The sanctuary at Good Shepherd is a six-sided worship space within the church building which seats about 200 people with room in the Narthex for overflow seating. With six floor-to-ceiling windows providing visual avenues to the exterior landscape, and eight clerestory windows, the sanctuary is exceptionally light-filled. High-quality acoustics within the space have made it especially desirable for musical performances. Our congregation has taken great care to select furnishings that enhance worship and have aesthetic merit.  The sanctuary was extensively redecorated in 2018 including the acquisition of new carpet and choir chairs.


The table-like altar is the one used in the original sanctuary. In the fall of 1988, it was moved into the new sanctuary in a congregational procession.

Altar Rail

At the request of Pastor Hasvold, it was designed for the new sanctuary by Orville M. Running, Professor of Art at Luther College. It was given by Maxine Swiggum in memory of her parents, Ida and Palmer Swiggum, and installed in 1988.


PulpitThe pulpit was designed and built for the new sanctuary by John Kjome in memory of his father, George Kjome, and Rev.Virgil Hougen –- all charter members of the congregation. It is constructed from oak rafters rescued from farm buildings. Ceramic tiles made by John are set into the top of the pulpit.  The pulpit was dedicated on May 17, 1992.  

The heavy piece of glass set into its Bible stand is recycled from a sky-light from a farm building on the Eric Weiss farm, north of Decorah. The pulpit Bible was given in memory of Vivian Kalsow, a charter member, by family and friends, September 1998.

Baptismal Font

Baptismal Font InteriorThe six-sided font was designed and built in 1988 by John Kjome in memory of his brother, Michael, also a Charter Member. It is made of pieces of oak rafters salvaged from a nearby pig shed. The front panel features a shepherd’s cross with nimbus rays carved by Nils Kjome, a charter member and brother of John and Michael.

John hand-crafted the bowl’s ceramic tiles from clay found on the Luther College campus and fired them in a kiln at the College. One of the six tiles in the center of the bowl features a baptismal shell with three ‘drops’ of water. Kaija Kjome, daughter of Gail and John, was the first child baptized in the new font, January 15, 1989.

Altar Candle Holders

These candle holders were made by the late George Knudson. He and his late wife Shirley were charter members. Their children, Ralph, Nancy, and Karl, are charter members as well. The candle holders have been in continuous use since the early days of Good Shepherd Church.

Paschal Candle Holder

Rev. Harley Refsal, congregation member, noted woodcarver, and Luther College Professor of Scandinavian Folk Art, designed, built, and carved the Paschal Candle stand and holder. Refsal carved the holder from butternut; the stand is constructed from oak – both match the other furnishings.

The holder is designed to be removed from the stand so it can be carried in a procession. Exemplifying the theme “God’s Work. Our Hands,” it features upraised children’s and adult’s hands in a variety of sizes, shapes, and conditions lifting or holding up the candle. Completed in 1990, Refsal created the candle holder at the request of Pastor Hasvold as a memorial for Ada Marie Roberts given by her family. The Paschal Candle remains in the chancel area throughout the year. It is placed between the altar and baptismal font.

Processional Cross

Harley Refsal and David Faldet designed and built the Processional Cross which was dedicated on May 14, 2017.  A full description of the Processional Cross was written by David Faldet.


Advent Wreath and Candle Holder

Harley Refsal also designed and built the Advent wreath frame with four candle holders. It is placed near the baptismal font and decorated with evergreen boughs and blue candles during the Advent season.

Shepherd’s Cross

Good Shepherd CrossInstalled in 1989, this unique piece is an artistic combination of a cross and a shepherd’s crook. It was conceived of, designed, constructed, and finished by members of the congregation.

Harley Refsal had the original idea, Reg Laursen created several life-size models from which the Congregation Council selected one, Southeast Asian refugee Hung Van Pham constructed the cross, and Stanley ‘Slim’ Maroushek purposely roughened and finished the wood.

