Investiture and Seating of
the Rt. Rev. Douglas F. Scharf,
Sixth Bishop of the
Diocese of Southwest Florida
God has a plan for all things and on Saturday, January 7, the two-year search process for the sixth bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida came to a close at the Investiture and Seating of Bishop Douglas F. Scharf. Raising up his croiser, the Rt. Rev. Douglas Scharf knocked on the doors at The Cathedral Church of St. Peter saying, "Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them and give thanks to the Lord."
Greeted by Bishop Dabney Smith, Dean Stephen Morris, and President of the Standing Committee, the Rev. Carla McCook, McCook replied to Scharf, "The Lord prosper you; we wish you well in the Name of the Lord."
Clergy and lay people of the diocese filled The Cathedral for the service. Originally scheduled for Saturday, December 10, following the 54th Annual Convention, the Investiture was moved due to illness. The Rt. Rev. W. Michie "Mike" Klusmeyer, Canon to the Presiding Bishop for Ministry within The Episcopal Church presided over the investiture service.
During his homily, Scharf said, "This morning, as we begin this new chapter together, let’s talk for a moment about what it means to rediscover our WHY. I think the first thing we need to do is look to the example of Jesus himself. Because Jesus was always clear and consistent about his WHY. He remained persistently focused on his mission. He was abundantly clear about his purpose. Jesus said, 'I have come that you might have life and have it more abundantly. I have come that you may know the truth and the truth will set you free. I have come and said these things that my joy might be in you and that your joy might be complete. I have come that you might believe in me and the One who sent me. This is WHY I have come!'
... My friends, WHAT Jesus did, WHO he was, and HOW he lived were the fulfillment of WHY he came! It was the disciples, of course, who got confused. At times it was their fear and anxiety. At times, it was their pride and arrogance, but it was disciples who became overly focused on questions like - What’s the plan? Who’s going to do it? How are we going to pay for it? Yet over and over again, Jesus would lovingly, but firmly, refocus their attention on WHY he came. And so, if we are going to rediscover our WHY, we need to first and foremost look to the example of Jesus.”
The investiture service included the passing of the diocesan crosier and the official seating of the bishop, installing Scharf as the Sixth Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida.
See the Investiture Photo Gallery Here
Watch Highlights from the Investiture and Bishop Scharf's Homily Here
Courtesy of the Bridges E-Newsletter, January 11, 2023