Pastor Tom Kinder began serving here in September of 2017, but his roots in the church go back much farther. Tom was a lay leader here for ten years in the 1980s and early 90s before beginning the journey into the ministry, lovingly shepherded by this congregation.
Tom served as a student minister at the Norwich Congregational Church and as the settled pastor at the West Newbury Congregational Church. He then served as pastor of the Thetford Hill Church for seventeen years. He came back to Strafford from the Bradford Congregational Church, where he served as Interim Minister for three years after leaving Thetford.
Tom was a Deacon and on a Search Committee and the Pastoral Relations Committee as a lay member here. He also served on the Town of Strafford’s Planning Commission. He was employed before entering the ministry as the executive director of nonprofits working on the environment, sustainable agriculture and rural communities, and he was the marketing director of an environmental catalog company. His undergraduate degree is from the Creative Writing Program and English Department of Princeton University and his Master of Divinity is from Harvard Divinity School. He is ordained in the United Church of Christ.
Tom is a Registered Life Planner and has additional advanced training as an Interim Minister and a presenter of Centering Prayer. He has been a teacher of Christian contemplative practices and led weekly meditation groups for over twenty years.
Tom is bi-vocational as a half-time pastor and half-time writer.
Tom has lived off of Miller Pond Road for the better part of 35 years, although his work has kept his focus and presence in neighboring towns. He is overjoyed to be back home to serve the church and community that nurtured him as he found his way into the ministry.