St. Paul Lutheran Church

Oakland, CA

 

 

Pastor Christian Jennert graduated from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (PLTS) in Berkeley with a Master of Divinity degree in 2003.  He grew up in a small town near       Hanover, Germany, and came to the United States to study theology at PLTS and the Graduate Theological Union in the summer of 1999. He was the recipient of the Adelsberger Scholarship for bilingual ministry from St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church in San Francisco.  He previously studied at the School of Protestant Theology at the University of Tübingen, Germany where he was very involved with the Lutheran Campus Ministry and worked as a research assistant at the Department of Medical Ethics.                                                    

Prior to coming to St. Paul, Pr. Christian served as the Pastor of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in San Carlos, CA and as the Associate Pastor at St. Mark's Lutheran Church in San Francisco.  In July of 2015 he went on a two-year leave to follow another passion: air travel and aviation.  He worked in the Inflight Department for a major airline until returning to professional ministry in the fall of 2017 as the pastor at St. Paul in Oakland. 

Pr. Christian is passionate about faith formation for all ages and especially enjoys ministry to and with octogenarians.  Liturgy, outreach, and pastoral care are other foci of Pr. Christian’s ministry.  He is excited to be part of a diverse urban congregation with a dedication to music, liturgy, and Christian education and a long history of social justice ministries.

His vision for the church is to be a safe and welcoming place where all people can experience God’s love, and where faith and service go hand in hand. 

Pr. Christian lives with his spouse Chris by the Marina in Richmond.  In his spare time he enjoys everything related to air-travel, leisurely bicycling the bay trail, road trips, California's North Coast, a good cup of coffee as well as playing the oboe or some other woodwind.

 

Derek Sup is St. Paul's Director of Music. He inspires the congregation with a mix of traditional, modern, historic, and ethnically diverse themes. He writes and arranges music for the congregation and for the adult and bell choirs he directs. He is very active in the music community and has brought a variety of music not only to worship, but also to several evening concerts. 

 

Pastor Craig Minich (PC) lives in the West Bay with his partner Bruce. Craig is originally from Tampa, FL and took a BA in Literature & Philosophy at Lenior-Rhyne University in Hickory, NC, an MA in Ethics from the Graduate Theological Union, and a M.Div. from Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary (the latter two in Berkeley, CA). Pr. Craig is Adult Chair fo the Sierra Pacifice Synod Youth Committee (SPSYC) which is a youth-led group of Lutheran high school leaders from our large synod who lead age appropriate youth retreats. Pr. Craig loves snowboarding, playing vintage video games, going to rock concerts, and shares his passion for justice and sharing God's grace as a Gift!

 

 

Rev. Ned O’Donnell is our pastor called to serve the East Bay Lutheran Parish’s Lutheran Ministry to Nursing Homes. Rev. O’Donnell received his Master of Divinity degree from The Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia and was ordained in 1993. He comes with a breadth and depth of experience, serving in both suburban and urban parish settings and also bringing to this ministry a background in Clinical Pastoral Education supervisory training. Over the last ten years, Pastor Ned has served as a Hospice Chaplain and Bereavement Services Manager.

In the diverse settings of the nursing homes of the Lutheran Ministry to Nursing Homes, Pastor Ned brings his passion to serve as an advocate to those in need, his experience in providing spiritual care to those who suffer, and his skills as a volunteer coordinator. In working with hospital spiritual volunteers, he facilitated the creation of a community that provided ongoing education and mutual support of the volunteers serving that ministry.

As a theologian, Rev. O’Donnell views himself as a progressive Lutheran who is respectful of other people’s experience of the Divine, while remaining grounded in the knowledge of the God who has called him through ordination to serve in the name of Christ. This has enabled him to be present as a Christian leader in a variety of ecumenical settings and ministries. Pastor Ned understands that Lutherans have a unique way of understanding God’s grace-filled and merciful work in the world. He has been profoundly touched by Christ’s promise to always be with us, even through the worst of times, and by the privilege of ministering to others during those moments.

On a personal note, Pastor Ned grew up in New York and New Jersey. He was confirmed, married and his son, Keith, was baptized at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Edison, NJ. He is a graduate of Upsala College in NJ. After a divorce when his son was 18 months old, Pastor Ned became a single parent.  Keith is now grown, married to Michelle and living in NJ. Rev. O’Donnell moved to San Francisco in 1995.  He loves spending time with family and friends.  He also is an avid swimmer, enjoys sailing and kayaking, hiking and biking, and frequently finds himself at a movie, play or concert.

 

 

 

Sheldon Erickson is St. Paul’s Administrator and you can find him in the office weekdays from 9am – 5pm. Drop him an email or give him a call for anything about the church and he’ll find an answer for you. Sheldon’s background includes 35 years in television production. When he’s not at the church, you can usually find him at home on his sailboat Polaris. He likes hiking, reading and enjoys a good glass of zinfandel.