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Linda Stewart-Kalen grew up in a Navy family, Linda moved        frequently and participated in United Presbyterian congregations     from coast to coast. Her childhood memories are punctuated with retreats and camps at Ghost Ranch, Asilamar, and Tall Timbers. Coming away to a quiet place, alone or with partners in the community of faith, has been a formative part of her faith journey.  After graduating from University of Washington with a B.A. in Psychology, Linda served Early Childhood Opportunities Northwest in Bellingham as a Head Start educator, staff development officer, and parent involvement/social services coordinator where she worked with preschoolers, teachers, parents, and community leaders on issues of child development and poverty. 

Linda was ordained an elder in 1989 at St. James Presbyterian Church in Bellingham.

At San Francisco Theological Seminary, in addition to her studies, Linda especially enjoyed working with David Ng on a developing a regional resource center, writing curriculum and helping produce a video for the World Council of Churches on the effects of racism in the United States, providing training in an Alban Institute project for Redwoodís Presbytery on church conflict and pastoral leadership, and facilitating daily worship for the Advanced Pastoral Studies program.  In 1995, through the Master of Divinity concentration in Christian Spirituality, she was invited to help develop a weekly contemplative prayer service that continues to provide a place for students and faculty to nurture their faith.  Linda served as a pastor intern for Old First Presbyterian Church, San Francisco prior to graduation in 1997. Ordained by the Presbytery of North Puget Sound in August of 1997, she served as solo pastor at the First Presbyterian Church of Myrtle Point, Oregon before coming to Portland. She was called to Colonial Heights Presbyterian Church in the Summer of 2005 and delights in the welcome this inter-generational community offers.  Linda sees her role as one of challenging the congregation to look for where God is at work in the world and helping the community join Godís efforts.  For Linda, CHPCís hopes and dreams for "Walking Meditation" and "Restful Reflection" gardens are especially exciting ventures in ministry and mission at this time. 

Linda and her husband have been married for forty-four years and have two young adult children.  Linda says, "In prayer, reflection and worship, God most often touches me through music. I enjoy enthusiastic congregational singing and stretching my music literacy skills singing alto in our church choir.  I am an avid gardener and birdwatcher.  I love reading, and walking in the neighborhoods here in SE Portland."

Music Leadership

Ms. Ivona Schacker began her role as Music Director in the Spring of 2007.  A native Oregonian, coming back to this area after living 42 years in the San Francisco Bay area, Ivona was the organist and choir director at Calvary United Methodist Church in San Jose and the accompanist at St. Williamís Catholic Church in Los Altos.  Ivona also taught music and math in Elementary and Jr. High Schools in Santa Clara & Campbell School  Districts.  We are thrilled to welcome her in music leadership and have already been blessed by her warmth and caring, fine musicianship and artistry.  A fine collaborator, Ivona welcomes musicians of every age, voice, and instrument to share in the music ministry here.




Childrenís Ministry

Joy Rothi  works with us to ensure that all the children gathered here receive care and support in our Children's Ministry.  An accomplished dancer and artist, Joy brings her creativity to the activities she shares with our youngest children. She is a student locally and we have enjoyed her music and participation with our congregation since she was quite young (not yet able to reach the pedals on the piano!)  We are fortunate to have this young women offer a safe and heathly setting and follow the interest of our children. Joy serves both Common Ground & MCC children in our shared ministry.  Joy works with the pastors and families to offer special activities several times a year in a retreat like setting for the support of our children's growth and development.   

Our Children's Ministry Team greets young people ages birth to 8 in the Chapel, inviting them to be a part of our community in a very special way.  After the Time of  Wonder & Blessing the Children with song, the children explore a range of activities that promote growing in faith.  Congregation members & friends assist each week in providing this safe and healthy time just for young ones.
Well-Being, Our Health & Wholeness Ministry
PUN Nurse

The Rev. Mr. Tim Winslea, RN serves as our nurse through the Presbyterian Urban Network.  Prior to his appointment as an Instructor at the Nursing School of the  University of Portland, Tim served Presbyterian (U.S.A.) and United Methodist congregations both in New York and Oregon for over twenty-five years. During his pastoral ministry, he also taught nursing at Linfield College and served as a psychiatric nurse in a local hospital. The hallmarks of his ministry included congregational development, interfaith dialogues, and social justice work related to healthcare, LGBTC+ and homelessness.

In February of 2020, just prior to the pandemic, Tim was commissioned to serve the Presbyterian Urban Network (PUN) as a faith community health nurse for the small urban congregations that make up the network.  Tim assists our Pastor and Deacons in their work of encouraging the congregation to witness, compassion, and service.  This ministry focuses on ministries healing and wholeness within the church, and on reaching out to the surrounding community.  Tim is available directly by phone or email as listed in our church directory.  Bulletin Boards in the social hall have educational information about wellness activities and health care resources to address our well-being in body, mind, and spirit. Common Groundís ongoing health project is a weekly Tai Chi for Better Balance class.  

We are glad to have this partnership with Tim as he serves as a nurse theologian for the Presbyterian Urban Network in Portland.  You can see Tim at Wednesday prayer!