All are welcome.
We are a vibrant, welcoming and inclusive community shaped by the Lutheran tradition and sent out into the world to live out God’s love in Christ.
About St. Luke
We welcome all who seek a closer relationship with God. While you may come from another faith tradition, or none at all, we hope to join hands with you in ministry inside our four walls and also building relationships with those in need beyond our doors. Since our founding in 1943 special emphasis has been placed on personal spiritual growth and serving our neighbor.
Together with the 10,000+ congregations of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), we
celebrate the gift of who we are – people of varied ethnic, gender, sexual, age, and spiritual backgrounds.
To our LGBTQ sisters and brothers we want you to know this – you are welcome to be a full and integral part of the St. Luke community.
Come and experience the journey as Christ shapes us all!
We are a Reconciling in Christ Community
As a Reconciling in Christ community, we affirm and celebrate the worth and dignity of all persons regardless of their gender identity, race, or sexual orientation. Read our welcome statement:
Rev. Patti Welch was born and raised in Hinsdale, Illinois, a suburb outside of Chicago. She attended Carnegie-Mellon University graduating with a BFA in Drama. Patti relocated to Manhattan pursuing a career in the theater. While the theater was both rewarding and challenging, she eventually decided to change direction and began working with the New York Association for New Americans resettling Jewish refugees from Russia. During her time with NYANA Patti joined Advent Lutheran Church and became a founding member of Westsiders Together, a community organization that advocated for citizen rights in sanitation, housing, and education. During this time, Patti felt a call to pursue ordained ministry where she could bring the sacraments of ministry and good news to everyone she encountered.
Following her graduation from General Theological Seminary, Patti was called to serve as Assistant Minister of Immanuel Lutheran Church in Manhattan. She was then invited to join the clergy team of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. During her tenure at CSJD Patti has ministered to the Cathedral’s resident congregation, school, and its many visitors.
Rev. Welch is married to Lee Welch, a psychotherapist in private practice. They have two sons, Evan and Brendan. The Welches love playing and composing music, hiking, watching movies, cooking, and telling stories.
Pr. Beth Brashear grew up in various parts of Virginia, Georgia, and North Carolina, but mostly hales from Chapel Hill, NC. She graduated from Appalachian State University (‘01), then Gettysburg Lutheran Seminary (now United Lutheran Seminary) in 2005.
Her call to ministry grew from a love for the Church that had been a place of welcome throughout her life and from a deep sense of a Love that undergirds the universe, a Love that calls us into the fullness of a life dedicated to blessing for Love’s sake.
Since her ordination in 2005, she has served in all 4 corners of the US—Grace Lutheran in Johnstown, PA; Joy of Discovery in Raleigh, NC; Hope Lutheran in Palm Desert, CA; and now with St. Luke here in Portland since 2017. She also spent her internship as a student pastor with the American Church in Berlin (Germany). Her ministry passions involve building and nurturing community, music, and working with young people.
When not at work, Beth enjoys hiking, running, connecting with family & friends, and anything to do with horses. She is beginning to practice mindfulness and is learning to like to cook.
Director of Music
Gerry Brenes was born and raised in Miami, FL. He attended Florida International University graduating with a BA in Music, emphasizing vocal and choral music, and writing a comparative study on music practices in the modern church. He studied piano in his youth into college, and formally trained in voice as a tenor at FIU. In his early twenties, Gerry began singing professionally in church choirs, while also serving as an accompanist and children’s choir director.
In 2015, Gerry began teaching high school choir while cantoring at Church of the Epiphany and singing in the chancel choir at Plymouth Congregational Church in Miami, FL. He was called to serve as director of music for Plymouth, where he helped shape a musically eclectic worship experience. During this time, Gerry also collaborated with children’s ministry to grow a children’s choir that participated in worship seasonally. He began teaching elementary school general music in 2019.
Throughout his career, Gerry has gained years of experience working with music and sound technology through recording and live performances. As a composer and arranger, he has provided custom-made music for acapella choirs, churches, and artists.
Gerry relocated to Oregon in 2022, accepting the position of music director at St. Luke Lutheran Church. He lives with his wife and daughter Valerie and Kara, as well as their beloved cat Saoirse.
