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Stories by Joseph O'Brien

St. Andrew’s Lutheran: a model of giving and serving others

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church Contact: 8350 Lake Murray Blvd, San Diego 619-464-4211 www.standrewslutheran.church Membership: 750 Pastor: Manuel Retamoza Age: 50 Born: Stockton Formation: Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA; Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN. Years Ordained: ...

May 22, 2020
A Day of Public Humiliation, Fasting, and Prayer with John Hancock

John Hancock In circumstances as dark as these, it becomes us, as Men and Christians, to reflect that whilst every prudent measure should be taken to ward off the impending judgments…at the same time all ...

Kurt Christenson: Facebook live streaming First Lutheran's worship services

First Lutheran Church of San Diego Contact: 1420 Third Ave, San Diego 619-234-6149 www.firstlutheransd.org Membership: 280 Pastor: Kurt Christenson Age: 59 Born: Groton, CT Formation: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN; Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley ...

May 8, 2020
Seven Tanka for Creation by Joseph O’Brien

1 Photosynthesis Before there was anything To kiss or embrace, Before our bed was warm with You, me, soil, seed—or hunger. 2 Caress of plasma, Hydrogen and helium— Touching my face as My giddy hands ...

April 30, 2020
Quarantined through the eyes of Sir Isaac Newton or Henri Matisse

Congregational Church of La Jolla Contact: 1216 Cave St., La Jolla 858-459-5045 www.lajollaucc.org Membership: 125 Pastor: Timothy Seery Age: 27 Born: Great Falls, MT Formation: Harvard University; Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, MA Years Ordained: 2.5 ...

April 24, 2020
Masao Abe: securing the spiritual foundations of humanity

Masao Abe All I-Thou relationships among men and between man and God are possible only within an endlessly expanding self-awakening. Zen calls this our “Original Face,” the face we have before we are born. “Before ...

Joshua Dorsch: interpreter of Jewish scripture and law

Tifereth Israel Synagogue Contact: 6660 Cowles Mountain Boulevard, San Diego 619-697-6001 www.tiferethisrael.com Membership: 350 Rabbi: Joshua Dorsch Age: 34 Born: Philadelphia, PA Formation: Columbia University/Jewish Theological Seminary, NY Years Ordained: 7 San Diego Reader: Why ...

April 10, 2020
Alexander Hamilton: one of the Founding Fathers of the United States

Alexander Hamilton Good and wise men, in all ages…have supposed that the deity, from the relations, we stand in, to himself and to each other, has constituted an eternal and immutable law, which is, indispensibly, ...

Mary Lynn Coulson: finding the bigger embrace of God’s love

St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea Episcopal Church Contact: 1050 Thomas Ave, San Diego, CA 92109 858-273-3022 www.standrewspb.org Membership: 90 Pastor: Mary Lynn Coulson Age: 31 Born: Kansas City, MO Formation: St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN; Virginia Theological ...

March 27, 2020
Kaushitaki Upanishad: does the soul exist?

Kaushitaki Upanishad Pratardana Daivodasi by fighting and virility arrived at the beloved abode of Indra. To him then Indra said: “Pratardana, choose a boon (vara).” Then said Pratardana: “Do you yourself choose for me the ...

Puritan prayers with Justin Paslay of Pacific Beach’s First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church of Pacific Beach Contact: 4747 Soledad Mountain Road, San Diego 858-273-8888 www.firstpb.org Membership: 112 Pastor: Justin Paslay Age: 37 Born: Fort Worth, TX Formation: University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR; Southern Baptist Theological ...

The Maitri Upanishad: an ancient scripture held sacred to Hinduism and Buddhism

Maitri Upanishad Now, indeed, O king, this is the Brahma-knowledge, even the knowledge contained in all the Upanishads, as declared to us by the honorable Maitri. I will narrate it to you. Now, the Valakhilyas ...

Found in a tiny room in southern India

Gloria Dei Lutheran Church Contact: 1087 W. Country Club Lane, Escondido 760-743-2478 www.gdlutheran.org Membership: 150 Pastor: Jeffrey Horn Age: 50 Born: San Fernando Valley Formation: Pepperdine University, Malibu; Christ College (Concordia University), Irvine; Concordia Theological ...

