What year did you begin attending St. Philip the Deacon? 2001
What is your faith background? We both grew up in the small town (population 300!) of Langford, South Dakota and have lived a mile apart (or less…) for most of our lives. We both belonged to Langford Lutheran Church where we participated in church youth group activities. We were confirmed and married there and Lana was even baptized there! Our parents were also active in the church in a variety of ways. While faith in God has always been part of our families, being Lutheran hasn’t been. Our grandparents come from a variety of faith denominations including Lutheran, Presbyterian, and Christian Missionary Alliance where Brandon’s grandfather was a minister.
What is your professional background and experience? Brandon is a CPA and is currently a Tax Partner at a large accounting firm. Lana is a leader in Human Resources and recently transitioned from a major local retailer to begin a new journey at a non-profit financial services company.
How are you involved at St. Phillip? Our involvement started at St. Philip when we were challenged at New Member Orientation to think of ways we could share our gifts. We both enjoy working with numbers and confidential information, so we volunteered to count offering! We have also participated in services in other ways by ushering, reading, and serving communion. We have two small children that participate in many of the Children’s Ministries’ opportunities as well. Last summer Lana was a classroom leader during Vacation Bible School.
What is something you love about St. Philip the Deacon? There are many things we love about St. Philip. First and foremost, we were attracted here because the content and structure of the services were comfortable and familiar to us, reminding us of our church and heritage where we grew up. The feeling of belonging and similarity to our small-town church isn’t limited to just the services – we are amazed given the size of the congregation at St. Philip, that the staff know our names and our children. They take time to connect with us. In no way have we ever felt like “just a number” in this church. The entire staff is top-notch and extremely talented at what they do. We are typically late for church and Brandon always teases as we must pass at least 10 churches on our way from our house to St. Philip. But we have found our home here and it is worth the extra distance!
Have you ever been surprised by God? If so, how? Yes, God has surprised us both pleasantly and in a devastating way. Lana lost her mom suddenly about ten years ago to a brain aneurysm at the age of 60. You rely heavily on your faith in times like these but often question and don’t understand God’s plan. Mom always said “God will never put you through anything He knows you can’t handle” – I think of that almost daily and sometimes I look up and say “really???” On a more positive note, God blessed us with two absolute miracles by giving us the ability to have our two children. The odds were against us as we were in the 1% likelihood of success category. But God answered our prayers in every way with our daughter and our son.
If you could meet God face to face what would you want to ask? We are both inquisitive people, but we have the feeling we would be at a loss for words if we were face to face with God. While we know it would not be our place to question Him in any way, we would love to better understand His plan for our lives and if we are being the Christians He intended?