving presence and witness to others.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PA: Our purpose is restoring hope, empowering community, and growing in grace rooted in God’s love. We recognize that the world faces a lot of despair, challenge, frustration, and fear, but the Gospel witness assures us of God’s constant loving presence and gives hope for new and abundant life. As a church, we get to share this message with those who are struggling, and we welcome, connect, serve, and love. We know God has created us for each other to be partners in our lives as we journey together, and he has called us to work together, not alone, in the work of compassion, justice and peace…Then, in growing in grace, we truly go to our Methodist roots, knowing that Jesus offers us constant grace. We support one another as a church in faith and grow our understanding and acceptance to be more confident in sharing God’s grace together. We’re doing all this rooted in the love of Christ.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PA: The feeling of unconditional love and acceptance, where we feel our most faith and free to be ourselves, is the experience of heaven. God’s presence is that — whatever that might look like; maybe it’s different for everyone. That’s the experience we will have of heaven. I have a pretty Wesleyan view insofar as God is always inviting all of us at every moment of our lives, and it is our will to choose or not to choose heaven. But, while plenty may not choose it in life, when presented with that kind of experience, that presence of love “face to face” and we’re no longer seeing dimly, it’s hard to believe anyone wouldn’t choose it. Wesley would say God never pulls God’s grace back from us; so, if that’s true in life, I think that’s true in death also.

Place

St. Mark's United Methodist Church

3502 Clairemont Drive, San Diego


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Darin Arntson
Darin Arntson

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church

Contact: 3502 Clairemont Dr., San Diego www.stmarksumcsd.org 626-714-8097

Membership: 350

Pastor: Darin Arntson

Age: 40

Born: San Diego

Formation: University of California-Irvine; Candler School of Theology, Altanta, GA

Years Ordained: 7

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

Sponsored
Sponsored

Pastor Darin Arntson: The message we hear at Jesus’ baptism, where before Jesus began any work at all, before he began ministering, teaching, or preaching, God said, “This is my beloved, and I am already well pleased with him.” He didn’t throw in the “already”— that’s a bit of editorial comment. But if we could hear anything from God on a regular basis, it would be to hear that we are already loved exactly as we are. It’s from that place of love that we should feel confident and moved to love others, to have that sense, that confidence and grounding, because we trust in God’s love for us.

SDR: Why did you become a minister?

PA: Some would assume it’s because my mother is a pastor and I followed in her footsteps. By the way, you interviewed my mother for Sheep and Goats in 2016 — Cindy Arntson of the Community United Methodist Church of Julian. But I joke that I went the 360-degree route to come back the other way. The church was always a place I felt welcomed, accepted and valued, and in expressing my gifts and finding my own leadership and voice in the church, I also learned that there was a call for me to continue to create that space and encourage that kind of community, to be that same loving presence and witness to others.

SDR: What is the mission of your church?

PA: Our purpose is restoring hope, empowering community, and growing in grace rooted in God’s love. We recognize that the world faces a lot of despair, challenge, frustration, and fear, but the Gospel witness assures us of God’s constant loving presence and gives hope for new and abundant life. As a church, we get to share this message with those who are struggling, and we welcome, connect, serve, and love. We know God has created us for each other to be partners in our lives as we journey together, and he has called us to work together, not alone, in the work of compassion, justice and peace…Then, in growing in grace, we truly go to our Methodist roots, knowing that Jesus offers us constant grace. We support one another as a church in faith and grow our understanding and acceptance to be more confident in sharing God’s grace together. We’re doing all this rooted in the love of Christ.

SDR: Where do you go when you die?

PA: The feeling of unconditional love and acceptance, where we feel our most faith and free to be ourselves, is the experience of heaven. God’s presence is that — whatever that might look like; maybe it’s different for everyone. That’s the experience we will have of heaven. I have a pretty Wesleyan view insofar as God is always inviting all of us at every moment of our lives, and it is our will to choose or not to choose heaven. But, while plenty may not choose it in life, when presented with that kind of experience, that presence of love “face to face” and we’re no longer seeing dimly, it’s hard to believe anyone wouldn’t choose it. Wesley would say God never pulls God’s grace back from us; so, if that’s true in life, I think that’s true in death also.

Place

St. Mark's United Methodist Church

3502 Clairemont Drive, San Diego


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