Announcements

START THE YEAR OUT RIGHT!!

 Join us for a new 6 week session that will start Wednesday, January 3 at 5 to 5:45 pm and run until February 7th. These meetings are held in the Conference Room on the first floor.  The cost for the session is $20.00, which covers the cost of the Bible study book.  The $20.00 will be collected at the first meeting.  For more information, please contact Brenda Wilson @ 336/584-0218.

 

Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  As we enter into the season of Advent, it’s a great time of anticipation and hope.  We decided to engage in a mindful and reflective service of Advent Lessons & Carols rather than a Christmas cantata with our prayer that we will all open our minds and hearts to the message of the Christ and God’s wonderful gift of His Son.

Here’s a brief history of the service itself.  The Advent Service of Lessons and Carols for Advent was originally celebrated at King’s College, Cambridge, where the Christian year started with a private service to which members of the University were invited.  The order of service includes old liturgical forms that vividly express the Church’s preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus both in the festival of Christmas and in the consummation of the ages.

With words translated from the First Responsory of Advent Sunday in the Office of Matins, an early medieval rite, and adapted from a Magnificat by Palestrina, our Advent Service of Lessons and Carols at Davis Street UMC will be Sunday morning, December 10th at 10:55.  Our Chancel Choir will sing anthems and lead the congregation in singing Advent hymns.  Our service will begin with the choir intoning the Matin Responsory at the prayer rail in front of the altar, then moving from there to the Chancel area while the congregation sings “Come Thou Redeemer of the Earth”—the movement symbolizing the movement from “darkness to light.”  The service alternates lessons from the Old and the New Testaments with carols and hymns, finally climaxing in St. Luke’s Gospel, in which the angel brings the news that Mary will bring forth a son, “and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.”  The service ends with the proclaiming of the coming of the kingdom of God and the Vesper Responsory; the good news of the Advent of the Messiah has now been proclaimed, and all have heard the promise:  “Ye shall see the salvation of the Lord.”

We hope this will indeed be a meaningful, and reflective worship experience preparing us all for the approaching season of light.

God bless—Stephen

Help Needed!

The Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee is looking for extra hands to help out in the Church office.  If you have administrative skills, like to meet and greet visitors who stop by the Church office during the week, or just like answering telephone, you might find your passion serving Christ as a Church office volunteer.  The SPPRC is working hard to keep pace with the increased office hours by supplementing our office staff with volunteers.
The following are days and times that  volunteers are needed:
Tuesday and Thursday from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm

You may volunteer weekly or monthly.  Whatever will be best for your schedule.  Contact Brenda Wilson for more info or to volunteer. bswilson@triad.rr.com or 336-269-1992.

WEDNESDAY MORNING BIBLE STUDY

The Wednesday Morning Bible Study has completed their 8-week study on The Lord’s Prayer and prayers of Jesus on Nov 22.  We will take a break through the holidays.  Please join us on January 17, 2018 when we begin a 6-week study using Adam Hamilton’s Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet.
Contact Vicki Ambrose (980) 307-9321 for any questions.

ADULT SOCIAL GROUP CHRISTMAS FELLOWSHIP

Thanks to everyone who came out to kick-off our new Adult Social Group.  We had a great time bowling.  We meet every 2nd Wednesday of each month at a new location so that we become disciples of Jesus Christ through study, fellowship or to share a meal.  Come join us.  Our next gathering will be a Christmas Fellowship on Wednesday December 13th, 6:30pm @ Niobe Japanese Steakhouse (1071 S. Main Street, Graham).  Please RSVP to Jim (336.266.5505) or Michelle (919.808.1769).

PART-TIME DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRY
Davis Street United Methodist Church, a thriving, diverse and multicultural downtown church in Burlington, North Carolina is seeking a Part-Time Director of Youth Ministry who is a Christ-centered innovative, self-starter and highly motivated. The candidate must be a passionate disciple of Jesus and equally passionate for youth becoming disciples of Jesus Christ.
The main purpose of this position is to develop a comprehensive strategic plan and administrative support in re-birthing and growing our youth ministry for students 6th-12th grade. It is essential that the candidate be able to work with the laity in empowering them and delegating the responsibilities of ministry to them as a shared effort for growing our youth ministry.
The preferred successful candidate should have an associate degree, minimum of 2-3 years of experience in youth ministry leadership (preferably in mid-size to large congregation), and a strong personal faith consistent with the United Methodist tradition.

