Dear Church,
It is with a heavy heart that we share the following:
David Thyse, long-time member of Good Shepherd, died peacefully on Friday, January 8, 2021 at age 92 with his daughter Connie at his side. He was born August 20, 1928 to Sigurd and Mary Thyse of Fergus Falls, MN and grew up on the family’s farm. He served in the Army from 1952-1954 and moved to Southern California in 1958. He married Bette Church, with whom he had four children: Connie, Tria, Ann, and Michael. Later in life, he married Adalia in 1985. He will be remembered by a number of family members. Over the years at Good Shepherd, David was a regular in Tuesday and Thursday Bible study groups and participated in the Journey with Christ program. He was known as a kind person with a positive attitude and deep faith who displayed a passion for others to know Christ. A memorial service is being planned. Condolences may be sent in care of David’s daughter, Connie Keeble; 2080 Brisbane Ave.; Reno, NV 89503-1416.
Longtime Good Shepherd member Esthermae Haines, who served as choir director of the church for about 10 years, died Wednesday, January 13 at age 93. Her husband Ron was with her. Esthermae came to Nevada in 1949 from Philadelphia. She taught music in schools, first in Tonopah and then in Reno. She opened the music department at Clayton Middle School and later at Hug High School. She worked in or was involved with a wide variety of endeavors over the years: different roles with the Reno Gazette Journal, performing with music and theater groups, working as a real estate agent, serving on the board of Nevada Opera Company, golfing, and performing with the Sheep Dip show. She and Ron were married in 1976 by Pr. Jack Ericson. At Good Shepherd, besides the choir, she or they were also involved as offering counters and shepherds reaching out to members of the church. Plans are being made for a memorial service with limited in-person attendance and live-streamed to the Good Shepherd YouTube channel. Condolences may be expressed to Ron.

Sunday Worship for January 17, 2021, RIC Sunday
This Sunday is Reconciling in Christ Sunday where we celebrate our commitment to welcoming people of all sexual orientations and gender identities.  Join us for our livestreamed Sunday worship at 11am on our YouTube channel at or you can view the livestream recording any time after worship concludes.
Office Closed January 18
The church office will be closed Monday, January 18, for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. We will reopen on Tuesday at 9am.
Good Shepherd Congregational Meeting Set for Sunday, February 7
We will host the annual congregational meeting on Sunday, February 7, via Zoom at 12:15 p.m. Among the items to address: 
  • Report of the Nominating Committee for leaders for the Governing Board and Endowment Committee
  • Determine commissioners for the online Synod Assembly
  • Treasurer’s report with financial summary from 2020 and the Governing Board’s recommended 2021 budget
Typically, this meeting is held every February between the 9 and 11 a.m. services. This year, we will conduct the meeting online via Zoom at 12:15 p.m. following the livestreamed service. We will provide Zoom login information and other participation instructions. The Zoom format allows us to safely conduct formal business by allowing for information to be shared, questions to be asked and answered, and action to be taken. Please look for additional instructions in an upcoming email. 
Small Business Directory – Do you have a small business? Date extended . . .
We know small businesses in our community are struggling during the pandemic, and we would like to help those in our congregation who own small businesses. If you are a small business owner, send us your business card by January 25. We plan to have the directory ready by February 1. Mail to us at 357 Clay Street, Reno, NV 89501 or email us at
Are You Prepared?
This time of COVID separation has given us all time to think about relationships, time together, and other things we deeply value. It may also prompt us to think about the challenges of isolation, the difficulty of accessing health care, and what we would do if we were to experience a personal crisis, health-related or otherwise. These thoughts may also cause us to reflect on our own end-of-life wishes and plans. If these things are on your mind, Pr. Scott recommends two action steps: 
Contact the church office at 329-0696 or to provide emergency contact information for a relative or close friend which can be entered into your record in the church database. Include your name and your contact’s name, relationship to you, phone, and email. 
Be alert to a coming invitation from Pr. Scott for an online Zoom version of his End-of-Life Planning Workshop. We’ll talk about planning a memorial service, making arrangements for one’s body, letting people know your plans, and providing a legacy gift. A Zoom meeting time is not yet set, but you may send Pr. Scott an email at if you like to be sure to be notified.