February 28, 2020
Dominico Barberi: heralded the “Second Spring” for Catholicism in England

Dominico Barberi Alas! O Lord, Sovereign ruler of the universe, thou who from nothing didst create all things, and with the power of thy arm dost preserve and uphold them; thou, who didst deign to ...

God found in the engine room of Navy ships

Gethsemane Lutheran Church Contact: 2696 Melbourne Dr., San Diego 858-277-6572 www.gethsemanesd.org Membership: 80 Pastor: Karla Seyb-Stockton Blog: www.pastorkarlablog.wordpress.com Age: 61 Born: Keokuk, Iowa Formation: Iowa State University, Ames, IA; Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Berkeley; Naval ...

February 14, 2020
The Shvetashvatara Upanishad: the primal cause of all existence

Shvetashvatara Upanishad In that vast Brahma-wheel, in which all things live and rest, the bird flutters about, so long as he thinks that the self (in him) is different from the mover (the god, the ...

Lydia Sohn’s Inner Voice of Love

St. Mark’s United Methodist Church Contact: 3502 Clairemont Dr., San Diego 858-273-1480 www.stmarksumcsd.org Membership: 600 Pastor: Lydia Sohn Blog: www.revlydia.com Age: 36 Born: Seoul, South Korea Formation: Scripps College, Claremont; Yale Divinity School, New Haven, ...

January 31, 2020
Ohio Congressman Tony P. Hall found among pro-life Democrats

Tony P. Hall The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God ...

The value of Colossians scripture

Mar Vista Baptist Church Contact: 888 5th St, Imperial Beach 619-424-7877 www.mvb.church Membership: 30 Pastor: Daniel Mullen Age: 62 Born: Glendale Formation: Southern California Seminary, El Cajon Years Ordained: 9 San Diego Reader: What’s your ...

January 17, 2020
Dominico Barberi heralded the “Second Spring” for Catholicism with John Henry Newman

Dominico Barberi Alas! O Lord, Sovereign ruler of the universe, thou who from nothing didst create all things, and with the power of thy arm dost preserve and uphold them; thou, who didst deign to ...

The “Prayers and Squares” of Spirit of Joy Lutheran

Spirit of Joy Lutheran Church Contact: 1735 Main St., Ramona 760-788-7456 www.sojchurch.com Membership: 400 Pastor: Dan Erlenbusch Age: 68 Born: Columbus, OH. Formation: California Sate University-Fullerton; Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Columbia, SC. Years Ordained: 42 ...

January 3, 2020
Henry Weedall: devoted English priest and Catholic educator

Henry Weedall Let us begin with the virtue of religion. Of this a principal duty is worship, reason teaches us to worship God. The natural law prescribes that we should do it frequently. The divine ...

Hebrew for “loving kindness”

Ner Tamid Synagogue Contact: 12348 Casa Avenida, Poway 858-513-8330 www.nertamidsd.org Membership: 140 families Rabbi: Sammy Seid Age: 31 Born: Mission Viejo Formation: University of California-Santa Cruz; California State-Fullerton; Ziegler School of Rabbinic Studies-American Jewish University, ...

December 20, 2019
Knowledge alone frees the soul with the Mundaka Upanishad

Mundaka Upanishad Manifest, [yet] hidden; called “Moving-in-secret”: The great abode! Therein is placed that Which moves and breathes and winks. What that is, know as Being (sad) and Non-being (a-sad), As the object of desire, ...

Steve Albert REBOOTs at Poway’s All Faith Center

The All Faith Center Contact: 17762 St. Andrews Dr., Poway 858-487-8885 www.allfaithcenter.org Membership: 18 faith teams (composed of “thousands” of members from area congregations) Pastor: Steve Albert (co-pastor with wife Abigail Albert) Age: 72 Born: ...

