I’m married to Tom Pearson and we just celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. We moved to Buffalo in 2003. We visited a variety of churches and found Zion to be a welcoming place with lots of opportunities to serve and grow. Together, we have three adult daughters; Frannie, Emma, and Meg. A big part of their youth was at Zion in confirmation, Youth Choir, canoe trips with Rodger, and mission trips with Myron and Jimmy.
Tom and I met at Northwestern Electronics Institute. He sat next to me in our lab class on the first day and the rest is history. Tom is an Electrical Foreman for AFC Technologies, a low voltage contractor. He installs fire and security systems in big commercial buildings. I worked for Rosemount Inc. for ten years, supporting semi-conductor manufacturing. My career took a turn when I got laid off. My lovely daughters, who are now in the world doing their own thing, were just in pre-school and Kindergarten. Getting laid off gave me a good opportunity to step back and make a change so I could spend as much time with them as possible. I never regretting making that move. I worked evenings serving and bartending. I really enjoyed working in a restaurant because of the fast pace and the variety of people that walk through the doors every day. As the years passed, I took on more responsibility and moved up to management. I eventually went back to school to get my degree in Accounting and Business Management. I thought one day we would be restaurant owners ourselves but later came to my senses. I now work in the executive office of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Plymouth as an Accounting and Human Resources Manager. Most people know it as the Radisson or the Scanticon. I’ve been there for seven years and, if they will keep me, I will most likely stay there until it’s time to retire. Just wish they would move Plymouth closer to Buffalo so I didn’t have the long commute.
My faith journey has been a winding road. The youngest in a family of five, with four older brothers, I was a bit of a Catholic church orphan. When I was very young my parents got divorced, my mom left the church and I was just left out. It was a choir at Church of the Master in Brooklyn Park that brought me back. Diane Ristrom, the choir director, who was also my music teacher at Hosterman Junior High, invited me to join. Singing religious choral music has taught me scripture, allowed me to focus on the word and has comforted me more times than I can count. To me, there is something profoundly special when the voices come together to sing. I truly believe that there are moments when the Holy Spirit is in the music. It’s deep and meaningful and at times it gives me goosebumps. I am a choir geek and proud of it. Lately, I have come out of my shell to sing with the Youth & Family Worship Team. I am happy to keep learning something new by singing a contemporary style of music. The leader, Amy Intrieri, and the group of singers and musicians are funny and talented and the added bonus is that Tom and my daughter Frannie are in the group too. It’s been a delightful experience and I hope to continue with them.
I got involved with Wednesday Night Suppers (WNS) at Zion when the program was just starting. We were like many families who were busy, busy, busy, and it was nice to know that at least one day out of the week we didn’t have to think about what was for dinner. I joined the Pasta crew and served as the team lead for several years and now this will be my third year as the WNS Program Coordinator. With my food and beverage background serving in this capacity fit right in my wheel house. That, and Sherilyn asked me. I have enjoyed watching the program grow over the years and become a staple in Zion life. Whether it is convenience, or meeting with friends or maybe the only hot meal someone will get that day, the WNS fills a need. There are over 30 volunteers that make this happen. They take on the task of preparing a 100 plus meals with a smile and enthusiasm. They are all amazing and I am thankful to be a part of the group.
A verse printed in a Zion Bulletin has been stuck on my refrigerator since I cut it out in 2010.
Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7
It tells me to rejoice, reminds me that the Lord is near and to not worry about stuff, and that God is peace.