ANDOVER — The Rev. Dr. Gale Davis finds it appropriate that she is beginning her interim ministry at Christ Church 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. The Rev. Jeffrey Gill left on Dec. 1 for Seattle, Wash., after 10 years in Andover.
“This is a great parish with great people who are faithful, care for each other and are present for each other,” said Davis, 66.
As the congregation looks for a pastor, Davis 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 as 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 teaching Sunday school. 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.
She was born and raised in Pasadena, Calif., the oldest of six children. She has a degree in human relations and organization from the University of San Francisco and a master of divinity degree from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. She was a member of the first doctoral class at Seabury Western Seminary where she received a doctorate in congregational development.