Welcoming Worshipers

Andrea is originally from Grand Forks, ND. She moved to Minneapolis in 1996, attended the University of Minnesota, and graduated in 2001 with a degree in Child Psychology and Spanish. She worked with children in a variety of settings, married in 2004, moved to Buffalo, and soon became a stay-at-home mom.

Andrea and Brent joined Zion in 2005 before the birth of their first child.

At the time we had just moved to Buffalo and did not have a church home, but we both agreed a strong faith was an important part of our family life. We immediately felt connected to Zion; everyone was incredibly kind, friendly, and welcoming.

Andrea grew up Catholic and while she was unsure of making a change, she knew she wanted something different for her children.

I found there were only a few differences and for the first time I really felt that I belonged to a church community. I felt a strong sense of connection, understanding, and acceptance especially at the first new member meeting and baptism meetings that we attended.

They now have three children, all attending Northwinds Elementary. Gunnar is 9 and in 3rd grade, and Brody and Olivia are 7 1/2 and in 2nd grade. Andrea completed her license in Parent and Family Education in 2009 and now works as a parent educator for the ECFE program in Buffalo. Her husband, Brent, works for Eaton Technologies in Plymouth as a project manager.

Andrea has a passion for volunteering both with the Northwinds PTO and at Zion. She has helped in various events for children at Zion and currently serves on the Children and Family Ministry Team. She enjoys being an even more integral part of her children’s faith through working with the team to help to plan and set the foundation for Zion’s family events.

With 3 young children I believe that one of the ways for them to grow and understand their faith is to model what it means to care for others [and] share God’s love. CFM allows me to do that and to connect with other members with similar perspectives.

The family has an active lifestyle and relies on a two simple yet powerful Bible verses to guide them:

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave or forsake you. ~ Deuteronomy 31:6

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing. ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Coming to church on Sunday mornings and connecting with so many people is a wonderful way to start each week. My kids really enjoy attending Sunday School with their friends and it is wonderful to see their faith grow so naturally.

This fall, Andrea also took on leadership of the Second Sunday Welcome Crew. She reaches out to Zion members who are willing to give their time Sunday mornings for ushering, greeting, and coffee fellowship.

Because we had such a wonderful first experience at Zion, I want to help ensure that other new families have the same positive experience we did. SWC gives me that opportunity! This has encouraged me to reach out beyond some of my many close friends at Zion and get to know other members. We typically attend the 10:30 service but working with SWC I have begun to be there earlier on some Sundays and meet more families.

Andrea is interested in hearing from anyone who would like to be part of the Second Sunday crew.