Day by day I heard reasons why I should serve on Zion's council. I became excited at the prospect of serving. #ZionBuffalo

Excited to Serve

Although Nicole has been a member of Zion her whole life, she didn’t know much about how the church functioned behind the scenes until she started serving on the congregational council this year.

My parents, Ric and Muriel Bahneman, are members of Zion and my grandparents also were members. I was baptized, confirmed (yes my picture is on the wall, big bangs and all!) and married at Zion.

She completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Arizona, where she met Phillip. They moved to Minnesota shortly after they were married, and Nicole attended the University of Minnesota School of Dentistry, graduating in 2003. Their children are Troy (13), Carson (11), Ryan (8), and Kendall (6).

Being from Tucson, Phil had never mowed a lawn or shoveled snow, so it was a big change for him! Anyone that knows us, knows that we are big University of Minnesota fans! We have season tickets to Gopher football and also enjoy Gopher basketball games.

Nicole has taught Sunday school for many years, and the family is involved with delivering Meals on Wheels.

It has been a great service project for our whole family (as long as the kids don’t fight in the car)! I love all the ways you can be involved at Zion. It has all the opportunities and programs that a larger church can offer, but you can find what interests you and become involved and it feels like a smaller church within a church.

When Pastor Luke called and asked Nicole if she would be interested in serving on the council, she wasn’t enthusiastic.

Honestly, my first reaction was ” I am way too busy to serve” and “What could I possibly offer?” Day by day though, instead of hearing reasons in my head why I shouldn’t, I heard reasons why I should. I became excited at the prospect of serving.

Nicole’s favorite Bible verse is Jeremiah 29: 11-14:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity or will restore your fortunes. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”

As the seed was planted for serving on the council and it grew, I thought “OK Lord, is this your plan for me?” Every answer was yes and I haven’t looked back!

Nicole has learned a lot since then.

So many amazing people put in hours and hours of hard work and they go virtually unrecognized. They have inspired me to become more involved and I have enjoyed getting to know the many programs and ministries at Zion. I very much believe that there is a program or ministry for everyone at Zion!

As part of her council duty, Nicole also serves on Zion’s Youth Board.

Having four school age kids, I love hearing about all the great programs that are available for the youth of Zion.

Nicole practices dentistry in Otsego. She enjoys running and training for marathons, and the whole family enjoys downhill skiing and heading to her parents place in the Black Hills for four-wheeling and campfires.