“They also preached” – Assistants and Associates St. George’s Part 3- Rev. Jack Sutor 1990-1993

Left to Right – Bishop F. Clayton Matthews (Suffragan Bishop Va. 1994-1998), the Rev. Jack Sutor, Elizabeth Roberson, the Rev. Charles Sydnor, Mary Faulkner

The process to replace Judith Fleming began in late 1989. A review of the year by George Van Sant was candid. “We have not had the benefit of a curate this year and that hurt a number of programs , as well as placing too large a burden on our rector . We are planning to have a curate for all of 1990.”

In January, 1990, Rev. Charles Sydnor reported to the Vestry that a candidate had received a call from her Bishop to remain at her post.

The personnel committee now under Fielding Lewis was working on a replacement for Judy Fleming in February, 1990 and had interviewed two people as well as finalized the job description. The timetable was affected by the budget which allowed for the employment of an assistant not before April 1, 1990.

In March, 1990 the Rev. Jack Sutor met with the Vestry . The Vestry was satisfied with the choice and Charles would seek permission from the Bishop. He began May 30, 1990 and was greeted at the Parish Picnic following the Pentecost service. He became a deacon in June, 1990 and was ordained to the priesthood at St. George’s in Feb. 1991.

Suter was still in seminary and was scheduled to be ordained to the deaconate in June, 1990. Sutor was originally a lawyer with a degree from the University of Richmond, 1978. He served as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for Loudoun County from 1980-87 and then was in private practice 1978-1980. He brought his Pat and a elementary age son, Matt.

As with Judith Fleming his ministry began in Christian education. In June, 1990, he worked with the Education Commission on planning for 1991 and then a 5 year plan. He provided one of the five talks on Evangelism – “Evangelism As Being the Good News” during June. This was part of the St. George’s mandate as part of the “Decade of Evangelism. The decade of the 1990s was declared the Decade of Evangelism by resolution of the Lambeth Conference of 1988. It called the provinces and dioceses of the Anglican Communion, in cooperation with other Christians, to make this a time of “renewed emphasis on making Christ known to the people of his world.” As Herb Miller wrote “Evangelism is not the only important work of the church but is the only work upon other work depends.”

During the summer he worked with the docent program under Marge Arnold. His emphasis was on having warm and friendly guides who would convey St. George’s story.

In the new program year in October, 1990, he also functioned as clergy resource person to the Evangelism, Faith and Friendship Commission. They worked on an oyster roast which was part of the newcomer reception . They were searching for other ideas such as a spring prayer vigil and a “homecoming.”

He worked with the Lifetext adult educational program during the program year. This class studied the lectionary for that Sunday to grapple with the issues presented using a discovery approach.

He was also clergy resource person to the Service Commission which was a predecessor to the Outreach Commission, particularly in their work with the Thurman Brisben Shelter for the Homeless. He contributed an article to the newsletter in Feb. 1991 for the work with the shelter in Jan. He praised the volunteers for both their efficiency and friendliness, even when the beds were filled and they were forced to lodge people elsewhere. He concluded with this prayer – “May God bless and keep us all as we strive to follow Christ in a troubeld world”

By July, 1991, he also was working with Capital Planning on the “Historic Structure Report” which was a predecessor to the AIM 2000 work. This was planned by Sub Committee on Capital Planning and Historic Preservation.

By the program year 1991, he was taking up the work of the Youth Commission over potential projects for the youth group. One such project was reviewing a “share of interest” donation at the Wilderness campground. Other projects included a Halloween party for the younger children , ushering at an future AIDs service and serving refreshments and potential visit with another church. He also taught Adult Education in the fall of 1991 contributing “Marriage – The First Ten Years” as well as worked with Charles Sydnor on newcomer education and in Nov, 1991, “Questions and Answers concerning the Church’s position on important moral issues in our society”. In 1992, he was working with Bryn Winn, leading toward establishing a Youth Commission. The Vestry approved a mission statement to strengthen the purpose of the youth and guide their objectives and the creation of the Youth Council.

In late 1991 and early 1992, cuts to the upcoming budget were a potential threat. One proposal the Vestry considered (“Proposal B”) would only fund the assistant’s position through August 1992 as well as the Director of Music full time through April and part time (1/3 time) after that. Possible staff cuts were presented to the 1992 Congregational Meeting. The report said $288,546 was the fully funded budget based on projected expenditures. However, a conservative budget based on pledge and other income would be $249,800. The difference was $39,000. Since the meeting $16,000 in additional cash donation were received as well s $5,000 in pledges. Thus the two position, the Assistant Rector and Director of Music positions were considered secure through 1992.

During 1992, he coordinated the three-track program of adult education ad well as serving as a coordinator with five others for the high school. In May, 1992 he was working with the Service Commission on a locally product tract rack. Several booklets were expected to be completed in the next few months. Also, in May, along with Fielding and Mary Ann Lewis and Jill Jacobsen they transported 27 youth to Shrine Mont for the Region I youth retreat.

In June, 1992, the Vestry confronted a letter written by Sutor concerning the low level of activity among several commissions. At that time the commission system was 3 years old so that fine tuning may have been necessary. Vestry suggestions included better coordination of commissions, more active recruiting of commission members and better communication within the parish about the work of commissions. Sutor said that the problem with commissions are symptomatic of parish life. The core group of active parishioners is very small . They planned a July congregational dinner to discuss these issues. Sydnor had implemented a Program Council idea in 1990 to link the commissions.

Jack Sutor decided to move on in 1993. Before he did he left a gift in the graveyard, the hybrid climbing rose bushes. By name they are “Climbing First Prize”, pink bloomer and “Climbing Golden Showers”, a yellow bloomer.

His last Sunday was February 14 and he was moving to a church in Martinsburg, W.Va.Sutor went on to work with the Bloomfield Foundation in the Diocese. He eventually retired from the ministry in 2015 and had been Priest in Charge and then Rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Chuch in Hanover Courthouse beginning in Palm Sunday, 2004 until his retirement in January, 2015. The 221st Diocesan Council recognized Sutor for his achievements – “Whereas, the Rev. Jack Sutor was a compelling preacher as well as a kind and compassionate pastor to all the generations at St. Paul’s but especially to the children of St. Paul’s, bringing together people of all ages in worship and empowering the laity for ministry.”