Pastoral and Ministry Staff
Pastor Bonnie Wilcox, Senior Pastor
Pastor Bonnie Wilcox was called to St. Mark’s in April 2015, to join a vibrant ministry of deep faithfulness. She is an extrovert who enjoys people, laughter, and exploring new places of historical and cultural interest. She has traveled to Tanzania six times for partnership visits with two congregations, and has been to India, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Greece and Italy.She gets fired up about God’s work with people on the margins, and knows that most of us are find ourselves in the margins at some point in our lives, whether through heartache, brokenness, loss, illness or sin. The stories of Jesus, who called and reached out to those who had been set aside, pushed away or isolated continues to shape her ministry. She is deeply curious about globalization and pluralism, social media, and seeks to bring the message of a loving and generous God to a changing world. In the middle of successful business career, Pastor Bonnie sensed a call to ordained ministry in the early 1990s. She graduated from Luther Seminary in 1997, and joined the staff of Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church in Apple Valley as associate pastor. There, she developed a strong youth program, expanded social outreach ministry and initiated a parish partnership in Tanzania. In 2005, Pastor Wilcox was called as senior pastor at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church on Saint Paul's East Side. During her tenure, Gustavus built strong community relationships, and Pastor Wilcox has integrated several ethnic Christian congregations and non-profits into their large facility. Pastor Bonnie grew up in a traditional Lutheran farm family in northeast Iowa. Her nuclear family these days includes her adult daughter, Elizabeth, who lives in Minneapolis, and her sister, Kathy, who lives in Burnsville.
Pastor Ivy L. Huston, Associate Pastor for Faith Formation
Pastor Ivy graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1998 and following college participated in a year of volunteer service through Lutheran Volunteer Corps in Chicago. While in Chicago, she worked as a youth outreach worker in a congregation, walking with the families of the congregation as they decided to close the congregation and begin again as a mission redevelopment congregation. After two years in Chicago, Pastor Ivy returned to the Twin Cities to attend Luther Seminary, graduating in the spring of 2004 with a Master of Divinity degree with an emphasis in Youth and Family Ministry. After being ordained, Ivy was called to Bethlehem Lutheran church in Brainerd, MN where she spent 6 years serving the congregation as associate pastor and main youth leader. She loves crafting sermons, leading worship and working with the youth and their families as we work to pass the faith around. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband Bill, their black lab Shelby and many family and friends, along with playing volleyball, taking in sporting and theater events around the Cities and watching NCAA Men’s basketball. Pastor Ivy joined the St. Mark’s family in November of 2010.
Lindsey Bina, Intern Pastor
Lindsey attended Luther College in Decorah, Iowa and graduated in 2008 with a degree in religion and international studies. After graduation,she moved to Seattle, Washington to serve with the Lutheran Volunteer Corps. Placed at the Lutheran Peace Fellowship and Compass Cascade Women’s Program, Lindsey developed youth programming around topics related to non-violence and accompanied women experiencing homelessness through their journey to housing. In 2011, began her seminary studies at Luther Seminary and has plans to graduate in 2017. In addition to her seminary studies, Lindsey has worked with non-profit organizations and higher-education institutions specializing in the areas of student affairs, volunteer management, and fundraising with organizations and institutions including Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity, Luther College, Luther Seminary, and Hamline University. Lindsey and her husband enjoy making music, going to baseball games, reading, hiking, and working on house projects.
Amy Maakestad, Music Director
Amy is a graduate of UW-Superior and has a Master's of Sacred Music from Luther Seminary. She has been a church musician and director for more than thirteen years, and is also the Artistic and Music Director of Twin Cities Bronze Handbell Ensemble. She is proficient at the organ and piano, and has arranged music for handbell choirs. Amy has a passion for worship, and plays many styles of music. She previously served churches in Roseville and White Bear Lake.
Jan Winkler, Children's Ministry
Jan has been sharing God’s love with children, youth, and families for 29 years, serving churches in Ohio, Wisconsin, and Minnesota. She also spent 11 years directing children’s ministry programs for inner city children in the Phillips Neighborhood of South Minneapolis. Jan has a Bachelor of Music Education degree, a Master of Arts and a PhD (ABD) in Music Theory, but her real passion is for Children’s Ministry. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, music, walking, cooking, and playing games.
Susie Modrow, High School Youth Leader
Susie has over a decade of youth ministry leadership in Isle & Center City, Minnesota and has a true heart for young people as they figure out life and love and what God is up to in the world. She lives with her three children and works as a medical transcriptionist alongside doing youth work. This year she is attempting to visit as many Minnesota State Parks as possible and finds joy and renewal outside in God’s creation.
Dorothea Jirsa, Youth Choir Director & Organist
Dorothea has been on staff in the music department at St. Mark’s for over 30 years. Her many jobs include directing of the Colla Voce Choir, which is for 6th-12th graders and the Joyful Noise Choir for 1st through 5th graders, playing the organ and/or piano for services, and accompanying The Choir of St. Mark’s as well as assisting with directing when needed. She has a B.A. degree from Northland College in vocal music education with piano as her major instrument. Dorothea received a master’s degree from U.W. in River Falls in English/Theater and did further graduate work at Hamline and St. Thomas. Dorothea has spent 39 years teaching music and English in public schools in Wisconsin, and here in North St. Paul, as well as with the U.S. Dept. of Defense in Germany. When she is not involved in music, Dorothea enjoys reading, gardening, traveling, going to concerts, and spending time with family and friends at her cabin in Wisconsin.
Judy Larkins, Hospitality, Small Groups & Drama Ministry
Judy has been a part of the lives of the people of St. Mark's for over 30 years. Under her direction and leadership, and with the hard work of volunteers, the Hospitality Team has provided a caring place for all to relate to our Lord's love through His Word and deeds. Judy also drives St. Mark's drama ministry for all ages. This ministry stages three or four major productions each year. Performances include Godspell, Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph, and Footloose. In her free time, Judy enjoys spending time with her family, reading, gardening and traveling.