An integral part of the All-in Initiative is to connect to a guide. These are real-live, fellow sojourners with you, who are taking steps to grow in their faith. They’re not perfect; they’ve just started down the path ahead of you on the trail blazed by Christ Himself. They are committed to growing their faith and helping you to do the same. They can answer your questions about the process—and more importantly, share how their journey has been a blessing to their lives.
Do I need a guide? Let’s be honest, it’s hard to make changes on our own. When we think about the times in our lives when we have progressed the most, we can probably point to an influential person who moved us, such as a teacher, friend or family member.
What will I do with my guide? That is for the two of you to design. It could be chatting on the phone, meeting somewhere for coffee or other beverage, or getting together via a video meeting. You may talk about what’s going on in your life, consider questions and concerns you have and pray together. Be assured that whatever information you share with your guide will be held in confidence between you. You may even want to attend some Group Discussions together. Ultimately, you’ll envision your best future in Christ. “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good.” -Psalm 34:8
Who will be my guide? Get to know our guides through the information below then choose one from the drop-down list at the bottom of this page. (Don’t forget to submit form once you choose!). You may want to select someone you know from church or get to know someone new. Normally, a guide of your same gender is required. When you click the “Submit” button on the form below, the request will be forwarded to the All-in Discipleship administrator, who will share your name with your choice, if available.
You only need to select a guide once, he or she will then serve as your guide until you think a change of pace would be helpful.
Laura Hertel – Laura has been married to her husband John for 26 years. She is a lifelong member of St. Lucas. Her father’s family traces their roots to the original group of members who founded the original St. Lucas and came from a small village in Lubina, Slovakia in the late 1800’s. The original church building still stands in the Soulard neighborhood in South St. Louis. Her father and uncles were all confirmed at the old St. Lucas. She and John have two children ages 23 and 21. Laura works as a paraprofessional at Southview School for the Special School District of St. Louis County, and is a member of the Word of Life School board. She enjoys reading and daily early morning walks with her neighbor. She has served as church council secretary for nearly 10 years, She has also served as a Sunday School teacher and enjoys helping with VBS. St. Lucas will always be close to her heart as it is a huge part of her life. Her preferred method of correspondence is text or email.
Warren Huffines – Warren is a retired Lutheran pastor who loves the Lord Jesus, His Word and His people. He and his wife Nita have lived in a half dozen places in the St. Louis area since they married in 1963. As a guide, he wants to be a Christian friend and “listen a lot”.
Warren: “God’s Word and Spirit will guide us both.”
Joyce Kolnik – St. Louis and St. Lucas have been Joyce’s home since she was born. She was baptized, confirmed and later married at St. Lucas to her husband of almost sixty years, Bill. They have been blessed with three children that are married and living in St. Louis County. We have been blessed with eight grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. Joyce was privileged to attend a Lutheran Grade School, Lutheran Central High School and Lutheran School of Nursing. St. Lucas and the faithful Christian families have been a wonderful blessing by giving support, prayers and comfort when needed.
Joyce: “The Worship services, Bible classes and other opportunities to serve all offer ways to grow in faith in Our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
Lisa Larson – Lisa and Pastor met at his first parish in Northern Illinois where she grew up; their engagement was announced on the Chicago NBC affiliate! (Long story) Growing up on a farm, she has the midwestern values of hospitality and feeding people well—she loves to cook. Children? Loves them!—hers are the same as pastor’s. (See below). She has been in the Lutheran teaching ministry for more than 25 years and is now the Campus Manager of the Kirkwood Campus of Christ Community Lutheran School, where she is the lead three-year-old teacher. So yes! She would love to have some adult conversations. At St. Lucas, she serves on the ECC Board and sings at the late service. Her preferred communication is email or text, in that order.
Pastor Mark Larson – Pastor grew up in Colorado and Nebraska. He has served in ministries in Illinois, Colorado and here in Missouri. He and his wife Lisa, have two young adult children. Hobbies have included woodworking, camping and genealogy, but lately he has become a YouTube mechanic to keep the family fleet of high-mileage cars running. His communication preference is email and text, in that order. No faxes or smoke signals, please!
