Rev. Jason E. Bense
- Sacramento, CA
Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer
What brings you joy in your ministry?
Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?
Some saints: Martin Luther, Martin Luther King Jr., Craig Mueller, David Truemper, Rosa Parks, and all my predecessors at the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer
What are your interests outside of ministry?
I'm doing a Tough Mudder for the first time this summer!
Best meal you've ever eaten?
Chez Panisse - Berkeley with Alice Waters
The Rev. Bense serves as the Pastor of the Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer in Sacramento. He is in his first call after studying at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (MDiv ’08) and Valparaiso University (BA ’01). He served a vicarage in Kingston, New York, clinical pastoral education at Advocate Illinois Masonic Hospital in Chicago, a term of studies at Oakhill Seminary in London, England, and is a native of Columbus, Indiana.
Jason has a passion for urban ministry and interfaith work. He served two years in the Lutheran Volunteer Corps working for Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service to coordinate the Detention Watch Network in Baltimore, Maryland and the Seminary Consortium for Urban Pastoral Education in Chicago, Illinois.
The Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer where Jason serves has a nearly 60 year history in Sacramento of social activism including protesting the Vietnam war, calling and ordaining the first woman for Lutherans in the region, activism around racial redlining in the housing market, and taking a public witness in support of gays and lesbians in 1989. The current focus of the congregation is confronting the abuse of the earth by working to create a community garden on its vacant acre lawn and encouraging study of local food systems.
In Sacramento, Jason volunteers as an Associate Chaplain for Sutter Medical Center and serves on the hospital’s Bioethics Committee and the Professional Consultation Committee for the Spiritual Care Department. He is the Secretary for the Sacramento Conference of the Sierra Pacific Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and a sitting trustee of Interfaith Counsel of Greater Sacramento. He has chaired the planning task force for the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center and is a speaker in the Center’s educational outreach, is a board member of Opening Doors which resettles refugees in Sacramento. Jason sits as an invited member of the faith advisory boards of Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Sacramento City Police Department. An avid runner, Jason is a member of Frontrunners Sacramento and enjoys swimming and yoga.
Did you always want to be clergy?
I played church as a kid. We baked communion bread and had a processional cross in the basement.