Meet the Vestry
The Vestry of St. Luke's is comprised of 11 members who are elected by the parish to work with the clergy in managing the temporal affairs of the church. Vestry members generally serve three-year terms, with four members rotating off each year. The 2017 Vestry include:
Gabriele Carls Bahnam
I was born in Northern Germany into a Lutheran family in a predominantly Lutheran community. I was baptized and confirmed into the evangelische Lutherische Kirche of Germany. Born into the faith, I grew up well protected, with God and my music. Music is to this day how I feel closest to God, and it is my favorite form of worshipping him. When I sing I feel close to him, able to throw all my troubles onto the cross and truly listen to what he wishes me to do. Serving with the worship team of St. Luke’s has been a true blessing for me.
I have been attending St Luke’s for a little over five years and I feel strongly that God has lead me here. Thanks to Him I am living in the fifth decade of my life and feel closer to the Lord than ever before. He has led me through difficult times and has been a steadfast companion drawing me closer and closer to Him.
My education is in neurobiology with research and teaching experience. Currently I am managing an ambulatory surgery center, where we treat children with special needs. Recently I embarked on another new journey. I am engaged and am currently preparing for marriage. St Luke’s warmth and compassion has been a blessing in my life beyond compare and has become my spiritual home. It is with great honor and even greater trepidation that I am answering your call to serve you. I will do so faithfully with His guidance and your prayers.
I was blessed to be born into a Christian family while my father was serving as a pastor of a small Baptist church in the Jersey shore town of Seaside Heights. Dad continued in the pastorate when a few years later he moved us to the lovely pre-Revolutionary village of Setauket, New York and became a Methodist. When I was confirmed as an Episcopalian in 1985 and he was naturally curious about my reasons, I assured him that I was "just going back to my roots!" (John and Charles Wesley, the "founders" of Methodism, were both Anglican priests until the day they each went home to be with the Lord.) In fact when I first walked into the Episcopal church where I was eventually confirmed, I strongly felt the Spirit of the Lord and His welcoming me home. Since 2005 St. Luke's has been where my husband, John, and I have regularly experienced His presence. Over our years of membership I have served twice on St. Luke's vestry, represented the Parish as Delegate to the Diocese of Western Anglicans and
served for one year as Secretary on the Board of Directors of the Diocese. Currently, I am a Lay Leader, Lay Eucharistic Minister, and Prayer Minister. After working for World Vision International for 13 years as their Research Center Director and Writer and 24 years as a Librarian at the California Court of Appeal in Downtown Los Angeles--while raising 2 children, Andrew and Anneke
Forrest, to adulthood (with God and my husband's help!!), it would be a great blessing to answer God's call to be on the Vestry of St. Luke's.
I was baptized and raised in the Presbyterian Church. As a teen I enjoyed helping my mother teach VBS and Sunday School. I’ve been blessed to lead children to Jesus Christ through Vacation Bible School as an adult. Sixteen years ago I felt led to attend St. Luke’s. It has been a joy to be part of this bible-believing church that professes the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!
Ingo and I were married at St. Luke’s in 2003. Our youngest daughter Victoria was baptized at St. Luke’s in 2006, and now serves as an Acolyte. I have been a part of St. Luke’s prayer intercessor team, and pray for our church family daily. Ingo and I currently serve by helping to break down the coffee area after Sunday church service.
God led me to a career in teaching, and this is my eighteenth year as a primary school teacher. Two aspects of my job continue to bring me great joy – helping children to become enthusiastic readers, and sharing my love of gardening! God blessed me to be able to study horticulture and agriculture while enrolled in my teaching credential program at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. The most gratifying part of having my M.S. degree in Agricultural Science Education, is sharing what I have learned with students as our school’s Garden Coordinator. I love St. Luke’s church and know that the scripture from Jeremiah 29:11 applies to us, “…For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” What a blessing it is to see our church flourish over time! Although we may not see what God has for us around the corner, we know by faith that it is good. It would be a privilege to serve on the Vestry of St. Luke’s, and I would do so with a
humble heart. Thank you for your prayers.
I have been active in St. Luke's for the last seven years. Raised in nearby Sunland, I went to local schools before serving in the US Navy as an Airman. My time in the service matured my faith and focused my goals. I then attained my AA from GCC and my MAT from Occidental College. For the last twenty years, I have taught a variety of secondary and college level courses, always with the hope that I am a Christian presence for students.
I love St. Luke's for its prayerful, supportive community, having found tremendous healing through the prayer ministry here. I look forward to being on Vestry to foster continued warm welcoming of new members. I would work to encourage all members to be active in a small group, two or more ministry opportunities, and at least three worship services each month. My vision is for St. Luke's to tap into the dynamic power of our small groups so that our neighbors may know us as a Christian ministry with a heart for the community. I believe all of us are treasure troves of a wide array of talents just waiting for the moment to shine for Christ.
I have been a member of St. Luke’s for 20 years and have been blessed to have been a part of a variety of Lay Leadership roles such as Junior Warden, Vestry Member (for at least two full three years terms), Co-Directress of the Altar Guild, Usher / Greeter, and have been involved in Children’s and Youth Ministries. I am also currently serving as a Delegate to the Diocese of Western Anglicans.
I was raised in the Roman Catholic tradition and attended 12 years of parochial school. I began worshipping in the Episcopal tradition after my marriage in 1988. I love the richness of our Anglican liturgy and worship.
