Joel and Laurie Mackereth have been members of Zion since 1985, and have three grown daughters who were baptized at Zion.
We cherish the memories of all the activities our three children participated in as they grew up in Zion.
Joel is recently retired from 28 years of service as a Sheriff’s Deputy for Wright County, mostly with the Water Patrol. He also served in the US Navy as a Hospital Corpsman for 20 years.
Since retirement, I’ve been able to tackle those home projects that have been put off for years, along with many yard projects. Retirement has also given me more time to devote to my family and friends.
The Mackereth family enjoys biking, camping, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, fishing, and canoeing/camping the BWCA. On the cold days of winter or rainy days of summer, Joel spends time in his wood shop building “whatever comes in handy.”
Being involved in ministries at Zion used to revolve around what daughters Kailan, Kelsey, and Kiley were doing at Zion.
As they were growing up, we were involved in a lot of different youth group activities: mission trips, youth choirs, handbell choir, canoeing adventures on the Namekagon River, and biking trips on the Cannon River bike path.
One thing that Joel values at Zion is the blessing of having a spacious building that can accommodate bringing hearts and hands together to serve God’s people.
This facility is enjoyed by members of Zion and is openly shared with many organizations and groups of people from our local community. I enjoy meeting and working with people of all ages and watching diverse groups come together to work as one cohesive group. This allows us to grow both personally and as a church family; we do so many good things for others and the community.
Part of Joel’s responsibility when he served on the church council from 2004 to 2006 was working with the Property Committee.
I chose the Property Committee because I connected with the opportunity to be able to tinker with whatever needs fixing, help analyze our current needs, and offer ideas for future growth. Serving on the Council and the Property Committee was a great way to meet more people and to help our church meet the needs of its members in serving God’s mission.
Joel and Laurie have both enjoyed helping out with coffee fellowship, the Lutefisk Dinner, and with making tasty omelets for Harvest of Hands. With the children now off building their own nests, Joel has kept busy by helping more with building and grounds maintenance and repairs at Zion.
In his retirement, Joel started working part-time with the city of Buffalo in the Utility Department, and he has been called to serve Zion’s facility and people in a new way, as part of the interim maintenance staff team.
He was surprised to find out just how busy Zion’s facility is. Zion opens it doors to a multitude of activities not only Sundays, but all through the week both day and night. Some activities are specific to Zion’s ministry, and others involve many organizations and groups of people from our community.
With all these groups occupying Zion’s structure, the staff is constantly and continuously engaged in organizing room schedules, preparing and maintaining every room, setting up and taking down furniture and supplies for events, and cleaning up after those events. This is in addition to all of the general things that need to be done on a daily basis to maintain a clean, orderly, and welcoming facility.