Local parent shares gifts with others

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 9, 2002

Maryanne Law, the daughter of a minister in the United Methodist Church, grew up in the Twin Cities. She said she appreciates the opportunity to learn about people of diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds that existed in the Cities.

"I was a United Methodist and my very best friends in the Minneapolis area were Jewish twins. Actually, they had the first Bat Mitzvah I attended," Maryanne said. She also learned about the Catholic Church through a boyfriend.

Having the Protestant background, Maryanne ended up following along with her husband, Jonathan Law, who was already a United Methodist pastor with his first church.

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By their faith, the Laws became part of Austin’s Vineyard Christian Fellowship-Evangelic Protestant congregation, which offers contemporary worship with strong focus on prayer, intending a blend between Quakerism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Maryanne Law earned her degree in English from a college in Minneapolis and became a secondary English teacher. When she came to Austin, she focused on being a mom to her sons David and Justin, who were then three and five years old. She then connected with the Parenting Resource Center via its classes and was impressed with the instruction material and began working there.

"My children are my greatest gifts," she said. "My youngest is now 24 and in school, beginning his Physician’s Assistant training, and the oldest is in Med Management at the Northwest Hospital in the Cities. He is also a Christian musician and worship leader in his congregation -- and so is the other one -- in contemporary worship."

Maryanne pauses to crack a smile so warm, it could only come from a grateful mother. "That’s a great, great pleasure for me!"

Maryanne connects with Chapter 6 in the of the Book of John, which tells of how Jesus multiplied a few loaves of bread and some fish for a large crowd.

"I'm very aware that we are all limited in our resources, so my responsibility is to give what I have and to give it to God, then ask Him to bless it and to multiply it for the benefit of those who are out there," Maryanne said. "I'm very grateful that I can do that and very pleased with the people of the community who do the same thing. God was very generous and multiplied it, but allowed nothing to be wasted."

Maryanne Law’s conviction carries over to her work -- stretch the resources and give thanks when they are multiplied.

"That’s a faith process for me," she said.

Nini Johnson can be reached by e-mail at newsroom@austindailyherald.com