Resume, along with a cover letter, can be sent to bswilson@triad.rr.com

PART-TIME DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN MINISTRY
Davis Street United Methodist Church, a thriving, diverse and multicultural downtown church in Burlington, North Carolina, is seeking a Part-Time Director of Children Ministry who is Christ-centered, innovative, self-starter and highly 7motivated. The main purpose of this position is to develop a comprehensive strategic plan and administrative support in re-birthing and growing our children ministry from birth-5th grade. It is essential that this individual be able to work with the laity in empowering them and delegating the responsibilities of ministry to them as a shared effort for growing our children ministry.
The preferred successful candidate should have an associate degree, minimum of 2-3 years of experience in children’s ministry leadership (preferably in mid-size to large congregation), and strong personal faith consistent with the United Methodist tradition.
Resume, along with a cover letter, can be sent to bswilson@triad.rr.com

 

 


 

“EXCITING CHURCH” SERMON SERIES
God wants you be part of the Jesus’ movement that is exciting, alive and on fire for God! Come and hear more about what it means to be an “Exciting Church” that practices radical hospitality, passionate worship, spiritual discipleship from cradle to grave, extravagant generosity and risk-taking mission and ministry to the world.
Don’t miss the “Exciting Church” Sermon Series every Sunday  @ 8:45am & 10:55am continues until September 24th. Bring your families and friends!

 

Allied Churches of Alamance County 
Friends:
First, if you are an active volunteer or donor, I would like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your prayers, commitment, and countless demonstrations of faith for Allied Churches of Alamance County (ACAC).  Without these selfless acts of devotion, ACAC would not be able to persevere, nor continue to provide the quality and quantity of services to the community we serve.  Unlike any other organization experiencing growing pains, ACAC has experienced effects of its own transgressions.  The amazing thing when overcoming transgressions is the process of awareness, grace, and redemption that follows.
As ACAC begins to move forward under new leadership, I am humbly requesting that all of our neighbors including business leaders, community partners, and church communities, extend grace and become a part of ACAC’s new vision and mission.  Our mission remains the same and ACAC’s goal is to virtually eradicate Alamance and surrounding counties of hunger and homelessness by offering programs that promote accountability, sustainability, and empowerment. Not dependency.  ACAC cannot win this fight alone and we need individuals such as yourself and their God given talents and gifts to continue this fight.
To begin the charge, I would like to cordially invite you to attend one of our scheduled Town Hall Meetings.  At this meeting we will discuss: how you can serve?   My team and I will also discuss ACAC’s new vision and programming. Included in this vision is how we can to make the kitchen more accessible to our community members.  Our meetings are scheduled to take place on Thursday August 31st, and Thursday September 7th in the upstairs event space at the CO-OP at 200 N Main St in Graham, NC.  You are welcome to attend whichever date works better for your schedule.  Please direct any questions to Caitlin Vatikiotis-Bateson at 336-229-0881 ext. 103 or cvbateson@alliedchurches.org.  I pray we see you there.  Thank you,

Richard G. Gary, MA
Executive Director
Allied Churches of Alamance County

 

Hello Davis Street Church Family:

The SPRC is planning to welcome our new minister, Edgar De Jesus and his family with a pantry party.  The idea is to stock their pantry in the parsonage with basic food and paper items.  A “giving tree” will be placed in the parlor with ideas for gifting.  Each leaf on the tree will have suggestions from categories of basics, baking, spices, sweeteners, rice and grains, snacks and cereals, canned goods, drinks and cleaning items and paper items.  The SPRC plans to provide for the refrigerated and freezer items.

Please take a leaf/leaves from the “giving tree” and bring the items to church on or before Sunday, June 25th so that the SPRC committee can stock the pantry.  Anyone who would like to join in the stocking of the pantry after church, please do so.  I think it will be a great fellowship opportunity.

So be looking for the “giving tree” in the parlor soon.

