2000-present, "St. Luke's on the Hill"
As St. Luke's entered the first decade of the second millennium, little did the parish know the extent of the changes that would occur. St. Luke's would continue its drop in attendance until it reached a core of about 15 families.
In December 2000 Fr. Roger Bower came to St. Luke's. The condition of the Stone Church structure, declining for many years due to lack of funding, finally reached a critical phase for both the interior and exterior. In 2001 R. Bower and the Vestry hired an engineer to assess the stability of the structure. The report outlined a number of major and costly improvements that would have to be made to stabilize the building. In May 2002 the Vestry decided it was necessary to move services from the "unstable" church to another site and initiated discussions on the demolition of the stone church. The parishioners met first at a firehouse, then at the area community center and the rectory and finally at the local Catholic church until October 2008.
The Vestry voted in August 2001 to initiate a search for land to build a new church based on the need for handicap accessibility, parking, energy efficiency and reduced maintenance. A Futures Committee was formed to search for a site for a new parish home. Fr. Bower left St. Luke's for a parish in California on February 16, 2003. After Rev. Bower resigned, some in the parish suggested we dissolve the parish and attend other churches in the area. The Vestry decided that was not an option; they believed God had a purpose for St. Luke's and we had an obligation to those who had worked so faithfully to keep the parish functioning from 1830 until the present. They believed that through faith and prayer St. Luke's would continue and God would provide. The diocese agreed and Fr. Fredric Leach came to the parish in October 2003. After touring the church, Fr. Leach contacted a second engineer who specialized in gothic structures. This engineer also found the church to be in need of repair but said the structure was sound and it did not need to be demolished. The Vestry approved the limited repair of the stone church's exterior for safety and portions of the roof to prevent further deterioration and began an effort to sell the structure to help fund a new smaller church building. After years of effort to sell the stone church, it as finally sold to the adjacent former school building and is now being used as an arts center. The Stone Church was deconsecrated and secularized by Bishop William Love with Fr. Leach, the two wardens and a parishioner present on August 7, 2007, in a somber service far different from its consecration over 100 years earlier.
An 8.8 acre parcel was purchased in June 2005 on McBride Road in Halfmoon. A plan was developed that would include a church, a parish hall and a rectory; excavation began in 2006. The design of the parish hall included a large multi-purpose room that would serve as a chapel until the church could be built. The construction of the parish hall began in June 2007, after the sale of the stone church and some property left to St. Luke's many years ago.
The first service was conducted on July 25, 2008 before the building was complete. Approval was granted by the town for the funeral services of Charles D'Avignon, life long parishioner, treasurer for many years and an active member of the vestry. The official opening was October 19th, 2008 celebrating the feast of St. Luke (October 18th). Bishop Love consecrated the chapel on November 30th, 2008.
St. Luke's is growing again. Fr. John Hopkins was hired in December 2009 to assist Fr. Leach. As we look to the future
we believe our steadfast faith in God's providence will result in continuing growth and we will be able to report, as
reported in the 1930's, that "the parish has steadily grown in membership and it's influence for good in the community".
Father Hopkins retired in June of 2014.
Father David Haig, started as our 'Long Term Supply' priest, and then was selected by our Vestry as our rector, and will be institued on January 6th, 2016 by Bishop William H. Love as rector of St. Luke's on the Hill. We look forward to our future with Father Haig as we go forward with all of our missions.
Rev. William Grey (1999-2000, interim),
Rev. Roger Bower (2000-2003),
Rev. Fredric Leach (2003-2011),
Rev. John Hopkins (2011-2014),
Rev. Dave Haig (July, 2014 - present)