Our Staff

Senior Pastor   

Pam Larabee-Zierath, an associate in ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America,Associate in Ministry Pam Larabee-Zierath has been Minister of Congregational Life since 2008. She received a Master’s degree of Theological Studies from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, Ohio, and a certificate for contemplative prayer group leadership from Shalem Institute in Baltimore, Maryland. Former parishes she has served include:

  • Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) at the University of Iowa, 1999 to 2008
  • Zion Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, 1985 to1999
  • LCM at the University of Illinois, 1977 to 1982

Pam lives near West Liberty, Iowa, in an 1890's farmhouse with five cats and husband, David (of 35+ years), who tends to the family’s two-acre prairie grass planting. Daughter Jenny lives in Manhattan. Pam like to read, knit, watch birds, and walk and pray on prairie.



Director of Music Ministries, Michael Zemek hails from Minnesota where he attended GustMichael Zemek photoavus Adolphus College and taught secondary choral music before completing his doctorate in music education at the University of Illinois.  His "day job" is that of coordinator of music education and co-chair of the Music Department at Augustana College, Rock Island, IL, where he conducts several choirs, teaches music methods and conducting courses, and supervises music education students.  In addition to being a frequent guest conductor and clinician, Michael has published several articles and been recognized for his work involving youth as musical leaders in worship.  During the summer months he has served as program director for Lutheran Summer Music Academy and Festival as well as Young Lutherans Sing sponsored by the Association of Lutheran Church Musicians.  Michael's wife, Sangeetha Rayapati, is head of the voice faculty at Augustana, and together their lives are surrounded by the music of their three daughters, Annika, Karenna and Linnea. 

Ruth Hurlburt, organist, is a native of Montana where she earned a bachelor of music degree in organ from the University of Montana and worked with the Montana Arts Council. She has lived in the Iowa City area since 1983 when she arrived to study organ, and subsequently earned master of fine arts in organ from The University of Iowa.  Since then, she has served area churches and has been an active member, officer, and recitalist with the River Valley Chapter of the American Guild of Organists. In addition to continuing to learn more organ repertoire, Ruth’s professional interests focus on liturgy, hymnody, spiritual growth, and congregational song. Ruth is employed in Human Resources at The University of Iowa and enjoys implementing and administering services for faculty and staff. She enjoys swimming, reading, and traveling with her husband, Russ.



Annie Larsen , Adminstrative Coordinator, grew up in Iowa City and at Gloria Dei where she sang in the youth choir with Gertrud Herling as organist, and taught summer bible school. Anne left Iowa City for college only to return 35 years later after living in Chicago, Minneapolis and Denver. Since returning to the area to be closer to family she transferred to Gloria Dei from her Denver church and immediately joined Altar Guild, volunteered for the church’s quarterly fund raising events and joined the Adult Education Committee. Anne is the daughter of long time members Karl (deceased) and Sonya Larsen.

October 13, 2015







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Blessed are you, O Lord our God, maker of all things. Through your goodness you have blessed us with these gifts. With them we offer ourselves to your service and dedicate our lives to the care and redemption of all that you have made, for the sake of him who gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen


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