In the service of our Lord – SPRC

From the Bishop: Annual Conference 2017

 Dear United Methodist friends, Grace and peace to you in these days of Easter light and joy.  Two months from today, we will be in the midst of the Annual Conference Session.  I am in touch to urge you to plan well for this time, whether you will be in worship in your church or participating in Greenville with Clergy and Lay members of the North Carolina Conference.  A weekend annual conference is planned, beginning Friday at 10:00 am with the Service of Memorial and Communion and ending on Sunday midday with the Service of Ordering of Ministry.  Clergy overwhelmingly affirmed, when given the reality of the choices of graduation or Father’s Day weekend, the latter.  We honor all fathers and father-figures among us and promise to dismiss as we have for the past four years, no later than 12:15 so that families may gather later in the day back home.  Sunday worship in churches on June 18 will be led by persons other than appointed Clergy and Lay members to the annual conference.  A team is preparing a template for worship, and I will video a sermon for use as needed.  This is an excellent occasion to teach our United Methodist way, to welcome a lay speaker, and to celebrate the connection we share in Christ’s ministry.  Thank you for your creativity in local churches as lay and clergy members gather in Greenville in June.  Together, we will celebrate in every place across the Annual Conference the strong connection of the United Methodist Church.  With gratitude for all the ties that bind us in Christ’s ministry, Hope Morgan Ward

Imagine No Malaria

BIG NEWS!  Four times the number of children in Sub-Saharan Africa are surviving – and not dying from malaria – than when Imagine No Malaria launched just five years ago.  When we began this initiative, a child died from malaria every 30 seconds. According to the World Health Organization’s World Malaria Report released December 2015, we have now turned back the clock to a 2 full minutes.

Malaria IS preventable, treatable, and beatable.  With your support, we will continue to work with the hope and determination that NO child should die from a preventable and treatable disease.

The Work

Imagine No Malaria is taking a comprehensive and proactive approach in the fight against malaria.  Our four-pronged method of prevention, treatment, education, and communications is empowering communities across Sub-Saharan Africa with a diverse set of tools to beat this killer disease.

The Partnerships

Fortunately, we are not alone in the fight against malaria.  The United Methodist Church has partnered with organizations such as the United Nations Foundation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Global Fund to Fight Malaria, Aids and Tuberculosis, and others.  Together with leading global health organizations, we are imagining and working to bring about a world with no malaria.

The Goal

The people of The United Methodist Church have come together to set an audacious goal – we are aiming to raise $75 million and impact hundreds of thousands of lives.  We intend to be a major partner in ending needless death and suffering from a preventable, treatable, and beatable disease.

How To Donate

Become a part of saving lives and transforming communities today – it’s simple!  Go to www.imaginenomalaria.org and click donate.  While you’re there, learn more about Imagine No Malaria’s impact and find resources to engage your whole community.  Alone, you can save lives today; with your community, you can change the world forever.

2018 FLOWER CHART

A huge ‘Thank You’ to everyone who provided altar flowers in 2017.

The new Flower Chart is posted in the church at the ramp entrance.  The Sundays for Communion and Advent have been noted on the chart since the altar table will be in use.  Flowers can be given for these special Sundays with a designation for placement elsewhere in the church, perhaps on the podium stand in the Sanctuary or in the Church Parlor.  You are encouraged to select all other Sundays to place floral arrangements to the Glory of God, in honor or memory of your loved ones and friends, or to commemorate special events.

To ensure a clear view of the Cross, we recommend the floral arrangements not exceed 20 inches.  Please list your name and message on the chart or contact the Church Office with specific request.  Your name and message will be included with the bulletin for the Sunday that you selected.  Floral arrangements can be removed after the worship Service and taken to a relative or friend.  You are encouraged to return floral vases to the Church Kitchen for future use. On Monday, the flowers that are left will be arranged into bouquets and delivered to homebound or nursing home members by the Altar Guild.

TAKING CARE OF EACH OTHER

 Please help your church help you.  If you know of someone who is in the hospital, if you have a personal or family emergency, or if you know of a death in the church family, please call Pastor De Jesus (919 418-0682) or at the Church Office (336/226-4457).  If the need arises during the weekend or when the Church Office is closed, please leave a phone message. Your message will be received and this ministry will begin as quickly as possible.

