Preacher of the Week: The Rev. David Felten

After spending a year in Western Australia, the Rev. David Felten’s experience helped shape his future ministry of starting a new church, Via de Cristo, from scratch in the Northeast area of Scottsdale, Ariz. He grew his church into a dynamic faith community by serving a niche group of spiritual seekers.

The Rev. Felten will serve as Lakeside’s Preacher of the Week from July 30-Aug. 3. He will preach at the 10:30 a.m. Hoover Community Worship Service on Sunday, July 30 in Hoover Auditorium. His sermon, “Letting Go of a Perfect, Error-Free Bible,” is based on 2 Timothy 3:14-17.

The Rev. Felten spent eight years as an associate pastor and co-pastor at Epworth United Methodist Church in West Phoenix, Ariz. before being appointed to start Via de Cristo in 1998.

While at Via de Cristo, the Rev. Felten teamed up with fellow United Methodist pastor Jeff Proctor-Murphy to create educational materials they were not seeing from other publishers.

Their progressive Christian curriculum, “Living the Questions,” was developed at Via de Cristo and Asbury United Methodist Church, first, as a DVD series. Their program is now a growing catalogue of curriculum, including a series questioning capital punishment with Sister Helen Prejean and DreamThinkBeDo, an overview of progressive Christianity for young adults. The published their first book in 2012, Living the Questions, the Wisdom of Progressive Christianity.

The Rev. Felten is a native of Phoenix, and he received a music education degree from Arizona State University. He went on to Boston University School of Theology where he earned his Master of Divinity in biblical studies and history.

Before completing chaplaincy training at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, he spent a year studying as a Rotary Graduate Scholar at Perth Theological Hall of Murdoch University in Pert, Western Australia where he received an honors degree.

He is now a full-time pastor at The Fountains United Methodist Church in Fountain Hills and also serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of Boston University’s School of Theology and on the board of the Phoenix Chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State.

The Rev. Felten is also one of the founding directors of the Arizona Foundation for Contemporary Theology and is one of the founders of No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice, a group dedicated to advocating for Christian compassion towards the LGBT community.

During his week at Lakeside, the Rev. Felten will preach at 9:15 a.m. Monday-Thursday during Faith for Living Hour in Orchestra Hall.

At 7:15 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 1, he will lead Vespers by the Lake, held on the Pavilion East Deck.

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