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Rev. Becky Goche

  • LaCross, WI
  • she/her/hers

Ministry setting

I am in my first call as Associate Pastor at English Lutheran Church in La Crosse, WI. I am proud of them for boldly embracing the Gospel and calling me as their first LGBTQ pastor. Although English Lutheran has been around for a long time, the congregation itself is quite young with an average age of 37 years. English has a vibrant worship life and does much work around social justice issues both in the community and around the world.

What brings you joy in your ministry?

I love listening to people's stories and finding out how God is working in their lives. I enjoy when I am able to mix my passion for the environment with ministry.

Who inspires you in ministry or seminary?

I am inspired by pastors who understand what a great privilege it is to serve in this crazy life known as ministry. I am inspired by those who share my passion for God's Word.

What are your interests outside of ministry?

I enjoy riding my Harley Davidson motorcycle with the wind in my face and bugs hitting my legs! I enjoy watching birds, hiking and camping with my wife and our dog.

Best meal you've ever eaten?

Just about any meal that I get to eat with my wife, family and friends! One of my most memorable meals, though, was the first time that I met my wife's family in Virginia. My brother-in-law had gotten a bushel of Maryland crabs, cooked up some shrimp with Old Bay Seasoning, and a bunch of sweet corn. We carefully covered the large table with newspapers and then all of us sat down and began the process of picking and eating crab. Since it had been a long time since I had "shelled" a crab, I was struggling with how to go about getting to the good stuff. Fortunately, there were a lot of crab eating experts around the table who were more than happy to offer me their advice.

Brief bio

I grew up on a farm in northern Iowa. I was raised Catholic and came to Lutheranism as an adult. I got my B.S. degree in Biology and Psychology from South Dakota State University and worked for many years as a Park Ranger with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). I finally heeded God's call to become a Pastor and graduated in May, 2017, with my Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. I met my wife many years ago through our work as Federal Law Enforcement officers with the USFWS. We were married during my first Reading and Research week in Seminary on October 19, 2013.

Did you always want to be clergy?

I never dreamed that I would be a pastor! I was very, very happy being a Park Ranger and working in the outdoors. I enjoyed serving in leadership roles with the congregations that I was a part of but always felt that I was called to something more. Once I got into Seminary, especially during my year long internship, my call to be a pastor was greatly affirmed. Upon graduation, I fully expected to be waiting a long time for a call because I realize that not all congregations are ready for or want an LGBTQ pastor. God cannot be put into a box, though. I had been praying for years for a congregation to call me as their pastor. At my installation as pastor at English Lutheran, I realized that even though I did not know them then, these were the very people that I had been praying for such a long time!

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