Church Council

Scott Brooks

I was born in September 1955 in Detroit Michigan. I attended Lola Park Lutheran in Redford Township and St Paul’s Lutheran School in Livonia Michigan from kindergarten through the 8th grade.  I was married to my wife Jan for 28 years & we have 2 sons, Chris Smetak & Josh Smetak. Jan passed away in 2015 and this was a difficult time in my faith journey, and I remember drawing closer to God throughout this experience. I remarried in 2017 to a wonderful women named Katrina. Now I have 4 more sons, Shelby, Shane, Stephen & Spencer Barnett.
My professional life began when I enlisted in the US Navy in March of 1976. I retired in May 1994 after 18 years of service. I have many stories that influenced my life, and I would love to share them with you. After my time in the military, I found employment with USPS. I served in various roles within this company from February 1996 thru January 2016.
My faith journey was found in each ship, port and person I encountered. I attended Holy Cross Lutheran in Canton, Texas, Immanuel Lutheran in Alpena and now attend St Paul Lutheran Church in Alpena.
As the Vice President of the council, I am working with our Pastor, other leaders, and our congregation to help bring our Lords name to all people. Please speak with me about any concerns you have as we move forward in 2022.

Jessica O’Neil

Vice President
    I was born and raised in Alpena which is where I have spent all my life.  I am happily married to Jesse O’Neil since 2015 and have a 22-year-old son Nathaniel LeTourneau. I am employed at Garland Lodge and Resort as a Bartender which is something I have always enjoyed and been doing since I was 18. I am employed through Community Mental Health as a Caregiver which I find is an amazing and rewarding job. I also work as the Custodian at the church. I am ambitious and love being busy as you can tell. When I am not working, I love spending time with family and my dogs. I also enjoy sewing and crafting.
    I have been a member of St. Paul for my whole life along with my parents and grandparents. This church has always felt like home to me and would love to help others experience that. Growing up in the church I was part of Sunday School, Catechism and Youth Group, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts.
    I am excited to serve on the council and pray that I will lead the church in a way that God has called me.

Donna Kensa

My journey with St. Paul Church began with my baptism into the church. I was raised on a 200-acre farm in Herron, Michigan with my parents, two brothers and two sisters. I have been married to Robert Kensa for 25 years and we own 9.5 acres with two horses, two dogs and multiple barn cats. We have three children between us, my son Peter and two stepchildren Stacie and Mike Kensa. In addition, there are seven grandchildren which are all awesome.
     I started my time with St Paul Church's when I was quite young with the youth group by traveling to the National Youth Convention via train, teaching Sunday school and singing in the church choir.
     I currently am a member of the Church Council, the Stewardship and Christmas Bazaar Committees. I co-chair the Harvest Dinner and the Celebrating and Sharing Dinner. I love decorating the church for Christmas and hope to do more of this in the future.
     In my spare time I love to garden having a large vegetable garden, multiple perennial gardens, and a pond with a brook in my backyard. I volunteer with Hope Shore Alliance at the safe house and do taxes for the AAARP.

Bernadine Wagner

Financial Secretary
Bernadine is an important member of the St. Paul community, serving as the treasurer. With her financial expertise and dedication to the church, she helps ensure that the finances are managed responsibly and transparently. Her contributions to the community are greatly appreciated and valued. 

Catherine Kieliszewski

     I have been a life-long resident of Alpena.  I came to St. Paul when my son was 12 years old because I wanted him to be baptized.  We then became members and have been for 17 years.
     In the past I was on Church Council, Outreach Committee, and helped with Confirmation Class.
     It is my pleasure to be back on Church Council and the Worship Committee Liaison.

Val Urban

I was born and raised in Alpena, shortly after graduating I moved down south, Alabama then Louisiana.  After 5 years I moved back and started taking classes at ACC, I transferred to Ferris State and began my career as an X-ray Technologist.
     I worked a year in Cheboygan and 25 years at the Alpena Hospital.  I married Don "Skeeter" Urban, we have 3 sons and 3 grandchildren.  We will be married 30 years this year and I have been a member since then.  Over the years I have been involved in various groups and volunteered for different activities here at St. Paul.

John Snyder

       In my childhood I was and Episcopalian.  At the age of 12 I became an acolyte and continued through high school.  During this time, I enjoyed the Reverend who was there because he did not talk at you, but to you. 
     During my college years there was not an Episcopalian church in the area, so I did not attend.  However, when I went home for visits, I attended our family church.
     I attended St John’s Catholic Church upon returning to town until they closed.  My wife Linda had some friends who attended St Paul and the suggested that we attend there with them.   I was happy to come to Saint Paul as it took me back to my childhood where church was a place where people would talk with you not at you.  Linda and I are both happy to be at St Paul.
     As a new council member, I am still getting my shoes wet as I learn my Area of Leadership with Personnel on the council.  This role is different for me as a business owner who makes decisions on personnel based on what is good for me and my business.  Now I need to look at personnel at church from the perspective of what is good for everybody and the overall good we are trying to do as a church.
     I like to golf.  I love to teach bowling and to see the joy and success my students have as they pursue the sport of bowling.  My college degree is in Fine Arts.  I am laid back and expect everyone to do the right thing, and I do not want to lower my expectations of people. 

Philip Wickstrom

     I grew up in Calumet, MI, which is about 45 minutes south of the tip of Michigan.  That’s right I am a Yooper! I met my wife Amy at Northern Michigan University in 2002 and have followed her around ever since. We were married at St. Paul in 2008 and have two wonderful children. Alex is age 10 and Ava is 7, you may have seen them at service.  Growing up in the U.P. I fell in love with the outdoors, learning to hunt and fish. I’m also a big sports fan spending my weekends in the fall cheering the University of Michigan and Green Bay Packers football teams and in the winter, I love cheering on the Detroit Red Wings. I also help coach for the Alpena Youth Wrestling Club.
     I look forward to serving on the Church Council, meeting as many of you as I can, and answering any questions you may have. Proverbs 3:5-6 states, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”
Have a blessed day!

Danielle MacDonald

BIO coming soon

Scott Parkham

Bio coming soon