Pastors 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.

Pastor Amy’s office hours are:  Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9:00 am – noon or by appointment.  Contact Pastor Amy:

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 is married to Pastor Matt Larson, who is pastor of Burr Oak-Hesper Lutheran parishes in the Decorah area.  They have two children, Nathan (14) and Abby (10). 

Matthew Larson, Visitation Pastor

NOTE:  Pastor Marion Pruitt-Jefferson is serving as Visitation Pastor in Pastor Matt’s absence.  Pastor Marion also is on call for pastoral care and emergencies.  She can be reached by phone (563-379-6197) or email (

Pastor Matt Larson became the part-time visitation Pastor at Good Shepherd on May 1, 2019.  Pr. Matt serves the Burr Oak and Hesper Lutheran Parish north of Decorah, and has been in that call since June 1, 2006.  His previous parish experiences were with the Northwest United Lutheran Parish outside of Crosby, ND, the Zion and Hedemarken Lutheran Parish in Fergus Falls, MN, and the Minnesota Army National Guard Chaplain Corps. 

Pr. Matt graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English from UW Stevens Point in 1996, and his MDiv from Luther Seminary in 2000.  He and Amy joined in marriage that same year.  In his role at Good Shepherd he will be supporting Pr. Amy and the lay visitors, but will not be keeping office hours at Good Shepherd.  Contact Pr. Matt:

Kathryn Thompson, Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry

Congregation member Kathryn Thompson was installed in the new, part-time position of Director of Children, Youth and Family Ministry on July 8, 2018. As director, she serves the congregation’s mission by coordinating learning, service, and faith formation curriculum, programming, and opportunities for children, youth, and their families. The focus of her service will be strengthening Sunday School, Youth Forum, and Vacation Bible School programs, nurturing families’ growth in faith along with their children’s, and equipping the congregation to share in this work so that all will find connections to worship and service in God’s world.  Kathryn loves seeing what young ones have to teach us, as well as seeing families supported and uplifted by the community of support found in the church environment.  Contact Kathryn:

Kathryn’s interest in working in ministry started at Sugar Creek Bible Camp, Ferryville, Wisconsin, where she worked as a camp counselor and assistant program director for three summers during college. A 2010 graduate of St. Olaf College with a degree in English and license to teach Communication Arts/Literature for grades 5-12, her first position was in her hometown, Pine Island, Minnesota, as a high school English teacher and athletic coach.  During that time, Kathryn also worked as part-time music director at People of Hope Lutheran Church, Rochester, Minnesota. After moving to Decorah with her wife, Sara, in 2014, she worked briefly at Luther College and NICC before assuming her position as an English teacher at Decorah High School in 2015. In addition, she worked part-time as the Children’s Minister at Decorah Congregational UCC and currently serves as the Summer Coordinator for Kids Lunch Club, the community- powered summer feeding initiative for children in Decorah.  

A member since 2015, Kathryn served on the Worship and Music Committee for two years and has been serving as VBS director. She, Sara, and Pastor Amy are  responsible for introducing gluten-free Krumkake to Good Shepherd’s sales! She enjoys doing house projects with Sara, going for hikes with their black lab, Gus, and eating great food with great people.

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:


Jenny Werner, Administrative Assistant


I grew up on a farm near Winona, MN, which has been in our family since 1856. After college, I began working in Minneapolis, where I met my husband, Dan, and we were married in 1988. Dan’s career brought us to live in four different states, Reno, Nevada (where our children were born), Owatonna, MN, Seaford, DE and finally to Decorah in 2008. Our 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:

I am very pleased to be working with Pastor Amy and the warm and supportive congregation at Good Shepherd. It is a great place to come to work each day!

Office hours:  Monday-Friday, 8:00 am-12:00 noon

Steve McCargar, Custodian

Steve McCargar served as Winneshiek County Supervisor in 1991-1992.  He was a co-manager at Oneota Food Coop for 25 years, helped start Hometown Taxi in 1987 and is currently a pre-school teacher at Kinderhaus and Farmer’s Market manager in Decorah.
[Photograph courtesy of Oneota Co-op]