Douglas Scharf consecrated Coadjutor Bishop of Southwest Florida – Episcopal News Service

The Rt. Rev. Douglas Scharf is joined by his family during his ordination and consecration as Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida on September 24, 2022 in Sarasota. Photo source: Diocese of Southwest Florida

[Diocese of Southwest Florida] The Rt. Rev. Douglas F. Scharf was ordained and consecrated Coadjutor Bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida on Saturday, September 24 at Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota. Scharf will work alongside the Rt. Rev. Dabney T. Smith, fifth bishop of the Diocese of Southwest Florida, until his retirement in December 2022. Smith has led the diocese since January 2007.

Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry was the chief consecrator. Joining Curry as co-consecrators were Smith; the Rt. Rev. Peter D. Eaton, Bishop of Southeast Florida; the Rt. Rev. Griselda Delgado del Carpio, Bishop of Cuba; the Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher, Suffragan Bishop of Texas; the Rt. Rev. Brian R. Seage, Bishop of Mississippi; and Rev. Robert G. Schaefer, ELCA Bishop of the Florida-Bahamas Synod (resigned) for the traditional laying on of hands to consecrate the new bishop.

Reverend Lloyd Alexander Lewis Jr., professor emeritus of the New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, preached the sermon. Lewis is a longtime mentor and friend of Scharf.

“Be our bishop, but have a servant’s heart, and we will pray for you that you may glorify the living God as Jesus glorified his Father,” Lewis said. “We pray that you will find the strength to guard the flock God has entrusted to you with a long and fruitful ministry, and we pray that the Spirit who urges the people of God on this mission, a Spirit whom we call upon as we are baptized, be all the more awake in us by your presence and by your ministry among us.

Nineteen bishops were present, including the Rt. Rev. Teleforo Issac, who confirmed Scharf nearly 30 years ago. The service included a festive procession of diocesan and ecumenical officials, clergy and liturgical ministers and featured singers from 10 choirs across the diocese accompanied by organ, brass and special communion music. Scharf’s wife, Shannon, also sang during Communion with a guitar and piano ensemble for over 1,700 congregants.

At his dedication, Scharf said, “One thing that is close to my heart as we gather here in this place is that we come together with great joy and celebration as all people of God, but we come together first as disciples of Jesus. We come together as those who believe that the healing and reconciling love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ truly has the power to transform our lives and transform this world.

Full service is available to see here.