NCC Circles of Abundant Grace Meetings

Across the North Carolina Conference, United Methodists are gathering for “Circles of Abundant Grace.”   The Circles of Abundant Grace are facilitated conversations ​that ​are focused on the future of the United Methodist Church.  These Circles offer the opportunity to learn about “where we are” as a denomination concerning matters of human sexuality.  The Circles are also settings for participants to speak as well as to listen to one another honestly and lovingly.

The Circles offer an opportunity to clarify the decisions of the 2016 General Conference of the United Methodist Church.  One of the 2016 General Conference’s actions was forming the  “Commission on a Way Forward.”   The Commission on a Way Forward was set up by the Council of Bishops and has begun studying matters of human sexuality and unity in the United Methodist Church.  Conversations are happening in each Annual Conference as a part of the Commission on a Way Forward.  Each Circle of Abundant Grace has been undergirded by prayer across the NC Annual Conference and the denomination.  Most recently Pastor Jimmy and Jerry Fisher attended one such meeting in Durham.

Philippians 2: 1-4.  If then there is any encouragement in Christ, any consolation from love, any sharing in the Spirit, any compassion and sympathy, make my joy complete: be of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.  Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves.  Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others.

Don’t forget that we have a collection tub in the Parlor for items that the clients from the domestic abuse shelter need. A list of those items has been published in April newsletter and several Sunday bulletins.

Volunteers Needed

To prepare the monthly newsletter for mailing.  Training will be provided. Please let the church office know if you would like to volunteer or have questions.

MEMBER INFORMATION UPDATES

A Member Information Update form is available on the small table in the Church Parlor for your convenience to provide any changes to your address, phone number, and email address.  If you prefer, just call the Church Office.  We always want to keep track of you.

greetersWOULD YOU LIKE TO SERVE AS A DSUMC GREETER?

The Greeter Captain assigns volunteers to a particular Sunday so that there are friendly faces to greet each person in the name of Christ who enters the Church, whether it is a visitor or a regular member.  This is often an entry point ministry for new members, and emphasizes our commitment to hospitality.  This service is a service that one needs to experience to understand the warmth and friendliness of the people at Davis Street UMC.  Please contact Polly Webb at (336) 380-0393 to volunteer or to rotate off the Greeters List for a time.

CONTRIBUTIONS TO ALLIED CHURCHES

Your monetary contributions and loose change collected each Sunday are donated to Allied Churches of Alamance County (ACAC) to help them assist the needy in Alamance County.  Their services include: Shelter, Meals & Emergency Food, Emergency Assistance, and Job & Education-Related Services.  As the only center for persons who are at-risk and who are homeless in our region, ACAC also provides immediate, crisis intervention services.

CULTURE OF CARING CONTINUES AT DAVIS STREET!!

Where?  At Davis Street, that’s where!  In your day-to-day conversations with your friends, co-worker and family, share with them the many wonderful things taking place at Davis Street.

Two items to highlight is our support of Allied Churches of Alamance County and United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR).  Your support of these organizations last year totaled $1,089.06, which was awesome!   Most are familiar with Allied Church but maybe not as much as UMCOR.

UMCOR provides humanitarian relief when war or natural disaster disrupts life to such an extent that communities aren’t able to recover on their own. UMCOR’s project – Imagine No Malaria is an important effort to eliminate this 100% preventable disease.

ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR DSUMC SERVICE CHANGES

As we look toward the New Year and cooler weather, we think about the possibility of inclement weather. Just in case there is a need for DSUMC services to be delayed or closed, those announcements will be made on the following television stations.  WFMF TV / News 2 FOX 8 / WGHP

PLEASE KEEP THE CHURCH UPDATED

We want to maintain correct information on all DS members.  Please call the church office and let us know if you change your mailing address or if you are not receiving your church newsletter.  Do you have corrections or additions for the anniversary or birthday lists?  Do you have a new cell phone number or have you removed your old landline?  Do you have a new email address or is there an old address that we should remove?  Thanks for your update!

