The Steven P. Tibbetts Home Page

The home of Pastor Zip's Lutheran Web Links or Pastor Zip's Christian Web Links.
(Yes, I'm Pastor Zip!)

[Title: Father Steven Tibbetts at Vadstena, Sweden, July 2013]Peace to you on the World Wide Web!
I am Steven Tibbetts and this is my Home Page!

Since the Fall of 1992, I have been Pastor at Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, in Peoria, Illinois. This photo of me was taken in July 2013 while at the General Chapter of the Society of Saint Birgitta in Vadstena, Sweden.

In addition to this web site, you can find me on the blogosphere at Pastor Zip's Blog, where I offer occasional reflections (on all sorts of matters, though usually related to the Faith and the Church) from my perspective as a Parish Pastor. My other blog, 21st Century Whig, occasionally reflects on public life from a perspective that has gone out of fashion.

I was born on St. Patrick's Day 1959 at Kaiser Foundation Hospital at the corner of Sunset and Vermont in east Hollywood, California, and raised in the West San Fernando Valley community of Canoga Park, California. (The part of Canoga Park I was raised in is now called (alas) "West Hills.") So that makes me a Valley Boy ("Wicked, dude!"), though first and foremost I am an Angeleno.

[I Wanna Go! Yes, click this!]At the time I was born Canoga Park was already transitioning from a small rural community at the end of the Pacific Electric Red Car line (where my dad had been born and raised) to a major suburban community fueled by the space program. Growing up we regularly heard the rumble of Rocketdyne's giant engines being tested in the Santa Susana Mountains for the Apollo missions to the Moon.
[The link to Canoga Park High's website: my brother and his wife are the webmasters!]I went to the nearby public schools, as did my younger sister and brother. Hamlin Street Elementary School is only a couple blocks from our home. Charles Evans Hughes Junior High School (which has since been closed, but you can see it in the "'Cruel Summer' At School' section of this page) was a 25 minute walk down in Woodland Hills. I graduated from Canoga Park High School — at the headwaters of the Los Angeles River and where my younger brother is now a teacher — in 1977 (when it looked more like this) with high honors, as Vice-President of the Student Body, and as a bench warmer on the varsity volleyball team.

I broadened my horizons beyond the West Valley by attending California State University, Northridge, graduating in 1981 with a B.S. in Business Administration (Accounting). (In 1994 CSUN would become more famous as the epicenter of the Northridge Earthquake.) During this time I also worked at the Sears, Roebuck & Co. store in the Northridge Fashion Center. I was living in Van Nuys when in 1985, shortly after transferring to Sears Savings Bank (a savings and loan Sears then owned), I returned from a trip to Israel with some other members of my church, and responded to a long-suppressed call to the ministry.

[Cooper's Folly — aka the Chapel of the Cross at PLTS — click here for seminary details]Going to seminary meant doing something I'd never dreamed of doing — leaving Los Angeles. The only Lutheran seminary in the West is part of the Graduate Theological Union, next to the University of California. So it was off to the San Francisco Bay Area in 1988. Okay, that link isn't completely accurate. San Francisco is a nice city to visit. And it's heaven compared to Berkeley, which was a real dump when I lived there. Though the view of the City from the seminary is gorgeous — when it isn't fogged in.
As part of my seminary experience I also spent a month in a South Central Los Angeles parish, a summer chaplaincy in the TriCities of Washington, and a wonderful year-long internship in the "Queen City of the Rockies," Helena, Montana. As the four years of preparation for ordained ministry were winding up in 1992 I could honestly tell the ELCA Bishops that I was willing to serve anywhere. They responded by assigning me to downstate Illinois and here I am . . .
an expatriate Californian:
[Click the Flag of the Golden State for more info]
born in Hollywood, playing in Peoria.

[MY TEAM!!][Go Halos!]I fell in love with baseball thanks to the Los Angeles Angels who then played at Chavez Ravine. I lived and died (okay, mostly died) with them when they moved to the Big A as the California Angels. It became hard to follow the Anaheim Angels quite as closely from Peoria — even in 2002 when we became the World Champions of Major League Baseball. But thanks to SiriusXM Radio, I've been able to keep up more closely with my beloved Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, who in recent years have generally been consistently at (or near) the top of the American League West.

Other things I enjoy include: science fiction, space exploration (yes, I Wanna Go!), short wave radio, popular music of many eras, history, politics, and automobiles. But to be honest, most of my life revolves around the Church, from the congregation I serve to the theological discussions and debates that happen across the nation and beyond. Watch as more links slowly appear here and around my entire site.

Well, it's not LA or the Valley,

[Peoria's skyline at dusk]
but I have found Peoria (pictured here at dusk from across the Illinois River) to be a nice place to live.

To get a feel for this city I sometimes call "home" I invite you to check out these links:

Peoria Area Convention and Visitors Bureau          Explore Peoria portal

[Peoria Journal Star] The Peoria Journal Star, a morning* newspaper.
(* - Real newspapers, of course, are published in the afternoon or evening. Alas, try finding one of those today.)

[Steven Tibbetts at a Peoria Chiefs game, summer 2008] Over the 22 years I've lived in Peoria, our local professional baseball team has been affiliated, at one time or another, with both of the nearest National League teams. At my arrival a Class-A farm club of the Chicago Cubs, a team I grew to love as a boy in the late '60s and early '70s, the Peoria Chiefs of the Midwest Baseball League are now once again affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals.

Minor league baseball can be quite fun to watch and the Chiefs have often had one of the better teams in the league. Interestingly, it was during years the team played poorly that future major league players like Rick Ankiel (early 1998) and three-time National League MVP and current L. A. Angel Albert Pujols (also Midwest League MVP in 2000 and NL Rookie of the Year in 2001) played in Peoria. Since 2002 the Chiefs have been playing at the nice downtown ballpark, since 2013 called "Dozer Park."

[Does the punishment fit the crime? Click here to seek justice for Brandon Hein.]
Go ahead. Click it and find out.

For nearly 2 decades I've continued to add links and branches to this site as I've had time to tell you more about things that interest me. Thanks for stopping by. And please do surf by again!

[We holds these truths...]

Copyright © 1996-2015 Steven P. Tibbetts. All rights reserved.
Created – 30 March 1996 on CompuServe's Our World
Transferred – 24 February 2006 to Apple's
Transferred – 9 July 2009 to
Last Revised – 25 July 2015







The Rev. Steven Paul Tibbetts, STS
Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church
1534 S. Easton Avenue
Peoria, IL 61605-3407
(309) 637-9150

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