December 6, 2019
Matthew Hale: defender of the English crown

Matthew Hale The Great Lord of the World hath placed the Children of Men in this Earth as his Stewards; and according to the Parable in Matthew 25, He delivers to every person his Talents, ...

Lake Morena Community Church: to know God and make him known

Lake Morena Community Church Contact: 29765 Oak Drive, Campo (619) 478-5917 www.lmcconline.org Membership: 100 Co-pastors: Bob and Tina Phillippi Age: 49/48 Born: Orange/San Luis Obispo Formation: Berean School of the Bible (Global University), Springfield, MO; ...

November 22, 2019
Arthur Clifford: unearthed the Tixall Letters and Tixall Poetry

Arthur Clifford A Prayer to the Almighty Amid the Ruins of History To want, and pining misery dear, And loved by all the country near, When, as successive ages rolled, The steel-clad knight, or baron ...

Father Alex De Paulis: furthering the mission of reconciliation in Mission Hills

St. Vincent de Paul Parish Contact: 4080 Hawk St., San Diego 619-299-3880 www.vincentcatholic.org Membership: 300 (families) Pastor: Father Alex De Paulis Age: 40 Born: Las Vegas, NV Formation: University of Nevada-Las Vegas; Point Loma Nazarene ...

November 8, 2019
Discussing “Om” and “Moksha” with The Prashna Upanishad

The Prashna Upanishad The Lord of Creation, verily, was desirous of creatures. He performed austerity. Having performed austerity, he produces a pair, matter and life, thinking “These two will make creatures for me in manifold ...

Telling the good news of God with C.S. Lewis

St. Luke’s North Park Contact: 3725 30th St, San Diego 619-977-8173 www.stlukesnorthpark.org Membership: 130 Co-pastors: Laurel and Colin Mathewson Age: 36/38 Born: Eugene, Oregon/East County Formation: Stanford University; The School of Theology-University of the South, ...

October 25, 2019
Gutenberg Bible marked the advent of the printing press in Europe

Johannes Gutenberg God suffers in the multitude of souls whom His word can not reach. Religious truth is imprisoned in a small number of manuscript books, which confine instead of spread the public treasure. Let ...

Freedom to preach at Coronado’s First Baptist Church

First Baptist Church Contact: 445 C Ave., Coronado 619-435-6588 www.fbcoronado.com Membership: 200 Pastor: Jim Baize Age: 72 Born: Louisville, KY Formation: University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL; Baptist Bible College, Springfield, MO Years Ordained: 47 San ...

October 11, 2019
The Katha Upanishad: self-knowledge is the highest form of happiness in Hinduism

The Katha Upanishad Nachiketa said: That which you see as other than righteousness and unrighteousness, other than all this cause and effect, other than what has been and what is to be−tell me that. Yama ...

Discovering your purpose with John Irving’s A Prayer for Owen Meany

Pioneer Ocean View United Church of Christ Contact: 2550 Fairfield St, San Diego (619) 276-4881 www.povucc.org Membership: 154 Pastor: Mary Sue Brookshire Age: 50 Born: Winslow, NC Formation: Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC; Candler School ...

September 27, 2019
William Eusebius Andrews: Catholic critic of Protestant historian John Foxe

William Eusebius Andrews The very common manner of judging of human things by the abuses made of them, sometimes by the wicked and sometimes by fools, is vicious. If man has natural, religious, political and ...

September 20, 2019
Rabbi Ron Schulman compelled by Milton Steinberg’s As a Driven Leaf

Congregation Beth El Contact: 8660 Gilman Drive, La Jolla 858-452-1734 www.cbe.org Membership: Over 600 families Rabbi: Ron Shulman Age: 63 Born: Chicago Formation: Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; American Jewish University, Los Angeles; Jewish Theological Seminary, ...

September 13, 2019
Hinduism, Buddhism, and Jainism derived from the Kena Upanishad

Kena Upanishad When freed (from the senses) the wise, on departing from this world, become immortal. The eye does not go thither, nor speech, nor mind. We do not know, we do not understand, how ...

