Pastor Dave and his wife, Kaidi, moved from New York to California (Pastor Dave’s home state) in 2011 as Dave followed the call to become Senior Pastor at Union Church in Los Altos. Pastor Dave and Kaidi have two daughters, Liisa & Daisy, and two dogs, Muki & Toby.
Born in Modesto and raised in Thousand Oaks, the son of a Presbyterian pastor and a retired Pepperdine professor, Dave is one of four children. After graduating from Pepperdine, Dave worked as an insurance claims adjuster but found greater fulfillment in volunteering at his mom’s inner-city church, where he worked with kids of all ages.
Feeling the call to seminary, David studied nearby at Fuller. After seminary he helped at local churches before accepting a cross-country call to a church on Long Island, where he spent the next eight winters.
While in New York, Dave met his wife Kaidi (pronounced like Heidi but with a “K”). Estonian but born into the Soviet Union, Kaidi was in Estonia when it recently regained its freedom. Kaidi graduated from Stanford University with a nursing degree and works at Stanford Hospital.
Pastor Dave was drawn to Union when he discovered our strong Biblical foundation and our desire to reach out and do missions. Dave has been on mission trips to Africa and he continues to be involved in helping locals in Kenya as a board member of Staff of Hope, a community building and water drilling ministry.
David’s heart for missions and ministry stood out to us from the start, and we believe that this same heart will reach powerfully into our communities.
Dave loves sports and is willing to shoot hoops or play frisbee with anyone. He loves hiking and exploring, geocaching, and playing guitar with the praise band.
Jamie brings a host of wonderful talents God has poured into her, including being a vocalist, pianist, guitarist, flutist, organist, choir conductor and music arranger. She understands both traditional and contemporary church worship styles and enjoys blending them, as we have already started to experience over the last few months.
Jamie holds Master in Music, Master in Education, and a Bachelor in Music Performance degree and she brings a total of ten years of music ministry staff experience working in both small and large churches in the Bay Area. Additionally, she has been a music coach to people of all ages and desires to build others up to achieve their God-given potential for worship participation and leadership while encouraging volunteer teams in their Christian faith.
Her communication and team building skills will help as she integrates all ages in music participation for a multi-generational worship experience. Jamie’s music experience is broad and displays versatility, having conducted senior adult choirs and being a former choral conducting student of Dr. Archibeque.
There are many other work experiences and talents Jamie will bring to this new role at Union, including being a flute teacher, classical piano teacher and leader of a seven-member contemporary band as a guitarist and singer.
Jamie thrives on doing things together in community, and helping people experience God’s love and worship God in Spirit and in Truth. Her goal is for church music to draw people into a meaningful relationship with their Savior, Jesus.
A bit about Jamie’s family: Jamie met her husband, Daniel, at Clemson in South Carolina. Daniel and his team just won the NASA software of the year award for the second time. Her children are: Matthew, Naomi, Hannah, and Esther.
Laurie Kurgas, Children & Youth Ministries Director
I live my life with a passion for seeing people saved, for all to know God and His eternal love through Jesus, who gave His life for each one of us. I also yearn to see us walking in the power of the Holy Spirit, and bringing healing to God’s children.
My greatest joy is to share the love of Jesus with others, especially with children. I truly enjoy being with children and I have a passion to help them discover the love of their Heavenly Father, their identity in Christ, and the power of the Holy Spirit to guide them in their journey through life. Two Scripture verses that come to mind when ministering to children are:
Matthew 18:2-3 He called a little child to Him, and placed the child among them. And He said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, And when he is old he will not depart from it.
It’s so important to express our joy in the Lord, to rejoice with one another, and to praise God with the zeal of a child. And, our loving guidance is vital to our children’s spiritual health. We as adults can learn from children how to stay in that child-like mode of approaching our Father in Heaven, and it is through our joy that others will be drawn to God and to the Church, the Body of Christ.
My personal journey with the Lord started more than 35 years ago, when I became a born-again Christian. Ever since receiving Jesus as my Savior, I have been on an amazing journey of growing deeply and serving Him, experiencing more of His light, love, joy, and power.
In 2002, God called me to adopt two sixteen-year-old girls from Russia, Rachel Katya and Rebecca Katya, and later He brought my son Michael into my life in 2005. It’s been a tremendous joy to have them in my life and to grow as a parent, as well as to see them grow in their knowledge of their Heavenly Father and His love for them.
Throughout my career, I have worked in various companies, including Medtronic/Kyphon, Adobe, El Camino Hospital. God plants us strategically in different places and we are called to shine His light wherever we work, to bloom where we’re planted. I have a curious nature, I love to learn, so I’ve taken many training courses over the years, in leadership, team dynamics, personal growth, ministry, child development. I have also volunteered with CityTeam Ministries, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church (MPPC), Help One Child, and Healing Rooms Ministries. I worked fulltime as Program Director in the singles ministry at MPPC for five years, where I learned a great deal about being a leader and a servant. I also worked at John Stott Ministries and at Fuller Northern California in Menlo Park. In 2013, the Lord led me to open the InSpirit Healing Rooms in Los Altos. It’s been a wonderful experience to see God working powerfully and bringing people closer to Him through healing and deliverance.
I’ve had the pleasure of ministering to children in many roles over the years. In the beginning of my Christian walk, I volunteered with CityTeam Ministries Youth Outreach in East Palo Alto, where I led a Bible club for girls in middle school and high school for five years, earning the Volunteer of the Year Award in 1991-1992. After that, for two years, I co-led a high-school video production club for at-risk youth. While on staff at MPPC, I went on the Mexicali mission trip with the high school group, and I was the leader of mission trips to an orphanage in Russia for three summers in a row, where we lived in the orphanage with the children for 10 days, showing them that God does love them and has not forgotten them. We organized and led activities (crafts, sports, music, drama), ministering in joy and love. After adopting my daughters from Russia, God led me to Help One Child, where I found respite and help, as well as valuable training in parenting. I also volunteered with HOC activities and events, spending time with other adoptive and foster families and children.
While raising Michael, I’ve had the pleasure of volunteering at his schools and activities, including as the parent teacher of Project Cornerstone, a YMCA-based program on social and emotional behavior. I have also been on committees for school walk-a-thons, field days, parties, and promotion ceremonies. I am currently the Service Chair for his Boy Scout troop, overseeing the various local service projects for the scouts, and participating in scout events and activities, like camping and kayaking. At BASIC Living Ministries, God led me to create a children’s club called G-VIPS (God’s Very Important People: Students), where we teach children about their identity in Christ, and that they are valued and loved by God.
The joy of Jesus fills my life with wonderful encounters and special relationships, and God has blessed me with amazing opportunities and intimacy with Him over the years. It’s a blessing to join this community and to spend time with the children and youth at Union Church.