Connecting People to Jesus

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PASTOR

Reverend Eric L. Jay

402-391-6148

Pastor Jay is a Southern California native, and accepted his current call to St Mark in August of 2017.

Pastor Jay graduated with a Master’s in Theology and Culture as a student of St Louis Seminary via the Cross Cultural Ministry Pastoral Certification Program (CMC) located at Concordia University in Irvine, California. The CMC focuses uniquely upon equipping students and future pastors to infiltrate strategic urban settings as church planters. As such, Pastor Jay spent the the last 2 years of his seminary training and the first 3 years of ministry as pastor of The Gathering; a church plant of which Pastor Jay was founder. After also serving for a brief time as the Interim Pastor at St. Luke’s in Westminster, California, Pastor Jay accepted a call in 2012 as sole pastor of St John’s Lutheran Church in El Segundo, Ca.

After accepting the call to St Mark’s in August 2017, Pastor Jay preceded his wife Sarah and daughter Elizabeth who later joined him here in Omaha. Much of Pastor and Sarah’s time outside of church is spent enjoying time as a family with their daughter “Bizzy” Lizzy and son Jesse (J.J.). With degrees in Music Performance, Pastor and Sarah also love performing and teaching music (they met and married while attending the Chapman Hall-Musco Conservatory of the Arts).

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DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

Kurt Harmoney

402-913-2256

I was born in Kearney, Nebraska. I’m married to Penny and we have two boys, Tad and Philip; and one exchange student, Seong Ji Ha. I started working at St. Mark in April 2009 and currently serve as the Operations Manager/Member Assimilation Manager. My key responsibilities are facility management and incorporating new disciples to the church. I have a BS, Business Administration and an MBA from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. I’m currently enrolled in the Lay Leadership Program (Licensed Deacon Program), Nebraska District LCMS. Prior to coming to St. Mark, I held various positions at Hewlett Packard, Compaq, Inacom, Pamida, and K-Mart. I’ve also held positions as a Stephen Minister, Youth Ministry board member, Spiritual Life board member, Outreach board member, and Sunday School teacher. My favorite bible verse is Ephesians 3:14-19.

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PRESCHOOL DIRECTOR

Julie Kyriss

402-913-2255

I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary Education. I recently added an Early Childhood Endorsement through Peru State. My husband Mark and I live in Bellevue and have been married for 30 years. We have two children, Matthew and Laura, who both live in Omaha. My family worships at St. Matthews, in Bellevue, Nebraska. My first teaching job was in Copperas Cove, Texas, I spent three wonderful years teaching 1st grade before moving to Germany where I ran a Co-op Preschool for the Department of Defense. After moving to Nebraska in June of 2000, I taught Preschool for two years and then Kindergarten for seven years at Pilgrim Lutheran in Bellevue, Nebraska. Prior to coming to St. Mark I worked as a contractor on Offutt Air Force Base for Parents as Teachers Heroes at Home as an in-home visitor for children birth- to age-3-years-old. This is my sixth year at St. Mark Preschool as the Director and Lead teacher for our Pre-K classes. I love being an early childhood educator and am honored to share the love of Jesus with children. I enjoy reading, horseback riding, cooking, gardening and woodworking. My parents, siblings, and in-laws all live in Nebraska, so we are blessed to be able to spend time with our family.

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CREATIVE COMMUNICATIONS

Chip Thompson

402-578-8057

I graduated from Kearney State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing. I served in various positions in marketing and design until 14 years ago when I started my own firm, Chip Thompson Design. I continue providing design and marketing services for clients across the US including website design/development, corporate identity design and advertising layout/design/strategy. My wife, Kelly, handles the day to day accounting and administrative tasks. Two years ago, I started Thompson Social Video with my son, Tanner, providing professional video services to the Omaha market. We’ve had the pleasure of serving some great local and national companies (both for profit and non-profit) including the Durham Museum, Fontenelle Forest, Stephen Center, Angels Among Us, Ronald McDonald House Charities, Alzheimer’s Association, Lauritzen Gardens, Army Corps of Engineers and Nebraska Cancer Specialists.

In my spare time, I like to build unusual movie props and interactive displays in my shop under a dba “Box Rebellion”. Among the “cooler” things I’ve built are a 15 foot tall AT-AT Walker from Star Wars (I’m kind of a big fan) and a 9 foot long Lite Brite for a local children’s non-profit.

Putting the talent God gave me to use for the church is a long-time dream. I am excited about what God has in store for the future here at St. Mark, where Kelly and I have been members for just over 2 years! One of my favorite verses, written in St. Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, sums up the way I try to live life (only imperfectly and only with and through God’s help): “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” Connecting People to Jesus is our tagline, and it is the desire of my heart. God be praised!

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ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

YOUTH & CHILDREN’S MINISTRY COORDINATOR

Torri Merten

402-913-2258

In addition to being our amazing new Administrative Assistant for the church office, Torri also shares her gifts with the Concordia Academy here at St Mark. Her roles include being a 3rd & 4th grade Paraprofessional, Learning Center administrator and Day Care professional for both before and after school programs. On top of all this, Torri is passionate about her work as a Registered Nursing professional here in the city of Omaha.

 

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YOUTH MINISTRY LEADER

Dan Conell

402-391-6148

Though born in Minnesota, Dan spent most of his life in the great state of Kansas (Go KSU Wildcats!) grew up on a farm, was a sheriff’s deputy while attending college, served the community as a volunteer firefighter for more than 15 years and works for insurance companies.

Dan promised his wife Jane when he was first asked to be a youth director in Hays, Kansas he’d only do it for one year. That was 8 National Youth Gatherings and a whole bunch of District Youth Gatherings, Lock-ins, Quakes, Youth Nights, Servant Events, Cook outs, Cokes and Bible Studies ago! Dan loves spending time with youth in studying and growing in God’s Word and having fun while we do. Dan enjoys the time he spends with the youth at St Mark, though he’s not going to become a Husker convert.

After a company move brought Dan and Jane to Omaha in 2016, they joined St. Mark Lutheran. They have two grown sons, Jason and Andrew. Dan and Jane enjoy traveling and spending time with our sons and our extended families spread out over 7 different states and 4 time zones.

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FACILITY TECHNICIAN

Daren Clark

Daren has built a career working “hands-on” in a variety of building, maintenance and construction projects. There is a lot of ministry that happens on a daily basis here at St. Mark, and it simply wouldn’t be possible without the behind the scenes hard work of facility maintenance, repair and development. Daren came aboard full time at the end of 2019 after 4 years of working part-time here at St. Mark.

 

 

 

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