“Coming to St. Mark has been a real delight,” said the Rev. Dr. Mark Davis, the new Pastor/Head of Staff at St. Mark Presbyterian Church. “I am excited and humbled. My family loves it here and the move has been very good for us. Every time I discover something more about the church, it affirms that God was really leading us here and I’m in the right place. Also, it was six degrees below zero this morning in Iowa!”
“I left a very good church in Iowa where I’d been serving for 18 years,” he continued. “We developed a lot of creative approaches to worship and faith formation. I was ready for a new call.”
Pastor Davis and his wife Chris have four children. He preached his first sermon at St. Mark on January 19.
“Our Pastor Nominating Committee conducted a year-long pastoral search, which may seem lengthy,” explained Deborah Meyhew, committee chair and church elder at St. Mark. “But it’s a thoughtful, detailed process that provides time to find the right person. Our congregation is thrilled to welcome Pastor Davis and his family.”
“I am delighted with the degree of maturity and joy in this congregation,” Pastor Davis said. “I found a congregation that was marvelously led for many years and I am stepping in to a fruitful legacy. They are a well-grounded congregation and I’m excited about being part of this journey with them. I love the way these folks think about themselves and their position in the Orange County community. The commitment at St. Mark to social justice, to openness and inclusivity, and to environmental advocacy is an incredible example of what God has called the church to be in the 21st century.”
Pastor Davis also appreciates the congregation’s commitment to inquiry and living with the questions of life.
“We don’t stress about having all the answers,” Pastor Davis said. “The minute we start nailing down pat answers in sentences with periods at the end, we start to miss out
on the richness of how God is made known to us through the Scriptures and through the life of the church. We agree that God is real, God is still among us, God is calling us, God is graceful and so forth, and that underlying sense of trust that we have enables us to live with hard-to-answer questions. It is incredibly important for the authentic Christian life.”
“God is with us even when some of our long held beliefs are thrown into question by a crisis,” he continued. “The point is, God is faithful, and that is why we live in trust. Our solid ground lies in God rather than what we say about God. In life and in death, we belong to God; those are the great bookends of life.”
Pastor Davis holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Theology, Ethics and Culture from the University of Iowa and a Doctor of Ministry from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Virginia. He is the author of two books: “Talking about Evangelism,” and “Left Behind and Loving It.” His blog (leftbehindandlovingit.blogspot.com) is a weekly translation of the scriptural text for the upcoming Sunday and receives about 1800 readers a week, most of whom are pastors.
“With grace comes a lot of responsibility towards our neighbors and I don’t have to convert this congregation to that position,” Pastor Davis said. “We’re all on the same side. My role here is to encourage and coach, and lead a very willing body of faithful people in continuing the journey that they have begun.”
For further information, see stmarkpresbyterian.org.
Cindy can be reached at [email protected]