Gather Mentors

Meet the current Gather Mentors: experienced young adults who lead an existing Gather Ministry.

As a part of the Gather Network, new Gather leaders are paired with one of the mentors to journey with them in starting their Gather.

Addy Kruse, she/her

Gather Cincinnati | Cincinnati, OH

Addy has led Gather Cincinnati since fall 2021, and is part of St Paul Lutheran Church in Cincinnati. She has a long history in the Lutheran Church, from being a super active Double Pastor's Kid to Peer Minister in the Lutheran Campus Ministry, The Bridge at Ohio University. She's loves to share knowledge and ideas and excited to share this gift with the Gather Network. She's also a high school science teacher, specifically for English Language Learners from all over the world. In addition to Gather, she can be found rock climbing, in the community choir, or coaching the school's Academic Team.

Cecie Suknaic Saulnier, she/her

Gather Austin | Austin, TX 

Cecie serves as Pastor of Spirit in the Hills Lutheran Church in Spicewood, Texas - a community nestled in the edge of the Central Texas hill country just outside of Austin. She also serves as Co-Leader and Founder of Gather:Austin, which has been gathering since December 2022. Through these communities, Cecie lives out her call to intentional, creative, and relational based ministry. She is grounded in feminist theology, stories, and storytelling, and is passionate about empowerment, accompaniment, justice, God's collective dreams for the future, and innovative ministry. She also enjoys running, baking, reading, and discovering the best flavors of sparkling water. 

Elizabeth Gilbert, she/her

Gather Cincinnati | Cincinnati, OH

Elizabeth has led Gather Cincinnati since launching it in April 2021, and is part of First Lutheran Church in downtown Cincinnati. Elizabeth is an alumna of The Ohio State University, where she was part of the Lutheran Campus Ministry, Jacob's Porch. By day, she is a Product Data Scientist at Duo, a part of Cisco. She also enjoys urban cycling, lindy hop, and speaking German.

Elliot Fehlen, he/him

Gather Driftless | Southern Wisconsin

Elliot is an avid learner, curious, and creative soul. He resonates with those who like to ask big questions and go on tangents. Elliot works full time as a third grade teacher in a small town in Wisconsin and volunteers regularly at New Heights Lutheran Church and the Grove Community Center in music and adult ministries. In his free time he enjoys making music, playing board games, and connecting with friends and nature. 

Emily Papke-Larson, she/they

A Community Called Grace | Bemidji, MN

Emily Papke-Larson is an ELCA pastor in the Northwoods of Minnesota whose call is to dreaming about and building up spiritual spaces that allow people to show up and just be – fully themselves. They are curious and passionate about the intersections of queer, rural, feminist and anti-capitalist identities with Christian faith. Pr. Emily joyfully serves God alongside young and young(ish) adults at Lutheran Campus Ministry of Bemidji, A Community Called Grace (church without walls and with each other) and First Lutheran Church, Bemidji.

Samantha Johnson, she/her

Gather Pikes Peak | Colorado Springs, CO

Samantha Johnson names her strengths in individualization, activation, and being a lifelong learner. She serves as the director of faith formation at Trinity Lutheran Church in Monument, CO and previously as a music teacher. She is a co-leader of Gather: Pikes Peak. Sam is known for being a thoughtful listener in her circles, gets to know people deeply, and is a cheerleader for others as they work toward their goals. She has a wide background in outdoor ministry, faith formation for children through young adults, worship leading, and athletic and musical coaching. Her intentions as an ELCA/Gather Coach are to walk alongside people in their goal setting and creative problem solving, and being mindful of how the holy spirit is working through our relationships and actions.

Stephanie Anderson, she/her

Gather Twin Cities | Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN

Deacon Stephanie Anderson began a new call this spring at Augustana Lutheran Church in West St. Paul, MN, after having served at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church in Mahtomedi, MN for over three years. Stephanie is a product of Lutheran ministries, having graduated from Concordia College in Moorhead, MN; worked for four summers on staff at Voyageurs Lutheran Ministry; served as a Young Adult in Global Mission volunteer in South Africa; and worked for 6+ years on the Global Mission team at the Churchwide Office of the ELCA in Chicago. She attended seminary at The Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, earning an M.A. in Ministry. In addition to congregational ministry, she directs Gather Twin Cities alongside a team of pastors and young adults in the metro area. 

Stephanie loves Minnesota and all of her 10,000 lakes. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Josiah, her two bonus kids, and three (!) dogs. She enjoys the boundary waters, live music, all-things church-related, playing guitar, Brandi Carlile, spending time with her family, and taking her dogs on long walks.