Connecting People to Jesus



Reverend Eric L. Jay

Pastor Jay serves as St. Mark’s Senior Pastor.

A Southern California native, 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 on equipping pastors to infiltrate strategic urban settings as church planters. 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. Simultaneously, Pastor Jay served briefly as the Interim Pastor at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in Westminster, California. In 2012 he accepted the call to serve as sole pastor of St John’s Lutheran Church in El Segundo, Ca, and served there for 5 years before accepting the call to St. Mark in August 2017.

Pastor Jay and his wife Sarah met at and graduated from the Hall-Musco Conservatory of Music (Chapman University in Orange, Ca) with degrees in Music Performance. God has blessed them with three children: their daughter Elizabeth and sons Jesse and Hezekiah.

Contact Pastor Jay




Beth Kelly

Beth was born and raised in Canton, IL where she lived until moving to Omaha a year ago. Her son and daughter-in-law, Seth and Ashley, settled in Omaha after Seth left the Navy a few years ago. She wanted to be out here before any grandchildren arrived! In Canton Beth worked as the church office manager at First Baptist Church. Beth worked as a Legal Assistant upon first arriving in Omaha, but started at St. Mark’s at the first of the year. She has been involved with children and youth ministry since she was in high school and most other areas at her former church. In her spare time Beth enjoys spending time with Seth and Ashley, gardening, walking – anything that gets her outdoors!


Contact Beth



Lydia Woods
402-391-6148 ext. 2259

Lydia Woods is an Omaha native who grew up attending the Concordia Omaha School systems. In the ninth grade she found a passion for teaching Sunday school and wished she could do that forever, so she set off to do so!

Lydia attended Concordia University Irvine to obtain a degree and become a Director of Christian Education (DCE) ministry. After four fun years of studying, she graduated in 2021, then was sent off to Pennsylvania for an internship in DCE ministry. As the end of her education drew near, Lydia felt God calling her back to Omaha. God confirmed that call through St. Mark where Lydia was commissioned and installed as the Director of Children’s and Family Ministry on Sunday, August 14, 2022.

Lydia comes from a family of 6, her parents and three siblings. She is excited to be close to several of them as well as extended family.

Contact Lydia



Julie Kyriss
402-391-6148 ext. 2255

I graduated from the University of Nebraska at Kearney with a Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary Education. I have added an Early Childhood Endorsement through Peru State.

My husband Mark and I live in Bellevue and have been married for 33 years. We have two children Matthew and Laura and a daughter in-law, Melissa, who all live in Bellevue.

My first teaching job was in Copperas Cove, Texas, a small town by Ft. Hood. 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 tenth year at St. Mark Preschool and Childcare as the Center Director and Lead teacher for the 3-year-old class. I love being an early childhood educator and am honored to share the love of Jesus with children.

I enjoy reading, horseback riding, pottery, gardening and woodworking. My dad, siblings, and in-laws all live in Nebraska, so we are blessed to be able to spend time with our family.

Contact Julie



Jesse Ristvedt (Kindergarten)

Mrs. Jesse Ristvedt was raised in Scribner, NE where she was raised in the faith and attended a K-12 school. As a high school student, she discovered a love of teaching during several years of experience in the teacher’s aid program under an excellent mentor in a Kindergarten classroom.  She graduated with a BA in Elementary Education with an endorsement in Kindergarten from Midland Lutheran College in 1998.  Jesse has worked for Bennington School District, St. Bernard in Omaha, The Wider Lutheran School Association, and Omaha Public Schools.  Of her twenty-five years of experience, fifteen have been in Kindergarten.

She is excited to return to Lutheran education and bring her experience to the kindergarteners of St. Mark Lutheran School!

In her spare time, Jesse enjoys gardening, making music with her family and congregation, and serving on the board of the historical museum in her hometown.  Jesse is married to Phillip and they have one son, Nolan.


