Servant Leadership

 

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      Rev. Linda C. Stewart-Kalen


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Growing 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 Redwood’s 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 God’s efforts.  For Linda, CHPC’s 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 thirty-seven 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."