Welcomed by Wes

If you have entered the front door of Zion on a Sunday morning in the last six months, you have probably shaken the hand of Wes Mahlberg. Wes has been a member of Zion since 1976, is an identical twin, and has a passion for making Zion a welcoming place that has driven him to be there, almost every Sunday, waiting to welcome you.

Tell a little about your family:

I’ve been married for 36 years to my high school sweetheart, Mary, and we have three children. All three children and two daughters-in-law were confirmed at Zion. Nick is married to Anna Quady (daughter of Bob & Cathy Quady) and lives in Maple Grove. Patrick is married to Jess Johanneck and lives in Hanover. Our daughter Katie is a CPA in Los Angeles.

Why open doors?

As a member of the Outreach and Evangelism Committee, I read about what makes a church welcoming. One of the suggestions was to have someone open the doors on a consistent basis. I tried it. I was surprised how much I enjoyed it. I was hooked.

I am really excited to see the range of ages of people coming through the doors on a Sunday morning, from the babies to the seniors. It is rewarding to welcome members and guests alike to our worship services. I have been known to study the church directory and it is fun to put names with faces. I feel I get more out of this than I give.

Every Sunday morning we have opportunities to help brighten someone’s day or lighten their load. Something as simple as a smile and a friendly “good morning” can make a difference. Of course, you don’t have to be standing by the door with a name tag to do it. Either way, I believe this helps to set the tone for a joyful worship experience – as God intended it to be.

How did you come to call Zion your church home?

I was raised in an LCA congregation in Worthington, MN; Mary was Presbyterian. Upon moving to Buffalo we visited several local churches including Zion. Interestingly Pastor Blair was from my home congregation and Mary’s dad used to sell cars to his dad – so that made for a natural connection. When making a recruiting visit to our home, Pastor Blair requested that we serve him no food as he was watching his weight but he would love a grape soda. We felt very welcome at Zion and joined in the fall of 1976.

What ministries have you been involved with at Zion?

I have served on the Church Council, Building, Pastoral Call, and Social Ministry committees, and the Zion Foundation. I’ve served as a Confirmation guide, served home-bound communion, and was a founding member of the Lutefisk Dinner. My main interests at the moment are the Outreach and Evangelism Committee, and serving on the Wednesday night sub sandwich supper team.

What do you do when you’re not at Zion?

I have been commuting to downtown Minneapolis the past 27 years working first for Pillsbury, followed by the past 19 years at Commodity Specialists Inc as a risk manager. I go to Worthington frequently to help with the family farm. I keep in close contact with my mother, and enjoy hunting.