My husband passed away a little over 7 years ago after a lengthy illness due to complications from Multiple Sclerosis. Our church family has been a source of strength, love, and healing over the years. I have two adult children, Sean and Erin. My daughter continues to participate in service to St. Luke’s in the Music Ministry and with Media and my son attends another local church since graduating from college last year.
My many years of experience in the insurance industry has given me gifts of administration and organization. (I currently work as an underwriter). I would consider it a great privilege to be part of the Vestry as St. Luke’s moves forward toward what God has planned for our future.
I was born and raised in southern California to Christian parents with a rich heritage of serving the Lord. As a matter of fact, as a girl, we were in church Sunday mornings, evenings, Wednesday nights, Thursday nights (choir practice) and most any other night if there was an evangelist or missionary visiting our church. I was raised in the Pentecostal tradition and remember going to the front of the church at age 5 to ask the Lord to be my Savior. As I grew up, I drifted away but the Lord in His mercy drew me back into His loving embrace and I've served Him ever since.
1975 was a big year for our family. Roy & I married, we bought the house we currently live in and had our first son. In 1978, our second son was born and we looked for a church home where we could raise our children in the fear and admonition of the Lord. So, for 28 years we attended a local Presbyterian church where I was an ordained deacon. Then for various reasons we felt it was time to find a new church home. I prayed and sought the Lord's will, visited 9 different churches over the course of a year when we found ourselves at St. Luke's in 2005. We'd never attended a liturgical church but could feel the power and presence of the Holy Spirit and we never left.
Since becoming a member of St. Luke's, I've participated in several ministries...as a lay reader, as a member of several healing prayer teams, attend a small group and led "Soup Group" for 7 consecutive years. I am both humbled and honored to be asked to serve on the vestry at St. Luke's.
Debbie Kollgaard, along with her husband Chris, have been members of St. Luke’s Anglican Church since 1997. She has been an active participant in the life of St. Luke’s where she has been, or currently is active, on the worship team, stewardship committee, hospitality committee, intercessors and healing prayer ministry, and the communications ministry. She has served previously on the Vestry for two terms, serving as Senior Warden from 2007-2010. She has also served the Diocese of Western Anglicans since its formation in 2007; most recently completing a 2 ½ year term as it’s President. Her hopes and prayers for St. Luke’s are that St. Luke’s will be an outward focused community; looking for ways to serve the communities in which we live to reach them with the saving love of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. In an ever changing world I know Hebrews 13:8 to be vividly true. Jesus Christ has been the only constant and unchanging presence in my life in both the good times and the bad. God is always blessing me with his infinite love. I know I could not survive in this world without Christ as my savior and loving father.
I am very thankful that St Luke's is a church alive and full of The Spirit. I first came to this congregation three years ago when The Lord showed me a clearpath to its door. I love the familiar and scripturally solid liturgy and value our weekly men's group when, each Saturday morning, we study God's Word and support the church, and each other, in prayer. I also feel privileged to be able to serve on the worship team.
I am the son of missionary parents who were based in England. I was educated at Oxford University and I have mostly made my living in the art, motion picture advertising, and design fields. I now work in fine art, in the "art world", and I paint pictures.
I grew up in Pasadena and La Canada. I have an Associates degree from Pasadena City College with a certificate in legal assisting. I attended a Presbyterian church through 4th grade and then fell away for a while. When I came back to Christ I attended several different denominations before coming to St. Lukes in 2001 where I have been since. St. Luke’s has allowed me to grow and mature in Christ. It is where I feel loved, there is a real family feeling. I am currently active in the altar guild and on the welcome team. I have also served as a chalice bearer. I am currently serving my third year of a three-year term on secretariat which is the governing board for Cursillo.
I started working for Los Angeles county office of education as a senior school clerk in 2003. I worked in a juvenile detention camp for 3 ½ years, central juvenile hall for 6 years and in a special education unit for the last 5 ½ years. Even though I was not raised as an Anglican, it is where i feel nearest to God. I love the liturgy of the church. I also attend a bible study group on Thursday nights. I appreciate the chance to serve on vestry and grow in Christ.
Melanie Edwards Nichols
I grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and I accepted Christ's salvation at the age of 5 through the guidance of my parents and my Sunday School teachers. I continued to follow Christ with ups and downs throughout high school, college, and law school. After my husband, Greg, and I were married in 2011, we moved to Burbank. In 2013 we found St. Luke's on the recommendation from several friends in Community Bible Study, where I currently run the children's program, and we felt immediately at home. We deeply appreciate the genuine love and Christ-focused community that St. Luke's offers, and we feel blessed to be a part of that. We felt especially cared for with the celebration at the birth of our son, Edward, last year. We currently are in a small group through St. Luke's and I serve as a lay reader and chalice bearer. I pray that St. Luke's will continue to proclaim the truth of the gospel with love to the surrounding communities and will be a means by which Christ becomes known to those around us. I pray that many will come to know Christ and love Him more deeply through St. Luke's.
Keith first learned to love, call upon, and then follow Christ at the end of his teenage years, after a youth of agnosticism. After many years as a non-denominational, and Presbyterian Christian, Keith became an Anglican through St. Luke's, which is where his godson Sam Grecu was baptized, and where he met and married his brilliant and lovely wife Kathy. A member for over ten years now, Keith currently serves at St. Luke's by co-leading a small group with Kathy and mixing audio for the occasional Sunday worship service. A storyteller by vocation and a filmmaker by trade, Keith lives in La Crescenta with Kathy, their son Jake, and family dog Cotton.