A Very Mary Christmas

There is nothing quite like Christmas Eve. It is one of my favorite days of the year. I love gathering with family, eating some of my favorite foods, and anticipating Christmas Day.

One of my favorite traditions is Christmas Eve Worship at Christ Church. I love gathering with my church family. I love seeing all of the little ones either dressed up in their Christmas best or dressed down in their Christmas jammies. I love the still moment when we sing Silent Night and put the most important holiday in perspective.

This year I am asking two things of you. The first is that you make a commitment to attend one of our three Christmas Eve worship experiences. The worship services will be at 4:30 PM, 6:00 PM, and 7:30 PM. Our 4:30 PM experience will be our traditional Candlelight Christmas Eve worship. Our 6:00 PM and 7:30 PM experiences will have our Modern expression with some expected Christmas Eve touches mixed in. All three experiences will include the final message from our "A Very Mary Christmas" advent sermon series.

My second request is that you bring someone with you. Bring your family, bring your friends, bring your coworkers, bring your neighbors. Invite them to our Advent series and/or Christmas Eve. If you are reading the article, I assume that you already love Christ Church.

Tell your loved ones about us. They will love Christ Church too! I know inviting people can be scary but Christmas is a time when they are most likely to come!

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A New Perspective

My family recently enjoyed a great vacation to Universal Studios in Orlando. It was our first time visiting this amusement park. One of the main reasons we went was the Harry Potter themed areas. These areas of the parks are designed to whisk you away into the world of wizardry. If you have read the books or seen the movies, you do feel like you have entered the magical land of Harry Potter.

My favorite ride in this area was Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey. The ride is designed to take you on a flying adventure with Harry where you almost feel like you are following him on a flying broomstick. I am sure many people go through the ride feeling as if they did have an adventure with Harry Potter himself.

The first time through the ride I entered that experience as the ride was intended. However, the second time through I started looking around at various sites. I looked behind our ride and saw the robotic cart and arm that moves you along the journey. I looked above and below our focal point to see the mechanical arms moving characters. I was trying to see behind the scenes to what allowed us to have this amazing adventure. I also later watched some videos on YouTube to see more of the behind the scenes.

It is amazing how different things can look depending on the various perspectives you look from. Just enjoying the ride gives you the experience of flying through the air with Harry Potter. Looking behind the scenes I was amazed at the technology designed to create the feeling of this experience.

I tend to approach Christmas looking for a different perspective. Christmas can seem very routine as we look at the same passages year after year about the birth of Jesus. This year we will prepare for Christmas by connecting with the perspective of the woman who brought us the gift of Jesus, Mary, his mother. We will look at a few passages that share with us how Mary saw her son. We will move backwards from Mary after the resurrection, to the crucifixion, to Jesus’ ministry and childhood and wrap up the series on Christmas Eve with the birth of her baby boy.

This Christmas season, we will be blessed as we take a varied view of Christmas through the eyes of the woman who helped give us this great and blessed gift. Please join us each Sunday during the Christmas season for a Very Mary Christmas.

Pastor James

What is the Security Committee?

The Security Committee is a sub-committee of Christ Church’s Trustees formed with the goal of ensuring Christ Church is a safe and welcoming place for our church family, our guests, our children, our youth and our staff. We’re a brand new committee formed after incidents that have taken place around the country in churches. We wanted to be a proactive church and make sure that nothing like that had the opportunity to happen here. While we know it’s not possible to prevent every single thing, we know we can take steps to make those things harder to happen.

The trustees wanted to make sure we were representing the teams that would be most impacted by any changes made. So, when they formed the security committee, they wisely structured it to include two trustees, two people from the hospitality team, a local police officer and two staff members —all key roles for our Sunday morning services.

The Davenport Police Department was able to come to the church and walk-through the building and the exterior property. They gave us many ideas of things we could do to make our church both more welcoming and more safe. The two officers started off our walk-through by telling us that we are leaps and bounds ahead of other churches in the security and safety area. A big part of that is due to the work of our current and previous Trustees, our custodian and our business administrator. All of them have worked really hard to do what they can to contribute to this cause.

During the walk-through, the two officers shared with us little things we could do and big things that we should consider doing on the horizon. Some of the little things were making sure doors to interior rooms were locked during the week when they’re not in use. Bigger things include figuring out ways to rapidly communicate from one end of the building to the other.

The security committee is taking each item on the officer’s list seriously and evaluating how each action item should be done. We’ve already tackled some pretty cool projects like updating our nametags (we’ve gotten great feedback on the new nametags—people love how easy they are to read), locking the east (office) entrance on Sunday mornings, pricing out better signs for the church, and addressing communication within the church.

Since the security committee doesn’t have a formal budget, we are starting with some of the low– or no-cost options to tackle first. But, we did submit two requests to the permanent endowment committee during their grant application period and are so excited that we were awarded grants to improve our signage and invest in two-way radios for our children’s ministry and some hospitality roles.

We are so excited that the signage will be worked on during October-December—so keep an eye out for updated signs! And, the children’s ministry will begin training on the high-power business two-way radios (we’ve been calling them walkie-talkies) during October. Those two changes mean guests and parishioners will be able to find their way around our church a little easier and our children’s ministry will be able to communicate.

If you have questions about the security committee, please don’t hesitate to contact the church office.

