April 21, 2022
We've received quite a few questions since Fr. Doug's big news. Here are some answers to those most frequently asked.
As you know, our Rector, Fr. Doug Scharf, has been elected to serve as Bishop Coadjutor in the Diocese of Southwest Florida. We are all very proud of Fr. Doug and excited for him and his family as they enter this next phase of their ministry. However, this will also mark the beginning of an important time of transition for Good Shepherd.
When is Fr. Doug’s last Sunday?
Fr. Doug’s last Sunday will be May 22. He will be the Celebrant and Preacher during both the morning worship services on that Sunday, and a reception will be held in the courtyard following both services.
What will happen after Fr. Doug leaves?
After Fr. Doug’s last Sunday, Good Shepherd will quickly begin the formal search process for a new Rector, which will commence with the selection of an official Search Committee. During the first phase of the search process, you will be invited to participate in a survey that will help us determine the current needs of our congregation as well as our future hopes and dreams.
Will the Bishop appoint an Interim Rector?
Based on the survey results, the bishop and his staff will work with the vestry to determine the most effective and efficient way forward, including whether or not to appoint a formal Interim Rector.
Will Fr. Derek be able to stay after Fr. Doug leaves?
Yes. Fr. Derek and the current members of the staff will remain during the transition. Once a new Rector is called, he or she will have oversight over and management of the staff.
How long before a new Rector is called?
There are many variables that determine the length of a search process for a new Rector. However, given the overall health and stability of Good Shepherd, it is very possible that this particular search could be completed in 9-12 months.
What can I do to help during this time of transition?
The most important thing you can do is to pray for our vestry, staff, and volunteers during this time of change. It is also important that you continue to remain faithful in Sunday worship attendance, ministry participation, and financial support. The ministry of Good Shepherd is strong, and we will continue to live into our mission “to be a beacon of faith, hope, and love” in our community.
Will there be a send-off for Fr. Doug as he embarks on his new calling?
Yes! Good Shepherd will hold a courtyard reception on his final day of preaching and celebrating the Eucharist -- Sunday, May 22. At that time we will present him with a purse for items he will need in his new role, such as vestments. If you wish to contribute to this collection, we will open a link on our giving page for that purpose on Sunday, April 24, or you may send a check to the office. If you would like to help with the reception, please contact Merike or Jo.
As more information becomes available we will send it out to you and post it on our website. Please continue to keep Fr. Doug and his family in your prayers during this time of transition. And let's be there for each other, our loving church family, throughout the process.
April 2, 2022
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am writing to inform you that the clergy and lay delegates of the Diocese of Southwest Florida gathered for their Electing Convention today and have selected me to serve as their Sixth Bishop.
The last several months have been an intense time of prayer and discernment, and I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement that I have received from so many of you here at Good Shepherd. I know that this announcement will inevitably cause some sadness and anxiety as we enter into this time of change and transition; however, I also know that Good Shepherd is a healthy, resilient community that is deeply rooted in God’s love and grace. Without a doubt, we will continue to walk by faith and to follow the leading of God’s Spirit.
Understandably, there will be many questions regarding the timeline for the upcoming transition. The vestry and I will be meeting tomorrow after the 10:00 AM service to pray together and to discuss the initial steps in the transition process. We will be providing regular updates as we move forward together. Please know that I love you all and I am holding each of you my prayers during this time of change.
In Christ’s Love,
Fr. Doug has been there for many of us over his tenure at Good Shepherd. As he begins a new phase of his career, he will require vestments and other elements needed for ministry in his role as bishop. If you wish to participate in this special collection that will be presented to him on May 22, visit the link below.