I’m Pastor Steve Beckham, a 59-year-old guy with roots in the midwest and south, though I’ve lived in Southern California most of my life. Before I became an ELCA Lutheran pastor, I worked in advertising for 20 years, and I still do some voiceover work. I also write. The upshot of all that is that I tend to see the world and the church–especially the church–a little differently than many others who wear that funny collar. Don’t get me started about the collar. It has a leash attached, you know. I have served parishes in Orange, Riverside and Ventura and I’m currently serving in Long Beach, the town where I grew up, at Gloria Dei Lutheran Church on Naples Island. The little church with a big heart.
Anyway, I hope you find food for thought in whatever recordings and musings you find posted here. If something I say offends you, I hope you take time to ask yourself just what button it pushed and why that particular button is attached to a hot spot in your psyche. The greatest commandment, said Jesus, is to love God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself (Mark 12:30). I think that sometimes people of faith do the “heart and soul” part pretty well but tend to overlook the “mind” part. St. Paul advised us not to be conformed, but to be transformed… by the renewing of our minds. That, in a nutshell, is what I try to do, myself, and I hope that in the process I help some others not only see the presence of Christ alive in the world, but help them become possessed by the very breath of God. It’s quite an aspiration,* I grant you, but that’s the fire in my bones.
*For fans of Latin roots, this is a small pun.