Category Archives: Newsflash

Family Faith Kit

May Family Faith Kit – The Bible Mom Awards!

The Bible Mom Awards is designed for families and children to learn more about mothers in the Bible. Families will discover four moms from the Bible who displayed love for their children and for God.

Kits are available in the Gathering Area at church, and also in the weatherproof deck box located outside the church office doors.

You can pick them up at your convenience.

Would you like these materials mailed to you? Contact the church office.      

Meet the Executive Team Nominees


Thank you to all who submitted nominations. We have 5 nominees for 4 open positions. The Voters Meeting is Sunday, May 16 at 11:30am.

Ashlan Zurbriggen

Hello Good Shepherd family! Over the past several weeks I have given prayerful consideration to joining the executive team, I have not taken this lightly and find it an honor to possibly serve our church body. My husband Matt and I have been a part of Good Shepherd church for almost four years. We have three awesome kiddos, Autumn (8) Sienna (6) and Isaiah (2). In that time I have served on our preschool ministry team, garden crew, women’s bible study, and our small group. What a blessing it has been. Outside of church I serve as volunteer coordinator for Rachel’s Light and board member for Alliance of Greater Equity of Owatonna. This past year has presented numerous challenges for many of us. I believe with my whole heart that God is speaking to each of us here at Good Shepherd. I would be delighted to walk alongside our congregation and serve with you.  

Carrie Johnson

Hello, I have been a member of Good Shepherd since 1986. I have not just watched our church grow but have grown with our church. I would use my past experience to serve on the executive team. I would serve with empathy and grace. I would listen to the many voices of our church. I strongly believe that we need to minister to the 99, but we must always be aware of that one person who is longing for a personal relationship with God. I ask you to prayerfully consider me to serve on the executive team.  

Heidi Cottingham

To start off I would say I am blessed, and that I have been secure in God throughout my journey in life challenges. I grew up in the Lutheran Church as a “PK,” (Pastor’s Kid.) I graduated from a Lutheran College and spent my college summers working at Okoboji Lutheran Bible. I was a youth pastor’s wife for 10 years, worked year-round full time at Okoboji Lutheran Bible Camp for 4 years. Living on-site, camp was my biological kids’ first home. I have been on mission trips to Africa and Brazil. Fast forward a BUNCH I was a school social worker for 14 years and currently work for the county as a social worker. I landed in Owatonna with my husband Trent almost 5 years ago. Trent and I met on Christian Mingle, a story for another time. We got married in November 2016. I have since gained 3 “bonus kids” and 3 “bonus grandkids.” My biological daughter is engaged and my biological son has been married for a year. Trent and I have been attending Good Shepherd for about 3 years. I have several passions in ministry. I feel that one of my strongest passions is, care for church staff, speaking on behalf of their spiritual, emotional, and other general needs. Music ministry is a passion of mine and I have enjoyed being a part of our worship team. I also love going deeper in small group Bible studies. “See the need, meet the need,” was a motto used at camp as a vision for ministry. This is still a challenge that lingers in my heart.  

Mike Westphal

I and my wife Marilyn have been members at Good Shepherd since we moved to Owatonna in 1991. I felt honored when asked if I would consider a nomination to the Exec Board, since I served on the board in the past and felt moved by God to get involved in leadership again. I served on the committee to call Pastor Rosenau and then served on the Executive Board for 6 years following his call. During this time, I also served as chair of the Executive Team. I also was on the call committee for Pastor Greg Schlicker, and on the fund-raising committee to build the new sanctuary. You may ask why I feel God is now calling me back to leadership in the church? I can only believe it was God’s will to change my work assignment at Cargill, allowing me to be home more and be able to serve again. Some of my other interests including singing in the church choir as well as helping my wife at the church preschool, when asked. In the summer you might find me on the golf course and in the winter, in my fish house.  

Thomas A. Kuntz

Tom was born in Owatonna.  He and his wife Shelby have three children: Kimberly, Jennifer, and Matthew. After graduating from Owatonna High School, he served in the United States Air Force for eight years. Tom began working for the Owatonna Public Utilities (OPU) in 1971 as a meter reader. In 1997, he was named the General Manager of OPU and worked in this position until his retirement in 2003. In 2003, Tom was elected to serve as the Mayor for the City of Owatonna. He has held the office of Mayor for the past 17 years and reelected to a four-year term in 2020. Tom has been active in the community. He is a member of the American Legion; former President, Coalition of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors; former President, Highway 14 Coalition; former member, League of Minnesota Cities Board of Directors; Board of Director, Owatonna College and University Center; former President, Southern Minnesota Municipal Power Agency Board of Directors; Graduate of the Blandin Community Leadership Program; member and former President, The Owatonna Rotary Club; and current member of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.    

