ZimmermanFrom the Reverend Doug Remer:  I am very happy to announce the appointment of the Reverend Douglas L. Zimmerman as our new Associate Rector for Pastoral Ministries, effective March 1st. Before I tell you about Fr. Zimmerman, however, let me tell you how his appointment came about.

If you were in church this past Sunday, you heard in Fr. Hehr’s farewell sermon the story of how our rector emeritus, Fr. John Peterson, was present at the Randy’s final service as Dean of St. Peter’s Cathedral in November of 2002 and how, the very next week, Randy called me in response to my request to the Bishop to help me find an interim Associate Rector to help with pastoral care as I began my own ministry here as your Rector. Randy’s “interim” appointment lasted, of course, for the past ten years.

But the coincidences—which I am convinced are really God’s way of making us pay attention to his presence in our lives—continue. When Fr. Hehr was considering accepting the call to the Church of the Holy Trinity in Clearwater last month, he decided to telephone some of the clergy who have been associated with that parish. One of them was Fr. Zimmerman who, during their conversation, told Randy that he was interested in . . . drum roll, please . . . finding a position on a large parish staff with primary responsibility for pastoral care. He had decided that pastoral care was his passion in ministry and wanted to be free to engage as fully as possible in that kind of work. And, as Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.”

Fr. Zimmerman comes to us from St. Wilfred’s Church in Sarasota, where he has served as Rector for the past five years. Prior to that, he served as Rector of St. Mary’s Church in Dade City, as Assistant Rector at Holy Trinity Church in Clearwater, and as youth minister in St. Thomas Church in Coral Gables. Ordained to the priesthood in 1999, Doug previously received his M.Div. degree from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1998 and his Bachelor’s degree in political science from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. Doug has been active in diocesan affairs during his ordained ministry, having served as a Deputy to General Convention as a member of both the Standing Committee and Diocesan Council, and as a Cursillo leader.

Doug and his wife, Tamara, were married in 1999 in the American Cathedral in Paris, where they had met while Doug was serving as the Pastoral Assistant there and Tamara was working as a nanny and studying French at the Sorbonne. A native of the United Kingdom, Tamara also studied early childhood education in London for two years, and earned a Bachelor’s degree with honors in art history at Oxford Brooks University. Since moving to the United States, she has taught sacred studies at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Coconut Grove, has served as Youth Minister at St. Thomas’ Church in Coral Gables, Holy Trinity Cathedral in Miami, and Holy Trinity Church in Clearwater. She has also been involved in Habitat for Humanity, and is currently a health coach for Take Shape for Life. Tamara and Doug have four children, Andrew, 11; Anna, 9; Jonathan, 7; and Caroline, almost 2. While Doug will begin work here on March 1st, the timing of the family’s move to Tampa will be contingent upon the sale of their home in Sarasota.

Fr. Zimmerman’s first Sunday with us will be March 3rd, at which time he will preach at all three services. We will also welcome him and his family with a reception at 10:15 that morning in Rudisill Parish Hall. Do plan to join us. For those of you who would like to drop Fr. Zimmerman a note of welcome, his e-mail address is frdougz@comcast.net.