VISITORS AND MEMBERS – OLD AND NEW ARE ALWAYS WELCOME

VisitorDavis Street UMC has been blessed with several visitors during the past months. We extend warm hospitality and a welcome hand of fellowship to each person who enters our doors.  Regular Davis Street Worship attenders are reminded to invite others, especially those who have missed several Sundays.  Persons who are interested in learning more about joining the DSUMC fellowship are encouraged to contact Pastor Jimmy Weaver or call the Church.

CIRCLE  OF  CARE  NEWS!

WinGS (Women in God’s Service) has a new ministry called “PIE AND A PRAYER.  It is a way to nurture our congregation.  Persons who are recuperating from surgery or hospitalization, awaiting serious test results, or are homebound may receive a delicious homemade chicken pie along with our prayers and best wishes.  If you know of anyone in our congregation who fits our guidelines and would benefit from some cheer, please contact Polly Webb (228-7126) or Diana Hanford (221-0855).

Prayer Shawl Ministry – This group knits prayer shawls, which are then placed on the Church altar and blessed before they are hand delivered to individuals within and outside the Church who are experiencing difficult times, such as a death, illness, or loneliness.  Members are encouraged to contact Diana Hanford at 336/221-0865 if you know of someone that would benefit from receiving one of these

PIE AND A PRAYER MINISTRY

The newly formed women’s group (WinGS – Women in God’s Service) has begun a new ministry at Davis Street which is a way to nurture our congregation.  Persons who are recuperating from surgery or hospitalization, awaiting serious test results, or are homebound may receive a delicious homemade chicken pie along with our prayers and best wishes.

If you know of anyone in our congregation who fits our guidelines and would benefit from some cheer, please contact Polly Webb (228-7126) or Diana Hanford (221-0855).

VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED

1) Would you be interested in serving as a volunteer to prepare memorial letters to persons who make memorial contributions to Davis Street? If you are interested, please call Arlene Domenico at the Church Office (336) 226-4467 for more details.

2) The Audio-Visual Team is looking for volunteers. We need several people who are willing to assist in the A/V booth on Sundays and periodically for weddings and funerals. There is no experience required; we will have training for anyone interested. Anyone that is interested please see Jerry Fisher or Ryan Bailey. We look forward to working with you!

PRAISES FROM ESL FOR DSUMC HOSPITALITY!!

“In the four years that I have worked at Alamance Community College, our program at Davis Street United Methodist Church has grown exponentially. Thanks to the generosity of the church, now we have students broken into four groups to maximize their learning. Providing daycare and tutors, Elon University students have nurtured our ESL students and their children. With college students home for the summer, our mothers took initiative and created a self-managed program, each taking one day out of every five or six classes to provide daycare during the summer months.

We have witnessed a tremendous gain in enrollment and our students have made significant improvements in their English, which in turn has provided them with better wages, improved community integration and increased confidence. We have the generosity of the members, Pastors and Trustees to thank for each of the hundreds of success stories that have occurred.

Learning how to precisely pronounce words so their co-workers can clearly understand them has caused a multitude of my students to feel real great pride. Others with undiagnosed learning disabilities have gained confidence with each point gained on their assessment tests. I have introduced basic computer skills to our newest class, the Night Class for Beginners. It has been as exciting for me to see their faces smiling in amazement, as it was for them to actually see the World Wide Web on a full screen!

I love this job more than any I have ever had. Both of my classes feel like families, which is great because I live 600 miles away from my own family. I have loving, smart and dedicated students who have each had their own success stories. One student came in as a beginner. She was one of the rare few who come to me having a college degree from her native country. To keep her privacy, I will call her Rosa. Recognized for her dedication, Rosa was quickly promoted to my afternoon intermediate and advanced class. At this time, she had received 40 points out of a possible 78. Within a month, Rosa gained twenty points on her next test and had acquired a job in an English-only work environment. Her test scores soared, and she would often come in with a list of things she had heard but did not understand. These real life examples benefited the entire class tremendously. As her English improved, our friendship grew tremendously too! Thanks to DSUMC, I am blessed to have “Rosa” and her family in my life! On her next test, she had a perfect score, and was immediately given a reading test where she scored the highest the test coordinator had ever seen! This motivated “Rosa” to start the GED course on campus, which she successfully completed this year. She now has two jobs, both in English-only speaking environments, an example of our focus on workforce integration that we strongly embrace.

