Pastor and Staff

IMG_2789Amy Zalk Larson, Pastor

Pastor Amy Zalk Larson started her schedule as the new pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church on Monday, August 10, 2015. She was formally installed on September 13, 2015. Pastor Amy is the fifth pastor to serve the church since it was founded in 1958.

Most recently, Pastor Amy served as campus pastor at Luther College where she worked with the Luther Student Congregation as well as students, faculty and staff. Previously, she was the Pastor of Education and Family Life at First Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, MN and the Intern Pastor at Trinity Lutheran Church in Ottawa, IL.

Pastor Amy graduated from Luther College with a BA in religion earned in 1996 and received an MDiv degree from Luther Seminary in 2000.  She was ordained July 9, 2000.  

She is married to Pastor Matt Larson, who is assistant to the bishop of the Southeast Minnesota Synod. They have two children, Nathan and Abby. 

Pastor Amy’s Office Hours
9:30-12:30 Monday-Friday

For emergencies contact Pastor Amy Zalk Larson on her cell phone 


Kelli Gapinski, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry

Kelli was born and raised in Clear Lake, Iowa, and is a proud Luther College graduate class of 2017, majoring in Education. She has been teaching special education in her hometown for the last couple of years. Now, she is looking forward to her next adventure as a special education teacher here at Decorah Middle School. Kelli has one older sister so she is one very devoted auntie to three teenagers! She loves to be outside and active. Yoga, thrifting, plants, and a cup of strong, good coffee are just a few of her passions. Kelli feels it is truly wonderful to be back in the Driftless area. Good Shepherd was a home for her during her college years at Luther. She is grateful and honored  for this opportunity to serve as the CYF director. Her hope as she steps into this role is for all ages to continue to grow in and live out the love of Jesus, through enthusiasm, inclusivity,  and community. She has great anticipatory joy in meeting and working with everyone.

Contact Kelli:

Brooke Joyce, Music Director

Dr. Brooke JoyceBrooke Joyce is Good Shepherd’s Music Director, planning and preparing music for worship services, as well as playing organ and piano. Born and raised in East Lansing, Michigan, Brooke earned degrees in music composition from Lawrence University, the Cleveland Institute of Music, and Princeton University. He is the Composer in Residence at Luther College and a faculty member of the International Music Festival of the Adriatic. Prior to moving to Decorah, he served Lutheran, Presbyterian, Methodist and UCC congregations in Ohio and Virginia. He and his wife, Jennifer Self, are the parents of two sons: Keegan, who made his Good Shepherd debut as baby Jesus in 2010, and Kyle, baptized June 21, 2015.

Contact Brooke:

Erica Yaneff

I am excited to join the Good Shepherd community as my family also celebrates 1.5 years here in Decorah. Originally from South Central Minnesota, I graduated in 2016 from St. Olaf College and spent my years there playing saxophone with the St. Olaf Band and majoring in Religion and Anthropology/Sociology. As a result of my classes, I developed a love and appreciation for personal, community, and collective health and wellness that expresses itself still today as a love for fitness, food, and community. Post graduation, I worked as an educator, then manager, at Eagle Bluff Environmental Learning Center in Lanesboro, MN. Working outdoors with folks of all ages inspired me to get my Masters of Education in Natural Sciences and Environmental Education, which I had the joy of using this past year in my work at Kinderhaus and Park and Recreation. My husband Nick, our 4 month old Aemon, and I can most often be found enjoying coffee in town, working on house projects, or enjoying a park with our dog.
Contact Erica:

Jenny Werner, Administrative Assistant

Jenny grew up on a farm near Winona, MN, which has been in her family since 1856. After college, she began working in Minneapolis, where she met her husband, Dan, and was married in 1988. Dan’s career brought them to live in four different states, Reno, Nevada (where their children were born), Owatonna, MN, Seaford, DE and finally to Decorah in 2008. Their children, Kathryn and John, graduated from Wartburg and Luther respectively. Kathryn is living in Denver CO, working at the University of Colorado School of Public Affairs and John is working for the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis. 

Contact Jenny:

Office hours:  Monday-Friday, 8:30 am-12:30 pm


Dave and Sharyl Haugen, Custodians  

Erik Berg, Security