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Saint Luke’s Parish’s governing body is the Vestry, which includes both elected and ex-officio members.
Vestry members are elected by parish members at the Annual Meeting in January. Officers serve one-year terms, while other Vestry members serve staggered three-year terms as At-Large Members or Vestry Liaisons to a particular church committee or function.
Ex-officio members include the Rector, the Clergy and Wardens of the Youth Vestry.
Sally Houlihan and her husband, Patrick, moved to Darien in 2015 and joined Saint Luke’s that fall. Sally recently co-chaired Saint Luke’s Discernment Committee as part of the 2019-2020 Rector Search. At Saint Luke’s she also co-chairs the Person-to-Person Dove Box Program, teaches Sunday school, serves on the Flower Delivery ministry and recently served on the Outreach Committee. In 2016 and 2017, Sally helped lead the church’s co-sponsorship of a Syrian refugee family. Sally holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Before choosing to stay home with their children, Jack and Annie, Sally worked for a political consulting firm in Washington, DC, and New York City.
Rob Hulick and his wife Callie have been members of Saint Luke’s since 2015, when they moved to Darien after spending ten years in New York and Philadelphia. Rob and Callie have two daughters, Charlotte and Audrey, both of whom attended the Parish School, where Callie is currently a member of the Management Board and previously served as Parish School Liaison to the Vestry. Rob was the Ministry Head of Stewardship for Saint Luke’s for two years and recently served as a member of the Recruitment Committee during the search for our new Rector. Rob previously held private equity roles with Brown Brothers Harriman and is currently a Principal with Alleghany Capital Corporation. Rob earned an MBA from The Wharton School and a BA from Princeton University.
Adam Vandervoort and his wife, Jessica, have been active members of Saint Luke’s since they moved to Darien from Memphis in January 2004. Both of their children attended SLPS. Adam and Jessica now live in Stamford, just over the Darien border. Adam holds A.B. and A.M. degrees from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.
Kristen Nelson and her husband Chip have been members of Saint Luke’s Parish since moving from Chicago in 2000. Kristen has been involved in Children’s Ministries where she taught Sunday School and served as the Vestry Representative. She has also served on the Youth Ministries Committee as well as several search committees. She is currently a member of the Altar Guild, the Saint Luke’s knitting ministry and is a team captain for the Community Suppers. She is a graduate of Bowdoin College and worked previously in the employee benefits/retirement planning field. Kristen and Chip live in Darien and have three grown children.
Adult Spiritual Education
Class of 2023
Al Briganti and his wife Karen have been members of Saint Luke’s for more than 30 years. Their twin sons, Will and Ed, grew up in the parish. Ed and his wife Carrie are new parishioners and their daughter Bea was baptized here last year. During the Rector search, Al served as co-chair of the Discernment Committee. He has been active in our Cuban ministry, and The Saint John’s Bible. Al is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Seminary and the Columbia University School of Journalism where he was an adjunct professor. He retired after a 40 year career at CBS News but is still active as a documentary film maker.
Children’s Ministries / Youth
Class of 2022
Chris Bolton and his wife, Victoria, joined Saint Luke’s in 2012, shortly after moving to Darien with their children William (8) and Winter (8). Chris grew up attending an Episcopal church in Greenwich, CT where he served as an Acolyte and now teaches children’s Church School at Saint Luke’s. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Duke University, a master’s degree in Economics from Johns Hopkins University, an MBA from NYU’s Stern School of Business and is a CFA charterholder. Chris currently works at Barclays in New York where he is a Director on the rates desk.
Class of 2023
Michael Moore (not the film director, btw) and his spouse Mary Craig have attended Saint Luke’s ever since they moved to nearby Stamford sixteen years ago. When they moved into their new house, they spent several Sundays visiting every Episcopal Church within commuting distance. Saint Luke’s was, and is, far and away their favorite. Michael’s involvement with the Parish has included DOCC, acting as a lay assistant, being a docent for the Saint John’s Bible, and serving on the Discernment Committee. In the secular world, he is on the board of the Women’s Business Development Council as well as advisory boards for the College of Charleston and for the University of Rhode Island’s Harrington School of Communications and Media. His business career includes roles at RAND, McKinsey & Company, IBM and Thomson Reuters. Last year, he co-founded “Material,” a boutique consultancy focused on reputation risk management. Michael has a Ph.D. in English from UCLA.
Brian Van Elslander
Class of 2024
Brian Van Elslander and his wife, Tiffany, joined St Luke’s Parish in 2008, shortly after moving back to Darien with their children, Maddie, Jay and Catie. The Van Elslander family has faithfully worshipped in the Come As You Are service at St. Luke’s and has been active in the church youth ministries as well as several adult fellowship programs. All three of their now-grown children participated in the youth programs at St. Luke’s, including multiple service trips to Maine, Minnesota and Cuba. More recently, in service toward the search for our Rector, Brian served on the Discernment Committee, and Tiffany, on the Prayer Committee as well as the Altar Guild. Brian earned an MBA from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business and a BA from Michigan State University. Brian is Co-Head of Global Performing Credit at JPMorgan Private Capital in New York City.
