OUR COUNCIL


  • randy steinheimer

    president

    My wife, Debbie, and I joined St. Mark’s in 1992, when our son Nathan was 5 years old. Through the years Debbie and I served in the Education Ministry by teaching Sunday School, serving on the Worship Team, and teaching Confirmation. At different times I served as the Sunday School Superintendent, Co-President of the Child Development Center Board, and the Church Council Secretary. After thirty-five years of teaching, Debbie and I retired from West Aurora Schools in 2014, and continued to teach part time in the School of Education at Aurora University until 2022. We are now grandparents and cherish our time with our two grandchildren.


    I have served as the President of the Church Council for the past three years and look forward with great optimism to serving as President for a fourth year. St. Mark’s has undergone a long season of transition, and yet, we have remained a strong, resilient, and faithful church community. We are now ready to look toward the sunshine and promise of 2024—the next great chapter of St. Mark’s. A chapter that we will write together with God’s guiding hand, with fervor, wisdom, and humility. It is my humble honor to continue to serve St. Mark’s.


  • lynnette brent

    vice-PRESIDENT

    Lynnette Brent joined St. Mark’s in 1999. She left in 2012 to move out ofstate and rejoined in 2020. She became a council member shortly thereafter,where she served as secretary before becoming Vice President. In her yearsat St. Mark’s, Lynnette has taught confirmation, participated in Outreach, led

    anti-racism discussions and the book group, led adult education on Sundays, and participated in music ministries. In her spare time, Lynnette loves camping and anything outdoors. She serves on the board of the Dominican Literacy Center. Lynnette lives in Batavia with her dog, Remy, her adult children, Rose

    and Robert, and her grand-dog, Darcy.

  • rob creaney

    treasurer

    My family has been attending St. Mark’s since 2015 and we became members in 2018. My wife, Alisa, and I have four kids, three of which are now confirmed members, one is an active member of the youth group and one is active in the confirmation process. This is my third full year on council and second full year

    as Treasurer. You can usually find me and my family supporting Saturday night worship. I’ve also been helping on the Stewardship committee, the property team, the endowment committee and I am currently one of three individuals who puts the building to sleep every night. What we love about St Mark’s more than anything is the people and the sense of community.

  • Jon Miller

    congregational secretary

    Jon Miller is a 20-year resident of Aurora and a member of St. Mark’s since 2007. He has served in various positions in higher education for more than 20 years and currently works at Northern Illinois University assisting students as a First Year Academic Advisor. He and his wife Pam have been married since 2001 and have three children, Ben (16), Daniel (13) and Hannah (12), who are active in the Youth Group and Confirmation programs and attend West Aurora schools. Jon has participated in music ministry as a member of the Lion’s Voice Choir and the Glory Ringers participates in the liturgy as a Worship Assistant

    and is part of the Banner Team. Jon was elected to Council in 2022 and was asked to fill the role of Secretary later in that year. He has played an active role on the Stewardship Committee and the fall Stewardship campaign. As Council Congregational Secretary, Jon also authors the Council Happenings information after each monthly Council meeting.

  • MIKE BAUMAN

    My wife and I grew up in South Dakota and after college lived in several places. Our four children were born in Illinois but mainly grew up in Ohio. We moved back to Illinois four and a half years ago to be near our granddaughter. We attended Christmas Eve service at St. Mark’s in 2019 and officially joined a year and a half later. I have been active leading the Outreach group and working on getting ESSE at St. Mark’s established. I have served on Council for the last two years which has broadened my appreciation for how much our members care about helping others and take action to do so. St. Mark’s has weathered the challenges of the pandemic and pastoral change with members supporting our staff, Council and each other in so many ways. I know that we will continue to be there for each other and be a blessing for our neighbors and community. Thank you for the opportunity to serve this great congregation.

  • jeanne flynn

    My name is Jeanne Flynn, and I have been a member of St. Mark’s since 1993. I am married to Michael, and we have one daughter, Rebecca (Becca) who is 27 and graduating from law school this spring. I am currently teaching 8th grade confirmation, volunteer at McCleery School, work with VBS each summer, am a member of the bread baking team, attend the Seekers’ women’s group and provide office coverage during staff meetings once a month. Michael and I also support many outreach programs and feel that this is one of the areas in which we are called to serve. Over the years, I have also participated in vision planning for St. Mark’s, served on Councils and Call Committees, and provided leadership for the racial justice programming.

