We are a Christian congregation in the Lutheran tradition. Organized in 1983 by faithful Lutherans who (mostly) moved from elsewhere and didn’t find a Lutheran church in the Lakes Region, they put down their Lutheran roots in this rocky New England soil and started Good Shepherd. Since that time, the congregation has expanded to include people who didn’t know what Lutheran is, and many who don’t identify as Lutheran – so if this describes you, you’re in good company! If you are Lutheran, you’re in good company! In either case, welcome home!
Good Shepherd is part of a larger church body: the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Historically, the Lutheran church is a reforming movement. You may remember Martin Luther from history class – Luther was a German monk in the 16th century. Luther had questions about some of the practices of the church in his day and he wanted to talk about them. He called for an open conversation by nailing his famous 95 theses (or statements) to the castle door in Wittenburg, Germany. (The castle door served as the community bulletin board.) He was simply calling for public conversation and reform, but he ended up as the instigator of the Protestant Reformation. To make a very long story short, Lutherans have a long history of questioning and of reform.
Lutherans are grounded in worship. (See more about that under “our Beliefs.”) Our pastor’s preaching connects the Bible stories we hear with our lives, bringing ancient texts into contemporary experiences. Through it all, we pray and we sing. We are sent out to embody God’s love in the world! (But first, we usually stay for coffee and munchies in the room by the kitchen.)
Pastor Jennifer Hitt has served as pastor of Good Shepherd since 2016. She leads our congregation in its quest to see, to trust, and to embody God’s vision of love for all people. She stretches us to continually re-imagine what God might be calling us to do - both personally and as a community of faith. In addition to leading worship and preaching weekly, she occasionally employs other methods of theological engagement. She leads us in tie-dyeing to explain the mystery of the Trinity, has us create prayer flags to make our prayer petitions tangible, and is offering a book-binding seminar as an invitation to journaling. We never know exactly what to expect - except that it will be grounded in grace and deep love for people and for God. She also delights in meeting you for coffee and hearing about your journey.
Pastor Jenn has been involved in leadership development for emerging church leaders, has trained as an executive/life coach, and is active in the “Music that Makes Community” movement. She delights in music, hiking, skiing, gardening, and book-binding; she dabbles in ‘found poetry’ and other creative pursuits. She holds a BS from Cornell University, an MBA from Texas A&M, and a Master of Divinity from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia.
Office - Nancy Poole
Minister of Music - Mary Divers
Musican - Melissa McCarthy
Organist - Jan Learned
our CHURCH COUNCIL
President: Krista Larsen
Vice-President: Brian Sanford
Secretary: Beverly Nelson
Treasurer: Bruce Wilhelm
Council Members at Large
Sue Bucknam, Rebecca Frane, Lee Kruekeberg, Robin Rollins. Rebecca Walkley
Good Shepherd’s Financial Secretary
For many of us, we’re still trying to figure that out- and that’s ok. As a congregation, we’re part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. “We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. For us, as the ELCA, this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world. “
If you’re the kind of person who likes footnotes, or if you’re looking for more details, here are some:
Historically, the Lutheran church is a reforming movement. You may remember Martin Luther from history class – Luther was a German monk in the 16th century. Luther had questions about some of the practices of the church in his day and he wanted to talk about them. He called for an open conversation by nailing his famous 95 theses (or statements) to the castle door in Wittenburg, Germany. (The castle door served as the community bulletin board.) He was simply calling for public conversation and reform, but he ended up as the instigator of the Protestant Reformation. To make a very long story short, Lutherans have a long history of questioning and of reform.
Lutherans are grounded in worship. As we worship, we gather around Word and Sacrament. Word is the Word of God, both scripture reading and the way the Word comes alive through preaching. Sacraments are ways God comes to us in physical, tangible things. In Baptism, water combines with the word of God, washing us into God's mercy. In Holy Communion, bread and wine combine with the Word of God and are, for us, the body and blood of Christ, forgiving our sins and sustaining us for the journey of life. Every Sunday morning as we gather for worship, we remember our baptism, we hear the Word of God read and proclaimed through preaching and we celebrate the Lord's Supper, or Holy Communion. Through it all, we pray and we sing.
What do we believe? That we are saved by grace alone. Not by anything we do, but by what God has done for us. We strive for peace and justice in the world as a response to the amazing gifts God has given us. We're "born again" Christians through baptism, not by any conscious decision of our own or by any experience, but by God's reaching out and claiming us in baptism. We read scripture through the lens of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Lutherans read the Bible not as a rule book but as a source of wisdom & inspiration. We seek what God is telling us today through these ancient texts and stories. One of Martin Luther's contributions was to put scripture into the language of the people. He believed that the revealed Word of God was accessible to all people, not just the learned class.
For more information about Lutherans check out this helpful link from the ELCA: ELCA Teaching