Welcome, Christie Bernkalu Halvor!

Christie Bernklau Halvor, PhD

S.A.L.M. and Lay Education Coordinator

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Christie has been shaped by intentional community throughout her life, and many of those communities have been Lutheran. Her parents were raised in part by the people at Macksburg Lutheran in Canby and Good Shepherd Lutheran in Eugene. They, in turn, showed up with Christie and her sister for the daily work and blessings at Christ the King Lutheran in Tigard. When she was in high school, the Oregon Synod changed Christie’s life by including her as part of a youth delegation to East Germany and Sweden where she met lifelong friends who helped open her eyes to the ways in which the church has and has not followed Jesus’ example of speaking up for and walking alongside people in their most vulnerable moments. The questions and “ah ha’s” from that trip influenced her studies in social work and global studies at Pacific Lutheran University. And her sense of community expanded again when she married Dave and was warmly welcomed by the people of his home church, Gloria Dei Lutheran in Coos Bay.

Christie’s experience of church took some twists and turns after college, including time spent struggling to find a faith community where she trusted every one of her friends and family would be truly welcomed. Since 2000, she has gratefully called Spirit of Grace in Beaverton home. Christie lives in Canby with her family, a dog, and six chickens. Goats would definitely be in the mix if there was more room. She finds joy and perspective in the garden, listening to music, at Holden Village, volunteering for immigrant justice, traveling, writing, and with beloved friends religious, spiritual but not religious, and none of the above.

Prior to joining the Synod staff, Christie worked as an Associate Professor of Social Work and Practicum Program Director at Concordia University in Portland. She holds a Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Welfare from Portland State University, and is also a Licensed Massage Therapist.