Although Katie Sternhagen has been our Youth Director since last Spring, we wanted to formally introduce her. Here is her bio in her own words:
I was born and raised in Ballwin, graduating from Parkway West. After graduating, I attended the University of Tulsa in Oklahoma , receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology with a Minor in Christianity. It was in Tulsa where I found my Presbyterian beginnings: my dad grew up at South Webster Presbyterian, and attended youth group at Webster Groves Presbyterian from time to time.
Although Univ. of Tulsa is loosely affiliated with the PCUSA, I took classes and worshiped with TU’s then associate, now Chaplin Jeff Francis, who served St. Mark Presbyterian from 1982-1985 as a Youth Pastor. After spending a year at Mizzou starting my graduate work in Marriage and Family Counseling, I transferred to UMSL and began working full time with people on the Autism Spectrum. My eagerness to take on such a huge challenge resulted in burn out, and I found myself working as a barista at the Kirkwood Kaldi’s while going to grad school full-time.
Living and working in Kirkwood, I began worshipping at First Presbyterian in Kirkwood. A couple of years later, in February of 2008, the Kirkwood community was rattled by a disgruntled citizen, who opened fire in City Hall, killing multiple people, including Tom Ballman and Ken Yost. In the aftermath of this tragedy, I found myself comforting more people in the community at large, in addition to the First Presbyterian congregation.
The head pastor approached me and asked if I had ever considered being in ministry. After much prayer, discernment, and consulting two of my neighbors growing up, who had already answered calls to ministry, one for the Archdiocese the other for a non-denominational congregation, I said yes to God’s call to ministry. We then had a “trinity” of ministers on Gardenway Drive! During my ministry at Kirkwood, I met Don, we got married, and had Jillian (3 1/2 who attends Claymont Preschool). I thought, and was sorely mistaken, that I could be a stay at home mother. God’s call returned and I began my ministry at New Hope in St. Charles in the Summer of 2012. When the opportunity to serve in a full time capacity arose, I again answered the call, this time to St. Mark!
I enjoy reading, gardening, yoga, and pretend to be a runner.
Mission is extremely important to me, learning at an early age from my mother to give back what has been given to me. (This is how I got involved in coaching softball at Cor Jesu for 10 years).
We welcome Katie to St. Mark! She has fit in so well that it seems like we have always known her!