The third of eight children (6 boys, 2 girls) of Roald and Shirley Kindem, I was born in Whitefish, Montana, and raised in a Lutheran parish home. God first called my name when I was baptized at the tender age of eleven days old, and has been calling me on new adventures ever since! After spending childhood years in Montana and Minnesota I finished high school in southern California and then set my sights on the mountains and wild green beauty of the Pacific Northwest, enrolling at Pacific Lutheran University. Exploring the Cascade range stoked my love of wilderness while my experience as a camp counselor nurtured my spiritual life. It was during these years that the call to ministry took root.
I studied Social Work and Philosophy at PLU and participated in one of the region’s premier choral ensembles, The Choir of the West, singing under Dr. Maurice Skones, an experience that nurtured my spiritual as well as musical life and enlarged my world. I enrolled at Luther Northwestern Seminary, St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1980 and graduated in 1985.
My first pastoral call was to a ministry with Native American communities of Northwestern California. My “parish” was over 10,000 square miles in size and included twelve congregations and five tribal communities. I was blessed and challenged in many ways during those five years. My understanding of the Sacred was broadened and enriched. A church “insider,” I learned to experience the church from an outsider’s point of view. My experiences opened within me a deeper and fuller understanding of the power of the sacramental tradition.
After a two year sojourn at Holden Village, I took time off from active ministry, working as a carpenter. Active ministry resumed with a parish call to Portland, Oregon in 1995. After serving congregations in Oregon and Washington for ten years, I accepted the call to Peace, beginning here on February 1, 2005.
I am blessed by my marriage to Chris Hauger Kindem (1999), by my two adult children, Nathan (1979, spouse Deyhdra) and Megan (1980, spouse Tyler), and my two younger children ~ Kai (2004) and Naomi (2007); and by my relationships with family, friends, teachers, mentors, colleagues, and coaches through the years.
A favorite quote comes from Dag Hammarskjöld, General Secretary of the United Nations from 1953-1961.
“For all that has been – THANKS. For all that will be – YES!”