The Rev. Arden C. Strasser — Interim Pastor
Pastor Strasser was called to be our interim pastor on March 1, 2018. He speaks widely about God’s mission in the world and the place of the sacred in our daily lives. Pastor Arden brings gifts in retreat direction, music, and preaching. Formerly an engineer, he also brings strengths in planning and management.
Previously, he served as pastor at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in northern California, from 2000 to 2006, and then was appointed ELCA missionary to Zambia for church leadership development in southern Africa, until 2014. Most recently, he served as interim pastor for congregations in Long Island and Westchester County.
Pastor Arden has earned degrees from the University of Rochester, the University of Colorado, and the University of Natal, South Africa. He has also earned his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew University. Pastor Strasser has also served on the boards of the Volunteer Missionary Movement and the American International School of Lusaka.
Pastor Arden lives on the upper west side of Manhattan with his wife Susan, a professor in public health at Columbia University. They have two daughters, Chloe and Alea. His hobbies are piano, singing, working out and volunteering with kids. He loves meeting new people and sharing stories.
The Rev. Dr. Martha S. Jacobi, LCSW-R — Pastoral Associate
Pastor Jacobi is a pastoral psychotherapist in private practice in Manhattan. She was called to serve Saint Luke’s as Pastoral Associate in 2010, but has been active there since 2004.
Born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Pastor Jacobi was baptized into a congregation of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod; confirmed into a congregation of the former American Lutheran Church; and after a family move, became a member of a congregation of the former Lutheran Church in America, into which she was ordained in 1981. She has served in a variety of congregational and agency-based ministries throughout the territory of the Metropolitan New York Synod.
Her academic work has been diverse, including an A.B. in ballet and mathematics from Duke University; an M.Div. focusing on parish ministry and mission re-development and an S.T.M in pastoral theology from the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg; an M.S.S.W. from Columbia University School of Social Work; and a Ph.D. from International University for Graduate Studies and Charisma University in clinical psychology.
At Saint Luke’s, Pastor Jacobi supports the overall ministry of the Senior Pastor and the congregation. She participates regularly in worship leadership and general congregational life, provides pastoral care, and teaches adult education classes.
Pastor Jacobi is married to James Carter Cathcart. Their blended family includes adult children Stephanie Roche, Carter Cathcart and Mackenzie Cathcart — and kitties Bella, LydaRose, Cleo and Clem.
The Rev. Paul D. Schmiege — Pastor Emeritus
Pastor Schmiege was called as the senior pastor of Saint Luke’s in 2000, and retired on January 7, 2018. He was the seventh pastor in the 166 year history of Saint Luke’s. Born in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, Canada, both his father and grandfather were Lutheran clergy as well.
His academic work includes an undergraduate degree in German and Greek from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana; an M.Div. from Concordia Seminary, now located in Ft Wayne, Indiana; and a Th.M. in early church history from Harvard Divinity School.
He was ordained in 1973 in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, and has served parishes in Westminster, Massachusetts; New York City; Seaford, Long Island; and London, England.
He is married to Constance Duever and they are the proud parents of daughter, Stephanie, and son, Philip.
In his service to Saint Luke’s he sought to guide the congregation’s strong liturgical and music tradition, and maintain its important community outreach through its Soup Kitchen and Clothing Bank ministries. His interest in adult education was evident in the development of a range of Bible studies and in the semi-annual retreat programs that began under his guidance.