Pearl Church

Home Group Team

photo of Carrie Kondor
Carrie Kondor
Home Group Leader

Carrie has been a part of Pearl Church for 7 years and recently started a home group in NE Portland, co-leading with Vanieca Kraus.  Carrie is married to Andrew and together they have one daughter Natalie who is 3.  Their home group has mix of people, many with active, young children.  Carrie is a professor at Concordia University, busy training prospective elementary teachers and reading specialists.  She enjoys cooking, and one night decided to cook for the home group.  Since then, the group has decided to rotate bringing dinner to share with one another.  After enjoying a meal, the kids play while the group discusses the sermon.  We also aim to enjoy at least one social event per season.  Andrew and Carrie enjoy biking around NE Portland and exploring the restaurant scene, going to parks with Natalie, and gardening. 

photo of Dan and Cheri Gilbert
Dan and Cheri Gilbert
Home Group Leaders

Dan and Cheri Gilbert met almost 35 years ago, have been married since 1983, and have two grown daughters. Dan is a CPA specializing in business valuations and forensic accounting. Cheri is a retired general contractor and now helps out Dan when needed, volunteers, has a passion for cooking, and pretty much keeps the Gilbert family moving smoothly. Both Dan and Cheri have been believing Christians since they were young and they have a heart for bringing Jesus’ love to their community. They’ve been attending Pearl since they moved downtown and they became members in 2014. Dan helps with the Finances at Pearl and Cheri shops for and helps with the Food Pantry; they also lead a Home group.

photo of Danny and Lizzie Varner
Danny and Lizzie Varner
Home Group Leaders

Danny and Lizzie first met while attending High School in the Portland area.  They married in 2007.  Though they first began attending Pearl Church in 2009, it wasn’t until they joined their first home group that they began to truly consider Pearl Church “home.” Together with their home group, they began sharing meals, experienced thoughtful discussions on sermons, and growing deeper in relationships as they walked through the valleys and peaks of life.  Lizzie is a mental health counselor and Danny is a software engineer.  Together they love to cook, eat, and explore the outdoors.

photo of David and Constantino Khalaf
David and Constantino Khalaf
Home Group Leaders

To Dave and Tino, Pearl Church and Portland are synonymous. They began attending the church soon after their move to the city in Spring 2015, and it instantly felt like home. No one even teased them about coming from Los Angeles and New York, respectively. When they married in May 2016, they were honored to be surrounded by their Pearl family. Tino is active in the Local Outreach and Liturgy teams—if you see a typo in the bulletin, feel free to call him out on it. David helps with the monthly Pearl Court pantry and serves in Kid’s Church; he used to lead a small group at his old church, and believes home groups are the heart of church community. They are both writers, and together they maintain a blog about the joys and challenges of being a same-sex couple in a Christ-centered marriage.

photo of Ginny McClelland
Ginny McClelland
Home Group Leader

Ginny has been a part of Pearl Church for 8 years and a member of her home group since 2009. Ginny is married to Jim and together they have four sons. Jim’s two sons, Drew 17 and Ethan 15, and together Theron 3 and Ford 1. While busy being a mom she also is an artist having studied at Seattle Pacific University and does Graphic Design, Hand Lettering, and illustration. You might also find her whipping up some coffee at Peet’s a couple days per week. Ginny and Jim love to spend time together doing almost anything. They love running, new adventures, camping, and spending time with friends and family. If there is a word to describe Ginny it would be loving. Each year her home group rotates who leads. This year Ginny is leading and her goal is to care for and serve the members of her home group in a way that helps them know how special they are.

photo of Karyn Lush
Karyn Lush
Home Group Leader

Karyn has attended Pearl Church since 2011 and led a home group since 2013. The group she leads has a mix of folks - from singles, to just-marrieds, to married with young kids, to retirees. They meet on Tuesday evenings in NW Portland and catch up, discuss the past Sunday’s sermon and share prayer and praise requests. They also aim to do one social event and one service project per home group term. Karyn works in digital product management and likes to travel around the United States, visit National Parks, hike and run.

photo of Linda and Bart Bergquist
Linda and Bart Bergquist
Home Group Leaders

Bart and Linda Bergquist met at church camp in 1975. Married since 1982, they have attended the Pearl Church for over eleven years.  Bart is a contractor and entrepreneur. Linda is a Revenue Cycle Performance Improvement manager for Kaiser Permanente.  In their spare time, they enjoy movies, urban hiking, and exploring new restaurants. They’ve hosted home groups, famous for their theme-based potlucks(!!!) since 2008. 

photo of Marcus and Angie Chiodo
Marcus and Angie Chiodo
Home Group Leaders

Marcus and Angie are thrilled to be hosting a baby and toddler friendly small group - with all the perks and chaos that one would expect with such a group. The Chiodo’s started at The Pearl Church in 2008 (for a short stay secondary to an out-of-state move). They returned to Portland from Detroit in 2014 with their first of two daughters, Eva, and have subsequently added her best friend Lucia. With Angie working as a Nurse-Midwife and Marcus an Emergency Physician, you may not see them frequently on Sunday mornings, but they have been hosting a weekly young(er) families home group for over a year now. The group is full of adorable little people, laughter, tears and yummy food - a special time for the whole family to share in the joys and tribulations of raising young children. Childcare is provided for a short time (when enough families can come) so that the adults can get a window of engaged conversation during a weekly themed potluck style dinner.