Class of 2024
Lisa and her family have been members of Saint Lukes since moving to the community in 2002. Over that time, Lisa has participated in a range of church ministries including acting as a DOCC mentor, teaching Sunday School and Confirmation Class, serving as a Lay Assistant, and, recently, co-chairing the Search Committee for the new rector. Lisa and her family are active members of the CAYA worship community, where they can be seen most Sunday evenings. Lisa earned a certificate in theology studies from the University of the South after completing the Education for Ministry Program sponsored by the Episcopal Church. She also holds a BA in public policy from Princeton University and a JD from Harvard Law School. She is the former chair of the board of the Cerebral Palsy Foundation and is presently an investment committee director for ADAPT Community Network (formerly United Cerebral Palsy of NYC). Her day job is as a partner in executive search at Heidrick & Struggles, where she recruits human resources leaders.
Class of 2022
Joan Bergen and her husband, Mark, have been members of Saint Luke’s Parish for over 22 years. Originally from Chicago, they moved to Switzerland for several years before moving to Darien where Joan became active in many community endeavors, having served on the board of the Depot, the PTO, and TOPS. Joan taught Sunday School for many years, as well as several confirmation classes. She is currently a member of the Altar Guild and leads several Community Suppers each year. Her volunteer efforts have also included Person-To-Person, the Rowayton Gardeners, and Shatterproof. All three of their children were brought up at Saint Lukes, and were active members of the Youth Group and most recently, their son, William, was married at the church. Joan is a graduate from Lake Forest College with a degree in linguistics and French literature, and did her graduate work at La Sorbonne in Paris.
Merrill Collins Peterkin
Class of 2024
Merrill and her husband, Patrick, have been members of Saint Luke’s since birth. Merrill was baptized, confirmed and married at Saint Luke’s. In 2014, Merrill and Patrick were married by the Rev. Paul Carling, PhD in the chapel. Both Merrill and Patrick’s families have been an integral part of Saint Luke’s since the 1950’s.
Merrill has been singing soprano in the Saint Luke’s choir since 2009 and is a co-chair of Friends of Music with Quay McKeough. Also, she has volunteered for the community suppers, Person-to-Person, Vacation Bible School as a storyteller and puppeteer, the lay assistant program, and the Saint Luke’s Tag Sale. In addition, she participated in the most recent DOCC program.
Merrill has a private practice as a board certified music therapist specializing in clients with neurodegenerative disorders and autism spectrum disorder in the Fairfield County area. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Music Therapy from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications and French from Goucher College in Towson, Maryland. Prior to becoming a music therapist, Merrill worked as a radio producer for talk shows.
Class of 2023
Maggie Machir and her husband Tim joined St. Luke’s in 2016, shortly after they moved to Darien from New York City, where they lived for 10 years. Maggie and Tim’s three children, Connell, George, and Hayes, attended the Parish School and currently attend Hindley Elementary school. Maggie has been the chair of the Parish School’s management board since the fall of 2020, and served as the chair of the school’s Parent Teacher Committee for the 2018-2019 school year. Additionally, she is currently serving as an usher and on the flower delivery ministry. Maggie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University. Before moving to Darien, Maggie worked at New York based commercial real estate firm Tishman Speyer for 6 years in property management and Human Resources.
Class of 2022
David Gray and his wife Laura joined Saint Luke’s in 2007, shortly after moving to Darien. Their children, Alexander (9) and William (9), were baptized at Saint Luke’s. David was raised in Lynn, Massachusetts and grew up in the United Methodist Church. He is a marketing executive at Charter Communications headquarters in Stamford. Previously David held various marketing roles at the former Time Warner Cable in various markets including New Hampshire, Boston, Albany, Milwaukee, and New York City. He is currently a Board Member of the Friends of Woodland Park Nature Preserve and recently stepped down from the Dean’s Advisory Board of the Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. David holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of New Hampshire and an M.B.A. from Boston University.
Class of 2023
Wendy Moore and her husband, Dan, have been members of Saint Luke’s since 2007 with their three boys, Conner (17), Nathan (14) and William (9). She has been an active member of the church serving most recently on the Discernment Committee and has previously helped organize the annual Women’s retreat, Maundy Thursday dinner and homecoming BBQs. She has volunteered weekly at Person-to-Person in both the pantry and as a receptionist for the mobile truck in Stamford. Wendy earned her BS in Biology and Business from the University of Notre Dame and her Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is a trained market researcher and business consultant with a special focus on the healthcare technology industry. Her professional career included consulting work for Ernst & Young as well as various non-profit organizations throughout the Northeast. She left consulting in 2007 to focus on raising the boys and is actively involved in numerous philanthropic and volunteer organizations in Fairfield County.
Martha started attending Saint Luke’s in 1980. She joined the Adult Education Committee and served as its chair during the late 80’s, and early 1990s. During her tenure as head of the committee, she helped organize the first DOCC at Saint Luke’s in 1991. She later served another term as head of Adult Education (2005-2007). Her first Women’s Retreat was in 2005 and since 2007, she has helped organize the weekend every year. Martha is also an active lay reader/chalice bearer, and serves on the Adult Education committee.
Bill and his wife, Gloria, have been members of Saint Luke’s since moving to Darien in 1986. They have two daughters, Jennifer and Lindsay, and three young grandchildren. Over the years Bill has served on the usher’s guild; worked on stewardship and capital campaigns; led the Pentecost Picnic; was on the Person-to-Person Board; and is currently involved with the Cuba Committee and FECC. A graduate of Stanford University with both a BA and an MBA, Bill’s career in International Banking led to living in Mexico, Brazil, and England. He is currently semi-retired but working as Managing Director for an international trade finance fund management company. Bill and Gloria reside in New Canaan.