Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational welcomes new pastor


Breedlove

A yearlong pastoral search led to the arrival of the Rev. Dr. Christopher Breedlove, new senior pastor at Foothills Congregational Church in Los Altos.

Breedlove, his wife, Amy, and their four children come to Foothills from the Community United Church of Christ in Fresno. He also served as chairman of Faith in Community, a community organizing network; as steering board member on California Interfaith Power and Light, a network of religious communities committed to addressing global warming; and as vice chairman of the Human Rights Coalition of the Central Valley.

“Pastor Chris is approachable, humble and thoughtful,” said Foothills member Mary Alden. “He preaches about God’s unconditional love and connects the Bible to modern-day experiences – and all of this is done with a sense of humor and a smile.”

Journey to faith

Breedlove recalled his journey to faith.

“My family was not religious, and in fact I have early memories of my grandmother talking about being agnostic,” he said.

At age 17, Breedlove and a friend started going to church – the Gulf War in Iraq had started and they were searching for meaning in human life and death.

“I wanted to get close to God,” Breedlove said. “The pastor of that small Baptist church sincerely cared for me and gave me a part-time job as the janitor. As I did my chores, he would ask me things like what were my goals. He mentored me and showed me a community where people could trust each other.”

Breedlove started studying harder to get his grade-point average up so that he could attend college.

“I sensed a call and wanted to dedicate my life to serving God,”

he said.

He received a scholarship to East Texas Baptist University and double majored in religion and behavioral science.

Working multiple jobs, he continued his studies at Baylor University’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Wayland Baptist University and Eden Theological Seminary.

Pastoral care

As his pastoral career developed, Breedlove worked in congregations in Texas and gradually saw himself moving toward a more progressive view of parish ministry. He moved into alignment with United Church of Christ approaches to both theology and the role of church leadership.

“Chris is a delightfully engaging minister who has from the start involved himself in the pastoral care of the congregation. I enjoy his sermons grounded in theology and current events,” said John Reimann, Foothills member and Los Altos resident.

An important part of Breedlove’s faith is his love of mountains, hiking and star-gazing.

“I believe that you can re-create yourself by experiencing nature and in contemplating the cosmos,” he said. “Some cultures call it ‘nature bathing’ – submerging yourself in the natural world and celebrating the miracle of life.”

Breedlove shared his vision for his new ministry.

“Affirmation of the here and now is a big aspect of my present focus,” he said. “It is hard for us to put away our technology, to unplug ourselves. We often rush and inattentively pass from one event to the next, and it takes mindfulness to live and celebrate the miracle and beauty of life, here and now.”

Foothills Congregational Church is located at 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos. For more information, visit foothills-church.org.

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