Giving Thanks



Dear Servants,
By now most of you know that I have been nominated for bishop in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese. I will be one of two candidates on the slate for election at a special Diocesan Synod in Tallahassee, Saturday, May 14th. It was my wish to inform my parish family of this news prior to the public announcement. If any of you missed my announcement a few weeks ago or did not hear directly from me, please know that was my intention. My nomination has been received overwhelmingly positively by the parish, for which I am humbled and honored. Thank you all for your support and prayers for Jody and me as we walk through the next two months leading up to the election. For those unfamiliar with the process, once elected, there will be a period of transition from May 14th until August 27th when the new bishop will be consecrated.
Let me begin by saying that this is not a position I have sought out or campaigned for but rather something that Jody and I felt, after much prayer, I should be open to consider. I was nominated by several people in the diocese and following the advice of many trusted mentors, I allowed my name to go forward. Bishop Neil has been a wonderful bishop for our diocese and has lead us through the creation and growth to where we are today. Now as he plans to retire, it is important that his successor take up the baton so that we can build upon the work begun. Should God allow it, I would be honored and excited about the challenges and opportunities to work to build an even stronger diocese. If God chooses not to select me, I will continue to serve as faithfully as I can in this wonderful place. Servants has grown into a strong and healthy parish and Jody and I consider all of you our family. Many of you know that our former church community at All Souls Jacksonville was a similar community of love and support and we give great thanks to our awesome Lord for creating a similar community here at Servants.
You may be wondering, what would my election to bishop mean for Servants? In short, it would mean finding a new rector to carry on where I leave off. Later this week, a letter from Jose Boada on behalf of the Vestry will be sent giving you some basic information of what that would look like. I can tell you that if elected, Jody and I would continue to live in Gainesville. I can also tell you that the leadership team we have built at Servants will ensure ministry continues in the parish and throughout our city and county.
I want to make two announcements with regard to our leadership team which I feel certain will add to your assurance of good things to come. First, I am pleased to announce that Mother Susan Rhodes has agreed to become a part of our ministry staff. Mother Susan is a wonderful preacher and gifted pastor.  Susan+ was formerly rector of New Life Anglican Church, Lake Placid, Florida. This parish was originally a mission of Servants and so in some ways, Susan+ and her husband David, are coming home. They are also active in the healing ministry of the Anglican Church in North America through the Order of St. Luke’s. Susan+ will provide pastoral oversight to our prayer and healing ministry in the parish, as well as joining our preaching/celebrant rotation and assisting with pastoral care.
Second, I want to announce that I have asked Ramona Chance to be the senior warden for 2022. Ramona has been a leader in the parish for as many years as I have been in Gainesville and I consider her a trusted confidant. In the event of my election, Ramona has the leadership and administration skills to keep the vestry, staff, and congregation informed of progress towards the naming of the new rector.
I see both of these women as God’s provision for Servants during this time of discernment and transition, and I know you will rejoice with me in their willingness to serve. Please pray for them, the rest of the staff, and the vestry as together we lead into God’s future for the parish.
I have been overwhelmed with your love and support of my nomination and I appreciate all the prayers being lifted up for the election. In addition to your support of Jody and me, may I ask that you renew your commitment to Servants of Christ through both sacrificial service and generous giving? Should the Lord call me to become bishop, nothing would bless me more than to see Servants of Christ continue to thrive. I know it will through your support and encouragement.
May God continue to prepare our hearts through this Lenten season. 


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