Our Interim Coordinator, Julie Spomer, and instructors Barbara Melton, Monica Bueno, and I would like to thank DSUMC for this amazing program. Our students are drawn to going to the church, where they know they have loving teachers, a safe place for their children in the afternoon, and have been blessed with the church’s generously giving us rooms to allow for our students to learn as much as possible.

Thank you Pastor Jimmy, Brenda, Vivian, the Board of Trustees and the members of DSUMC for graciously hosting Alamance Community College ESL instructors and my second and third families –the afternoon and evening classes.”  Sincerely,   Jennifer Luehrs Collins

ARE YOU A PRAYER WARRIOR?

Please join our Prayer Ministry on Wednesdays @ 6pm.

NEED PRAYER?  Our prayer room is available for you.

SALAVATION ARMY FOOD DRIVE

On the first Sunday of each month, we will collect non-perishable food items as a service to our community.   Thank you for your continued giving!

Are You Looking for an Opportunity to Give Back to Your Community?

Alamance County Meals on Wheels could be your answer. Persons who would like more information or would like to volunteer can call Ruth Long at (336) 228-8815 at the Burlington Meals on Wheels site. They are located at 411 West Fifth Street. Volunteers commit to give their services approximately two hours every four weeks. Two hours per month is a small amount of time, yet it helps so many persons who are dependent on those meals.

Meals on Wheels offers training and instructions for the volunteers to deliver meals to specific clients/persons. Volunteers can elect to serve as a pair or work by themselves. Scheduled routes are located across Alamance County and include Burlington, Graham, Mebane, Gibsonville, Haw River, and Elon. Nancy Loy is to be commended for her service to Meals on Wheels, as she has served for several years in the general area of DSUMC, and has sometimes been assisted by other DS members.

 

January Pastor’s News

Posted by on Dec 27, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

A Blessed & Joyful New Year Greetings to all! By the time you receive this January 2018 newsletter, I will still be out of the country on a mission trip…witnessing God’s amazing work in Singapore and Philippines. As we begin the New Year 2018, I invite Davis Street for an exciting fresh start or a new beginning in terms of re-committing of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. God is far more interested in your future than He is in your past.  Some of us think that God is stuck in our past.  Well, God is more interested in your future than He is with your past.  That’s where you’re going to spend the rest of your life. The Lord says in Isaiah 43:18, “Forget about what has happened before.  Do not think about the past.  Instead, look at the new things I’m going to do.”  This prophetic word also speaks to the life of the church.  God wants to have a fresh start or a new beginning for Davis Street! God wants us to do something new at Davis Street! Therefore, here are the 4 new things coming up @ Davis Street this January 2018. HE-BREWS COFFEE MINISTRY On January 7th, Davis Street is launching a new hospitality ministry dubbed “He-Brews Coffee Ministry.  This new coffee ministry is being birthed so that we can connect with each other and create a culture of relationships that matter. REMEMBER OUR BAPTISM SERVICE On January 14th, we will come together to celebrate the Remember Our Baptism Service.  As covenant people, we are called to be disciples of Jesus Christ who are committed to being part of the body of Christ, committed to becoming more like Jesus, and committed to joining Jesus in ministry and mission. REAL DISCIPLESHIP SURVEY All church members and active worshippers are requested to fill-up the Real Discipleship Survey online or hardcopy this month of January.  This survey offers a way for churches to survey their maturity on six dimensions of the discipleship journey.  The survey measures: a life of worship, a life of hospitality, a life open to Jesus, a life of obeying Jesus, a life of service, and a life of generosity.  Upon taking the survey, participants discover if they are exploring, beginning, growing, or maturing in each of those categories. IMPLEMENT DISCIPLESHIP SYSTEM Davis Street is currently participating on the 9-month Shift Training.  One of our missional outcomes is to develop and implement a discipleship system dubbed, “Connect, Worship, Grow & Serve” so that we will shift Davis Street “from membership to discipleship.”  Our prayerful goal is to begin implementing the discipleship system this January. All of the above 4 new things require us to champion God’s mission: “To reach out and connect with all people, making disciples of Jesus Christ.”  The driving mission of our church must be to do the things that Jesus wants us to do, nothing less.  Jesus’ driving passion was to “seek out and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).  Therefore, our marching order as followers of Christ is to do the same— intentionally reaching out to new and diverse people, and share the message of God’s love and salvation. In closing, please join with me in praying together: “Lord, as New Year begins, we humbly come to...

