I’ve been a single mom for most of my life. I’m so proud of my kids and even though life has had its many challenges, I wouldn’t trade any of it for the world. I’ve worn two uniforms, which is something that I am incredibly proud of. I was active duty Navy, then after taking a 14 year break, I joined the Army National Guard. Being in the military really defined who I am, and I feel I am stronger because of the experiences that I have had. My youngest daughter has joined the Navy and leaves this summer for boot camp, and I am excited for her future and all it holds for her making that same choice to serve her country. My oldest daughter works in the Saint Michael Albertville school district, and is excelling at her job. As a parent, I want the best for my kids, and am proud to see them find their niche and be happy in what they do.
Some of my fondest memories of church include the pastors John Folkerds and Ed Blair. They were in my life from when I was born until after I graduated from high school, and I remember them always being there at everything that we did. Many of my classmates have the same story as I do, being baptized here and growing up together in the church. We were in everything together from choir to summer camps to mission trips. We were so fortunate to grow up together not only in our friendships, but in our faith. We had a ton of fun together, and at the same time worked hard to help others together. I’m so fortunate to have grown up in this church and utilizing the many opportunities that I had to give of myself in the ways that I could.
What is special to me about Zion is the many people who attend. As a kid, I knew everyone in church. We were in the old building across from Parkside Elementary, and it was small enough that I saw the same people every week. Now, it is a home for many families, and I hope that many will stay for years to come. I want their children to have the same opportunities I did to make the special friendships and grow in their faith together as a group. I see many new faces everyday, and I hope that they feel Zion is their home.
I’ve been involved in many ministries throughout my life at Zion. It’s hard to pick one as a favorite because they are all different and impact members in different ways. My mind keeps going back to the mission trips that we went on throughout my teens, and the way the people reacted to us helping them. I remember coming back home changed from each trip because we all made a difference together, and I remember how awesome it felt being able to give of myself and make such an impact. The group of us who always went on these trips became closer and closer as time went on. Even now, when we see one another we pick up on where we left off, no matter how many years have gone between seeing one another. If we didn’t have this church as our foundation, our relationships wouldn’t be so strong. As a parent, it is great to see the many kids now involved in the youth groups and forming those friendships that can last a lifetime.
I chose to serve on the council because it is a way to give back to the church. I have such good memories of growing up in this church, and I really want others to have the opportunity to make those same memories and grow closer in their faith. My hopes for the future of Zion is continuing to grow and to share the love of God to the community. There is so much need for so many around us. With Zion being the size it is, and the many ministries that we have to offer, we have such an opportunity to help so many people and to allow many to grow in their faith and to share God’s love with others around them. We are a growing church, and the more we grow, the more we have to offer. People love to give of themselves, and our church allows people to give as much as they are comfortable giving. If someone is in need, there are many ways we can help as a whole – offering support and whatever else they may need. I want to see that continue as time goes on.