Clergy & Staff

Office Hours

The best way to contact us is via email.

Clergy

The Rev. Blake Sawicky

Rector

Contact Fr. Blake.

Staff

George Emblom

Director of Music and Organist

George coordinates with the clergy for the music life of the parish.

Contact George.

Joel Contreras

Sexton

Joel Contreras, sexton, came to the Bay Area in 1989 from Zacatecas, Mexico. In 1999, his son Oscar was born and he also began to serve Congregation Beth El in Berkeley, a position he held until 2014. In 2008, Joel began serving at St. Mark’s where he works with volunteers, helps to keep the property safe and clean, and facilitates the many groups and non-profit organizations who use the space. Joel is always willing to help, has a smile to share, and makes great coffee!

Diana Lopez

Childcare Coordinator

Diana Lopez is from Richmond, California. She began working with kids as a cabin leader at an outdoor school when she was in high school. After high school she worked as a babysitter for families in the Bay Area and tutored students who did online schooling. She now works with school aged children at an elementary school in Berkeley as a program coordinator. Aside from working with kids she enjoys hiking and baking and makes a delicious vegan carrot cake. 

Assisting Clergy

The Rev. Michael Hiller

A native Angeleno, Michael T. Hiller spent his childhood living in the west where his father, a Lutheran Pastor served congregations in California, Colorado, and New Mexico, and taught at St. John’s College in Kansas.  Following in the family tradition of priestly service, Fr. Hiller studied at St. Paul’s College, Concordia, Missouri; Concordia Sr. College, Ft. Wayne, Indiana; and at Concordia Seminary. St. Louis, Missouri.  In May of 2021, he received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Development from Bexley-Seabury Seminary in Chicago. Ordained in 1971, he then served at The Lutheran Church of the Way in Taunton, Massachusetts (LC-MS), The Lutheran Church of Saint Ambrose (ELCA) in Pennsville, New Jersey, and then at Saint Francis Lutheran Church (ELCA) in San Francisco.  While serving at Trinity Episcopal Church in San Francisco, he was received as a priest of the Diocese of California in 2008.  Fr. Hiller served as Interim Rector at St. Mark’s, Berkeley (twice) and at St. Mark’s. Santa Clara.  Fr. Hiller is the author of a blog on the lectionary, “Break Open the Word”, that can be found at http://www.breakopenword.blogspot.com. Fr. Hiller lives with his husband, Arthur M. Morris III in San Francisco. His daughter, Anna Hiller lives there as well with her husband Mark Pritchard.

The Rev. Lizette Larson-Miller

The Rev’d Canon Dr. Lizette Larson-Miller is a professor of liturgical studies at Huron University College (London, Ontario) and canon precentor for the Anglican Diocese of Huron. She was ordained to the diaconate and priesthood for the Diocese of Los Angeles (18 years ago!), earned her PhD at the GTU, and has taught in Los Angeles, at Notre Dame, the GTU and in Canada. She is the author/editor of four books (fifth in progress) and numerous articles on liturgical history, sacraments, and sacramental theology. Most importantly, she’s been at St. Mark’s before as part of an interim team and is enjoying her sojourn among this wonderful community once again!

The Rev. Kenneth Schmidt

A volunteer priest at St. Mark’s since early 2019 after serving as the Rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in San Francisco for thirty years, Kenneth attended Houghton College in upstate New York and received M.Div. and Ph.D. degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary and a D.Min. from San Francisco Theological Seminary.

Before moving to the Bay Area, Kenneth worked in parishes in Princeton and New Brunswick, NJ, and Philadelphia, PA, where he also taught theology at St. Joseph’s University. During his time at All Saints’, he served in several diocesan ministries, including teaching Anglican theology at the School for Deacons.

At St. Mark’s, Kenneth assists with the Sunday and weekday liturgies and is  a member of the Social Justice Committee, which coordinates the monthly InAsMuch appeals. He lives in El Cerrito with his husband John Roberts, Professor Emeritus of Music and former Head of the Music Library at Cal.

The Rev. Jim Stickney

I grew up in the Roman Catholic Church, and joined the Jesuit Order right out of high school. I was ordained a priest in 1975, then joined the Episcopal Church in 1980.

I served as Rector at our neighboring parish, St. Alban’s in Albany, for 20 years (1986-2006). Then I served as a roving Interim Pastor, including four parishes in the Diocese of San Joaquin as they worked through the trauma of a schismatic bishop. I formally retired in 2013, but with my current involvement in three parishes I still feel pretty active.

My wife Joni and I are members at All Souls parish in Berkeley. — I’ve chosen to have no clerical involvement there. Currently I’m also helping out at St. Alban’s once a month while they search for their new priest. And thanks to Fr. Blake’s invitation, I’m happy to be linked to St. Mark’s as a volunteer clergy person. And I really like “being ministered unto” when I sit in the pews on Sunday morning.

My retirement avocation is stained glass, as I’m only too happy to share with you at great length at coffee hour. I do repairs, and create new windows as well. I’ve even got a website: instarglasscraft.com By the way, the patron saint of glaziers is Lucy. I have her image in my basement studio where she overlooks a spectrum of colored glass.

My personal email is jimstickney@mac.com.