Rev. Mark W. Holmerud, Fourth Bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod
Mark was born in 1956 in Pomona, California, an eighth-generation native Californian, tracing his family's history to early Hispanic settlers of the eighteenth century. He grew up in Solana Beach, twenty miles north of San Diego. After serving in the US Navy he went on to graduate from San Diego State University in 1980, with a degree in History and a minor in Classics. Mark attended Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and upon graduation in 1984, was called to serve as Associate Pastor at Zion Lutheran Church of Stockton. A year later he was called to serve as the Senior Pastor of Zion, and served that ministry until the fall of 2004. He was then called to serve as Pastor of Lutheran Church of the Incarnation, Davis, California, in September of 2004. Mark was elected to serve as bishop in April of 2008 and was installed as the fourth bishop of the Sierra Pacific Synod on July 12, 2008. Married to Debbi -- who serves as the principal of Lincoln High School in Stockton, they have a blended family of four adult children: Alyssa, who is married to Steve, Marshall, Justin, who is married to Connie, and Meaghann. Mark's interests include astronomy, several injury-plagued stints on church softball teams, canning award-winning pickles (the ribbons may be seen in his office) and the ongoing (and seemingly endless) restoration of a 1966 Mustang.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 916-756-1665
Rev. Nancy Feniuk Nelson, Bishop's Associate
Nancy Feniuk Nelson was born in Chicago and raised in a near-by suburb. She attended Augustana College at Rock Island, Illinois, majoring in psychology and religion, receiving her degree in 1975. She attended Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago (LSTC) where she completed her M.Div. in 1979 and was ordained at the synod convention that May.
Serving parishes in Rockford, Elgin and Chicago, Nancy has been called to positions of Pastor/Evangelist, Teaching Parish Pastor, Adjunct Faculty at LSTC, and to the Metro Chicago Synod Council at the forming of the ELCA.
Moving with her family to California in 1994, Nancy brought her gifts to Intentional Interim Ministry when she was called by the Sierra Pacific Synod Council to serve parishes in Scotts Valley, Santa Clara, and Berkeley. In 1999, the Synod Council called her to Half Moon Bay as a redevelopment pastor, serving there for nine years before she was called to her present position with the Synod in 2008.
Nancy is married to Jim, now a retired Senior Estimator from a construction sub-contracting company. Their son, Sam, is a recent graduate of California Lutheran University and is looking forward to his graduate studies. Their two dogs, Luna and Tilly, are simply fun to watch and elicit many heartfelt bursts of laughter from both family and friends.
As a valued member of the Synod team, Nancy is the go to person on matters related to her role as Bishop's Associate, functioning in the role of Chief of Staff. Answering for matters concerning Mobility, Candidacy, First Call, Interim Ministry, Leadership Discipling Teams, and Conflict, Nancy is available for whatever else may crop up over the course of the days, weeks or months within our Synod. Nancy loves swimming, snorkeling, and absolutely anything having to do with our oceans including, and most especially, Mavericks surfing which she watches with utter amazement.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 650-590-0980 Extension 113
Rev. Jose Luis La Torre Cuadros, Assistant to the Bishop, Sacramento Office.
Pastor Jose Luis was born in Lima, Peru. He was ordained into pastoral ministry on October 31, 1998. In February 1992 he married Luz Elena (Lucy); they have two children: Nicolas and Miranda. Pastor Luis earned a degree in Law and Political Science from San Marcos University before entering into the Evangelical Seminary of Lima.
In 2002-2003 he pursued his Masters in Philosophy at San Marcos University. His last call in Peru was to the Lutheran Congregation Cristo Rey in Lima, where he was involved in the theological education of new leaders and in ecumenical affairs. Since September 2005, Pastor Jose Luis has served as the Hispanic Ministry Pastor at St. John's Lutheran Church serving the Sacramento area. Pastor Luis has also served as the Dean of the Sacramento Conference and the Synod Council member at large. In addition to providing care and connection with congregations and pastors, Pastor Jose Luis' focus as Bishop's Assistant will be on areas of justice and the community, as well as connecting with Lutheran Social Services, the Lutheran Office of Public Policy, Lutheran Advocacy Ministry of Nevada, and the Leadership Discipling Team.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 916-756-1665
Rev. Katy Grindberg, Assistant to the Bishop, Bay Area Office
Katy was born and raised in North Dakota, and attended the University of North Dakota, receiving a BS in Athletic Training in 1991. She then moved to Lawrence to attend graduate school at the University of Kansas, where she remained a total of eleven years after being hired as an assistant athletic trainer in 1993. During that time, Katy worked with a variety of sports, but spent most of her time with the football and track teams, and was privileged to work with USA Track and Field national teams as well.
