Josie grew up in Delano, the 4th of six kids. She was baptized and confirmed at Mount Olive Lutheran in Delano, and attended school at Mount Olive from kindergarten through 8th grade before going to public high school in Delano.
I will be eternally grateful to my parents for the opportunity to have God’s Word deeply woven into my daily life. Not only because they provided us the opportunity to learn about Jesus in our daily school life, but because they also lived a life in God’s light and guided all of us kids on the same path.
My fondest memories as a child at Mount Olive were of our yearly Christmas program in which all of the children of the school would sing Christmas songs and share Jesus’ birth story with the congregation and their extended families. We would also do special songs on Good Friday, a Tenebrae service. Both occasions would fill me with emotion. As an adult, I’m still brought to near tears when the children sing with their sweet voices for the Christmas program.
There was a period of time when I didn’t participate in church as I got older. There were some things that didn’t sit right with me in regards to some of the teachings in the synod I was a part of.
One of her favorite Bible stories is the parable of the Good Samaritan.
It is a good reminder of how I want to live my life, helping to serve others because in turn I am serving God and living a life filled with love.
Her mother passed away on Christmas Day of 2002, and it was one of her dying requests that Josie and her husband, Clint, find a new church home. They started attending church at Zion on an occasional basis a couple of years ago and made the decision to become members last November.
For me, going to church and celebrating Christ on Sundays provides me the opportunity and the inspiration to get my week started on the right foot, spiritually and mentally speaking. I get to spend a little time with those who believe as I do, and to share in the comfort and joy of that commonality. It took us a number of years to get there, but I know that my mom is smiling down on us from heaven that we now have a place to call our church home.
It is apparent to me that the staff and congregation are a true church family. This is something I’ve been longing for for most of my adult life. There are endless examples of church staff and congregation members that live to support and enrich our local and global communities with their time, talents and actions. There is no doubt in my mind that Clint and I wanted to be a part of this type of church family. Thank you to all of those who have taken Clint and me under your wing to make our spiritual experience at Zion such a positive one!
Josie and Clint soon became team leaders for the 4th Sunday Welcome Crew.
I credit our involvement to the amazing Sherilyn Burgdorf. Clint and I shared with Sherilyn our eagerness to get plugged in to Zion’s ministries when we became members last year, and she kept her mind and heart open to identify opportunities for us to do so.
This ministry provides Clint and I the opportunity as fairly new members to meet other members of our new church family, and it also provides us the privilege of working closely with some very special people, our Welcome Crew team. Many of them are involved in various other ministries within the church and community, and their stories and efforts are wonderful inspirations to Clint and me.
I feel that hospitality ministry is important at Zion because it is the first step in creating an overall positive and joyful worship experience. I am an Includer at heart, and it brings me joy to welcome others into church, just as Clint and me were made to feel so welcome. Hospitality ministry involves very little effort other than a smile and a touch that can have a meaningful impact on someone’s day. If the light that God has given me can enhance someone’s joy or uplift a heavy heart, I am doing what God intends for me to do.
Josie has also enjoyed delivering Meals on Wheels, has joined the Global Missions Committee, serves on the Sub Sandwich supper team, and volunteers regularly at the Buffalo Food Shelf.
It is another opportunity for me to show kindness and love to neighbors in need, and to connect with the wonderful leadership and volunteers in our community. I also enjoy occasionally gathering a group of friends and family to pack meals at Feed My Starving Children in Chanhassen.
Josie and Clint have been married since 2001 and have two Australian Shepherds and two cats. She enjoys being with her friends and family, reading, listening to a variety of music, playing her ukulele with the Wright County Ukulele Club, traveling, and experiencing new restaurants and food. She recently started a new job at Optum as a Senior Learning Specialist in the Knowledge & Learning Group.