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Pastor Kari Bahe

Rev. Kari L. Bahe

Senior Pastor

Senior Pastor

I count it a privilege to serve Zion during this time of transition and dreaming. As a senior pastor, I am charged with helping congregations ready themselves for their next chapter of mission and ministry. I love being a part of the visioning and being bold with congregations as they listen for the challenges and opportunities of God’s preferred future ministry of the congregation.

My duties at Zion include … 

  • Preaching, teaching, administration of the Sacraments, pastoral care, strategic planning, transition bridging, and worship leadership.

  • Providing leadership for the Church Council, Staff, Congregation, and Committees during transition time.

  • Chief Encourager and supervisor for Staff in their ministries.

My favorite thing about working at Zion is …

Zion is a mission-driven, fun-loving group of God’s people who care for one another, God’s ways, and the community. I love Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings at Zion when we gather together for worship and when the building is full of young adults who gather for Middle School and High School ministries. I also love working with such a dedicated and talented staff. It is difficult to name only one favorite thing about working at Zion!

My Family … 

My husband, Brad and I have been married for over 25 years and we have one adult son, James. Brad works in the outdoor industry which works well since we both love to hunt, fish, and be outside. Festus is our chocolate lab who thinks he should be able to go everywhere we go.

When I’m not at Zion, you can find me…

Either outside, reading a book, or LOUDLY cheering at Gopher’s sporting events.

My favorite Bible Verse …

My Confirmation scripture was Romans 8:31-39 it holds a special spot in my heart since it was also my Grandmother’s confirmation scripture passage. These verses are also a favorite because St. Paul asks questions [I love it when people ask questions about faith and/or scripture!] and then, almost in the same breath, Paul gives an emphatic answer about God’s relentless grace and love toward us.

Something you might not know about me …

I still “wish” for a horse every year on my birthday prior to blowing out the candles on the cake.

Our House

Joshua spoke: As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord! Joshua 24:15 Traditionally, Minnesotans have thought of summer as a “slower” time of the year. What a misnomer that is especially at this “house” we know as Zion Lutheran of Buffalo. Zion is a household filled with people who serve the Lord. It is amazing to see
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“See, I am making all things new.” Revelation 21:5 NRSV

“Making all things new.” Take note of the verb tense. Making. In the Greek, that active voice of the verb is emphasized even more than our English language can portray. God is “ongoing-ly” making all things new. It’s not translated, “I made all things new,” but rather, “…I am making all things new.”  The trajectory is clear—God is still working.
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A Sunday to Celebrate!

Giving thanks to God for the work of our Sr. Pastor Call Committee, Zion welcomed Pastor John Hulden, Assistant to the Bishop in the Minneapolis Area Synod to preach the sermon and install our Senior Pastor. It was a day of celebrating a long-awaited new chapter in the life of our congregation. The fourth Sunday in Easter is always Good
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New Roles, New Adventures

And Many, Many Thanks For 16 years, Angela Bengtson has served as Zion’s Communications Coordinator. In that time, she has led Zion into a new era of communication mission, vision, and implementation.  Angela has not only been key in sharing Zion’s mission, but she is also seen as a leader in church communications circles throughout our Synod and beyond. Her
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Too Busy?

My first Call was to serve a rural parish in North Dakota.  The location was further North than I had ever traveled.  I felt like I had gone to the ends of the earth. Still, I wouldn’t exchange those first years of ministry in North Dakota for anything else. The ministry was challenging, but the people were warm and kind.
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A New Beginning

“Jesus said, “It is finished.” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 If this is where our story ended, we would be living a very different kind of life. Death would have the final word. Where would our hope be? Dead. Where would our joy be? Dead. We would stand at a crossroads that offered
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In last month’s newsletter article, I shared a quote from Andy Mcilvain, who is the author of the blog Enacted Word. Now that we are further into the season of Lent, it bears repeating: God deserves more than our attention; He deserves our affections and focus. He doesn’t just want us to listen to Him. He desires us to know
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ReLENTless Pursuit

“The Hound of Heaven” is a long poem written by Francis Thompson, which describes God as the One who continually seeks the writer even though the writer keeps running from Him.  It echoes the words from Psalm 139: Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
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Welcome Home

Do you know what I miss? Wall calendars. Yep, I know I’m showing my age! The reason I miss having one, though, is the feeling I would get when opening a new calendar and flipping the page to a new year: JANUARY. That clean slate. That new beginning. You don’t get to experience that in the same way on a
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It Is Official: We Have a New Senior Pastor!

