The Vineyard — Forty Years Ago (August 1973)

An Excerpt from The Vineyard from August 1973
By Julius Ariail
Posted August 26, 2013

In August of 1973 our Senior Warden was David Sandbach (father of our current senior warden) and our rector was the Rev. Henry I. Louttit, Jr., who currently is enjoying living in Savannah as the (retired) Ninth Bishop of Georgia. Then, as now, Christ Church was in the midst of a clergy search — this time for an assistant to Fr. Louttit. In the rector’s Vineyard column for August, 1973, Fr. Louttit wrote about this search in words that continue to have significance for our life as a parish even today:

The Louttit Family

Your rector has assumed that the “grapevine” has kept you all informed on the status of our search for a second priest. We just have not found anyone yet. Some of the men we talked to did not feel our housing or stipend were adequate. A number do not wish to live in the “non-metropolitan” South. Others we felt could not fulfill our job description (which is basically “outreach” — requiring in our mind, an out-going person).

Now the Holy Spirit maybe [is] trying to get through to Henry Louttit. Maybe he is saying we don’t need a second priest — maybe Father Louttit’s pride or our competition with 1st Church or St. Thomas led us to develop this position. Maybe Henry Louttit is impossible to work with. Maybe the Holy Spirit is saying the time is wrong for us; or the “right” man is not available yet or patience Henry Louttit!!!

All speculation aside — we the members of Christ Church including Henry Louttit are being called to exercise our ministry more efficiently as a community. The great honor of the rector being a deputy to General Convention and bring on the Program and Budget Committees of that body means Christ Church is going to be without a priest during almost a month of the crucial fall period.

This means that more than ever the ministry of Christ Church is the ministry of its members. That is the way it is always supposed to be! And Christ Church has done it before, so we know we can do it. The welcoming of newcomers; the visiting of the sick and lonely; the teaching of the faith, the worship of God are every Christian’s business.

I, as rector, have to admit I assumed the new man would have some new ideas for our Sunday School and other activities. Well, we have to run as before on our ideas. I need your ideas about adult classes — children’s classes, parish activities. I need to know who really needs to see me — troubled, new in the community, ill. When I return from vacation, August 12th, we will have three weeks to plan the fall and divide responsibilities. Then we will have several weeks of September for a shakedown cruise. I know the Lord is with This people — and we will serve him acceptably in Valdosta.

Henry I. Louttit, Jr
August, 1973