Staff Contact Information and Bios

Pastor

Rev. Kathy Nolte
(708) 848-4741
RevK@GoodShepherdLC.org

Rev. Kathy Nolte has served as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Oak Park since 2008. Prior to this she served as pastor of Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in North Aurora for seven years. She currently serves as the Chair of the Advisory Group - Companion Synod within the area of Global Mission. She works with Kidz Express, an after-school mentoring program in the Austin neighborhood of Chicago and is a member of the Leaders' Network, a collaboration of clergy and area leaders working to improve the quality of life of people on the west side of Chicago. She is a member of the OPRF Workgroup for Positive Youth Development which seeks to reduce underage drinking in Oak Park and River Forest. She serves on the Chicago chapter of Reconciling Works. To augment her work in these areas she advocates for anti-racism training, LGBT rights and mental health initiatives.

Previously Rev. Nolte served as president of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center and as Vice President of the Community of Congregations within the Oak Park Community.  She previously served as Dean of both the West Conference and the Near West Conference for the Metro Chicago Synod.

As a woman who began her spiritual journey as a Roman Catholic, her ministry has an ecumenical stance and openness to others.  She finds that each faith tradition has a different lens through which to catch a glimpse of the Divine One who remains veiled. Through her work she has partnered with playwright, Rohina Malik to bring stories from the Muslim tradition to her congregation and advocates for religious freedom for Muslims..

Director of Christian Education

Deaconess Debbie Rank Speer
(708) 848-4741
ChristianEd@GoodShepherdLC.org

The first question I am usually asked is, “What is a deaconess anyway?” The quick answer is that a Lutheran deaconess is a woman who is called, trained and set apart for service. For me, this service is lived out in a congregation setting, currently here at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church as the Director of Christian Education. I did my education/formation at Valparaiso University, a year of internship in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and was consecrated as a deaconess in 1999.

My ministry at Good Shepherd focuses on faith education and spiritual growth for all ages. I lead our Sunday School, Confirmation ministry and youth program, coordinate our summer Vacation Bible School, and offer support and resources to our many member-led programs. I am passionate about encouraging others in what God has called them to do and to create opportunities for mentoring between age groups.

What makes my work so great is that I get to do crafts with kids, go bowling with middle schoolers, ride horses with high schoolers and camp with college students. At the same time, I am able to talk with parents about the challenges of parenting today, explore the gift of being a woman of faith with other women, and volunteer at a food bank side by side with people of every generation. I truly love what I do!

Director of Music

Jonathan Oblander
(708) 848-4741
Music@GoodShepherdLC.org

I have enjoyed my relationship with Good Shepherd, one that goes back to 2007, when I first started to collaborate with previous Director of Music Mark Law for the Advent Jazz Vespers.  Then, I began to do occasional substitute work as organist, most recently through the summer months of this year.  I look back on those times as God putting me and the people of Good Shepherd closer together; and starting October 1st, 2013, I officially began serving as Minister of Music.   I was born to be a musician, and it’s a career that I enjoy thoroughly and in many ways.  I also am the Tonal Director for Berghaus Pipe Organ Builders of Bellwood, Illinois, am responsible for the tonal design of new instruments, and also serve as a pipe voicer, tuner, and service technician.  I enjoy meeting many new people at Good Shepherd, and working with Pastor Kathy, staff, and volunteers of Good Shepherd in providing uplifting and inspiring worship services.  Soli Deo Gloria!

Office Administrator

Catie Withers
(708) 848-4741
ChurchOffice@GoodShepherdLC.org

Catie is a retired healthcare professional with extensive administrative and organizational skills and abilities. She is strong communicator, a versatile problem-solver, an ace customer service professional, and an independent self-starter. She has experience in for-profit and non-profit organizations and customer service standards.

Catie spent most of her career managing large telecommunications call centers for Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago and for the Children’s Hospital in Milwaukee, WI. She also served as a United Way Loaned Executive and she chaired Today’s Girls/Tomorrow’s Women on behalf of the Junior League of Milwaukee, and served on the boards of the non-profits WAHAM (healthcare) and WHTA (healthcare technology). She has a BA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where her extended family resides, and where she was a Luther League member in her youth.

She currently works part-time at the Economy Shop on behalf of Thrive Counseling Center

 

 

Communications Coordinator

Julie Ledogar (interim)
(708) 848-4741
communications@goodshepherdlc.org

The Communications Coordinator administers the many methods by which we communicate with members and our community, including the monthly newsletter, weekly e-news, Sunday worship bulletins, and advertisements.  This position is currently vacant, but we will be filling it soon!

Sunday Nursery Attendant

Elois Gardner

During the 10:30 Sunday worship service, small children may be taken to our nursery where they are watched over by one of our caring professional attendants. Elois Gardner and Ruth Collins alternate Sunday childcare so you may worship and nourish your spirit knowing your small children are playing games, napping, doing crossword puzzles, snacking, and being entertained in a kind, caring and responsible environment.

Sunday Nursery Attendant

Ruth Collins

During the 10:30 Sunday worship service, small children may be taken to our nursery where they are watched over by one of our caring professional attendants.  Ruth Collins and Elois Gardner alternate Sunday childcare so you may worship and nourish your spirit knowing your small children are playing games, napping, doing crossword puzzles, snacking, and being entertained in a kind, caring and responsible environment.