What is the Executive Team?


COVID-19 Guidelines

What Guided Our Decisions

In developing Good Shepherd’s response to the pandemic, there are several Bible passages that guided our decisions:
  • God is not confined to a space (1 Kings 8:27). He can and should be worshiped at any time and in any place. We are His ambassadors in the world and can be with Him everywhere. In-person worship is a great thing, but God is not confined to our physical space on 7th Avenue.
  • We are to obey those in authority over us (1 Peter 2:13-17).
  • We are to continue worshiping God, with other believers (Hebrews 10:19-25). We can’t use the pandemic as a reason to stop worshiping God and encouraging other believers. It may look different than before the pandemic, but we are still to support and encourage one another.
  • To effectively love and support others, we may be asked to do things we don’t totally agree with but aren’t in opposition to what God says (1 Corinthians 9:20-23). To allow all to worship God, together, we may be asked to do things we are personally opposed to doing (like mask wearing). It is out of love for those around us to allow them to also worship.
  • Our goal is to live in peace with our believers, not causing them to stumble in their relationship with God (Romans 14:13-23, James 4:11-12, Luke 6:37-42).

General Guidelines

In order to maintain a safe experience for all, the following guidelines have been adopted: If you are physically vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus, we encourage you to worship on-line.  This includes, but is not limited to:
  • Older adults (65 and older)
  • People with underlying health conditions: those with asthma, those with liver disease, those immune suppressed, those with disabilities, those pregnant and breastfeeding
Out of love for your neighbor and our community, we are requiring masks to be worn in the building, including during worship. The masks are there to keep us all healthy, and to allow us to continue meeting on a regular basis. Our position on mask wearing is driven by medical community recommendations. If you don’t have a mask, one will be provided to you. We ask that you practice social distancing and maintain a distance of 6 feet from non-family groups.

General notes

  • The nursery will not be staffed at this time and should not be used on Sunday mornings.
  • Feel free to bring your own coffee/water to the service. Coffee and food will not be served at this time.
  • The restrooms will be open. The restrooms will be cleaned after the conclusion of the services, but not between services. Be aware if this causes you any concern.
This is a constantly changing environment, so we will update you as modifications are necessary. Our goal is to provide a safe worship environment for all, so our guidelines are balancing that need.

What will Sunday look like?

Entering Church

  • By the entrance, there will be a table with masks and with hand sanitizer if you need them.  Hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the upper level.
  • We ask that you remain on the upper level of the church building.  We ask that only those with a reason to be in the lower level do so (picking up children from a classroom, using the elevator).
  • We are requiring masks or facial coverings to be worn throughout your time in the building.

During Church

  • Communion practices: You will receive the bread and the wine as you enter the worship center. We will take Communion as a congregation at the indicated time.
  • You may remove your facial covering to take Communion.
  • Offering can be placed in the plate either as you enter or leave the worship center.
  • We continue to encourage online giving. If you need assistance in setting up online giving, please contact the church office.
  • The expectation is that masks will be worn during the service except as Communion is taken.
You may see the worship teams, pastors and scripture readers not wearing masks when in front of the congregation. That is a recognized mask-exception with six feet of distance.

Exiting Church

  • At the conclusion of the service, please wait for the ushers to dismiss you, to maintain appropriate distancing as we leave.
  • We encourage all social gathering to be done outside of the church to allow appropriate traffic flow for those leaving the sanctuary.
Any questions or issues can be directed to an Executive Team member or Staff member.

Please pray for those affected by COVID-19.

Pray for those who are most vulnerable.
Pray for medical professionals who tend and care for them.
Pray for those who are affected by this health crisis economically.
Pray against a spirit of fear.
Pray for health and well-being for all of God’s people.


During April we’re collecting supplies to build Birthday Kits! Bring in cake mix, frosting and candles. Kits will go to Community Pathways of Steele County. Drop off donations in the Gathering Area anytime the church is open.