Pastor: “I enjoy getting to know new people, and I am increasingly amazed how God is bringing people to St. Lucas to build up the Body of Christ.”
Travis Lawson – I am a young Christian that joined St Lucas in 2021. My son Leo attends school at St Lucas and that is how the Lord brought me here and I am forever grateful. I am living proof that our God and Savior Jesus Christ can redeem anyone, He will make you new! Please please feel free to introduce yourself if you see me. We all have struggles and we need to support each other especially in these times. Most of all I love meeting new people and trying to be a shining light in this dark world. The verse that started it all for me was Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
The Lord has blessed me more than ever. During the hardest two years of my life after losing my mother and my brother almost dying too, He is still faithful! I hope you join All in Discipleship because we need you!!! GOD BLESS! (Travis’ preferred communication method is email or text.)
Robert McNeil – Robert has been married 48 years and he has three adult children. He is a retired dairy farmer of forty three years. Robert carries a great amount of life experience, graduated from college and also has theologically training. He has held a multitude of church offices and at the present time, is very active at St. Lucas. One of his favorite things to do is participate in Bible study and discuss how we can apply its teachings and principles in today’s world.
Carol Miksad – Carol was born in Yonkers, New York, and attended Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, where she was confirmed and married. She is retired, but had a career in the Insurance industry for 19 years, then worked for the State of New Jersey’s Department of Banking and Insurance and Real Estate Commission where she served as Executive Director and as a member of the New Jersey Board of Medical Examiners.
She has served her Lord as a Sunday School teacher, soloist, Luther League East Vice President, youth leader and other wonderful capacities in 5 different SELC District congregations. She presently serves as the St. Lucas Stewardship Director, Manager of Financial Services, praise team singer and choir member.
Carol: “I volunteered to be an All-In Discipleship Guide because I want to partner with other Christians in our journey to become more Christ-like in our daily lives.”
Phil Miksad – Phil is happily married to Carol, with whom he grew up in Yonkers, New York. He has been a Pastor in the SELC District, LCMS, and has also worked as an Investigator for the Division of Children and Families in the State of New Jersey. Phil enjoys anything Disney and especially Walt Disney World. Phil considers Saint Lucas Lutheran Church as his “second home”, and members of Saint Lucas his family.
Phil: “I am happy to be a guide in the All-in Discipleship program to grow in the Christian faith and life, and to share this faith and life with others.”
Dawn Schlesselman – Dawn has been married for seventeen years to her husband, Randall. They moved to Missouri in 2011 from Sussex, Wisconsin. She was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She and Randall have three children, ages 15, 13, and 11. Dawn is a middle school science teacher at Word of Life school. She loves to take pictures, make photo books, and play board games with her family. Dawn also loves to run and play sports such as volleyball and golf. She would love to travel more in the future. Presently, she is constantly busy carting her children to their various sports and activities. She has been a member of St. Lucas for almost three years now. Her preferred method of communication is via text or email.
Randall Schlesselman – Randall is a sales engineer and a father of three. He and his wife Dawn live in Arnold. Randall grew up in Michigan and went to college in Milwaukee. Their family moved here around 10 years ago. Randall enjoys most sports, woodworking, house projects, and watching movies. He also helps coach his kids sports teams. He enjoys meeting new people and learning new things. He serves St. Lucas as a children’s message presenter, praise team singer, and helps with video “techy stuff.” His preferred communication is email or text.
Frank Schmaltz – Frank has lived in the St. Louis area all of his life and has been a member of St. Lucas for about three years. He is married to Barb and they are retired empty nesters with three young adult children with families of their own, including five grandchildren. He spent 31 years in the IT profession working at Southwestern Bell and AT&T. Frank’s hobbies include spending time with their grandchildren, working on home improvement projects, and relaxing in front of a computer. At St. Lucas, he serves in the more technical aspects of church ministry, such as maintenance of our website, volunteer serving/scheduling and producing reports to aid governing boards of our congregation. Franks preferred method of communication is via text or email.
Complete the information below, choose a guide and press “Submit.”
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