My Family

This month of Kid Start programming has been centered around Jesus’ family. We learned about Jesus’ birth, His parents, God’s plan for Jesus, Jesus’ disciples, and the role of kids in Jesus’ life. One activity during this month was a family portrait. It was only fair that if kids had to draw their families, I had to also. I personally am not the best artist, so stick figures it was. (Sorry Mom, you look way better in person!)

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The little ones picked all of the hair colors, eye colors, and shirt colors. The design options were endless. It was so sweet watching the little ones’ thoughts run onto the paper. It was apparent several kids were really excited to share their masterpieces with the class.

It was now time to share our drawings. In green crayon was Mom, Dan, Doug, and Miss Alisa. Two questions followed my presentation. “Miss Alisa, where is your dad?” I knew that question was coming. And I had an answer. After I shared my own story, we talked about growing up with aunties and uncles, grandparents, and cousins. We talked about what family means. We talked about church family and the importance of building relationships with our church friends. Each child understood no matter who you grow up with, Jesus loves you so very much.

As we shared about church family, one little girl said Linda Rymars was part of her church family. She said she knew Linda cared for her when Linda made her a yarn necklace.

I’m sharing this story because you all are my church family. You are the people I turn to when I need prayers, encouragement, or just a simple hug. You are the people I am able to teach the kids about.

I don’t know your story, but I know mine. And I know that each person who worships with us is so incredibly special. Whether you stand tall and proud of your personal family drawing or you are timid when sharing, I hope you can stand tall about your church family.

The second question, “Miss Alisa, what’s that big thing next to you?” “My cat, Buddy.”

Confirmation 2018

In the United Methodist Church, Confirmation is traditionally a significant step in a young person’s journey of faith. Confirmation is when youth are invited to claim for themselves the name Christian and then join the church.

From January-July, Pastor James and I met with a group of 10 young people who wanted to learn more about the Christian faith, the United Methodist Church and most importantly having a relationship with Jesus Christ. Confirmation helps with one’s faith walk, but what is most important is for a youth to make the decision to follow Christ.

Last month, we had this wonderful group of young people stand before the congregation and commit their lives to Christ. Each of them also chose to join Christ Church and support our ministries through their prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.

I am happy to introduce this amazing group of young people. Along with their picture is one of their quotes from the Confirmation video which can be found at facebook.com/christchurchdavenport.

Lindsey M:  I feel closer to Him (God) and I can ask Him anything. When I read the Bible, I feel like He gives me the right message out of the Bible.

Lindsey M: I feel closer to Him (God) and I can ask Him anything. When I read the Bible, I feel like He gives me the right message out of the Bible.


Mackenzie R:  My faith walk has grown more in the past year than it has in my entire life by me reading my Bible more, praying more and me being more involved in the church community. So by getting involved in the church, I am just able to be around people that are holding me accountable in my faith and helping me grow in it.

Mackenzie R: My faith walk has grown more in the past year than it has in my entire life by me reading my Bible more, praying more and me being more involved in the church community. So by getting involved in the church, I am just able to be around people that are holding me accountable in my faith and helping me grow in it.


Vu T : I want to read my Bible more and attend more Modern Worship and serve through mission trips just so I can be closer with God.

Vu T: I want to read my Bible more and attend more Modern Worship and serve through mission trips just so I can be closer with God.

Jamison P:  In the past year I have started working in the tech booth during the modern services, so I have been able to help serve God through that.

Jamison P: In the past year I have started working in the tech booth during the modern services, so I have been able to help serve God through that.


Emily M : Christ Church and Endeavor helped me in my faith walk by making me feel comfortable, they are so kind and warming and they are like second family to me.

Emily M: Christ Church and Endeavor helped me in my faith walk by making me feel comfortable, they are so kind and warming and they are like second family to me.


Sean M:  On Sunday mornings I love to come, because I love the sermons. And I love how we have a theme that’s changing but it makes sense and I still get to learn stuff.

Sean M: On Sunday mornings I love to come, because I love the sermons. And I love how we have a theme that’s changing but it makes sense and I still get to learn stuff.


Logan A : Two years ago I really wouldn’t have thought of continuing to go to church after Endeavor ended [graduating high school] but lately I have really been feeling it. And I just really hope to continue with [my] walk with God and find a community wherever I end up.

Logan A: Two years ago I really wouldn’t have thought of continuing to go to church after Endeavor ended [graduating high school] but lately I have really been feeling it. And I just really hope to continue with [my] walk with God and find a community wherever I end up.

Genevieve R:  In the last year I started going to church, started going to Endeavor and went to SGU and that has brought me closer to God.

Genevieve R: In the last year I started going to church, started going to Endeavor and went to SGU and that has brought me closer to God.


Abby P : Christ Church in general has just helped me in my faith walk. I am excited to come on Sunday mornings, and see the band, and I am excited to meet with everybody during fellowship. And during Endeavor I am excited to come and serve in the youth band, and cook meals and go on all the activities that we do like the mission trips and retreats and all that.

Abby P: Christ Church in general has just helped me in my faith walk. I am excited to come on Sunday mornings, and see the band, and I am excited to meet with everybody during fellowship. And during Endeavor I am excited to come and serve in the youth band, and cook meals and go on all the activities that we do like the mission trips and retreats and all that.


Abby J : God is calling me to live out my faith by going on a mission trip in this next year and continue to serve in the worship band.

Abby J: God is calling me to live out my faith by going on a mission trip in this next year and continue to serve in the worship band.