Senior Pastor Rev. Manuel Retamoza

Pastor Manuel began his ministry at St Andrew’s in the fall of 2004 as Associate Pastor.

Pastor Manuel was raised in Northern California, received his BA from Seattle Pacific University in 1994, taught preschool for Head Start in San Joaquin Valley for three years and graduated from Luther Seminary in St Paul, Minnesota in the spring of 2004.

Pastor Manuel and his wife, Lisa, and their two children moved from Minneapolis after accepting his call to St Andrew’s. Lisa was the executive chef at Central Lutheran Church in Minneapolis where Pastor Manuel also served as intern and coordinated an after school program for children in shelters in MPLS.  Lisa has put her chef skills to good use here at St. Andrew’s, and at Windmill Farms, where she is the kitchen deli manager and on site chef.  Their daughter Isabell lives in Chicago and son Manuel Glenn attends High School in San Diego.

Pastor Manuel was called as our Senior Pastor in May, 2017. In addition to his congregational duties at St. Andrew’s, he serves on the board of Lutheran Retreats Camps and Conferences (LRCC , our synod outdoor ministry/camps organization) and is on the planning team for the annual Children, Youth and Family Ministry Extravaganza, a national conference for volunteers and church workers for the ELCA.  He served on the team for the ELCA National Youth Gathering 2015 in Detroit, MI and again at the 2018 Gathering in Houston, TX (2018 Gathering). He often leads tour groups through Chicano Park in the Barrio Logan, along the border area (both sides), in Tijuana (his father’s Place of Birth) and on mission trips to Miracle Ranch Children’s Home south of Tecate, Mexico.

Pastor Manuel strives to communicate through contextual preaching with great emphasis in the liberating word of the Gospel of Christ.

In his free time, Pastor Manuel spends time with his family enjoying San Diego and the Border. He enjoys bicycling whenever possible and enjoys listening to inane radio programs.

Pastor Manuel’s email:

Associate Pastor: Rev. Sarah Sumner-Eisenbraun

Passtor Sarah was called to St. Andrew’s on September 1, 2017. Her previous calls were in Glendale and Arroyo Grande. She and her husband Kevin are parents of Zoe and Ezra, as well as Mr. Chubbs the cat and Bruno the dog. Pastor Sarah and Kevin were actually born in the same hospital on the same day in Rapid City, SD. After graduating college and getting married, they both attended Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN, which included an exchange student year at Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary in Berkeley, CA and an internship year in Sioux Falls, SD. She was ordained in the ELCA on July 1, 2007.  Kevin is a deacon in the ELCA and currently serves chaplain in a local hospice organization.

Pastor Sarah has a passion for faith formation at all ages and stages of life. She oversees our ministries with children and youth and works to build relationships across all generations. She loves creative worship, singing, preaching and teaching and has brought some fun new traditions to our worship and ministry. She believes that churches are doing God’s work when they are building community and reaching out to others to share the love of Jesus with servant hearts.

Her hobbies include creative arts like knitting and sewing, but she has also participated in two different roller derby leagues since moving to CA. Her family spends most of their free time going on adventures and exploring the arts and culture of our communities.

Pastor Sarah’s email:

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Director of Parish Administration: Meri Jo Petrivelli

Meri Jo has been a member of the staff since 1998, and a member of the congregation since 1986.  Meri Jo handles much of St. Andrew’s administration, including many of the day-to-day operations, as well as being one of the Sunday morning “Go To” people (along with Sara Zimmerly). Recently our Social Media presence (currently Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and app) has become part of her job, a responsibility she shares with Pastor Manuel. Her passion is adult education, particularly adult Bible Study.  She also is a permanent weekly offering counter, providing continuity to our team of weekly volunteers.  If  you have a question she can’t answer, about the Bible or anything else, she will research it until she finds the answer!

Meri Jo’s has served in leadership roles over the years at the congregation, synod, and national church levels. She and her husband of 30+ years, Ed, have two adult daughters who were baptized and confirmed at St. Andrew’s.  Rachel is currently a student teacher in San Diego and is seen regularly around the church.  Kate, along with her husband & baby, lives in Oakland and makes her way to San Diego and St. Andrew’s a few times a year.  Meri Jo enjoys reading, being outdoors, a good IPA, and college sports.

Meri Jo’s email:

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Music Director: Scott Skinner

Scott is in charge of the musical portion of our worship. In addition to playing the organ and piano for all three Sunday services and two Saturday services per month, Scott leads four choirs and lends a keyboard/hand to our two bands (The Peacemakers and the Second Saturday Band). Scott also frequently organizes (and performs in) special instrumental and vocal performances.


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Bookkeeper/Welcome Ministry Director: Sara Zimmerly

Sara joined the staff at St. Andrew’s in 2000. She has been an active member since 1981. She attended Lutheran High School of San Diego and then went on to work at El Camino Pines Lutheran Camp (now part of LRCC) as a counselor and Outdoor School instructor. This is where her faith grew strong and she knew that working in a church setting would be the most fulfilling for her. Sara is our bookkeeper and in charge of our welcome ministry.  On Sundays you will find Sara on the courtyard or near the doors greeting guests and introducing newcomers to others.  Sara also coordinates New Member Seminars which explain what we believe and what ministries and opportunities are available.

As a part of Sara’s love for Lutheran Camping she is currently serving on the Board of Directors for Lutheran Retreats, Camps and Conferences (LRCC)

Sara has been married to Tom for 25+ years. They have two children, both baptized and confirmed at St. Andrew’s. Both children followed in their mom’s footsteps and worked at LRCC. Currently Joe is Director of Youth & Family Ministries at Mt. Cross Lutheran in Camarillo and Maggie attends Grossmont College.

In her free time Sara enjoys camping with her family and friends, reading and spending time at the beach.

Sara’s email:

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Office Administrator:  Paula McDonald

Paula began working at St. Andrew’s in April 2015.  Hers is probably the first voice you hear when you call, and she is likely the first person you see if you drop by the office.  She is in charge of our publications (including weekly bulletins, Pinch of Salt, Salt Shaker newsletters, and various other items), keeps our calendar up to date, assists Pastor Manuel with youth ministry tasks, and generally keeps the office running smoothly.

Paula was born and raised in San Diego, the eldest of three children.  In her free time she enjoys listening to a variety of music, attending concerts, taking long walks on the weekend, and spending time with her family and friends.  She is the mom to two young adult men. Her eldest son is the management program at In-n-Out and her youngest attends CSU San Marcos.

Paula’s email:

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Preschool Director: Stephanie Alexander

Stephanie has been a member of St. Andrew’s Lutheran Church since 1998.  Before she became the director of the preschool in March of 2002, she served on Church council as well as a preschool board member.  In addition to being a teacher/director at the preschool, Stephanie is a coordinator of St. Andrew’s Prayers and Square Prayer Quilt Ministry. You will see her most Sundays at the 9:30 a.m. service taking care of the quilts. Stephanie has also been a co-leader of our Living through Grief group, helping others dealing with the loss of a loved one.  Along with Maryann Oliver, Stephanie brings her talents of floral arranging to beautify our worship spaces on the weekends.

Stephanie and her husband have two adult children, Erica, who lives in Long Beach and is fulfilling her dream of working in the interior design business and son Stephen who is teaching algebra at Cal State Fullerton.

In her free time Ms. Stephanie loves traveling, reading, watching old movies and is an avid NASCAR fan.

Stephanie’s email: