I believe parents have a huge opportunity to set examples in the joy of giving and helping our neighbors.

What Social Ministry Means

Laurie grew up attending Pelican Lake Lutheran Church in Ashby. MN, where she was baptized, confirmed and married.

Although both my parents influenced my faith, I would have to say my dad had the biggest impact. He lived his faith every single day. He prayed on his knees at night before he climbed into bed unless he was unable to do so due to poor health.

Proverbs 22:6 holds a promise that Laurie’s parents clung to, and it has always stuck with her.

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he gets older he will not depart from it

Church was never optional growing up. I remember grumbling as a teen that I just didn’t get anything out of church, so why did I need to go.

She would be quickly reminded that even if the sermon didn’t impact her, there would certainly be something to take home from that hour’s service, perhaps one of the songs, or readings.

I believe parents have a huge opportunity to set examples in the joy of giving and helping our neighbors.

Laurie’s family was on the receiving end of acts of social ministry when her father was hospitalized for an entire year with a rare disease. Her parents owned a grocery store, which later became a place for them to set their own example.

I can’t count the times they delivered bags of groceries to those in need throughout town and surrounding areas. They never made any judgements as to who or why they needed it.

A favorite Bible verse for Laurie is Luke 22:34.

Both my parents faced several serious health issues. When it was becoming apparent that it wasn’t likely my dad would get any better, I remember him quoting:

If thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.

Laurie has been married to Tim for 39 years and their home is between Buffalo and Maple Lake. They have three grown children, Tiffini (& Marty Kiebel), Jacob (& Kaare), and Elliot (& Jackie), as well as four grandchildren.

Laurie is trained as a Registered Nurse but is currently not working in that field. Her passion is organizing and preserving photos.

I help people organize photos and host 3-4 scrapbook retreats a year.

Tim runs the family farm in Dalton, MN, and Laurie enjoys spending time there and at their cabin on Long Lake, near Dalton. She also likes to garden, scrapbook, camp in their 5th wheel, and plan cousins get-togethers for the grandkids.

When they moved to Maple Lake in 1982, Zion was the closest Lutheran Church.

My first memories were worshiping in the church close to downtown and the awesome choir.

She loves Zion’s pastors, music, the congregation, youth ministries, endless volunteer opportunities, and the impact that Zion has on the surrounding communities.

When Laurie was a new RN, working as a Home Care nurse through the Buffalo Clinic, a home visit to a terminally ill patient made Laurie aware of the impact a church can have on families outside the congregation.

When I arrived he was already unconscious and a local pastor was there. This family were not regular church goers, and were told that although he was really sorry, he was unable to help them since he had not heard this dying man’s confession of faith.

That day, Laurie looked around the room, and realized the importance of ministering to the room full of family members, including teens, more so ministering to this man who could no longer respond. As she prepared to leave, she asked the family if they would like her to call  her pastor, and they agreed. She went home, called Pastor Ed Blair, and explained the situation.

I will never forget his words to me: ”Give me directions. I’ll be there in the morning.” Ed did the funeral at Peterson Chapel. Three weeks later the man’s wife died and [Pastor Ed] officiated her service as well. What a gift Pastor Ed not only gave this family but to me, as a member of Zion. This is what social ministry means to me.

She later heard that Pastor Ed’s unconditional visit had a lasting impact on the family.

Laurie helps with the SONshine choir, where accompanist Wendy Lindlief is an inspiration to her.

There are times when she has chemo during the week and is playing for the SONshine choir kids Wednesday and Sunday morning and singing in the choir herself besides. I can’t think of a nicer person, and the world needs more Wendys.

Laurie was asked to serve on the Social Ministry team after helping with the Holiday food basket project. She focuses on the Silent Service Auction and the Park Lane Christmas gift bag project.

We can so often get caught up in our own comfortable lives … getting involved with local  ministry opens your eyes to the needs of our neighbors in our own communities. Making a difference is a great feeling no matter how big or small the act.