Hugo Grotius: man ruled by a lasting cooperative peace

Hugo Grotius Among all good men one principle at any rate is established beyond controversy, that if the authorities issue any order that is contrary to the law of nature or to the commandments of ...

Minister to the last, the lost, and the least at Donovan Prison

Ocean View Church Contact: 2460 Palm Ave., San Diego 619-424-7870 www.oceanviewchurch.com Membership: 1,400 Pastor: Steve Boschen Age: 50 Born: Springfield, MO Formation: Drury University, Springfield, MO Years Ordained: 12 San Diego Reader: What is the ...

August 16, 2019
Lord of the Rings, or Christ and the resurrection?

Community Lutheran Church Contact: 3575 East Valley Parkway, Escondido/ 340 Rancheros Drive Suite 160 San Marcos 760-739-1650 www.clcfamily.org Membership: 500 (Escondido and San Marcos campuses) Pastor: Bob Hiller Age: 39 Born: Aurora, CO Formation: Concordia ...

August 2, 2019
John Lingard: used history to demonstrate truths of the Catholic Church

John Lingard According to the Catholic belief, the bread and wine in the sacrament of the Eucharist, are made verily and indeed, the body and blood of Christ. This doctrine is grounded on the express ...

The Response Church: a Pilgrim’s Progress

The Response Church Contact: 1499 Venice St., San Diego 619-354-8463 www.theresponsechurch.com Membership: 180 (adults) Pastor: Joel Webbon Age: 32 Born: Tomball, TX Formation: Dallas Baptist University, Dallas, TX Years Ordained: 5 San Diego Reader: How ...

July 19, 2019
Wang Yang-Ming: Neo-Confucian doctrine during the Ming dynasty

Wang Yang-Ming Benevolence, justice, propriety, and wisdom are nature manifesting virtue. There is only one nature and no other. Referring to its substance, it is called heaven; considered as ruler or lord, it is called ...

Sharing love and suffering with Henri Nouwen’s Wounded Healers

Incarnation Lutheran Church Contact: 16889 Espola Rd., Poway 858-487-2225 www.godamong.us Membership: 400 Associate Pastor: Tim Mason Age: 58 Born: St. Cloud, MN Formation: University of Minnesota, Morehead State University, KY; Lutheran Northwestern (Lutheran-St. Paul) Seminary, ...

July 5, 2019
Horace Greeley: Universalist, founder of the New York Tribune, and defender of human rights

Horace Greeley Love God with all the powers of your soul, and love every man as yourself; for every man is like a part of yourself, and must at last become, like you, one with ...

Meridian Baptist Church: Rolland Slade finishes the work of slain police officer Ronald W. Davis

Meridian Baptist Church Contact: 660 S 3rd St, El Cajon 619-444-3171 www.meridianbaptist.com Membership: 100 Pastor: Rolland Slade Age: 60 Born: San Diego Formation: University of San Diego; University of Redlands; Bethel Seminary; Gateway Seminary, Ontario ...

June 21, 2019
Calvary Lutheran Church: Cycling to Hope with refurbished bicycles

Calvary Lutheran Church Contact: 424 Via De La Valle, Solana Beach, 858-755-2855, www.calvarylutheranchurch.org Membership: 450 Pastor: Lawrence L. Hand Age: 63 Born: Philadelphia, PA Formation: Susquehanna University, PA; Lutheran Theological Seminary, Philadelphia Years Ordained: 37 ...

June 14, 2019
Two poems by San Diego Reader’s poetry editor Joseph O’Brien

To Arena That day the beach crept up on us, Its shallow sideshow of seashells, We began our sunburn early, Soaked in cold beer against curly- Cues of canvas, regatta sails Drowned in the chalky ...

May 30, 2019
The Village Community Presbyterian Church motto: Following Jesus for Life

The Village Community Presbyterian Church Contact: 6225 Paseo Delicias, Rancho Santa Fe 858-756-2441 www.villagechurch.org Membership: 1100 Pastor: Pastor Jack Baca Age: 62 Born: Socorro, NM Formation: University of New Mexico-Albuquerque; Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ; Fuller ...

May 24, 2019

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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
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