  • matt greising

    My name is Matt Greising. My family joined St. Mark’s in 2001. My wife, Faith, and I have three daughters and four grandchildren. On Church Council I coordinate the Property Team and provide support for our online presence. In addition to Council responsibilities, I play with the Glory Ringers handbell choir because I enjoy making music with an amazing team. I am also a member of the group that bakes the bread we use for Communion because it is so gratifying to be able to literally feed my church family.


    St. Mark’s is blessed with members who are caring and committed to sharing Christ’s love with each other and the community around us. I am blessed to be a member.

  • TYLER MABREY

    Hello! My name is Tyler Mabrey. I am on the Outreach team, a worship assistant, help with communion, on the lock up team, and I am on the Call Committee.


    I feel most passionate about giving back to St. Mark’s in whichever way I possibly can through the various forms of volunteering. Being on council these past two years has allowed me to see how important it is to be a part of a team and has helped strengthen existing relationships and forge new ones. It has also reinforced my dedication to help keep the St. Mark’s fire burning brightly, to move confidently into the next chapter of our story.

  • MARY MANDEL

    My name is Mary Mandel and I became a member of St. Mark’s in 2009 when I was pregnant with my oldest son. I am married to Craig and we have three boys, Aidan (13), Ethan (11) and Ryan (8). The areas that I am most passionate about at St. Mark’s are the RIC Team where we have made significant strides

    over the past several years in becoming a much more outwardly welcoming congregation, and Youth and Family Ministry. I am currently teaching confirmation but have taught Sunday School for many years and help with VBS in the summer. I also occasionally play violin in worship, alone and with my family.

  • MARK MUELLER

    My name is Mark Mueller. I have been a member of St. Mark’s since 1997. I live in Oswego with my wife, Mindy, and our children Lukas and Evelyn. Prior to serving on council, my involvement with St. Mark’s included such committees/activities as the pastoral call committee, synod assembly, The Neighbor Project, and Feed My Starving Children. Since starting on the Council, I have also joined the church property team committee as well as become more involved with assisting during our church services. We at St. Mark’s have undergone, and survived, a lot of change over the past few years and more changes are promised ahead of us. It has been an honor to represent our church in this capacity these past two years and I look forward to continuing this journey and helping in whatever small part I can move our wonderful church and congregation forward!

  • JONI ACKLEY

    COUNCIL RECORDING SECRETARY

    I grew up on a farm in Beloit, Kansas. I attended Fort Hays State University, then moved to Chicago in the late 90s.  I’m Recording Secretary for Council.  I started out at St. Mark's in April 2022 as Office Manager and have since taken on the role of both Office & Communications Manager.  I host and participate in craft shows including the Spring Fever & Fall Fest craft shows at St. Mark's.  My late fiance, Warren, has three adult sons and family that I keep in contact with.  I have a Rottweiler named Reaper and a cat named Brat.

  • wILL FISHER

    INTERIM SENIOR PASTOR

    I am a cradle Lutheran. After completing Luther Seminary in St Paul, MN. with an additional year to complete a certification in Youth and Family Ministry, I was ordained to Word and Sacrament ministry. While at seminary, I met and married my now ex-wife (and still close friend), Nancy. We have three adult

    children: Tristan (27), Andy (25), and Liam(23). I most recently served Faith Lutheran Church in Brookfield, IL for 11 years. In 2017, I earned a Master’s in Pastoral Counseling from Loyola University of Chicago and am now a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) and a therapist in a private practice. I also enjoy being active in community theatre, spending time with friends, playing board games, and being with my miniature dachshund, Hendricks. I am excited to be serving the people of St. Mark’s, where vibrant energy, faith, and ministry is palpable. The future is exciting and full of hope.

  • PAUL KOPKA

    INTERIM ASSOCIATE PASTOR

    Pastor Paul studied Religion with a Psychology minor at Concordia College, Moorhead, MN. He received his M.Div. in pastoral and theological training from Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN, and was ordained as a pastor in 1986. Serving congregations in and around Detroit and Chicago, Pastor Paul earned a D. Min. from Lutheran School of Theology in 2006. Soon after he was recruited and received special training for intentional interim ministry. Since 2005, he has served as interim pastor in over a dozen churches. He has served as Co-Convener of the Metro. Chicago Synod transition minister’s cohort. Pastor Paul and Pei (pronounced like “pay a bill”) were married in 2006. They and their dog Piper live in Bolingbrook. Pr. Paul is known by the tagline, God is Good, All the Time; and All the Time, God is Good.