Taking Ownership of his Lutheran-ness

Kevin is a stay-at-home dad. He and his wife Holly have lived in Buffalo for about six years, and have two boys – Henry, age three; and Will, 20 months.

I’ll pick up work again once the boys are in school, although I can’t imagine how we’ll get anything done at home.

Kevin is fan of the Vikings and Twins and manages fantasy baseball and football teams. He enjoys old movies and older books, and likes weekend trips during the summer.

They have been attending Zion for about three years.

For many years as a kid, my family tried out church after church from different denominations as we tried to find one that was a fit. It was an awful experience for me. Each year we’d visit ten or fifteen different churches, and each time I felt like I was sitting in someone else’s spot on the pew. Holly was raised Catholic and as a kid she loved going to the same church each week and knowing the people and the routine.

When we came to Buffalo, we agreed to find a good Lutheran church in the area – preferably close to home – and let it become our home church. We chose Zion, and after about five visits to Zion, I no longer felt like a visitor.

Kevin is a member of Zion’s Vision Team, which meets once per month. He also participated in and contributed to the Gifts Discovery Course this past Spring.

In the future I could see myself leading a small group in Zion dedicated to a common interest, such as birding, gardening, Ping-Pong, or something else along those lines.

When Kevin discussed the Framing the Faith course with Pastor Luke last year, he was immediately drawn to it.

Finding a path to a stronger faith is something I need, and I felt like this would be an opportunity to find out where I am and where I want to go. One skill I have – if it can be called a skill – is that I enjoy being in a classroom setting. One doesn’t need a student mentality to participate, though. All one needs is the willingness to learn about oneself and openness to listen to others.

Kevin enjoyed Pastor Luke and Pastor Ted’s testimonial style in the course.

I enjoyed sitting in a classroom setting and listening to those two talk about the elements of faith on a personal basis. I found I always had a way to connect it to myself personally, and our small group discussions that followed were uplifting and enriching.

It’s also nice to get a chance to interact with the pastors and others in the congregation on a person-to-person basis. There are so many interesting people at Zion – it’s nice to meet some of them. After talking with others about my approach, my values and my experiences, I felt empowered to take ownership of my faith and my “Lutheran-ness” to cultivate it further.

Kevin believes others will have a similar experience, and hopes everyone at Zion feels welcome to participate in Framing the Faith, and gains a stronger sense of fellowship with others at Zion.

I think if we all knew how much we already have in common with the people around us, we’ll find it easier to extend a hand to say hello, to hold open a door, or to sign a list to volunteer.