In January 1998, Pastor Ekdale began as one of St. Mark’s Co-Pastors. She had previously served at St. Peter’s in Huntington Station, New York and in the Oregon Synod. She has been ordained into Word and Sacrament ministry for 26 years! On January 26, 2003, the congregation affirmed her call as Lead Pastor of St. Mark’s. Having grown up in the Bay Area, she finds it a delight and privilege to serve a congregation in San Francisco.
Her ministry passions include team ministry, public ministry, social ministry, pastoral care, worship and preaching. Her ministry beyond St. Mark’s has included serving on the Boards of the Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the San Francisco Interfaith Council. She is also active in the Bay Area Organizing Committee, a broad-based organizing group in San Francisco, Napa, and Marin counties. She was elected to serve on the ELCA Church Council in 2011 and also serves on the ELCA Campaign – “Always Being Made New” – steering committee.
Pastor Ekdale enjoys outdoor activities on her days off. She has run one marathon and climbed Mt. Rainier. She loves snow skiing, biking, gardening and running. She grew up in Menlo Park, California and met her spouse in seminary. She graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in 1987 with her Master of Divinity. Pastor Hoch, her spouse, currently serves as the Protestant Chaplain at Napa State Hospital. They live in San Francisco with their 11 year old daughter Grace and you can frequently find all three of them working out at the Stonestown YMCA.
Pastor Moe-Lobeda began his ministry as the Associate Pastor of St. Mark’s in February, 2017. Prior to his call to St. Mark’s, Pastor Moe-Lobeda served University Lutheran Church in Seattle for 20 years where he devoted his ministry to building community among the members of the congregation, nurturing a ministry of hospitality to those who were homeless in the community, engaging the ecumenical community in cooperative ministries, and advocating for justice and peace through a statewide interfaith network. Pastor Moe-Lobeda also served as an Associate Pastor at Luther Place Memorial Church in Washington DC for 10 years and at Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church in Seattle for 3 years. Prior to completing his seminary education, Pastor Moe-Lobeda served for 6 years as a full-time Youth Minister.
Pastor Moe-Lobeda brings to St. Mark’s a passion for worship leadership and preaching, pastoral care, program development for children, youth, and families, outreach to the community, social justice ministry, community organizing, and care of creation. He welcomes the challenge of making the connection between faith and public life, and emphasizes the relevancy of Jesus’ witness to the love of God.
Pastor Moe-Lobeda is married to Dr. Cynthia Moe-Lobeda, Professor of Christian Ethics at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary. They have two sons, Leif (& Emily) and Gabe, all 3 of whom reside in Renton, Washington, along with grandson, Erik. Pastor Ron enjoys vegetable gardening, watching movies, and dining with friends. He is the author of "The Mystery of Eve and Adam: A Prophetic Critique of the Monarchy" (2012).
Timothy Zerlang joined the staff of St. Mark's on September 1, 2009. He writes: "I am excited to be a part the song of the people of Saint Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco. I knew of St. Mark's reputation for musical excellence while I served at Grace Lutheran Church in Palo Alto, just a few miles down the San Francisco peninsula. I enjoyed worshiping in St. Mark's beautiful sanctuary occasionally, and hearing the wonderful Taylor and Boody organ. I am thrilled that I now get to contribute to this legacy. The Taylor and Boody organ is a particular thrill for me to play because of its beautiful sound, mechanical finesse, and marvelous craftsmanship. Those qualities allow the organ to address the musical literature of our Lutheran tradition with incredible integrity. I specialized in keyboard performance practices while a grad student, and I learn something new about playing the organ every time I sit down to play this wonderful instrument."
In addition to the position at St. Mark's, Dr. Zerlang also teaches piano and carillon at Stanford University and serves as the University Carillonneur. He also maintains a private piano and organ studio. He shares his home in Mountain View with his spouse, John Hess, who is Director of Music at Almaden Hills United Methodist Church in San José. In his spare time he likes to cook, tend his orchids, and knit.
Winnie Heslin joined St. Mark's in September 2016, bringing with her a diverse background in ministry and non-profit work, as well as extensive experience in the business field.
A graduate of the University of California, Davis, Winnie obtained her degree in International Relations, focusing on trade and development in developing countries. She stayed on in Davis and worked at Freedom from Hunger and UC Davis, while serving as an intern with a campus college ministry, before moving onto a local congregation to serve as the Music Director and Associate. However, it was only a matter of time before the San Francisco Bay Area was calling her name, where she returned and worked in Commercial Insurance for 10 years before finding her way to St. Mark's.
Winnie calls the Peninsula home, along with her spouse, their son, a labradoodle and a bunny named Buster (after Buster Posey, of course!). She volunteers as a court appointed advocate for foster children and enjoys being outdoors with her family, be it hiking in the mountains or spending a day at the beach. Otherwise, Winnie can be found in her kitchen, trying new recipes and attempting to feed everyone around her.
Stefani Lawrence creates all St. Mark's print and online publications, and maintains the St. Mark's and Martin Luther Tower websites and social media outlets. Stefani brings a strong background in fine arts and graphics to St. Mark's, with a MA in Visual Animation and 3D Effects. She freelances as a visual effects artist. Stefani lives in Alameda with her dog Sofie and is constantly engaged with new art projects, and is learning how to knit.
The Events Administrator is responsible for calendaring all events at St. Mark's Lutheran Church and the Urban Life Center, as well as handling all wedding, concert, and other event inquiries.
The Rev. Charles H. Lewis was ordained on December 17, 1961. His ordained ministry started at Trinity Lutheran Church in Des Plaines, IL, where he served as Assistant Pastor. After relocating to San Francisco, he served the North Beach Fellowship as Mission Developer and Minister. Later, he served the San Francisco Night Ministry as an Assistant Night Minister and then as the Night Minister. Retired since 1996, Pastor Lewis continues his faithful ministry by volunteering with the Night Ministry and serving as St. Mark’s Visitation Pastor.
Carl is a native San Franciscan and graduate from local SF schools. He has worked at St. Mark’s for 12 years.
When he is not serving on Sunday mornings, he enjoys all sports and recently took up golf. His “best days” are enjoyed with his son and grandsons.
Edda Mai Johnson grew up in Portland, Oregon. Family emigrated from Austria and Germany. Attended University of Oregon for a B.S. in Child Development Psychology. Elementary Education minor. MA Child Development Psychology from Sarah Lawrence College. Over 25 years teaching in the classroom, the last 10 for Lutheran Schools. Enjoys visiting with her 3 grown children and exploring the arts in San Francisco.