Meet 2021’s Good Shepherd Graduates and Confirmands

This year Good Shepherd has three graduate recipients of of the Richard and Patricia Easton Memorial Scholarship as well as three confirmands. Take a look below to get to know them!

Rylan Kruse: Confirmand

Rylan was born on March 10, 2006. He is a proud life-long resident of Cass City. He loves living here because “there aren’t as many people here, so there aren’t as many problems.” He also enjoys the selection of local restaurants, like Nick’s, the Grill and Chill and the Cass Tavern.

He does enjoy playing video games, but Rylan also spends a lot of time outdoors, riding dirt bikes and side-by-sides. His adventures often end up at his grandma’s house because “she always has well-stocked shelves with good food.”

Rylan’s taste in music is eclectic, ranging from AC/DC to Luke Bryan, to Eminem. He might listen to any or all of these as the family heads to Saginaw for Rylan’s favorite restaurant — Golden Corral. “Their rolls are really good, especially with the sweet butter.”

Now that memory work is over with, Rylan can recall his favorite part of Confirmation class, the wide-ranging conversations about topics of the day. These help him with the challenges to the Faith he sometimes faces in discussions with Atheists at school. But let’s hope he doesn’t need to use what he learned in his favorite of Pastor’s sermons, the one that included cannibalism!

Rylan’s deep faith has been supported by many people, but in particular he mentions his Grandma for her insistence that every-one go to church each week. He is excited for Confirmation; his only concern is that he might mess up with everyone watching. He knows he is well-prepared for life as a Christian because Jesus “helps me when it’s tough. When I’m sad I think of Jesus, and it makes me happy.”

Rylan’s confirmation verse is Psalm 140:7 O Lord, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle.

Kian Hoppe: Confirmand

Kian has lived in Cass City since he was born on April 4, 2006. He enjoys living in Cass City because he appreciates the small town life.

His only wish is for “more woods.” With that request it should be no surprise that his favorite activities are outdoor-oriented: hunting and fishing. He even considers one day working in the Department of Natural Resources for his career.

The country theme is echoed in Kian’s choice of music. He prefers traditional Country and Western style (“NOT Country pop!”) and bluegrass music. Some of his favorites are Dead South, Charlie Crockett and Coulter Wall.

Kian says he has benefited from his confirmation education because it has helped him understand his church and faith. He knows that’s important as he prepares for Communion, because Communion is agreeing with that church’s teachings. “My friends don’t have a good understanding of their church and its beliefs.”

That’s a help as Kian makes his way through a world where people have such a variety of views and opinions. He knows what he believes and why, and so he can stand firm on his own views. Faith in Jesus helps Kian to forgive people and not get so mad at them.

He cites his mother as having had the greatest influence on his personal faith, insisting that he make it to church, Sunday school, confirmation classes and everything else, even when he didn’t want to go. He also says he likes her biscuits and gravy.

Kian’s confirmation verse is Proverbs 2:6 The Lord gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

Garrett Reinke: Confirmand

Garrett was born on September 13, 2006. He’s happy to say he lives in Cass City, because of the friends, family and school. “I like small town life.”

His easy-going personality is reflected in his answers that he likes “all kinds” of music and has trouble choosing a favorite restaurant — “There are too many!” When pressed he chose Logan’s Roadhouse, where he orders the ribs. But wherever he goes he always enjoys the mashed potatoes. He even sometimes orders a double helping! “They’re my favorite food,” he says.

Garrett takes his studies seriously and enjoys his days at school. Activity is the name of the game for him in his free time. He loves sports — baseball, basketball, football and cross-country. He also enjoys our Thumb outdoors, including hunting and fishing. Whatever he does, the best part is family.

He doesn’t find living his faith to be a great challenge. “I just keep a positive mindset and don’t listen to the critics.”

Confirmation is an exciting day for Garrett. He sees it as the first step into adulthood and as an opportunity to “show everyone that I believe what our church believes and I’m ready to take the next step and be involved.”

He credits his Mom and Dad as the greatest influence on his faith. Their example of being in church and being involved, and by participating in worship and singing the hymns and liturgy have been a great example for him.

He says, “I’d love to go to heaven one day and live in God’s kingdom.”

Garrett’s confirmation verse is Joshua 1:9
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go

Paige Bagnall:

Paige has graduated from Saginaw Valley State Uni-versity and will begin studies toward a Master’s Degree in Social Work later this month with Michigan State University at the Oakland University campus.

God has given me some of the most wonderful blessings I could have ever imagined, and I am blessed to know the love of God. My faith has helped me to care for others with an open heart, which is primarily why I am studying social work. I am at my best when I am helping others, and my faith has surely guided me to where I am, and will continue to do so throughout my future. Within the next year I am headed for big changes! I am not afraid, because I know that God will be with me and bless me through it all.

Owen Hoppe:

Owen will soon graduate from Laker High School and begin studies at Delta College.

Being part of the Good Shepherd Church family has helped me grow my faith by providing me three key aids. Firstly, they have provided me with a church where I am provided a place to worship and a place to learn. Secondly, my church has provided me a family that supports me and my growing faith by being there for me in any time of struggle. The
third and last thing my church family provides is a place where I van volunteer at that allows me to support my church and to help bring others to faith.

Brandon Witherspoon:

Brandon will soon graduate from Cass City High School and will begin studies this fall at Grand Valley State University where he will pursue a degree in Exercise Science. His ultimate goal is a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.

Through the faith I have gained from church I hope I can bring happiness and strength back into my patients, as the Word of our God has brought strength to me. Like in Joshua 1:9, “Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Welcome to Good Shepherd!

We invite you to visit us. You’ll receive a warm welcome and the message that God loves you.

Good Shepherd is a congregation (that just means “gathering”) of people who have faith in Jesus Christ as our Savior. We are all sinners — imperfect in many ways — but we believe God forgives our sins for the sake of Jesus. So, together we are making our way through this world to our eternal heavenly home with God.

God calls us together so that He can teach us, forgive our sins, and strengthen our souls.