Kirsten’s Transition


Dear Zion Families,

It is with a heavy heart that I share with you my decision to resign from my position as Director of Children and Family Ministries at Zion Lutheran Church, effective July 26. I say a “heavy heart” because I love your children and all of the families at Zion and did not want to leave.

In order to work in congregational ministry, one must truly feel a calling. It is not a job that you accept lightly or take for the pay. I have not always wanted to work in the church. I went to Augsburg College planning to pursue a degree in math and accounting but after a “God moment” experience my freshman year, I knew that I was being called to work with youth and families in a church setting. My dad was an ELCA Pastor so I’ve “lived” in the church my whole life and have known its ups and downs. It’s not always been easy but the rewards have far outweighed the challenges. I still feel called to work in Children, Youth and Family Ministry today and plan to continue this work my entire life.

After graduating from Augsburg with a BA in Youth and Family Ministry, I worked at Trinity in Long Lake for 12 years. When Pastor Luke called me regarding the open CFM position at Zion, at first I couldn’t imagine transitioning from youth to children’s ministry. But after much prayer and discernment, God made it clear that Zion was the next step in my path. I quickly fell in love with the children and families at Zion; their commitment, passion and excitement made it easy to immerse myself in the life of the church.

After finding out the joy that our family would be growing, I knew I needed to cut back on my work responsibilities. I made this known and in response a task force was formed and a restructuring of the Children’s Ministry staff was established. I also started advocating for change in the leave policies and compensation, requesting paid leave for myself and policy/compensation changes for other current and future staff. After months of conversation with Zion leadership and lots of prayer, I determined that it was time for me to make a change. The Personnel Committee and the Council are committed to looking at policies in the employee handbook and intend to have this updated by April of 2019. I pray that the changes can support current and future staff members.

You will be in my prayers as you partner to further the ministries at Zion. I pray for continued strong leadership (staff and volunteers) that will carry out Zion KiDS mission to “Know God’s love, Invite others, Do like Jesus and Strengthen families.” Thank you for welcoming me into your family… your immediate family and your Zion family. I can’t even express what a blessing it has been to work alongside you and watch the ministry grow over nearly 6 years. God is SO good and I will truly miss this place and all of the amazing relationships. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all of your love and support.

Humbly, with love,
Kirsten, Dave, Ben, Alex and Drew Kelly

Additional Information

  • Kirsten will continue to be on leave until July 8
  • Kirsten will be present at Camp Wapo for both weeklong and SEEDs camp from July 8-15
  • During the weeks of July 16 & 23 Kirsten will be spending some time in the office helping to transition to the new structure
  • On July 22 we will celebrate Kirsten’s time and ministry here at Zion, join us for coffee fellowship as we say thanks and farewell

Thank you Kirsten