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"All I Want for Christmas: The Gift of a New Understanding" - Sermon, December 10, 2017

Community UMC, Quincy “All I Want for Christmas: The Gift of a New Understanding” Pastor Andrew Davis December 10, 2017 Luke 1: 39-56
If it sounds like a broken record of what a week it’s been these days, that’s because it seems like each week has something exciting that’s taken place.  This last week, we had a couple great sections of Advent small group on Monday and Wednesday, then on Tuesday and Thursday, had the joy of welcoming many of our children here for Christmas pageant rehearsals, which will take place this next week as well on Tuesday and Thursday afternoon for next Sunday’s pageant.  I am always amazed at the level of energy kids bring, although I also tend to forget how much energy kids have.  Helps keep us on the young side too!!              As I think about the kids and the adults here in the church, this is a wonderful opportunity that we have before us in seeing more kids in our midst and an opportunity to be mentors and a positive role model.  Yeah, kids run around, mak…

"All I Want for Christmas: The Gift of Good News" - Sermon, December 3, 2017

Community UMC, Quincy “All I Want for Christmas: The Gift of Good News” December 3, 2017 Pastor Andrew Davis Isaiah 52: 1-12 Matthew 1: 18-25
What do You want for Christmas?  Whenever I am asked, I admit that it’s a tough question for me to answer, although ask any of the kids out here and we could get quite a list going.  As I get older, I realize that my wants and desires for Christmas become simpler: peace in our world; living in a world where truth and justice prevail; clean water, food for the hungry, homes for the homeless, services for mental health.  Okay, maybe not as simple as first thought, then again we can always have a grown-up Christmas list.  On the other hand, our wants can also be on the silly side, such as “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth,” or “I want a hippopotamus for Christmas…” It seems appropriate to ask what do you want for Christmas, as we begin the season of Advent, the four weeks leading up to Christmas.  Advent is typically a time of preparation, …

"Christ the King: Shepherd of the Saints" from "A Season of Saints" - Sermon, November 26, 2017

In some ways, I feel like I’m still quite full from Thanksgiving dinner, although I think it’s my soul that has been overflowing with thanks this past week.  It is full of thanks for being able to serve and live in a wonderful town like ours, surrounded by so much beauty; full of thanks for the Holy Spirit at work in our congregation with the new growth we’ve experienced this Fall (with people sick and traveling, this morning might not indicate it); and full of thanks for family and friends.  I hope that all of your souls are also filled with thanks in one way or another as well.  In addition, I do have to say that I’m thankful that today is not the first Sunday of Advent, which typically happens quite often the Sunday right after Thanksgiving.  I’m sure Alice and Charlotte can concur too, as that is among the music directors’ worst nightmare.              Today, we conclude our series, “A Season of Saints” while we also close out the liturgical year with Christ the King Sunday.  The …

November "Adventures" from "The Quincy Quill"

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small, All things wise and wonderful: the Lord God made them all (UMH 147)
What a beautiful Fall this has been here in Quincy!!  While the days have been on the warm-ish side, the beautiful colors around us have not disappointed.  While walking to the office from my house, I will often pause to admire the trees behind the courthouse, with their leaves turning orange and gold.  Just a few blocks away, I then see shades of red, as some of the trees look as if they are blazing.  It is a wonderful sight to behold and I can’t but help singing “all things bright and beautiful…”
Even amidst the beauty we have around us, my heart breaks for the people of Santa Rosa, the Napa and Sonoma area, Loma Rica, and everywhere where fire has carved a destructive path.  People have lost their homes and other materials, some have lost pets, and as of the writing of this article, over 50 have died.  My heart also breaks for mine and Pastor Ray’s clergy…

October "Adventures" from "The Quincy Quill"

While I began writing an article singing the praises of Fall, especially after celebrating the baptism of Anna Scovell and welcoming her into membership of the church, along with Gaye Porter restoring her membership on September 10, things took a whole different direction when our lives were shaken by the unexpected and sudden passing of Londa Lehman on September 16.  Londa’s passing has affected all of us and my heart especially breaks for Marilyn.  Londa was also an active member of our bell choir and her smile and presence are really going to be missed among our ringers.  Her presence will also be missed among the volunteers and the cats she cared for at PAWS.  Her loving spirit was everywhere and brightened all of our lives, especially the many children who had her and Marilyn’s classes for Kindergarten at Pioneer Elementary School.  Even in the relatively short time I’ve known her and Marilyn, I always enjoyed sitting together at the theater, or the delightful conversations we ha…

"Stories of the Saints" from the series, "A Season of Saints" - Sermon, November 12, 2017

Community UMC, Quincy “A Season of Saints: Stories of the Saints” Pastor Andrew Davis November 12, 2017 Joshua 24: 1-3a, 14-25
            During the holiday season, we are oftentimes inundated with commercials on TV, print, and radio about the latest and greatest new gifts and gadgets.  A few years ago while beginning winter break in seminary, one commercial I saw had me nearly in tears, as there are quite a few commercials around this time of year that really tug at the heartstrings (like the Santa balloon commercial during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade last year).  This particular commercial was for the iPhone, in which a teenage boy is recording moments throughout his family’s Christmas gathering and although it does reinforce the notion that young people are always glued to their phones, it ended up being poignant when the boy goes up to the TV and stops whatever was on TV much to everyone’s annoyance.  However, when a video montage of the family’s gathering set to the song, “Ha…