Jodi grew up attending Trinity Lutheran Church in Long Lake.
I went to Sunday school most weeks and went to vacation Bible school with my grandma in the summer when I was young.
My mom thought church was important and brought me every week. My dad never went to church, but was a very faithful man and led by example the life of service that Jesus would want us to live. My grandma taught me to memorize Bible verses, the Ten Commandments, and the fruits of the spirit. My neighbors brought me to their church for Pioneer Girls each Wednesday and were so kind and caring. My babysitter Karen (who I thought was really “cool”) shared with me how important faith was to her.
As a high schooler, an active youth group led to a variety of memorable activities.
I started to be more excited and interested in going and would wake my parents up to make sure we made it to church. My youth director and youth pastor at Trinity made it so easy to be active at church. I was drawn to the activities that took place … playing softball in the summer, broomball in the winter, opportunities to serve as a group at Sharing and Caring Hands or other locations, taking ski trips in the winter, or hiking trips in the summer … the positive Christian atmosphere made the experiences so enjoyable.
While attending college at St. Olaf, Jodi’s friends inspired her to be more intentional about her faith.
I started participating in Christian activities that were more focused on faith. I joined some Bible studies and a group called Saint Olaf Christian Outreach where we led lock-ins for church youth, played games, did skits, etc.
Jodi is married to Dave, and they have three daughters, Elisabeth (grade 7), Hannah (grade 5), and Sarah (grade 3). Jodi teaches chemistry in Wayzata, and Dave teaches part time at Hamline while working on his doctorate.
As a family we enjoy camping, canoeing, and hiking outdoors. I also enjoy playing broomball when I get the chance and attending all my kids’ sporting events.
Her favorite Bible verses are Psalm 139, Proverbs 3:36, and Matthew 22:37.
I like these because they remind me that God knows me and what I need even when I do not. When I love Him and pray to Him, He will take care of me and I am loved by Him.
When Jodi and Dave moved to Buffalo, they tried many churches and liked Zion the best.
It seemed to fit us. Now that I’ve been here for 13 years, and teaching Sunday school for 7 of those years, I feel like I’ve found my church family.
Jodi currently serves on the Children and Family Ministry (CFM) Vision Team, which introduced a new CFM mission statement in January.
Know God’s love. Invite others. Do like Jesus. Strengthen families.
Knowing God’s love means that God wants the very best for me; He has my best interests in mind. Psalm 139 (see sidebar) really states how I feel about knowing God’s love. God has searched me and knows me. Before a word is on my lips he knows it. Even if I tried to flee from his presence, I could not. He knows my heart and my thoughts. He sees if there is any offensive way in me and leads me in the way everlasting.
Jodi also teaches Sunday school and volunteers at VBS.
CFM is important because I want my kids and others’ kids to have the opportunity for their faith journey to be as positive as mine was growing up. The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” speaks to me. We are all part of our kids’ faith foundation and CFM provides ways for parents and kids and teachers to work together. Kids can experience God’s love through their experiences here at Zion.
CFM is really a cooperative process between children, their families and Zion staff. Together with the Zion staff, we parents can help kids to know God’s love and what it means to do like Jesus, and strengthen our families.
Kirsten, Marsha, and Kristin have an infectious joy in teaching kids and families about God’s love. It’s easy for faith to be at the forefront of my thoughts on Sundays when I’m at church, but I need to remember to purposefully bring faith into the daily lives of my children. Kirsten, Marsha and Kristin remind me of this and help to give me tools to accomplish it.