It hangs at the front of the sanctuary between the weavings. Stanley also made many small replicas of the shepherd’s cross that were distributed to the congregation and given to new members for many years.

Alleluia Banner

The Alleluia Banner was dedicated on All Saints Sunday, November 4, 2018. It was was designed and woven by congregation member and professional weaver, Barbara Berg. It is a gift to the congregation made possible by generous gifts from members and friends in memory of Edward Kaschins (March 5, 1939-November 1, 2017).

When used at Good Shepherd during various times during the church year, It will be carried in procession and placed in a stand near the baptismal font. The banner, 24” by 42”, is woven using wool, cotton, and linen fibers in the colors of the festival seasons – white (background), gold (border and ‘Alleluia’), and red (diagonal design).  

The Alleluia Banner is a reminder of Christ’s risen presence. It is used throughout the Easter season and on Sundays when the church focuses on the resurrection, including All Saints Sunday and Transfiguration Sunday.


Left Gates WeavingRight Gates WeavingThree weavings, in shades of beige and brown, were created by well-known weaver John Skare of Bricelyn, MN, and installed on the south wall (front) of the sanctuary. Each has a “gate” – an open section for hanging a woven piece that varies in color and design with the seasons of the church year. Skare was inspired by John 10:7 and 9, “… I am the gate for the sheep … Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.” The weavings were dedicated August 28, 1994.  Substantial contributions given in memory of charter members Rev. N. Astrup Larsen and Martha Hoslett and Margaret Fenneman, Judy Schoel’s mother, by family and many friends in the congregation made their acquisition possible.


The original altar and pulpit paraments were designed in 1978-79 by Elizabeth Lorentzen, a Decorah Schools art teacher and congregation member, in collaboration with Pastor Hasvold and assisted by congregation members Jeri Laursen and Marie Freerking.

Blue-Advent     White-Advent     Purple sanctuary     Red     Green

After 35 years of faithful service, the original sewn paraments were replaced by woven paraments created by congregation member Barbara Berg between 2009 (green), 2011 (white), 2013 (purple and red), and 2015 (blue). The purple set was dedicated in memory of charter member Angeline Jacobson (1910-2011) whose bequest made them possible. The red paraments were dedicated in memory of congregation member Don Kemp (1940-2003) with funding provided by the Kemp/Norris family. The blue paraments were dedicated in 2015 in memory of former pastor, Paul Hasvold with memorials from his family and friends.


Exodus 28: Then bring near to you your brother Aaron, and his sons with him, from among the Israelites, to serve me as priests These are the vestments that they shall make: a breastpiece, an ephod, a robe, a checkered tunic, a turban, and a sash. When they make these sacred vestments for your brother Aaron and his sons to serve me as priests, they shall use gold, blue, purple, and crimson yarns, and fine linen.

In 2016, five new woven stoles were dedicated at Good Shepherd.  The stoles, woven and donated by congregation member Barbara Berg, match the five altar and pulpit paraments.  They were created utilizing the five traditional liturgical colors of blue, red, green, white and purple used to weave the paraments.


All the stoles, woven of wool and cotton yarns, are approximately nine and a half feet in length and can be lengthened or shortened as needed. The blue and red stoles are woven as “plain weave” while the green, white and purple utilize a contemporary tapestry technique with a one layer design on top of the background weaving.

Funeral Palls

Good Shepherd’s two palls, one for a full-size casket and one for an urn, were designed and woven by congregation member Barbara Berg. As symbols of Christ’s robe, both are white with a gold cross woven into the center. The white portions of each pall have a “window pane” pattern – woven squares that symbolize the words of this passage from John 14:2-3 “… in my Father’s House are many rooms; I go to prepare a place for you.” Fibers used are wool, silk, cotton, and linen. The casket pall was commissioned by the Altar Guild and the urn pall was a gift from the Kjome and Ronning families and first used for the funeral service of charter member Agnes Kjome in 2004.

NOTE: The Facilities Use Policy and Fee Schedule apply for rental of the Sanctuary.