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December Pastor’s News

Posted by on Dec 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Warm Advent greetings in the name of the One who was born in Bethlehem! On December 26th-January 10th, I will be going to a mission trip to Singapore and Philippines.  I give thanks God for His grace and generosity for this blessing to preach at Barker Road Methodist Church in Singapore and attend the National Filipino-American UM Convocation in Manila.  This mission trip will provide me an opportunity to witness God’s amazing work in Singapore and Philippines in “making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”  And this mission trip will also be a Sabbath rest for me as I go back home to my homeland–rejuvenating my mind, body and spirit so that I can continue to humbly lead Davis Street for the sake of expanding God’s kingdom. As we draw 2017 to close, let me share with you the Pastor’s Report that I shared during the 2017 Charge Conference. Davis Street is “moving forward” towards becoming a growing and vital congregation.  The lay leadership approved the church’s five missional outcomes for 2017-2019. 1.Develop a Clear Sense of God’s Mission 2. Relaunch Davis Street as “A Church for All People” 3. Offer Passionate Worship Experience 4. Implement Discipleship System 5. Launch Excellent Children and Youth Ministries The “moving forward” requires our total surrender to God.  It requires Davis Street to champion God’s mission and vision.  It requires Davis Street to have a strong, bold and decisive pastoral and lay leadership.  It requires Davis Street to embrace a radical shift in terms of its attitudes, behavior and the way we think church.  It requires Davis Street to be adaptive, courageous, risk-takers and not afraid to fail.  And the “moving forward” requires Davis Street to get out of its comfort zone and to fully trust God and God alone. Develop A Clear Sense of God’s Mission Davis Street is shifting from a lack of mission and vision to championing God’s mission and vision.  Our church mission: “To reach out and connect with all people, making disciples of Jesus” and our church’s vision:  “As the body of Christ, we seek to fulfill God’s commands to love Him with all our hearts, and to love one another as He loves us.”  We are also aligning our leadership, bricks and mortars, resources and ministries to our church’s mission and vision.  We also shifted our decision-making process from “Robert’s Rules” to Consensus Decision-Making Process.”  And the key lay leadership is currently taking part on a 9-month Shift Training in partnership with the NC Conference Connectional Ministries. Relaunch Davis Street as “A Church for All People” Davis Street is shifting from fellowship to hospitality.  We are “A Church for All People.”  These are not just buzzwords but something we live out in the way we connect, worship, grow and serve together.  It’s in our new church logo and social media platform.  And we put these words into action through our risk-taking mission and ministries such as English as Second Language Classes, Allied Churches, 8:45am Missional Community and Hurricane Relief Efforts. Offer Passionate Worship Experience Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Davis Street is offering passionate worship experience every Sunday.  We are shifting from worship as an event to worship as a lifestyle.  Davis Street has a strong Prayer Ministry through Prayer Team, Prayer Shawl and Prayer Chain.  And we are shifting our 8:45am...

