Kris Harlan

Kris grew up in the small town of Wheaton, Minnesota, in a very strong Christian family.

Church was never optional. It was an essential thread in the tapestry of our family. I was baptized, confirmed and married at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Wheaton.

She and her husband, Jack, have lived most of their 40 years of married life in Buffalo.

We raised two daughters and now they also are raising their families in Buffalo. Jack & I are both retired educators. I was a classroom teacher for 23 years and I served as the elementary principal at Maple Lake Elementary my last 12 years before retirement in 2016. Ironically, both of our daughters followed our footsteps and are teachers also! Jack & I love to golf, travel, and spend time with family & friends.

Growing up, Kris was deeply impacted by the faith of her parents.

Both of them modeled a life of service, always reaching out to help others.

As an adult, illness and the untimely deaths of loved ones has challenged my faith over the years. I have been greatly impacted by so many friends who have faced tough challenges and continually relied on their faith to see them through. The faith of each of these individuals has made my own faith stronger. As a retired educator, the great number of school shootings also weighs heavy on my heart, and I wonder how God could lead us to help prevent these tragic events.

My faith has grown each time one of our four grandchildren was born! Each of them inspires me to be a better faith model for them, as my grandparents were for me and as my parents were for our two daughters. I have seen hope in the future when we’ve taken them with us to deliver Meals on Wheels, when we’ve baked together for those in need, and when we’ve appreciated God’s beauty and handiwork when we travel together. They make me realize how incredibly blessed my life is. In witnessing the way my parents and grandparents raised us in the faith of Christ, I am reminded of two of my favorite verses:

Train up a child in the way he should go; and when he is old, he will not depart from it,

Proverbs 22:6

I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

3 John 1:4

Kris and Jack were previously members of St. John’s in Buffalo, and joined Zion in the fall of 2018.

Zion is a church home that warmly welcomes all who attend! From the friendly greetings at the door to the invitation for all to attend the Lord’s supper, one feels at home in this church. I would also say that Zion’s mission for members to serve others is evident in the many outreach/service projects they are involved in both locally and globally.

Kris lives out her faith in our community by giving of her time and believes true faith is demonstrated in service to others. 

I do this by volunteering in my grandchildren’s classrooms each week, helping friends and neighbors in need, delivering meals on wheels, and engaging in prayer for those needing strength and courage.

We are relatively new members to Zion, but have been involved in the altar guild, participated in SERVE Weekend, baked for funerals, and made meatballs for the Lutefisk supper. I pray each week for God to lead me to serve Him as he sees fit that week. I am drawn to a lot of the social ministry activities, perhaps because I feel like serving others is my calling. I am also very interested in the youth ministry programs.

Kris was elected in December 2019 to serve on Zion’s council from 2020-2022.

Serving on the council is an opportunity to get more involved and to give back to the church community that has so warmly welcomed us and others to Zion.

Kris has many favorite hymns, including Just As I Am, and It is Well, but the song that holds a special place in her heart is The Little Brown Church in the Vale.

On car trips growing up, our family often broke into song and The Little Brown Church in the Vale was one of my dad’s favorites! We sang it at his funeral 16 years ago and it still keeps him close to my heart when I sing or hum it now!

Other Council Members:

  • Kevin Kuhns
    Kevin has been a lifelong member of Zion, and his fondest memory of ...
  • Joan Halderson
    Joan joined Zion when she moved to Buffalo in 1976, after having been ...
  • Deb Rude
    Deb has been involved with many ministries at Zion over the years, including ...
  • Wanda Weber
    Wanda was elected to Zion’s Church Council in December 2019 to serve from ...
  • Kris Harlan
    Kris grew up in the small town of Wheaton, Minnesota, in a very ...
  • Jameson Wakefield
    Jameson grew up attending Ostmark Lutheran Church, which is between  Watkins and Litchfield. I ...
  • Jim Bischoff
    My wife, Mary and I have lived in Buffalo for 17 years. We ...
  • Diane Paulu
    Diane has never been far from a Lutheran church home. Her earliest memories ...
  • Nick Sjolin
    I am married to my beautiful wife Missy for going on four years. ...
  • Ian MacCallum
    Ian grew up in Apple Valley when it was all farm fields, and ...
  • Nancy Dehmer
    My name is Nancy Dehmer, and I have been a member of Zion ...
  • Dirk Foster
    Dirk is a long time member of Zion, having joined the church in ...