minda

Self Denial

Minda grew up as a ‘PK’ (pastor’s kid) with her father first serving as a Methodist pastor, and then working for the Billy Graham Association. In many of the congregations he served, her mother was the choir director. Minda was even put into service herself as a stand-in flower girl at some of the weddings her dad performed. Her parents were the chaperones for summer church youth camps in Colorado, so Minda and her sister and brother always got to go along. As a family they also attended several one week Christian Ashrams.

I thank God for my parents who have shared their faith with me through their witness. They were instrumental in making worship, devotions, and prayer an integral part of my life. My Dad died in 2015, and his legacy of being a servant of God has become even more significant in my memories of his life and his call to serve Christ.

Minda has been married to Joel for 40 years. Joel grew up Catholic, so when they married and moved to Buffalo, they looked for a church home where they would both feel comfortable.

We found that Zion was perfect in meeting the needs of both of us with our different faith backgrounds.

They have three grown children, Aaron (married to Sarah McBroom), Emily (engaged to Jose), and Maria. Her number one hobby these days is babysitting her grandchildren Lorenzo, (2), Kaia (1½), and Francesca (15 months). She also enjoys her family, friends, music, reading, gardening, baking, and doing jigsaw puzzles.

Minda’s favorite Bible verses are the ‘love chapter’ (I Corinthians 13) and Psalm 100. Her favorite hymn is “Here I am Lord.”

I try very hard to let the words guide my actions. God calls me to live as an example to others of dedicated service to Him, with an attitude of cheerfulness, joy and love. I need to encourage others to use their time and talents in ways that strengthen and deepen their faith.

Minda was a long time member of the Worship and Music committee, a member of the Zion Foundation, and served as a confirmation guide for both her daughters. She has also been involved with the Global Missions Committee and a key part of Zion’s partnership with the AKCLI Villages of Hope in Zambia. Minda’s sister, Kathleen, is a missionary at the Villages of Hope, and two of Minda’s children had previously volunteered at The Villages of Hope … but she was surprised to learn that God had a plan for her to go to Zambia too, and had prepared the hearts of 6 others who would become her companions in Zion’s first group mission trip to the Villages of Hope in Zambia in 2012.

Our trip to All Kids Can Learn, Villages of Hope, was a growing and deepening faith experience. I am so grateful that we are supporting All Kids Can Learn International. When we stay connected with our Global Partners, not only do they reap the benefits, but our own faith gets strengthened in ways only God can foresee.

Each year during Lent, the Global Mission Committee highlights the practice of Self Denial.

Lent provides us with a chance to focus more on what Jesus did for us and what we can do in return. Self-denial seems like a topic many don’t want to think about, myself included. A self-denial offering, which supports our Global Mission partners, is one opportunity to participate during Lent, which I will support. Even something I see as small can actually be a big contribution to someone else.

Minda’s passion right now at Zion is the Planting Seeds of Our Legacy Campaign, which will support local, synod, and global projects that benefit children. Minda is most excited about helping give Zion members the opportunity to make a big impact in children’s lives while we build on Zion’s tradition of serving our neighbors, near and far.

As I prepare for Lent, Planting Seeds of Our Legacy is a natural out-growth of my desire to give of myself and my resources to Live God’s Call.

I am very excited about Zion’s opportunity to make a difference for children as we build on our legacy of helping those in need. We as a congregation continue to be community minded, and the Planting Seeds campaign keeps that outlook focused on others as we move forward with our ministry. We have three great projects and all can use Zion members’ generosity and partnership. It is an exciting time as we help to form and mold our legacy and contribute for the needs of others.

I enjoy the passion of the other members of the committee and the vision that each one has for sharing our faith in the world around us. I want people to know that it doesn’t take a big step to help others.

Minda has been thinking about what else she can do to make a difference in her own spiritual life, and in the lives of others, and has decided to make prayer her self-denial priority during Lent this year.

I will use the bulletin and a list of family and friends who need prayer, and daily pray for their needs. I will be a prayer advocate. I will pick the same time each day so that I will remember. The time of Lent is 40 days. I can make this happen for that time commitment. My goal is specific, which helps me focus on what I have chosen and easier to maintain. The self-denial for myself will be giving up of time to stop and pray. But to me, more importantly, is the call to make a difference through prayer. I hope that at the end of the 40 days, I have created a habit of prayer as a priority, enabling me to continue, long past the end of Lent, into a prayer life of longevity.

Minda hopes this Lent will be a jumpstart for her spiritual growth and her commitment to serving God. Maybe it can be for you, too.

Take time now to pray about what God is telling you for this Lenten Season. You will be blessed in whatever you choose.

Minda is a musician and retired classroom music teacher. She sang in her mother’s church choirs all through High School, was in a choir throughout her college years. She teaches some piano lessons and sings in the sextet, The Rainbow Singers, (along with other members of Zion), and in Zion’s Senior Choir. Minda joined the Zion Senior Choir in 1977, and has also been part of the music staff in the past as one of the Zion’s church organists, and director of the Joy and SONshine choirs. A highlight of her music ministry was singing for the Minneapolis Area Synod Convention at Gustavus and getting to play the organ in their chapel.

I enjoy the singing, the fellowship, the repertoire, a chance to use my talents, and the connection I feel to God through music. In my mind I knew I would always show my praise and glory to God through singing in whatever church we joined. For many people like myself, the music that we experience as a part of worship draws us closer to God. By being music leaders we are encouraging others to join in and raise our collective voices in spiritual adoration and praise. The choir gives us a chance to use music to minister and reach people in ways that are different from the spoken word.

Minda remembers that at the previous church building, across from the Discovery School, the choir would sing from the front of the church at the second service. Before entering the service, the 70 choir members would wait in the chapel, where there was a speaker, so they could hear the service, including Pastor Blair singing strong and clear, singing with full enthusiasm and fervor (although not always in tune).

Since we moved to Buffalo in 1976, I have felt an integral part of the Zion community of believers. Zion has provided many avenues for me to serve God, strengthen my own faith and connect with fellow believers in a supportive, trusting, and caring church community. I cherish the lifelong Christian friends I have made. I appreciate the opportunities that Zion provides for me to use my gifts and talents. Working closely with the staff and pastors of our church has been an honor and a blessing.

 

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