Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Townspeople

December 20, 2012

Interim minister at Christ Church to help congregation look forward

Before she entered the ministry, the new interim leader of Christ Church lead an elementary school classroom as a teacher. The Rev. Dr. Gale Davis also worked as a retail buyer before deciding to enter the clergy.

Now, as she steps in to guide the Central Street church, she says she finds it appropriate that she is beginning her interim ministry during Advent.

“I think of Advent as a time of new beginnings, hope and looking forward,” she said as she prepares to lead the church in a search for a new senior pastor. “This is a great parish with great people who are faithful, care for each other and are present for each other.”

The Rev. Jeffrey Gill left on Dec. 1 for Seattle, Wash., after 10 years in Andover. As the congregation looks for its next pastor, Davis, 66, said her job is to help parishioners explore who they are, why they do the things they do and what the future holds. She sees herself in a role similar to John the Baptist.

“It’s not my job to tell them whom to chose. I feel my job is to point them to who’s coming. I’ll help them look beyond themselves, let them see a better sense of who they are and hopefully help them chose the person whose right for them,” she said.

Before entering the ministry, she was a retail buyer and an elementary school teacher. All the while she was active in the church as a member of the vestry, a lay preacher, Eucharistic minister and Sunday school teacher. She also worked with battered woman, rape victims and children.

“I procrastinated a lot about me going to seminary. I was contributing a lot as a lay woman, but there’s an inner nagging you can’t ignore any longer,” she said.

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