Children's Ministry Program Coordinator
The Weber family stepped through the doors of St. Luke a decade ago this 2020. It is that first visit on Christmas Eve that marked their anniversary becoming Lutheran, where they experienced the warm welcome that is St. Luke. Kim Weber recently stepped through a new door, Children’s Ministry Program Coordinator, a beautiful extension of her relationship with St. Luke. Since 2015, Kim has served as Hosannas Children’s Choir Director. She has enjoyed being a volunteer for St. Luke auctions and Wednesday Night Dinners. As a parishioner and Children’s Ministry Coordinator, Kim loves being part of a community of doers: “God’s Work, Our Hands”.
Having her own children grow up in a loving and safe church community, where family bonds have deepened because of traditions lovingly executed—traditions like the Fall Festival and the Advent Festival—is an absolute treasure. Kim wants to pass on these same meaningful experiences to young families and seeks to provide children the opportunity to explore their spirituality and faith together with their grownups.
Kim and her family love cooking, camping, and exploring the Pacific NW. Kim is mom to Zoe and Lucy, wife to Paul and the daily, great provider to two cats Mac and Tigerlily.
Leslie has been the office manager at St. Luke since 2006. She is a native Oregonian and grew up attending school in Oregon, Washington, Alaska and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Leslie is a graduate of the University of Oregon.
She enjoys assisting the parishioners, pastors, and other staff in helping make St. Luke a welcoming home for everyone.
Leslie enjoys being in the outdoors; particularly morning walks, long hikes, and the Oregon Coast.
She and her husband Michael have two grown sons who were raised in the youth programs at St. Luke.
Raingard Kuhse grew up in Berlin, Germany and finished her studies at an all-women’s college in Roanoke, VA. At Hollins University she graduated with a B.A. in Art History. After a decade working in the arts, she moved to Portland, OR and started a new career in Apparel Product Development. She then became a full-time mom to Keelin and Aven with the goal in mind to raise them bilingual. Through this she discovered her passion for languages. She is a board member at Portland Kinderschule (German immersion preschool) and a teacher at Sophie Scholl Schule these past couple of years. Teaching preschoolers and K-1 online has been an absolute delight.
Both her children were baptized at St. Luke, attended middle school ministries and S.L.Y. Her youngest is now attending middle school ministries to be confirmed next year. St. Luke has been a constant in their lives.
Raingard's family enjoys their weekly horseback riding, figure ice skating during the winter season and watching detective movies, such as Hercule Poirot.
Financial and Payroll Manager
The focus of Rich's work with St Luke Lutheran is to apply career and life experiences to help
facilitate the achievement of our church mission. Together we all share this world, not only for
the betterment of ourselves, but for service to our neighbors, our community, and those in
need. He's thankful for the opportunity to serve ---
After graduation from the UCLA Anderson School of Business Administration and Management,
his education as a CPA concluded at USC. As a career focus, he has been involved in providing
businesses with financial solutions: accounting and financial reporting targeted to operational
clarity - financial system design with implementation - audited certification of financial position
and internal controls - financial advisory services.
Financial reporting discussions with leaders of church sponsored programs are welcomed.
Programs need relevant financial content beneficial to the success of the mission. Church
resources require an accurate assessment of financial and operational needs for sustainability
and program viability. Periodic financial reporting is also helpful for re-evaluation and
adjustment of methods. Reports should be targeted to these purposes.
Helen and Rich share life with four adult children and nine grandchildren - the greatest blessing.
Rich and Helen are forever thankful for the opportunity to be a part of their remarkable
lives. When they need time away, they enjoy travel to visit family and friends. As a musician
(trumpet/flugel) in the local musical arts community, Rich participates in local events and
performances with community symphonies, symphonic wind-bands and wind, jazz, and brass
Virtual Worship Producer, Website Manager
Brandon has been a member at St. Luke for almost his entire life, attending Sunday School, Confirmation, and SLY before joining the staff as the church’s AV tech and website manager. He went to Portland Community College and Portland State University, graduating in 2018.
He’s worked in a number of fields throughout the years, from making ice cream to working retail on Black Friday to writing video game reviews and gameplay guides. Brandon is also a lifelong writer, with a particular interest in fantasy and science fiction.
When he’s not working for the church or writing that book he’s totally going to finish, Brandon enjoys spending time with friends and family, reading, playing video games, noodling on the piano and guitar, or just relaxing and watching TV. He and his girlfriend Celena love camping and being out in nature, and dream of embarking one day on a grand cross-country adventure.
Our Church Council
Watch how St. Luke continues their mission to Worship+Connect+Serve amidst the challenges of COVID.
View this video from our recent 70th anniversary.