New pastor at Good Shepherd in Fox Chapel 'enthusiastic, approachable'
The Rev. David Rike was selected as the new pastor at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Fox Chapel for his approachable personality and enthusiasm, members of the search committee said.
“He wants to listen to our needs and help us grow,” said Amy McIvor, committee head.
Rike joined the congregation this summer but was formally installed during a celebration on Sept. 23, at the Powers Run Road church.
The pastor spent the initial years of his career at congregations in York and Lancaster counties in Central Pennsylvania before serving three years in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.
“My goal is to nurture this congregation by proclaiming what God has graciously done for us through Jesus Christ, repeatedly directing the congregation back to this gift,” Rike said. “And, discerning with the congregation how this gift calls us, along with the whole world, to lives of gratitude.”
Good Shepherd, Rike said, “is an amazingly gifted congregation.”
There is a thriving preschool on campus, Sunday school for youth and Bible study for high schoolers and adults. It hosts music ministry, bell choir and special concerts including the upcoming Oct. 18 show by popular blues musician Billy Price.
Outreach opportunities also are abundant at the church. Earlier this year, participants at vacation Bible school packed shoeboxes full of healthcare essentials for St. Vincent de Paul, and this month, parishioners are asked to decorate a tree in the church narthex with gloves, hats and scarves for residents of the Veteran’s Home and Shepherd’s Heart Fellowship.
“The congregation is comprised of people with tremendous skills who are willing to work selflessly for the sake of the Gospel,” Rike said. “They strive to live in faithful obedience to Jesus Christ.”
Rike, a native of Ohio, earned a music degree from Bowling Green State University before attending the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia. He said Pittsburgh is a happy medium between his hometown of Dayton and his wife’s family in Carlisle, Pa.
Rike is grateful to the friend who advised him of the opening at Good Shepherd and suggested he would be a good fit.
“Every day, I wake up with overflowing gratefulness and astonishment that I may do this work here,” he said.
The search committee, too, is happy about its choice, McIvor said.
“Pastor Rike is enthusiastic and already has a rapport with the youth,” she said. “I think he is going to have great ideas on how to help us grow and draw young families.”
Services at Good Shepherd are at 8 and 10:30 a.m. Sundays. For more, visit gslcfc.org
Tawnya Panizzi is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Tawnya at 412-782-2121, ext. 2, firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter @tawnyatrib.