Having a church family has been a cornerstone of my life. I attended Calvary Lutheran Church in Golden Valley as a child and young adult. My grandfather, Magnus Gunderson, built the original structure of Calvary and my parents were charter members of Calvary. Attending church every Sunday was a priority in my family.
As a child, I remember not appreciating being one of last to leave the parking lot on Sundays. There were times I was even mad that I was missing out on fun activities with my friends. But, I will forever be grateful to my parents for instilling in me that going to church was a priority and through their actions showing me that nothing was more important to them than their faith and purposefully living their faith outside the church and off the pews. They were two of the most positive people I’ve ever known. They were inspirational in my faith journey. Sitting together around our dinner table sharing a meal, my dad reading from the family Bible brings back warm memories.
All five of my siblings also knew about the “Get To”s in life. Each morning we’d get up and start the day with either my mom or dad saying to remember to think about what you “Get To” do today! Focus on what you “Get To” experience. One of my mom’s favorite was,
I Get To see the sunrise today, and you Get To go to school and get the best education, so focus on what your teacher is saying, appreciate all he/she does for you today, work hard and be kind.
Just think if everyone focused on what they “Get To” do today instead of what they feel they have to do today. I cherish their positive outlook on life and remember how they modeled being a living expression of God’s kindness.
Mike and I were married at Calvary and in July we will celebrate our 46th anniversary. Our family means everything to Mike and me. We have two children Sara and Ryan. Sara and her husband Casey live in Chisago Lakes and have Ben (14), Sam (11), and Allie (8). Ryan and Beth live in Independence and have Pressley (8), Paxton (6), and Keaton (2). As grandparents, my husband Mike and I try to follow the example my parents left and have a positive outlook on life and let our two granddaughters and four grandsons know that our faith is a priority in our lives. We know they are watching and learning from our actions.
In November, we will have lived in Buffalo 40 years. It was easy to become a member of Zion with Pastor Ed’s strong recruiting skills. Attending Zion means we’re with family. It is welcoming, people care about each other, and it offers so many ways for people to connect with each other. I was looking for a way to connect more at Zion after I retired from being a multiage teacher at Discovery Elementary in Buffalo. The opportunity presented itself in August of 2013 when I joined the CFM staff.
Working with Kirsten and Kristin has been one of the most faith fulfilling, positive, rewarding experiences I’ve ever had in my life! Connecting with families, welcoming the children and sharing God’s love has been a bucket filling experience each Sunday. Children have many opportunities in life like playing on sports teams, but attending church and having a strong faith foundation is a forever in their life. That’s why being on the CFM team has been so important to me.
Of course we couldn’t have a successful CFM program without all our dedicated volunteers. Each Sunday, we feel so blessed to have the talented teachers and shepherds come ready to share God’s love with the children in their classes. A surprise I’ve had being in this position is I had no idea all the hard working dedicated people it takes to keep the CFM program at Zion running smoothly. There are countless people behind the scenes contributing so much of their valuable time for the children and youth at Zion. There are amazing people who volunteer so willingly and come back each year with more to give.
These people remind me of one of my favorite Bible verses, Matthew 5:16,
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
I see so many people opening their hearts and inviting God into every circumstance and ALL the moments!
Our CFM team just completed a new CFM logo and mission statement. We worked with the CFM Vision Team who helped us create the KIDS logo and tagline “Know God’s Love, Invite others, Do like Jesus, and Strengthen Families.”
Why Should We Invite Others?
We’ve always encouraged the Sunday School children to invite a friend to Sunday School and now that it’s in our logo the children know we really mean it. We invite friends to programs, movies, games, barbeques, dinner, and activities all the time. We invite people to what we enjoy, believe in, and care about. Inviting people to church shares an important message, going to church is important. Also, Jesus gave us a mission, Matthew 28:19
Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Let’s make a difference in the world by connecting people with that message and inviting others.