Pastor Burke Owens
My name is Burke Owens and I am honored to be your pastor as of July 2017. It is my pleasure to join you and become part of this wonderful community of faith.
Saint Helena has been a favorite of mine ever since my wife and I moved to Northern California in 1984. Back then we lived in San Francisco and on the weekend we would often head north to Napa Valley to enjoy the vines, wines, people and beautiful landscape. Saint Helena has good bones for it is a town that is creative, hospitable and full of spirit, a special place for me in my prior career in wine and food, over the last 30 plus years.
A bit of information about myself; prior to becoming a Methodist pastor, my professional energies have been focused in the food and wine industries, and my personal ones into raising a family with my wife Caroline Pietrangelo-Owens. A big part of my passion for wine and food comes from my mom, Marjorie and her love of food. She is a great cook and when I was growing up, wrote a weekly column about local home cooks for the Danbury News Times in Connecticut.
As a result, I appreciate food and wine and value them in multiple ways. I understand them as a means of nourishment and of inspiration. Each is a model of creation, for both are grown or created from the earth’s bounty, cultivated by humans and yet they originate in the mystery that is creation. So even though our amazing local vineyards and wineries plant vines to grow grapes, to then harvest, sort, crush, ferment, rack and age, I know ultimately that it is God who is the source of the earth, that creates the water, sun and c02 needed to grow the vines, ripen the fruit and create the wonder of fermentation, transforming simple sugars into complex yet delicious compounds that bring great joy, vitality and health to this community. For God creates us, not just to grow wine, bake bread or cook a meal, but to honor the creation and to celebrate this miraculous world we all share and rejoice in. When people create these good things, they are worshipping the creation and the divine purpose, honoring and renewing both as a result.
This May, after four plus years of study and work, I completed my Master of Divinity degree at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. There I learned a great deal about Christian history and the Methodist Church, about other religious and faith traditions and ultimately, about the incomparable value of recognizing the spirit in my life and the lives of others. For me, the great unknowable mystery that is the source of all life is what I call God. The Divine is that creative, endlessly engaging life force, which is the heart and the mind of all things. And my task here at the Saint Helena United Methodist Church is to nurture and love this beloved community. To encourage each of us to be more aware of God, to appreciate what the divine brings to our lives, to grow our love of spirit and to help us stretch our soul enough that we bring that taste of the eternal into our lives and those of everyone we meet.
I look forward to getting to know each of you and to serving as your pastor in times of need, in times of joy, in times of questioning and in times of prayer and worship.
Contact Pastor Burke at
or 707 339 0766
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday 9am-noon
at the SHUMC office.
other times by appointment.