Dawn Godemann (1st-3rd Grade)

Dawn Godemann lived in Nebraska for much of her childhood.  She considers Madison, NE her hometown.  She now will call Omaha, NE home.  She attended Lutheran elementary schools in Arlington and Madison, Madison Public High School, and Concordia University, Seward, NE. She also received her Masters Degree in Education with Early Childhood from CUNE.  Her late father Dennis, and her mom Linda were also Lutheran school teachers.

Dawn has been teaching for 25 years.  All were in Lutheran Schools.  She has served at 3 schools:  Immanuel Lutheran, Columbus, NE, Grace Lutheran, Sandy, UT, and St. Peter Lutheran, Lodi, CA.  She has taught grades 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade.  She is very excited to begin her ministry at St. Mark Lutheran Church and help build a brand new school.

Dawn’s mom, brother, and sister-in-law reside in Bellevue, NE.  Her mom lives at Richmont Senior Living.  Her brother Jeff and his wife Valinda live just 5 minutes up the hill from Richmont.   Dawn’s aunt Norma Roland and cousins Scott and Nancy Holder and Kristen and Charles Poster are members of St. Mark.  She is very excited to see family as often as she wants and to worship with them too.

Dawn enjoys spending time at home with her 4 cats.  Jasper, Molly, Louis, and Sylvee are happy to go where Dawn goes.  Dawn also enjoys mission trips, walking, gardening, flowers, and is excited to reconnect with many family and friends in the area.


Megan Morgan

Hello St. Mark Church and School families! As a member and musician at St. Mark Church since 2017, it my joy and privilege to extend my talents to the school beginning summer of 2024. I was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and have nearly 20 years of experience as a teacher and administrator. My teaching background includes the areas of music, reading, and English as a Second Language. I am married and have 3 children. My passions are piano-playing, gardening, crafts, photography, selling real estate with my husband, and of course, teaching! I look forward to forming long-lasting relationships with students, families, and staff all while sharing the word and goodness of God!



Jason Conell

Jason was born in Hays, KS where he attended school and spent the first 25 years of his life. He then moved to Wichita, KS for 6 years and finally moved to Omaha after his parents and only sibling relocated there. Jason attended Fort Hays State University and Wichita State University.

Jason has worked in several different and widely varying fields from managing a small airline station in his hometown, to construction, to sales, to convenience store management. Jason joined the staff at St. Mark in August of 2022. He has been an LCMS Lutheran since grade-school, though he will be the first to admit he missed some Sundays here and there.

Jason enjoys spending time with his parents, Dan and Jane, his brother and sister-in-law, Andrew and Kaylea. He also enjoys seeing his extended family which gratefully happens often. His hobbies include woodworking, weightlifting and binge-watching history documentaries on YouTube.

Contact Jason


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.





Glenda Bock

I am a life time LCMS Lutheran, having been baptized and confirmed in southeast Nebraska. I graduated from the University of Nebraska in Lincoln with a B. A. in Social Work and Psychology, which is also where I met my husband, Rod. I worked for a brief time in Lincoln as a Medical Social Worker, but then we moved to Midland, Michigan, St.Louis, Missouri, and Kansas City, Missouri before settling in Omaha. We have three children, four grandchildren, and will be married 54 years this December. Down time finds me gardening, reading, sewing and doing some volunteering. This September I will have been playing organ, both full time and part time, for 35 years, giving Rod an opportunity to sit alone with our children in church through all their growing up years. I’ve been substituting for churches around Omaha, as well as accompanying the choir and subbing at St. Mark since 2006. A couple of years ago l thought I was fully retired, but then came the opportunity to play full time for St. Mark, and I have come to recognize this as another door that God opened for me. I love playing the wonderful organ here, and having the chance to share my love for the Word in the Church’s music. A piece sung by the choir, quoting I Corinthians 2:9, has taught me about God’s guidance in my life “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love Him. ” I guess I’ll save retirement for a later date!