I am so pleased you are checking out St. John’s. We are a vibrant, healthy congregation blessed by God, cleansed by the grace of Christ, and empowered by the Spirit to love and work for peace and justice in the world. I joined St. John’s as their Pastor in 2003 and have enjoyed the opportunity to serve in Berkeley, a unique and exciting place on the edge of the Pacific.
I was born in Claremont California, way back in '63. I was four when Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and it came on the news. I had never seen my mother cry at the TV, but she did that day. My father told me that King was a Christian Preacher, and they played a clip from King’s “I Have a Dream” speech. I was inspired as never before. Later, I went to a Lutheran High school and spent a good deal of time harassing the religion class instructors. After high school, I attended San Diego State with a scholarship for Pole Vaulting on the track team.
It was in San Diego that I fell in love with surfing and was inspired by a couple of professors to join the Peace Corps. I was assigned to be a Community Health Volunteer down on the Rio Dulce in Guatemala, where I taught Health and Hygiene and helped put in a few wells and latrines. While working at an orphanage, I fell in love with Feliciana, a fellow employee who had a captivating smile and a deeply warm spirit.
Feliciana and I were married and then we moved to San Anselmo, CA so that I could attend San Francisco Theological Seminary. After our first son, Nicholas, was born (’93), and after receiving my MDiv in 1994, I took a job as Pastor at a bilingual, multicultural church in Houston, San Pablo Trinity. There I learned how to preach in both English and Spanish at the same time. I spent some time serving on the Racial Ethnic Committee for New Covenant Presbytery. Kevin, our second son, was born in ’95.
In 1998, I took a job as Associate Pastor for Christian Ed and Contemporary Worship at Northminster Presbyterian Church in Salinas, California. We had a great time raising our little boys there in the Church and in and around the gorgeous Salinas Valley and Monterey Bay.
It was a joy to unite with St. John’s which has such a rich tradition of social Justice and just a gorgeous sanctuary in which to worship God. I hope you come join us, to discern and experience the Spirit move through your life and let us become a part of your biography.
May God bless and Keep you,
– Pastor Max Lynn