January Shared Harvest
This Thursday is the last day to drop off your donations for the January Shared Harvest.  You can drop off your donations this week between 9am and 2pm Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Our shopping list for January:
  • Chili (We need 26 cans.)
  • Macaroni and Cheese (We need 35 boxes.)
  • Saltine Crackers (We need 26 sleeves.)
  • Canned Tuna (We need 26 cans.)
  • Canned Vegetables (We need 26 cans.)
  • Zip-lock bags - quart size.
January’s 2nd Mile Offering
The January 2nd Mile Offering will be distributed as follows:  1/3 to Reconciling Works (RIC), 1/3 to serve poor people locally (Project Lazarus), and 1/3 to serve poor people worldwide.
The peace of the Lord be with you all during these stressful times.  Reach out to us if you need help!
Maribeth Doerr
Director of Operations and Pastoral Care
Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd
(775) 329-0696, ext. 100
A Reconciling in Christ Congregation
Nominees for consideration at the February 7 Congregational Meeting:
David Soderlund
Nominee to Governing Board
Carol and I moved to Reno from Geneva, NY in July 2018.  We began attending Good Shepherd later that year and transferred our membership from our former congregation in 2019.  We were attracted to the worship life at Good Shepherd, the friendly and welcoming people, and the congregation's commitment to ministry in the community.
Carol and I met in high school in Oakland, CA.  I graduated from Pacific Lutheran University (B.S.) and University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D.).  From 1978 until my retirement in 2017, I was a member of the faculty of Cornell University in NY, serving as Professor, Associate Chair, and Chair in the Department of Entomology.  In retirement I enjoy travel and fine art landscape photography.  I also play trombone; after 20 years with the Finger Lakes Concert Band in NY, I was fortunate after we moved to find a place in the Reno Wind Symphony.
We moved to Reno to be close to our older son and family, who live in Reno. We also have extended families and longtime friends who live in the west.
I agreed to serve on the Governing Board if elected as a way for me to support the ministry of Good Shepherd.  I have extensive and diverse leadership experience in the church, not only in my former congregations but also at the synodical (ELCA Upstate New York Synod Council and Candidacy Committee) and national (ELCA Division for Ministry Board, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary Board) levels.  I hope to draw on this experience in my work on the Governing Board.
Jennifer Williamson Kem
Nominee to Endowment Committee
How long have you been at Good Shepherd?
I have been attending Good Shepherd since approximately 2015.  We became members in 2018. I was baptized at St. John Lutheran Church in Ocean City, New Jersey. 
Where do/did you work? 
We board and walk dogs and pet-sit occasionally.   I am a licensed mental health professional and provide counseling services to clients online. 
Are you married/family?
I live with my husband, Sotheare “Ree”.  We were married at Good Shepherd in 2018.  My parents moved in 2019 and live a few miles from us.  They became members of Good Shepherd in early 2020.
What hobbies do you enjoy? 
I enjoy traveling to new places and traveling to see our families on the East coast.  I bike inside and outside, weather permitting outside.  I have biked (almost) the 72 miles around the perimeter of Lake Tahoe. We garden until we forget to water or freeze kills the plants. Snowshoeing - miss the show shoe group! Hiking - miss the hiking group!
Why do you want to serve on the Endowment Committee? 
I am committed to the long-term growth of the community, church and members. 
What assets do you bring to your leadership role? 
I have my experience in my human services role working in various positions and roles in the community. 
What is your favorite thing about Good Shepherd? 
I love the way new people are welcomed, and the Zoom meetings while we are separated until we can meet in person again. I also loved seeing the children’s Christmas play. 
My husband and I have enjoyed Tables of Grace at Good Shepherd. 
I have attended two ELCA youth gatherings, in St. Louis and New Orleans. 
I have participated in volunteering, leading to my love of service to others. 
I have participated in Journey with Christ and participated in the refugee resettlement committee, and the most recent Call Team committee.