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With Thanksgiving for Our Outgoing Council Members

When St. Luke’s elected new Council members last January, few of us could have imagined the task ahead. Little did we know that after February, we would not meet in-person for the rest of the year; that we would have to make the difficult decision to move all St. Luke’s ministries online; that more than a year later St. Luke’s would be moved into a new space sharing arrangement with Grace United Methodist, embarking on a daring opportunity for community ministry in the midst of wide-spread economic fallout and social instability. As we look back on this past year and look forward to welcoming three new council members, the returning members of Council would like to give special thanks to outgoing (and outstanding) members Sarena Griffin, Em Jacoby, and Charlotte Flynn, who each exemplified courageous leadership in these stressful times, enabling Council to see more clearly the present by reflecting through it the wisdom of the past and creative visioning for the future.

At the final meeting of this outgoing Council in January, each member gave a testimony of gratitude and appreciation for their work. Sarena, who was the longest-serving outgoing member, was thanked for her remarkable growth in church leadership over the past five years. Members noted Sarena’s gifts for wholistic care of St. Luke’s, her dedication to inclusivity and hospitality (pre-pandemic, Sarena ordered food for every Council meeting), and her incisive prophetic voice that strove to elucidate truth, reveal injustice, and empower our church’s ministries to always grow, even if it meant sitting in the discomfort of overturning ready-made assumptions.

Em, who served nearly her entire term during the pandemic, was noted for the aliveness of the Holy Spirit’s fire working through her. Em’s gifts especially shone through her adroit community organizing skills, her unyielding commitment to social justice issues, and her ability to bring her whole self into the conversation and be forthright and truthful in her views.

Charlotte, who served out her full term on Council while also moving to Texas (one definite benefit of online meetings!), was noted for her outstanding precision as Council’s secretary for the past two years, along with her calm, nuanced, generous, and bold visioning of Council issues. Charlotte’s sedulous organizational skills will surely be missed—she excelled at bringing action items to the table, which proved crucial in keeping Council members responsible and accountable to the implementation of their tasks. We thank all three of these outgoing members for their service. Their example will indelibly leave its mark on future Councils.

Each month, the St. Luke’s Council gives thanks for a particular person or group whose life and ministry have blessed us in a special way. To share your ideas for future Thanksgivings, email Justin Perkins (

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