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Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church
Grand Junction, Colorado

Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (AD 73)
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (AD 1922)
Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver (AD 1979)

METROPOLIS OF DENVER

The Reverend Protopresbyter Luke Uhl

The Reverend Protoprésbyter Luke Uhl was born in Dallas, Texas. As a child his family moved to Mexico City, Mexico where he grew up. After his primary education in Mexico, the family moved to Houston, Texas.

Following his graduation with honors from the University of Texas he served with distinction in the United States Navy. His shipboard assignments included two destroyers and two amphibious ships, as gunnery officer, navigator, chief engineer, and operations officer. He also graduated with a master’s degree from the United States Naval Postgraduate School.

After a decade on active duty, he continued to serve the United States Navy in a civilian capacity for an additional eleven years. His final assignment was as the Over the Horizon Targeting (OTHT) and Command, Control, Communications, Computers, and Intelligence (C4I) officer at the headquarters of the Commander in Chief, US Atlantic Fleet (CINCLANTFLT), Norfolk, Virginia. He is a certified SPAWAR OTHT engineer and was the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Fleet Representative to CINCLANTFLT.

Father Luke additional holds a degree with honors in theology from Saint Leo College, and a certificate in Orthodox Studies.

On October 19, 1976 Father Luke was ordained a deacon by His Excellency Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey at Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He also received his ordination to the holy priesthood from His Excellency Metropolitan Silas of New Jersey at Saint Nicholas Church in Virginia Beach on May 29, 1990.

His first assignment in the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese was as assistant to the pastor at Saint Nicholas Church in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

In September of 1993 Father Luke was assigned as the first Chancellor of the Greek Orthodox Diocese of Denver; in 2002 the Diocese became the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver. On January 6, 1994 Father Luke was raised to the office of Oikonomos by Bishop Isaiah of Denver at Saints Peter and Paul parish in Boulder, Colorado. On November 1, 1998 he was raised to the office of Protoprésbyter by Bishop Isaiah of Denver at at the Assumption of the Virgin Mary Cathedral in Denver, Colorado.

Father Luke also served as parochial administrator of Saint John the Baptist parish in Pueblo, Colorado, and of Saints Peter and Paul parish in Boulder, Colorado. In addition, he was the founding pastor of Archangel Michael parish in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

In addition to his responsibilities as Chancellor, Father Luke was appointed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the Endorsing Agent for priests seeking to serve as Chaplains in the United States Armed Forces and in the Veterans Administration.

While serving as chancellor of the of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Denver, Father Luke served Saint Nicholas parish in Grand Junction, Colorado as parochial administrator for over twenty years, from 1995 to 2015.

On November 1, 2015 he retired as Chancellor and accepted assignment as the full-time pastor of Saint Nicholas parish in Grand Junction, Colorado.

Father Luke is married to Presvytera Ruth (neé Mehan), also of Dallas, Texas. They are the parents of four sons, all of whom earned the rank of Eagle Scout and each of whom have each served in the United States Navy or in the United States Marine Corps. Father Luke and Presvytera also have two daughters in law and two grandsons.

Clergy Terms

Présbyter
A Présbyter is an ordained, non-monastic priest. A priest of the rank of Présbyter wears the kalimafhi (καλυμαύχι).

Sakellários
A Sakellários is an honorific title given to a non-monastic priest by a hierarch for years of dedicated service to the Church. A priest of the rank of Sakellários is given the privilege of wearing the epigonation. The term, Sakellários, derives from the Greek σακελλάριος, and historically indicated a priest responsible for sacred vessels, in other words, a sacristan.

Oikonomos or Ekonomos
An Oikonomos is an honorific title given to a non-monastic priest by a hierarch for years of faithful and accomplished service to the Church. A priest of the rank of Oikonomos is given the privilege of wearing the pectoral cross. The term, Oikonomos, derives from the Greek οἰκονόμος, and historically indicated a priest responsible for church finances.

Protoprésbyter
A Protoprésbyter is an honorific title given to a non-monastic priest by a hierarch to a priest for years of exceptional service to, and leadership in, the Church. A priest of the rank of Protoprésbyter is also given the privilege of wearing a pectoral cross. The term, Protoprésbyter, derives from the Greek “πρώτος” meaning “first,” and “πρεσβύτερος,” meaning “priest.” A priest elevated to the rank of Protoprésbyter will be styled the “Very Reverend Father [name].” The ecclesiastical rank of Protoprésbyter can roughly be equated to a Roman Catholic rank of a “married Monsignor.”

Pnevmatikós (Spiritual Father)
In some places, “Pnevmatikós” is the designation for a priest with the blessing to hear confession. As such, it is usually considered as is a rank, replacing Sakellários. In other places, a blessing is simply given to a Priest Presbyter (Priest) to be a Pnevmatikós, but without any relationship to rank. A priest of the rank of Pnevmatikós is given the privilege of wearing the epigonation, just as a Sakellários.

Hieromonk
A Hieromonk is a monastic (monk) who has been ordained as a Priest. A Hieromonk wears an epanokalimafhi.

Monastic Pnevmatikós
A Hieromonk may be given a blessing to hear confession. Typically not all Hieromonks do so, as this blessing is usually reserved for the Abbot of a monastery. A monastic Pnevmatikós also wears the epigonation

Archimandrite
An Archimandrite is an honorific title given to a monastic priest, a Hieromonk, by a hierarch to a priest for years of exceptional service to, and leadership in, monastic life. A priest of the rank of Archimandrite is also given the privilege of wearing a pectoral cross. The term, Archimandrite, historically indicated a Hieromonk that had charge over a large, important monastery. A Hieromonk elevated to the rank of Archimandrite will be styled the “Very Reverend Archimandrite [name].” The ecclesiastical rank of Protoprésbyter is equated to a Roman Catholic rank of Monsignor.

Presvytéra (or Presbytéra)
A Presvytéra (“Πρεσβυτέρα”) is the wife of a priest. In the Russian tradition a priest’s wife is called Mátushka (“little mother”) and the priest is often affectionately called “batushka” (“little father”).

Email: fr.luke@denver.goarch.org
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