Rita Henault called as new rector of Nativity Episcopal

Tue, 02/27/2007 - 4:42pm
By: The Citizen

The Rev. Rita Henault has assumed duties as rector at Nativity Episcopal Church in Fayetteville following a call by the Vestry, or governing board, in December of 2006.

Henault previously served as associate rector at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Edmond, Okla. She began her ministry in Fayetteville on Feb. 1.

Henault replaces the Rev. Robert Hudak, rector at Nativity from 1998 until 2005, when he accepted a call to become rector of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Greenville, N.C.

“Reverend Henault will be a perfect fit for Nativity,” said Hudak when he learned of the choice. “They never needed any encouragement from me to be loving and accepting of everyone who walked in the door, and it is plain that they want to continue that tradition with the selection of Rev. Henault.”

Henault worked for 25 years as a registered nurse specializing in critical care before deciding that her second career would be as a priest in the Episcopal Church.

“Obviously, 25 years as a nurse taught me the overwhelming spiritual component of healing,” Henault said. “Taking this career path was the logical step. And telling everyone that they are God’s children and they are welcome in God’s house is my first message.”
Ben Terry, current chairman of the Nativity Vestry said, “Rita really impressed us in the selection process. She told us no one would ever be turned away from any church she led. This has been our theme from the beginning, so the decision to call her created a lot of smiling faces around here.”

Founded in 1990, Nativity Episcopal Church has approximately 200 members, and is located at 130 Antioch Road, two miles south of downtown Fayetteville. The church is part of the Diocese of Atlanta, which is comprised of all Episcopal churches in North Georgia.
Nationally, the Episcopal Church has been in the forefront of the “inclusive Christian theology” for several decades, and in 2006 was the first major religious denomination in the United States to elect a woman as its leader, current Presiding Bishop Katherine Jefferts-Schori.

Since its inception, Nativity parish has accepted new members regardless of prior affiliation, or social position.

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