In 2002, Katy came to California to attend seminary at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, receiving her MDiv in 2006 and then studying for an MA in Liturgical Studies, which was awarded in 2009. In 2008, Katy was called to the position of Associate Pastor at Advent Lutheran Church in Citrus Heights and was ordained in February of that year.
In her free time, Katy enjoys reading, coffee with friends, movies and being outdoors – especially on or near the water.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 650-590-0980
Rev. Cindy Beck, Congregational Consultant
Cindy Beck is an Illinois birther, but in second grade her family moved to College Station, Texas where her father, Reverend Hubert Beck, was the LC-MS Campus Pastor at Texas A&M. Cindy graduated from Texas A&M with a degree in psychology and minor in management. She spent two years as Lay Associate at University Lutheran Chapel in Baton Rouge discerning her call to ministry. Cindy attended Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and received her M.Div in 1991. In September 1991 she served as Lay Associate at Memorial Drive Lutheran Church in Houston, Texas until she was ordained and installed there in May 1992. She served at MDLC until 1999 when she accepted a call to Faith Lutheran Church in Bellaire, Texas. In the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod Cindy served in various capacities including Synod Pastoral Advisor, two three-year terms on Synod Council, Allocation Committee for Campaign for Homeless, Board of Christian Community Service Center, and Synodical Disciplinary Board. Moving to California in 2006, Cindy trained to do Intentional Interim Ministry. She is called by the Sierra Pacific Synod Council to do this ministry. Cindy served on the SPS WELCA Board and currently works on the Interim Ministry Steering Committee. She is currently working half time as Interim Pastor at Gethsemane Lutheran in Sacramento and half time as Synodical Consultant.
Cindy is married to Fred Ferrara, an Investment Advisor with The Mutual Fund Store. She loves to bake, cook, read, and hike
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 916-756-1665 Extension 122
Karen Idler, Associate in Ministry
Karen was born in Davenport, Iowa, and grew up in San Luis Obispo, CA. She attended Fresno State University, Fresno, CA, on a nursing scholarship immediately following high school. Not finding nursing to be her vocation, she eventually graduated from DeAnza College, Cupertino, CA, equipping her to work in administration. She served 22 yrs. in congregations as a lay professional and was commissioned as an Associate in Ministry in the area of administration in 1992. After serving two congregations, Prince of Peace, Saratoga, CA, and Redeemer, Cupertino, CA, she worked in the deaf community for a non-profit agency for 8 yrs. prior to being reinstated as an Associate in Ministry in 2010. She accepted her current call as Executive Assistant in the Office of the Bishop, Sacramento, in May, 2010. A lifelong student of American Sign Language, she passionately advocates for equal opportunities for the deaf, loves to read, and is always eager to share the latest news about her three young granddaughters. She and her husband of 43 yrs., Michael, have one son, Matthew, father of the aforementioned (adorable, engaging, and bright) granddaughters
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 916-756-1665 Extension 115
Cindi Eckert, Administrative Assistant, Fresno Area
Cindi Eckert serves the Synod in a dual capacity. First, she has been the Synod's Resource Center Director since 2008. In 2010, she also began working as the Administrative Assistant in the Office of the Bishop, Fresno as the Synod's newsletter administrator and webmaster.
In her spare time, Cindi spends a huge amount of her time with her family and husband. She loves to travel, is a published author and works with wood-based creative projects.
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 559-345-2725 Extension 120
Debbie Cook, Finance Assistant
Debbie joined the Synod staff in May 2011 after retiring from over 30 years in the California Fair Industry. After graduation from Fresno State University, she worked at the California Mid-State Fair in Paso Robles for nine years, the Big Fresno Fair for a few months, and the San Joaquin County Fair in Stockton for 23 years where she served as Deputy Manager for most of that time and CEO for the last 20 months. After retirement, she volunteered in the local elementary school library and continues to volunteer there one day a week. Debbie has been a member of Lutheran churches in each community where she lived, serving on the church council and singing in the choir. She and her teenage daughter, Amelia, are members of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Lodi, where she is, once again, singing in the choir. Debbie loves reading, gardening, and chauffeuring her daughter to various sports and activities.
Debbie is the Finance Assistant, working to keep the money accounted for and flowing out to the designated organizations and charities.
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 916-756-1665 Extension 114
Laurie Gaumer, Administrative Assistant, Bay Area
Laurie Gaumer joined the Synod team in January 2011 and works out of the Bay Area office in Burlingame. She has lived in San Jose nearly all her life, considers herself a life long learner and is nearing the completion of her journey to a Liberal Studies degree at San Jose State University. She loves spending time with her two daughters, Lauryl and Madeline, and revels in the smell of horses.
Laurie is an active member of Christ the Good Shepherd in San Jose and has served on the Synod's Candidacy and Finance Committees.
E-mail: Laurie@spselca.org Phone: 650-590-0980 Extension 121