Karie grew up attending St Paul’s Lutheran, a WELS congregation and school in New Ulm, MN, and also attended Minnesota Valley Lutheran High School in New Ulm.
Her faith journey was greatly impacted by her high school youth group minister.
He showed me that church is a great guide for life but it is also a great place to come to enjoy life and friends. He helped create an atmosphere for me of a place I can always go, and planted the knowledge that it is OK to hang out at church, to laugh and enjoy being there. That church is a place to meet new people and be with old friends – not just to go one time a week for an hour.
She and Brian moved to the Buffalo area as newlyweds, almost 22 years ago. They came from very different faith backgrounds, and were looking for a large church with both traditional and contemporary worship services, a variety of ministries they (and their future children) could get involved with.
We visited a lot of the local churches trying to find one that fit the two of us together. We visited Zion and we both knew after that first visit we had found our church home.
Karie and Brian now have two children Tyler (a high school senior) and Morgan (in 6th grade). Karie works in advertising and marketing at the Drummer and Wright County Journal Press in Buffalo. She enjoys gardening, hardanger and cross stitching, reading, photography, and going to the kids’ sporting and music events.
Karie has been a Sunday school volunteer at Zion for many years, and is currently serving as a confirmation small group leader. As a high school parent, she has been a key volunteer in the kitchen for the Italian Dinner fundraiser.
I love that you can be as involved as you want to be, and there is something for everyone. I enjoy the friends we have made in the church and I love that my kids WANT to go to the church events and services.
One of Karie’s favorite Bible verses is Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths.”
It reminds me that I am not in charge. That I need to let “it” go with prayer.
Karie and Brian had served as greeters at Zion many years ago but were surprised when Pastor Luke and Sherilyn asked them to lead one of the new Sunday Welcome Crews.
I thought “not me” and “I don’t have time!” But after some thought I realized that this is a great way to get more involved and get to know more people. Being a team lead has put me in contact with a whole different group of people that I have seen, but not yet met …until now. I realized this would give me the opportunity to be more involved at a level that is manageable with a full time job, family, and household to run.
Sunday Welcome Crews are responsible for leading hospitality ministries on Sunday mornings, including greeting, hosting, ushering, and serving coffee.
This is the front line … our first impression is what makes people decide if they want to come back. We need to make sure people see what we already know – that Zion is a great church home!
Each crew is made up of both people who have served in these hospitality roles already in the past, and others who are new to this ministry area, led by two families. The First Sunday crew (who will serve the first Sunday of each month) is led by Karie and Brian, along with Terry and Russ Peterson, and served for the first time on September 7. With all the extra things going on for Homecoming Sunday, there were a few surprises, but the crew was able to work through them all and the morning went well.
All in all – it went great! The experienced volunteers were wonderful in sharing their knowledge and information with everyone. Our team was really ready to take it all on. I really enjoyed the entire experience. But mostly I enjoyed the opportunity to see faces I have not seen for a while and to connect with some new people! People are very receptive to a smile and a warm greeting.