Visitation Chaplain: Ken Winter
Tell us about your family.
I was born to Eleanor and Frederick Winter and raised in Clinton, Iowa, baptized and confirmed at Zion Lutheran Church, Clinton. I have an older brother, Charles, who lives in Littleton, Colo. with his wife, Priscilla. I attended Cornell College in Mt. Vernon, Iowa, graduating in 1983 and Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn. in 2019. I am married to Allison who was born and raised in Moline. We have four children, one granddaughter, and one grandchild due in August.
What makes you, you?
I have always believed that what makes me, me, is the sum of my life experiences. Like most of us, I am on the journey of “becoming” the person God created me to be. Hopefully, these life experiences with all the challenges, sorrows, frustrations, disappointments, joys, gifts, and blessings have shaped me into an authentic, loving, sensitive, and faithful child of God. I was extremely blessed to have been born into a very loving family, with parents and a brother that lived out their faith. As an adult, I continue to be blessed with an amazing wife and four awesome children. Living out this wonderful gift of family along with my years serving in the social work and mental health field led me to want to serve as a pastor/chaplain so I could give back to God and Christ’s church.
(Before joining St. Paul I served as staff chaplain at Genesis Health System in Davenport, where I ministered to patients in the Behavioral Health Unit, previous to that, as director of discipleship ministry at St. Paul Lutheran Church, Anamosa, Iowa where I served in many associate pastor roles. While serving in my new role here, I will continue to be a per diem chaplain for VNA Hospice.)
What intrigues you about St. Paul? What are you looking forward to?
From the moment we first worshipped at St. Paul, Allison and I sensed there was a pro- found sense of invitation and service to Christ’s church happening here. What draws me to, and what intrigues me most about St. Paul, are the ministry opportunities. There is something for everyone to become involved in. The feeling of inclusion Allison and I received was the strongest reason we became members. The pastors and staff did an amazing job of intentionally making us feel welcomed and valued. We are looking forward to becoming immersed in congregational life, most especially after the long and difficult journey through the pandemic. I am incredibly grateful to be coming on board during this time of rebirth and looking forward to getting to know and serve as many members as possible.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about a lot of things, music being one of them. I am a drummer and have been active in a couple rock bands over the last 14 years; Holiday Road Band out of Iowa City and The Blue 60 Band out of Anamosa and with whom I still play. Allison and I have been active in church choir and love to sing duets for special occasions. I am an avid Cubs, Hawkeye, Cyclone, and Green Bay Packers fan and love to golf.
The most important thing I am passionate about is listening to the stories of those who walk in faith and affirming God’s promises in Christ. As visitation chaplain, I am eager to listen and attend to the stories of those who may, for whatever reason, feel separated physically, spiritually, and emotionally from St. Paul. My calling will be to remind them that they continue to be loved, cherished, and integral members of this body of Christ. They will forever be connected to this church family so that whatever they may be experiencing, they know that nothing could ever separate them from the love of God in Christ Jesus.