Benton Falls, Winslow Congregational Churches to share pastor

The Rev. Kim Shrader has been called to serve Benton Falls and Winslow Congregational Churches, UCC, as part-time designated pastor for both congregations. She began her ministry here in October 2014 coming to a state that she had traveled to several times to visit friends from divinity school, according to a news release from the churches.

Shrader received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Washington in atmospheric sciences. She worked for the Boeing Co., as a meteorologist until an event occurred that made her listen to that “still small voice” from God calling her to ministry and service. Shrader then earned a Master of Divinity from Seattle University.

She served as an interim minister in Forks, Washington, the town of the Twilight book series. After this, Pastor Kim, as the members of her churches call her, traveled with her family to Colorado Springs and served a church there for seven years.

Both congregations are enjoying her depth of biblical knowledge and her knack for preaching without notes in an engaging manner that inspires and teaches. Sharing a pastor benefits the two churches financially and allows opportunities for joint educational programs, while both congregations receive pastoral care for weddings, baptisms and funerals.

Among the ways Shrader is fulfilling her role as joint pastor are a survey of Winslow parishioners, taking part in leadership and social gatherings at both churches, and facilitating each church to reach out beyond its walls. Shrader also is representing both churches by participating in activities and serving on committees of the Kennebec Valley Association and the local Interfaith Council.

In coming to Maine Shrader’s longing for fertile soil and bountiful rain have been fulfilled in her purchase of a farm in Vassalboro. Shrader and her two children are developing the farm, named Pastor’s Produce, to grow vegetables, berries and livestock. So far, they have chickens and ducks. Nigerian Dwarf goats will be added in the fall.