Longtime Ballard pastor heading to U District

After 11 years at the pulpit of Trinity United Methodist Church in Ballard, Reverend Rich Lang is heading to the University District.

The congregation at Trinity United Methodist

“Every pastor has a limited set of skills,” Lang says, “What I do best is to help congregations refocus their mission (reason to exist). Eleven years ago Trinity was an aging, declining congregation that had lost its direction and focus. Today, the church is growing, the morale is exciting with young singles and young families as our growing edge. I think God has called me into a ‘raising the dead’ type ministry. Trinity is no longer dead. It has come fully alive!”

Over the years, Rev. Lang has been very outspoken about homeless rights and was even arrested during a protest in 2008. But as Lang says, the activism doesn’t start or stop with him. “The values of social justice run far deeper than just the pastor, and those values were there before I got here: I just reminded folks of what they already knew,” he tells us. “It was Tent City and the neighborhood’s angry response to Tent City that awoke the church to its need to be Christ even in the midst of conflict. When all was said and done what became clear was that the vast majority of our neighborhood live lives of mercy and compassion, the tiny minority of bullies could not carry the day. I’m very proud to have been privileged to be their pastor. Realistically, pastors come and go, but Christian faith is a commitment to social justice, or it is not faith at all.”

Rev. Lang’s last sermon in Ballard will be on June 12th before saying goodbye to the congregation the following week. “It will be a very difficult emotional day. One cannot say goodbye without some measure of a broken heart but that is always the risk of daring to love another. I’ll take that risk every time because the joy always trumps the pain.” He will start the next phase of his life at University Temple United Methodist Church on July 1st. As of right now his replacement hasn’t been chosen, but the successor will hopefully be named in April, Lang says.

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Norse
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Norse

And a big Hoorah to Pastor Lang and his mission on behalf of the homeless. May he take it to the University Temple United Methodist Church. Let us not forget the night of December 16, 2009.

Barfly
Guest
Barfly

Yes, take it there! Anywhere but here.

Barfly
Guest
Barfly

Can he take his flock of drunken hobos with him?

Don’t let the door hit you in the a$$ on the way out.

Nora Bell
Guest
Nora Bell

Goodbye Rev. Lang. And thank you.

Guest
Guest
Guest

Good riddance!

Magia76
Guest
Magia76

He will be greatly missed…depending on his replacement, I may have to follow him to the U-District!

Guest
Guest
Guest

Hopefully we won’t get another militant, bible-thumping marxist.

Donmeyer
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Donmeyer

Rich is a good, good man. You’ll be missed!

Ted
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Ted

Another “9/11 was an inside job” Truther lunatic. Seriously, Lang is unbalanced ranter.

Sean W
Guest
Sean W

Rich Lang is a great guy with a great heart. He stepped up and tried to make a change in the community. For that I give him respect.

Barfly do you make a positive impact elsewhere?

Jim
Guest
Jim

The complete identification of Christianity with left-wing politics is the great failure of mainline Protestantism in Seattle and similar places. Being bothered by the bad behavior of some homeless people does not make you a bully. TUM and such churches glory in their righteousness- they are the modern equivalent of praying on the street corner. Lang is a Pharisee, it’s just that he’s a Sermon on the Mount Pharisee instead of a Deuteronomy Pharisee.

BuffaloHawk
Guest
BuffaloHawk

What happened Dec 16th 2009 ?

Guest
Guest
Guest

Ballard’s answer to Jerry Falwell.

Ted
Guest
Ted

Trinity United Methodist Church.

Motto:

“Blessed are the car prowlers.”

Jim
Guest
Jim

That doesn’t even make sense. Not that I would expect it to.

Jim
Guest
Jim

Or, maybe I’m just confused. Is Lang like Jerry Falwell or am I?

Norse
Guest
Norse

There was a stabbing at the shelter the church houses. Trinity thinks enough of the neighborhood that they use an organization (SHARE) that will not screen for sex offenders.

Ted
Guest
Ted

They’re both fanatics…..

Nwcitizen
Guest
Nwcitizen

Thank you Rich Lang. You have lived your faith and your congregation has done so as well. Seems it’s no easier to do that now than it ever has been. You’ve been a real inspiration.

Guest
Guest
Guest

By congregation do you mean the guys I see drinking, smoking dope and peeing in my alley in their way over to the Rev. Rich ‘Jim Jones’ Lang’s house of irresponsibility?

Barfly
Guest
Barfly

Actually, I think he said ‘blessed are the cheese makers’.

Obviously it’s not meant to be taken literally. It refers to any manufacturers of dairy products.

Cdpenne
Guest
Cdpenne

One of the great ironic tragedies of theological truth is that no matter how pure, pious, and earnest our attempts to create an equitable society are, the poor, dispossessed, downtrodden, marginalized, despised, and homeless will always be with us. Likewise, the feeble minded shill for the oppressor – those who gnash their teeth, insult and throw stones, who foolishly think they have been selected and are securely stationed in the winning camp – are also always with us. Could it be the two are connected? Like Yin & Yang, the two sides of the same coin. Do the poor suffer existence merely to be the crowbar that pries the blinders from our eyes and reveals the comfortable evil we wallow in? What kind of God is this that would allow a pitiful few to suffer for the benefit of a thankless, cancerous, whoring abomination of a society the rest of us are? What kind of God is this? Is that the best you can conjure up? Norse, Barfly, Vikinglifeguard, Ted, Jim, Nameless Guests. Petty comments from petty minds. The great sadness is that we will still have you as neighbors. Ever heard of Saul? Your future is coming up behind… Read more »

Barfly
Guest
Barfly

All hail the pious have arrived! Preach on Brother Penne!

Cdpenne
Guest
Cdpenne

Hardly! I am neither pious, nor a preacher, and given the opportunity I’d much rather remove an ear than open it. I probably hate more than you do. I just hate you pompous self-righteous nouveau semilessthanpoor windbags more than I do the homeless shelter folks.

Barfly
Guest
Barfly

“I probably hate more than you do”

Must be fun.