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Author Barrett Owen

J. Barrett Owen is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Waynesboro in Waynesboro, Virginia. He is a member of the / Baptist Center for Ethics board of directors.

With Pentecost celebrated this Sunday, may we remember God gave us breath to live, move and have our being in the world and gave us breath to cry out against injustices afflicted on our sisters and brothers of color. […] Read More

Interactions and encounters during the global pandemic have revealed an often-forgotten truth: we’re to be priests to one another. Gestures of love, compassion and kindness are all around us if we pay attention. […] Read More

With many of us practicing social distancing, COVID-19 is taking a toll. For some, depression will inevitably set in. Should you begin to feel depressed, practice some of these steps to engage your mind, body and soul. […] Read More

We’re familiar with the Magi who brought gifts to infant Jesus, but there’s a second set of Magi in Scripture. One knew how to embrace mystery; the other refused to do so out of fear. Which group best represents you? […] Read More

Millennials have been the topic of debate. Blogs, books, newspaper articles and religious institutions have spent time, energy, money and a great deal of worry trying to label the differences between “millennials,” “Gen-X’ers,” “boomers” and “builders.” Experts (and others with access to a computer) debate on defining whether or not millennials will be a positive […] Read More

In college, I took an Old Testament course that challenged me to think of Genesis 1 not as a sweet fairy-tale or myth, but rather a very intentional, nuanced and structured environment that took fully into account the use of the six-day metaphor. My professor wasn’t arguing for a six, 24-hour day creation story, but […] Read More

It seems to me that in order to join a church in today’s religiously charged culture, you have to do more than declare “Jesus is Lord!” You also have to have an opinion on a litany of questions: MSNBC or Fox News? Republican or Democrat? Liberal or conservative? NPR or Rush Limbaugh? Evangelical or mainstream? […] Read More

Diana Butler Bass (along with others) is publishing frequently about the sociological shifts occurring in churches. She’s helped us see that church growth used to be based on the formula: “Believe. Behave. Belong.” If you believe what we believe and behave the way we behave, then you will eventually come to belong. Unfortunately, for some […] Read More

I’m finding myself in a liminal space, reflecting as I gear up for another semester of marriage, school, ministry, recruiting, traveling, speaking, learning, preaching and pastoring. And I’m noticing a trend – it’s difficult to live out of my “best” self.  In other words, the rat race of life, scheduling, recruiting and preaching break me […] Read More

My wife and I went looking at Christmas lights last Christmas. We saw the usual carolers, snowmen, nutcrackers, reindeers, sleighs and so forth. At one particular house, we saw two things I’ll never forget. The first was a birthday cake covered in white lights. Green lettering spelled out “Happy Birthday Jesus.” The theologian in me […] Read More