Beautiful Eccentrics

By on May 9, 2016 in News & Musings

I came to Zion as a young-adult of 24, following my dad when he was called to Zion to be the head pastor in 1989. I was raised from kindergarten until then at University Lutheran Church of Hope in S.E. Minneapolis and felt a little disloyal to Hope in following my parents even though I was a launched adult and could have opted to stay there.  I was welcomed warmly at Zion, given the ivy from Carl and Sharon Hendrickson and proceeded to experience the uniqueness that was Zion from the first day.

The cast of characters that have called Zion home has always been deeply fascinating to me. I have worked at Hennepin County Medical Center for 28 years and often found the lines blurred between the people I see at work and the people I worship with on Sundays.  It is almost like Zion specialized in eccentrics with a sprinkling of less-eccentric folk – just like HCMC.

But the eccentrics are the very people that Jesus encourages us to embrace. The hard to love are the very ones that need love the most. The difficult to listen to are the ones who need your few minutes of attention the most. Aren’t we lucky to have so many ‘Jesus among us’ encounters, repeated opportunities to strive to be more Christ-like?

In a blink of an eye I realized I have been a member at Zion for 27 years. I have pondered leaving once or twice: when my dad retired from Zion in 2001, when driving from my home in N.E. Minneapolis to Zion for an evening meeting during rush hour, when it seemed the work to keep Zion going was more than I wanted to give. But I can’t imagine not being here, not being a part of my ‘church family’, the cast of beautiful eccentrics whom I love – it is where I belong.

SueAnnSueAnn Westphal has lived in N.E. Minneapolis nearly her whole life but gets to her family cabin when she can. She usually sits with the beautiful eccentrics on the right side of the sanctuary.


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