Jodi grew up Catholic, attended a Catholic grade school for 8 years, and has fond memories of attending St. Edward’s Catholic Church in Minneota, Minnesota.
Her Uncle Joe, a Catholic priest, has been an important part of Jodi’s faith journey.
Often on special occasions or holidays, he would say mass for just our family in my grandparents’ living room or wherever we were gathered. We often ended up laughing together at the end—let’s just say we were definitely not gifted in the music department and our singing was quite comical.
Jodi is now married to Lee and they live in the Mills Woods addition in Buffalo. Their children are Emma (16), a sophomore at BHS, Sophie (14) in eighth grade at BCMS, and Aiden (11), in 5th grade at Northwinds Elementary.
I have worked at Stellis Health (formerly known as Buffalo Clinic) since 1998 and am Director of Clinical Operations. I have a passion for gardening—both indoor and outdoor. I enjoy watching our 3 children play soccer. Spending time at Smith Lake near Alexandria is a special time for my family.
Jodi and Lee first came to Zion 15 years ago when their dear friend Jill Kathman, a long-time member of Zion, invited them to church, and introduced them to Pastor Blair.
We felt very welcomed. Zion has a great feel of community.
Uncle Joe, the Catholic priest, was (and remains) very supportive of Jodi and Lee joining Zion.
He helped my grandma understand and become accepting of our decision. His comment was: ‘Isn’t it great that Lee and Jodi are having God a part of their lives?’ When my grandma passed away, he talked about the travels we all needed to take to be together for her funeral. He said ‘heaven is just like that: as long as you are on a path to get to God and be together with him and our family again, that is what matters—just being on a road to God’. While not all priests have that mentality, he welcomes all who believe in Jesus Christ and our Lord to be together.
Jodi’s favorite Bible verse is John 3:16:
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
I feel that verse sums up my whole belief and brings me peace. It is so simple and so grand!
For Jodi, ‘Living God’s Call’ means trying to follow “The Golden Rule” on a daily basis.
While at work or doing errands, treating others as I want to be treated is on the forefront of my actions. Raising our children with that rule in their hearts is also so important.
When Emma started confirmation, one of the topics at the first parent meeting was the need for guides.
When I talked to Emma about being a guide, she said she didn’t really think it was ‘my thing’.
Jodi had insecurities about not knowing Lutheran theology well enough to work with students.
I realized that if Lee and I expected our children to learn about our Lutheran faith, I also needed to learn this along with them. I realized that I needed to become more involved and not let my insecurity be my excuse any longer.
It has been a great experience. Not only do I get to watch the faith of the students grow, I am also growing in my faith and expanding my knowledge about the Lutheran faith and the history of the church. We are sharing this journey together—being on a road to God (as my Uncle Joe said). I have been able to share with my students that the differences in religions does not always mean that there needs to be great division.
Jodi has now been working with confirmation groups for four years, and encourages others to consider it.
You don’t need to know everything. Even if the kids ask you a question, it is okay to say that you don’t know. I learn as much as the kids do.
When Jodi was asked to serve on the council, her initial reaction was the same as when she first thought about guiding a confirmation group … she laughed out loud.
The next night at confirmation class, we talked about Moses and how God picks leaders with flaws. How ironic? What timing? I prayed about this opportunity, and feel that my faith journey has led me to become involved at Zion in this way at this time in my life.
Jodi hopes for Zion’s future is that it continues to be a welcoming congregation.
Jodi served on Zion’s church council from 2017-2019.