I grew up in Walnut Creek CA. Although I never had a dog, I did have a pet duck. Her name was Daffy and she liked to eat cherry tomatoes. My Dad was a teacher and my mom was a legal secretary. Along with my older brother Mark, we lived in a typical suburban home in a typical suburb not far from San Francisco.
This picture was taken just before my family moved to New Zealand in 1965.
I left high school at the age of sixteen (after getting a GED), and I joined the Navy at the age of seventeen. It was in the Navy that I began to read the Bible, and I ended up committing my life to Jesus in a small church near Pearl Harbor.
After spending a couple of years on the guided missile destroyer USS Somers, I left the Navy and went back to school. I graduated from SFSU with a major in drawing and painting, but ended up completing enough mathematics courses to qualify for a minor in math.
I currently live in San Mateo CA. Belle and I met at a Bible study at Calvary Chapel of San Francisco in 1985. We have been married for around twenty four years. We have two children, Samantha and Sean. We live in a typical suburban home in a typical suburb not far from San Francisco.
I have taught high school for over twenty-five years. Through most of those years I taught math and computer programming (BASIC, Pascal, and C++) in San Francisco. For the past several years, I have been teaching computer animation and computer programing at a high school in Menlo Park CA.
I was ordained and served as the associate pastor in Calvary Chapel of San Francisco some time in the late 80’s and early 90's. I continued to serve as an associate pastor in that church for several years after it became a Vineyard and after it moved to San Mateo CA.
I have completed a Masters in Biblical studies at Fuller Seminary. The theologians who have been most influential in my thinking are George Ladd, Dallas Willard, Tom Wright, Richard Hays, and Gordon Fee.
E-mail Eric Ettlin
I am a native San Franciscan and grew up in the Richmond district. I am fortunate to have three married sisters and my mom who also live in the bay area. Family gatherings have always been a fun and special time.
Most of my years were spent in San Francisco with the exception of living in New York for five years in my early twenties. I met Eric at a Calvary Chapel (which eventually became a Vineyard church) homegroup in 1985 and we were married in 1987. We have two adult children, Samantha and Sean. Our daughter is married to Tim Perry, who we lovingly welcomed into our family in 2016. They are expecting their first child. Sean is continuing his love for music and attends San Francisco State to pursue music composition.
Early in our marriage, we bought a large house together with friends and lived in community for almost five years. During that time we were home pastors of adults and on staff at the Vineyard as pastors to the children and youth until we planted this church in San Bruno.
In December of 2008, we opened our business, Sweet Connections, an ice cream/yogurt shop located in downtown San Bruno. This business was opened as a way to become a part of the San Bruno community. In 2010, the church started holding Sunday Services at Sweet Connections. From that point on, we were known as the “Ice Cream Church.” Our vision for this business is that it would bring God glory by how we serve (1 Corinthians 15:58, Colossians 3:23) and by giving back to the community. The name "Sweet Connections" came through a time of prayer. We are a group that provides more than sweets. Our prayer is that this would be a place that brings peace and joy to all who come. (Psalm 122 “Let’s us go to the house of the Lord”, 2 Corinthians 2:15 “ For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ”)
I have a passion to see a great move of the Holy Spirit in people’s lives. My greatest desire is to see healings and revival happen to individuals and families.
E-mail Belle Ettlin
Arthur and Maria Lagasca
We, Arthur and Maria, were born and raised in the Philippines. We migrated to United States separately and met in San Francisco over 25 years ago. God has blessed us with two precious daughters, Danielle and Dominique.
We started as worship leaders in a small Catholic Church community. We have led worship at several healing conferences in the area, from San Francisco all the way to the Stockton area, from 1988 to 1990, while God was also ministering to our own brokenness. Most recently, we were drawn to the Vineyard Christian Fellowship communities. Their worship songs have ministered and brought God's healing to our lives. In addition to the Vineyard, we are still involved with a multi-denominational / diverse small group as worship leaders.
In 1995, we decided to pursue the calling of God in our lives and joined the Vineyard Christian Fellowship in San Francisco. In 2000, we moved to the Mid Peninsula Vineyard Church in San Carlos, where we were in charge of the Resource / Merchandise table. In 2003, we joined the Mid-Peninsula's first mission trip to the Philippines. In 2004, we joined the San Bruno Vineyard, where we lead a home group; and two intercessory groups, including one before Sunday service begins.
In 2006, we were appointed as worship leaders of the San Bruno Vineyard here in San Bruno. This was the fulfillment of many prophetic words given to us for more than 17 years – that God would use us to lead worship, not only in small groups but also larger groups, in His appointed time.
Music has been our way of worshiping God in a very intimate way. We believe that we encounter God one on one, even in corporate worship. We believe that the key to be in God's presence is to be ourselves, surrender all our internal and external attachments, let Him lead and take control of our lives.
Last, but not least, we believe that worshiping God is why we were created and why we are here. In every season of our lives, good or bad, we devote ourselves to worshipping, honoring and bringing a sacrifice of praise to the Audience of One.
E-mail Arthur and Maria Lagasca
Chris and Karen Thomas
I was born in San Francisco (The City) and have lived in the Bay Area all my life. Before my 21st birthday I came to have a personal relationship with Jesus and nothing has ever been the same since. I’ve been part of Calvary Chapel which then became New Life Vineyard and several iterations later, North Peninsula Vineyard or as Belle stated, “Ice Cream Church”. That is why I can never provide a short answer to the question “How long have you been with the church?” My answer has always been, it depends on how much time you have.
Karen and I have been married for 30 years and have two wonderful adult boys and a daughter-in-law. We have found that as we continue to grow and deepen in our relationship with God, each other and our community, our desire has increased to see His Kingdom come in more powerful ways in this generation.
Currently, I help facilitate Sunday Morning Bible Studies (meets one hour before Service), occasionally teach the Sunday message, and am beginning to step out in our newly forming neighborhood outreach. My desire is to more fully participate in the commission given to us (Matt 28:18-20). Along with Karen, I hope to go on another international ministry trip in the near future.
I came to faith in Jesus in San Francisco in 1981 through a close friend who consistently and constantly challenged me to know the person of Jesus. Her prayers worked and leaving all behind I set out for a new life of intimacy. Psalm 25:4-5 “Show me Your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.”
Currently I attend an on-line Bible school which has deepened my love for God’s word and the desire to see all people come to a knowledge of Him. I am encouraged through the biographies of great Christian men and women throughout Pentecostal Church history “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses” and have a desire to see my life be a reflection of the Gospel.
I have had the privilege to be on the intercessory team and to see how God answers prayer in very tangible ways. This year (2020) my focus will be going out to the lost and praying for the sick. Luke 6:31 “Do to others as you would have them do to you.” I also function as the Church’s bookkeeper and perform other administrative functions for our Church.
E-mail Chris and Karen Thomas