Pastors and Staff

Laurel Mathewson was born and raised in Oregon, but found her way to the San Francisco bay area to attend Stanford University. While there, she also found a passion for the intersection of faith, politics, and social justice; the cultural and spiritual implications of landscape; and a life partner (her now-husband, Colin). Before seminary at the University of the South (Sewanee), Laurel worked as a research assistant, an editorial assistant at Sojourners, and a campus missioner at UCSD. Although she began to explore the possibility of ordained ministry while attending an Episcopal Church in Washington, D.C., Laurel was confirmed, sponsored for ordination, and ordained a priest at St. Paul's Cathedral in San Diego, where she led formation from 2013-16. In October 2016, the Mathewsons moved across Balboa Park to begin a new adventure with St. Luke's in North Park. Laurel is passionate about teaching and preaching the ever-surprising love of God, parenting her two young children, trees, well-made cookies, and inspiring writing (which she aspires to create, sometimes and some days).  You can reach her on Facebook or by email.


The Rev. Colin Mathewson graduated from Valhalla High School in East County, San Diego and Stanford University with a degree in Urban Studies. He's since served as a campaign manager, community organizer, press assistant, executive assistant, foundation program officer, and as a volunteer in El Salvador before starting seminary in 2010. He and his wife Laurel graduated from The School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 2013 and served together as deacons and priests at St. Paul's Cathedral until becoming vicars-in-charge at St. Luke’s Episcopal in North Park. He also serves as a part-time pastor at St Matthews in National City. He and Laurel have two kids who keep them busy and laughing, and Colin enjoys sports, cooking, eating, and reading.  You can reach him on Facebook, Twitter, email, or cell: 619-977-8173.  Check out a recent article in the San Diego Reader here.



Amani Ago, Co-Director for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries

Click here to email Amani.



Ruth Japtok, Administrator and Business Developer

Ruth Japtok grew up in Kampala, Uganda. After high school, she moved to Germany where she studied Nutrition Science and graduated with a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree. Thereafter she moved to the U.S. She and her husband Martin have lived in various places in Southern
California before settling in San Diego. After working in the Nutrition field, Ruth has had various positions in research, worked as a nurse, and has been a small business owner. Before joining St. Luke’s as Operations and Enterprise Minister, she was employed at UCSD in cancer research. Ruth enjoys Arts and crafts, cooking and traveling when possible. During her free time, she explores San Diego, enjoying its weather, neighborhoods, and natural environment, its cultural attractions, diverse populations and rich variety of foods. She particularly likes walking with Martin and Schnipsel – their furry, happy four-legged friend. Click here to email Ruth.


Yaar Kwai, Youth Adult Mentor

Graduated from CSUSM with Bachelors in Medical Anthropology, Yaar loves to write and inspire others and is a new and upcoming Author. She is currently a youth mentor at St Luke’s and will be newly married in December 2020 ! Click here to email Yaar.


Michael Mawien, Senior Warden and Bookkeeper

Michael was born and raised in Khartoum, Sudan. After high school he went to Syria as an exchange student to study Economics and Political Science at Damascus University.  While there he became a very active student against the civil war in South Sudan and in the Blue Nile, Nuba Mountain, and Darfur regions of Sudan. Because of threats received in response to that activism, he received political asylum and resettlement in Dallas, Texas in 2002.  He has since lived in Virginia and Washington D.C. before moving to San Diego in 2004.  Michael has a degree in Business Administration from Southern University and a MBA from Independence University.  He has held various positions in the financial industry including Wells Fargo Bank and Farmers Insurance Corporate, and he is currently an insurance agency owner at PIA Select. His hobbies include sports, spending time with his kids, listening to gospel music, going to the beach, and traveling.  Click here to email Michael.




Amy Reams, Co-Director for Children, Youth, and Family Ministries

For the last three years, my family (husband Paul, daughter Lucy (10), and son Gideon (7)) have been so blessed to attend St. Luke’s. This church has quickly become a home for us, and we are so grateful for the relationships we have formed here.  I am passionate about teaching our children and youth about God, filling our heads with scripture, and forging meaningful relationships. I especially love using my background in art to help kids better understand gospel truths and to connect more deeply with God, themselves, and others. I am looking forward to continuing to invest in the children and families here at St. Luke’s. I’m grateful for the opportunity to serve alongside you in this way.  Click here to email Amy.


Matrida Taleshiwe, Music Director

Click here to email Matrida.