On Aug. 2, the parishioners of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church on Goshen Road in Rincon, joined by the Episcopal Bishop of Georgia, the Right Rev. Henry I. Louttit, bid a tearful but joyous farewell to their interim vicar, the Rev. Dr. Ellen Richardson.
Dr. Richardson, a physician as well as an Episcopal priest, was appointed interim vicar at St. Luke’s by Bishop Louttit in August 2008. She and her husband Mark, a professor of English at Georgia Southern University, are leaving the area to accept a medical position in Virginia.
In a coffee hour immediately following the regularly-scheduled 9:30 a.m. worship service, parishioners extended greeting, bid farewell and thanked Rev. Dr. Richardson for the spiritual and organizational leadership, counsel and pastoral care she provided during her tenure at St. Luke’s. In response, Dr. Richardson, thanked the congregation for its support, love and acceptance of her as a newly-ordained priest.
Earlier, she was presented with numerous mementos from parish organizations and youth, a photograph album, memorializing many events during her tenure, including a blessing of the pets last October. Senior Warden Bob Farrell, on behalf of the entire congregation, presented Dr. Richardson with an engraved symbolic key to St. Luke’s, noting that she will always have a place in the hearts of St. Luke’s and will always be a part of the St. Luke’s faith community.
Also in attendance at the farewell service were the Rev. Liam G. Collins and his wife, Mary. Father Collins will be installed as St. Luke’s third vicar by Bishop Louttit in a celebration of a new ministry at St. Luke’s on Sept. 6.
In a touch of irony, that farewell Sunday also marked the Richardsons’ 28th wedding anniversary.