On Sunday, December 4, the congregation voted unanimously to extend a call to Rev. Kari Bahe to serve as our Senior Pastor. Although pastors have 30 days to decide whether to accept a call or not, by the next day, the Bishop had received Pastor Bahe’s decision to accept the call to serve as our next Senior Pastor! Thank you
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ELCA Good Gifts

ELCA Good Gifts are the perfect gift for the giver who wants to make a difference—and for the receiver who has everything! The Lutheran Church has always made Christ known in both word and deed. One way we do that is by providing meaningful resources to people in need, both in our country and all over the world. The ELCA
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Together for a Purpose

In the October newsletter, I wrote about Jesus’ story of the shepherd leaving 99 sheep to go find that one sheep who did not show up for the morning roll call.  We considered that there is an element of that story we don’t often focus on.  Not only was the one found, but there were also 99 who were there
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A Steadfast Anchor

Since we live in the land of 10,000+ lakes, it seems fitting to use the early church imagery of an anchor as we draw ourselves to the truth that we have a hope that is sure and certain. Jesus is our anchor in every storm and in the still waters as well. We are in the middle of a sermon
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Stewardship, Mission, and Sheep

Oh, that picture of Jesus carrying the lost sheep back to the fold! It is an image that most anyone who attended Sunday school has in their memory bank. Jesus tells the story of a shepherd who leaves 99 of his sheep to find the one that is lost. That one lamb being carried on the shoulders of the Great
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Strength & Hope

The truth revealed in these words provides a daily guide.  God is the author and sustainer of all things and is the strength we need for today and the hope we have for tomorrow.   When the way forward seems unclear, God’s people have learned to rely on the truth that God is always at work. It is true for us
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Look Up To The Stars

Since NASA released the first images from the James Webb space telescope, revealing the largest and most intensive view of the universe, I can’t help but think of Psalm 8: “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are mere mortals that you are mindful of
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Transition Team & Call Process

The members of the Transition Team and Council have been digesting all you told us through the CAT Survey. We are grateful for the great participation in the survey—thank you! There is a great deal of information to integrate and put to good use. We have heard from the CAT Survey consultant and are eager to share with you what
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That is God for You

As I write this, it is the 3rd day of Vacation Bible School. I am not exaggerating when I say that I wish every one of you were able to witness what happens during a week of VBS. There is transformation all over the place. The transformation is beautiful to witness because it isn’t just a transformation of the physical
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Hold On … But Let Go

“But even the very hairs on your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 Even the hairs of your head are all counted! And if you are losing those hairs….God still knows! It is almost too remarkable to imagine a love that knows you that deeply.  And even more remarkable to know a love that cares enough to know you that
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Transition Team Update

June and July are going to be busy months for the members of your Transition Team.  We continue to provide opportunities for more input from you about our next Senior Pastor.  The [CAT] survey results will be back and in a format that will allow us to share them with the congregation.  At the May council meeting, the Call Committee
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Transition Team Update May 2022

Thank you Zion! We are pleased to announce that 398 of you took advantage of the opportunity to let your views be heard by taking the CAT [Congregational Assessment Tool]. Although we always hope for even more involvement, we are very pleased with this participation.
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Abundant Life

Jesus came that you may have life and not just life—abundant life! One of my seminary professors use to say that Jesus breaks in to the monotonous, mind-numbing, tedium of everyday life and proclaims: there is more! I think about that in terms of life in the church as well. There is life here at Zion, to be sure. There
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We are Easter People

We will soon enter the holiest of holy times in the Church year. Holy week. More than a way of remembering, we participate in the events of our Lord’s Passion during Holy Week. We begin with Palm Sunday and shouts of “Hosanna!”. Those shouts quickly become the shouts of “Crucify Him”. During Holy Week, we do not ask what the
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An Expansive Lent

Lent has always been one of my favorite seasons of the church year. That may seem odd, since it is almost always equated with sacrifice, confession, and a sort of dreariness. Not that our Lenten journey shouldn’t elicit some solemnity as we journey alongside of Jesus toward his death on the cross. There is much to be gained from an
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Enter the Bible

Looking for some help with New Year’s Resolutions?  If you have decided to learn more about the Bible or to spend more time getting to know the scriptures, there is a wonderful resource available at A wide variety of learning tools await you. It is a local gem that has world-wide reach. Every article, video, and podcast is either
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Is Zion a Healthy Congregation?

It’s not so much that we are afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear. It’s like being between two trapezes.  It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer.  There’s nothing to hold on to. ~Marilyn Ferguson, American Futurist Zion has been through a great deal of
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Transition Team Report

And the Lord answered me: Write the vision, make it plain on tablets, so that all who read it may run with it. From Habakkuk 2:2-3 What is an Interim Transition Task Force? This group will help Zion move through the steps of the interim period. An interim is that transition period congregations move through as they are preparing for
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The Heart of Christmas

…God’s love has been poured into our hearts… Romans 5:5 As Christmas approaches, we will no doubt hear the phrase: Keep Christ in Christmas. Frankly, it is one of my least favorite sayings. I confess to you that it makes me want to shout in my best Ebenezer Scrooge voice: What do you mean, keep Christ in Christmas? No one
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Life in the Faith Lane & Generosity

…God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 What is the Faith Lane? That’s where our hearts align with God’s mission in the world and we become the hands and feet of God here on earth. What is
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Intentional Interim Ministry

Well…I had a good laugh today—shouldn’t we have at least one good laugh every day?  I decided to look up the word interim. The phrase that popped up as a synonym for interim is makeshift.  Not exactly how I see my ministry with you at Zion! Let’s move on to a different synonym; thrown together.  Nope, not how I see my work
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