Visitation Ministry

Jill Davis, a Zion member, and a graduate of Luther Theological Seminary began a full-time volunteer staff position at Zion on February 9. Jill will be leading our current visitation ministry and will be further developing visitation ministry at Zion.

Jill and Mike have been married for almost 15 years, and have two daughters, Ellie (12) and Tia (9) as well as an overly energetic dog. Mike works as a mechanical engineer for HTI in Hutchinson.

When Mike and I got married, we moved to our house in Rockford. We tried different churches in the area, but Zion just seemed like the best fit for us. I was used to large churches because I grew up at Zion in Anoka, and Mike was drawn in by the warm welcomes we received.

Prior to seminary, Jill taught elementary physical education and adapted physical education in Minneapolis Public Schools for three years, then was a stay-at-home mom for almost two years. For fun, she plays volleyball on a yearround women’s league and enjoys cycling.

As a family we’re pretty content to hang out at home.

At Zion, Jill has served on the church council, volunteered with Harvest of Hands, VBS, Meals on Wheels, Sunday school and confirmation, and delivered homebound communion. She also serves on the board of Love INC – Big Woods in Buffalo, leads both Tia’s and Ellie’s Girl Scout troops, and volunteers at the Riverworks Thrift Store in Rockford.

At seminary, Jill found students from all walks and stages of life who had great stories to share. Her favorite class was on the Holy Spirit.

The professor taught with so much passion that she’d move herself to tears during some lectures. During this class the implications of Jesus’ dying on the cross became profoundly clear: Jesus had died to forgive our sins – past, present, and future, which, if we believe, takes us out of the need to be affected by judgment. With this freedom we can then live our lives simply in the service of one another. To me, that was a wonderful lesson about God’s forgiveness and grace.

Jill’s long-range goal is to complete the next level of Clinical Pastoral Education and become a hospice or hospital chaplain.

My passion is pastoral care, with a strong conviction that people should be able to die well.

Being part of Zion’s staff gives Jill the opportunity to be actively engaged in church ministry full-time in preparation for certification as a chaplain.

As the Visitation Minister, I’ll be coordinating the pastoral needs of our members who are home bound, in nursing homes, and hospitalized (as well as their families). There’s also an opportunity to lead devotions and services at nursing homes.

She is most excited for the opportunity to develop Zion’s pastoral care ministry using the gifts and interests of trained Stephen Ministers in the congregation, as well as others who want to be a part of this ministry in some way.

What I love about Zion is that the programs are shifting from being pastor-led to people-led. As a church, each of us is called to be the hands and feet of Jesus, and together we do our best to listen to how God wants us to move.