Mark and his family moved to the area from Southern Minnesota over six years ago, and began looking for a church home when his wife, Dawn, found a job in Zion’s front office.
My wife, Dawn, has been a rock that I can count on to help me through questions that I sometimes cannot process and understand about faith. She had worked for many years in our church in New Ulm, so this was a great fit for her.
As we began to meet and spend time with the wonderful Zion staff, we decided to become members. I really enjoy the special gifts that [the staff] bring to the church and their genuineness. Of course sermons from Pastor Ted and Pastor Luke give me guidance to help me want to strengthen my faith. I enjoy the Christmas services and feel such a powerful connection to our Lord.
His favorite part of the Bible is the four Gospels.
I am so intrigued at the life of Jesus Christ, and his ministry. When my life seems to be in crisis mode, I can always think about how Jesus carried himself and learn from Him. “What Would Jesus Do,” in the situation I am in, is something that I often think of.
Mark works as the Corporate Environmental, Health & Safety Manager for Woodcraft Industries in St. Cloud, traveling regularly to 13 facilities in the U.S. and Mexico. Mark and Dawn have four grown children and three grandchildren. When Mark isn’t working or spending time with the kids and grandkids, he enjoys golf. One way that Mark lives out his beyond Zion is sharing meaningful faith stories on social media.
He taught confirmation at Christ the King Lutheran Church in New Ulm, and has started working with a group of sixth grade confirmation students this year at Zion.
It brought so much fulfillment and joy to my heart. I am getting that same feeling, and a closeness to the Holy Spirit by teaching here at Zion. I am really enjoying starting to make connections with these boys. I am looking forward to growing our relationships.
Confirmation is really where the rubber hits the road, so to speak. Kids at this age, really have so many things going on in life (school, peer pressure, family life, etc.), and I think that confirmation gives them one night a week to focus on why God loves them, and loves us all. Small groups need to be a safe place for these kids to share their thoughts. Sometimes, it’s not about their faith life, and that’s okay. I want to be a trusted resource for these kids for their faith and for their everyday life.
Mark is co-leading with his son, Nathan
I thought this would be a great opportunity to get my son connected with serving our God. I am so honored to be doing this with Nathan, and I really want to help these young boys to grow passionate in their faith life in the coming years.
Nathan is a recent graduate of the University of Minnesota, and his new schedule has allowed him to get more involved at Zion.
I wanted to make a difference in these young lives and guide them through the beginning of the rest of their lives with Jesus. This is the moment in these young people’s lives where they make difficult decisions. One of those difficult decisions is their faith. To be that person to help guide them on their path through faith on their way to God is very special because it will make a huge impact on them for the rest of their lives.
Nathan’s parents and grandparents have been a huge inspiration to him.
I see the amount of love my mom has put into faith her entire life and it motivates me to continue growing myself. Also, I see how much my grandmother worships God and Jesus and the amount of joy it brings into her life. It makes me believe that all you need is faith in God, and you can be the happiest person in the world.
His favorite Bible verse is Luke 1:37:
For nothing will be impossible with God.
I remember in high school, my grandma got me a keychain with this verse on it, and it blew my mind. It made me think that I can do anything I want in this life as long as I believe it myself and believe God will help me along the way. I have reached for incredibly large goals so far in my short life because this verse has given me the courage and the reassurance that I will reach these goals.
Nathan enjoys acting and film development.
I have always had this passion, but have only recently found the time and confidence in myself to pursue it. Finding this confidence has provided me the opportunity to star in a few upcoming films.