Rev. Kyle Delhagen
One of the things you learn growing up as the son of a minister, is that a pastor’s family is as much called to a congregation and place as the pastor themself. My wife, Elena, and our two children,
Jumah – 15, and Atticus – 4, not only keep me grounded and remind me of God’s love and joy every day, but they deepen my ministry in profound ways. As a husband, a biological father, and a father of an adopted daughter, my understanding of our relationship with God has been stretched, challenged, and changed in amazing ways.
My life of faith has been profoundly shaped by many people and in many places. As a young person, I found my spiritual life being influenced by the church family and friends I was always around. My church youth group provided many opportunities to study God’s Word, talk about what it means to be a Christian, and also to put our faith into action. Some of the most formational moments in my spiritual development were on service trips during school breaks to Staten Island to work with the homeless, hungry, and those suffering from HIV/AIDS. All of this set me on a very early path to ministry.
Throughout college, I struggled with my call to be a pastor. Having grown up as a pastor’s kid, I tried to avoid where I sensed God was pulling me, but when God has a desire for your life, it is hard to ignore! I spent six summers during and after college working at Camp Fowler in the Adirondacks, and then two years working in youth ministry before going to seminary at New Brunswick Theological Seminary in New Jersey. Following graduation from Seminary, I spent a year working as a Resident Chaplain at a Philadelphia Hospital, which taught me a lot about being a pastoral presence in times of grief and trauma.
In the few years following, I turned to teaching at a private Christian school in center city Philadelphia, where I taught tenth and twelfth grade English. During that time I was a part-time pastor of a small Reformed Church outside of Philadelphia. In that experience, I found myself drawn more and more to full time parish ministry. Since October of 2016, I have served as Pastor of Western Presbyterian Church in Palmyra, where I have continued to be challenged and stretched, finding fullness in this particular time and place of God’s family.