A commitment to community participation and service has always been a way of life for Krista Furan.
The second oldest of five siblings, Krista Maus grew up on a farm in Watkins, a “very small town” about an hour west of the Twin Cities. She describes small-town life as somewhat insular. She grew up Catholic and went to Catholic school until she reached the 8th grade. “I could still name every kid in my class to this day. And I still keep in touch with some of them,” she said.
Being involved in the community and in extra-curricular activities was expected, and a “very big deal,” she said. She played piano, joined the marching band, played softball and volleyball, and went skiing and snowboarding almost every weekend in the winter with her brothers and sisters, a “lifetime sport that stuck with me,” she said. The family also went camping often, another activity she continues to enjoy.
Anyone who knows Krista is likely not at all surprised that she was an active kid. In addition to music and sports, Krista volunteered regularly at the local nursing home, and got her first job there when she turned 16. She continued to work there until she graduated high school.
Girl Scouts were also “a very big deal in a small town,” she said. She participated fully and enthusiastically until around Junior High; her mom was a troop leader.
The family was also committed to their church community and attended worship every Sunday, even when they were camping. Her parents were involved in Bible studies and modeled servant leadership by serving on the church council and in a variety of volunteer roles.
After graduation she decided she needed a change from the small town life and chose to attend college at the U of M in Duluth. “I really wanted to go where no one else was going,” she said. “I really wanted to be on my own.”
Though she had always done well in school and knew college was the logical next step, she struggled with identifying a major, much less a vocation. The summer after her sophomore year she took a live-in nanny position in the Cities, and that fall she transferred to the U of M in Minneapolis along with some friends. She ultimately chose a major in kinesiology as the quickest path to graduation.
She took a part-time job at Regis Corporation while attending school, and that’s where she met Brian Furan. Though at first she had reservations about dating someone from work, they were engaged 3 years later.
After graduation she was hired full time at Regis Corp. in the advertising and project management department, experience that led to her current position in project management at a company called Digital 1Stop. It’s a good fit for Krista, and she enjoys her work.
There was one thing she always knew was in her future, however, and that was being a mom. “That was one thing I could always see when I thought about the future,” she said. “I played ‘house’ all the time as a kid; I always wanted to be in charge.” Benjamin was born just before Krista and Brian’s 2nd anniversary, and Nathan followed 16 months later. Naturally, the boys are already involved in a number of extra-curricular activities.
It was when the couple was expecting Ben about 8 years ago that they decided it was time to find a church home. Brian grew up Lutheran so they began visiting a lot of different churches “with a totally open mind,” looking for a place they could both feel comfortable and establish roots. Gethsemane was close to home, not too big or too small, and they both felt welcomed immediately. Krista said the worship service was very similar to the Catholic mass she attended growing up, so it felt familiar. Though she did worry briefly about what her mother and grandmother would think about her joining a Lutheran church, her family has been very supportive.
Brian began volunteering as an usher right after they joined, and Krista said that’s what initially got them to church on a regular basis. They began attending Family Ministry events soon after Ben was born and Krista said it was a great way to start building relationships. When Ben turned 3 and enrolled in Vacation Bible School and Sunday School, they became even more involved.
She has continued to be an active member of the church community by teaching Sunday School, helping plan and teach Vacation Bible School, serving on the Family Ministry Board and as Mary Circle chair, and volunteering as a Sunday morning greeter with her family. Along the way, she has developed spiritual friendships that she expects will be lifelong.
She said it feels like there is a new energy at Gethsemane, and she’s excited by new church initiatives and developments in technology such as Access Gethsemane.
“It’s funny how we moved from the back pew to the front pew,” she said. Involvement and participation in church life is what makes it feel like a community, a home. “It’s definitely become more a part of our lives than just a place we go,” she said. “The boys take their shoes off at the door.”
by Amy Furan