Our Stories

"The Anchor"

Kate Larson

Kate’s Story (written by Christina Kling-Garrett)

Kate was a young, new mom when she realized that her closest girl friends were no longer in the same space of life that she was. The father of her boys wasn’t religious, and Kate was looking for a church home to raise them in and one that would “welcome the noise.”

As a child, Kate and her family moved every few years around the Northeast. After settling into their newest home, they would set out to find a new church home. Kate, always deeply rooted in her faith, said, “The church was always the anchor for me; I’ve always had a church home. It was my home in an ever-changing world.”  Her family were members of the American Baptist church, but in college, thanks to some of her dearest female friends, she was introduced to their campus ELCA church.

When Kate started attending Good Shepherd, she was moved by the compassion and love shown by both the pastors and the congregation. She felt “seen” and loved, and quickly developed friendships in various music groups and women’s bible studies.

As the boys grew older, Kate and their father divorced and she relied heavily on her friends at church, especially one of the female pastors. During this time, her oldest son started to struggle. It was then that Kate was reminded how Good Shepherd shows up first in love. She recalled one moment when a Sunday School teacher was gently talking to her son in the hallway and after the boy went back to class, the teacher motioned to Kate to come out from her Sunday School room. As she recounted the story, her eyes filled with tears and she said, “He could have said so many things to me in that moment, but he started from a place of grace. He reminded me that I was seen, that we all have hurt and need a soft spot to land. Good Shepherd is that place for me. It is where I feel the safest.”

By trade, Kate is an elementary school teacher, but she has found a space in Good Shepherd’s Middle School ministry. Even though middle schoolers may be an eccentric and spirited group, Kate strives to be a place of safety for both the kids and parents alike. Thankful for the people she has met at Good Shepherd, she states that “Jesus is love and the church shows us that love. If I can do that for others, my church has done me well.”

Good Shepherd has been that much sought after soft-landing spot for so many. Thanks to the generosity of our congregation, we can continue to provide all the varied groups and programs that people seek out in their daily lives.

Linda's Story