Serving Behind the Scenes

Jan & Dean have been married for 54 years. They have two grown children and three grandchildren who live in Medina and Stillwater.

Our family is very important to us, and we feel blessed that we are close enough to be able to spend time together.

They moved to Buffalo in August of 1974 when Dean accepted the elementary principal position, and became members of Zion.

We walked into the basement of the old church and enrolled our children, Steve (3rd grade) and Julie (1st grade) in Sunday School and transferred our membership from Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park. After being a part of the Zion family for nearly 40 years, I can’t imagine life without it! I feel very blessed to be able to call Zion our church home!

Jan taught fifth and third grade at Rockford Elementary from l975–1993. She enjoys water aerobics, walking, embroidery, sewing and music. She is a supporter of Buffalo Food Shelf and the Lakeside Oasis Hospice House which is under construction at Lake Ridge Care Center.

My mother and two of my friends have needed to spend time in hospice houses in other communities, and I see a strong need for it here.

Over the years Jan has been involved with Sunday School music, Bible studies, the Christian Education Committee, Christmas program, and Meals on Wheels at Zion.

When our children were in Confirmation I helped with Altar Guild, but that was back in the days when we washed all the little glasses made of glass by hand and dried them.

Jan became actively involved with Harvest of Hands at Zion in the 1990s.

The reason I first got involved with Harvest of Hands is that it is such a worthy project that answers the call of so many who are hungry in this world including right here in our own neighborhoods. When we look at the enormity of need it can seem overwhelming and make what I can do seem insignificant and insufficient. However, I think that Harvest of Hands has shown what many hands contributing a little can do. In the past all of our profits have gone to World Hunger; now some of the profits go to the Buffalo Food Shelf and are helping those around us.

She started by making food contributions for the brunch, has been involved with setting up the craft sales area, which was in the library before the church addition and more recently in Trinity Hall, and for the last three years much of her time has been focused in the cafeteria serving area.

For a number of years we made frozen apple pies to sell, so apple picking and the pie making session was also a priority. We have also had apple crisp making sessions to sell frozen. I’ve made some craft donations at home for the sale and enjoy embroidering dish towels. A couple of years I made items for the silent auction.

In addition to the good feeling Jan receives from helping those in need, she enjoys working with other members of her church family.

The leaders of Harvest of Hands put in so many hours planning and organizing projects and activities! I have a lot of respect for their devotion and sacrifice to keep things running smoothly and profitably. The treats and coffee at the end of sessions is also a fun time to visit.

Jan enjoys seeing many people plan for their own part in the sale throughout the year, and is amazed at the talent within our congregation.

Many make crafts, sew things, can things from their gardens, etc. all year long with the first Saturday of November in the back of their minds. One lady made annual donations of an indoor ivy plant to the plant sale. Each year she would take slips off of the ivy that had been her mother’s before she passed away, and nurse them along until the sale. I think she said that her mother had done that and that she was going to continue the tradition for her mom.

Jan and Dean spend winters at South Padre Island, where Jan enjoys being a part of a group of ladies called “Sewing Seeds of Love.”

We meet in a church near our condo Monday afternoons and sew diaper bags for the Crisis Nursery Center and lap quilts for wounded soldiers.

About ten years ago, Jan re-joined the Altar Guild, and now helps scheduling Altar Guild servers for the first Sunday of the month and holiday events.

Communion is such a gift, and I feel that contributing in this way to the sharing of the body and blood of Christ for the forgiveness of our sins is an honor. It is not a commitment of a lot of time, but it is an important contribution to organize and help run smoothly this vital part of our faith. It’s a “behind the scene” project and it’s really pretty simple.

Jan is interested in talking more with anyone who is interested in getting involved with Harvest of Hands or the Altar Guild.

I would encourage those who have not gotten involved with Harvest of Hands to think about contributing in some little way next year with a donation of time, talent, food for the brunch, etc. It will make you feel proud to have been a part of feeding those who are hungry!

Potential Altar Guild members are invited to observe first to see what it involves. Volunteers then have a choice of service times and months and can always call for a sub in the case of conflict or illness.