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November Pastor’s News

Posted by on Oct 28, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Warm greetings in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ! Shift!  This is what’s happening today at Davis Street!  Praise the Lord! Through the power of the Holy Spirit, we are bracing for major “shifts” so that Davis Street will reverse its decline and become again a vital and growing congregation.  As a general rule, people don’t change because it makes sense. People change when it’s too painful not to!  It means that when Davis Street begin to see new possibilities for vitality and growth, and new ways of being a relevant and thriving congregation, the current way of doing things just won’t make sense any more! Therefore, when we came to Davis Street last June, we launched the Genesis Group composed of key lay leadership.  For 9 weeks, we studied Phil Maynard’s “Shift.”  After this journey, the Genesis Group is now taking part (along with other local churches) on a 9-month Shift Training led by the North Carolina Conference Connectional Ministries. The “Shift” offers five major changes in the life and mission of the church: • From Fellowship to Hospitality • From Worship as an Event to Worship as a Lifestyle • From Membership to Discipleship • From Serve Us to Service • From Survival to Generosity The “Shift” is a movement that is happening all across our connectional church.  Most of our churches are stuck declining, aging and struggling in various ways.  They thought they had ministry figured out 30 years ago, but where nothing today is working as well as it used to work.  As Phil Maynard says, “Every church has the potential to be vital and fruitful.  These are not just buzzwords.  They are words filled with hope and promise.  We all know of churches that have made the decision to circle the wagons, hang on to their revered traditions, focus on the contentment of members and ignore the world around them.  If this is your church, “Shift” may not be for you.” “But if the church has the will to move into a more vital ministry, the “Shift” is full great ideas to help you do that.  It is not easy.  This “Shift” will require much of you.  It will challenge some of youth long-held assumptions about what effective ministry looks like.  It will require letting go of some things that may have been held dear for a lifetime.  And it will engage the most creative parts of your being to apply clear principles to your context.” I’m excited to share with y’all some of the “shifts” that are happening right now in the life and mission of Davis Street.  Our key lay leadership met for the Visioning Day and we shifted from lack of mission and vision to developing a clear sense of God’s mission and vision.  We are also aligning our leadership, bricks and mortars, resources and ministries to our church’s mission and vision. Moreover, we shifted our decision-making process from “Robert’s Rules” to “Consensus Decision-Making Process.”  The 8:45am Breakfast Fellowship is shifting to become a “Missional Community.”  And through the New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Campaign, we are now shifting from survival mentality to a culture of generosity. Indeed, God’s Spirit is bringing the fresh wind and breathing new life into Davis Street!  God is shifting us and the culture of His church...

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October Pastor’s News

Posted by on Oct 1, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Warm greetings in the Mighty Name of Jesus! Our Awesome God is the God of extravagant generosity!  He gave us life!  He gave us this world to enjoy!  He even gave us His only Son so that we might have a relationship with Him.  The most famous Biblical verse– John 3:16, shows us the connection between loving and giving.  Extravagant generosity is part of the character of God. Out of His extravagant generosity God made us in His image, whose essential nature is giving. Throughout generations, God inspired, challenged and convicted the hearts and minds of many faithful followers of Christ to be generous to the Lord’s mission and ministry here at Davis Street.  These men, women and saints of the church sacrificially gave their tithes, offerings and services as an act of worship to God.  And some of them gave beyond their tithes and offerings by establishing permanent endowments and scholarships that transformed many lives in the community and beyond.  Praise the Lord! On October 8th, we will launch a 6-week New Consecration Sunday Stewardship Campaign.  The New Consecration Sunday focuses on the question, “What is God calling me to do?” rather than “What does the church need in order to pay its bills?”  This stewardship campaign raises the question: “What percentage of your income is God calling you to give?” Rather than requesting financial contribution to “pay the bills” or “support the budget,” the New Consecration Sunday asks people to grow spiritually by giving a percentage of their income to the Lord’s mission and ministry in 2018 through Davis Street.  This stewardship campaign is about our spiritual-growth experience and not a fundraising effort.  It’s about discovering the meaning of Biblical stewardship on the basis of the need of the giver to give for his or her own spiritual benefit rather than on the basis of the need of the church to receive to balance its budget. New Consecration Sunday models the idea that giving and offering are acts of our worship to God.  This campaign refuels church members’ nurturing regarding the spiritual connection between God and money.  This is about challenging us to go back to the Biblical model of giving and generosity to help us escape the trap of selfishness and self-gratification by keeping ourselves spiritually focused on God. Therefore, I urge y’all not to miss any Sunday during the stewardship campaign.  I also urge y’all to attend the New Consecration Sunday and Celebration Luncheon on November 12th.  We are excited to welcome             Dr. Reggie Ponder of the United Methodist Foundation, who will be our Guest Leader and Preacher. This stewardship season and in all seasons, may we practice and increase the culture of generosity in our lives and in the life of our church.  And may we discover what it means to move beyond the tithe, live on less and give more to make a difference in our community and our world! Pastor Edgar OCTOBER WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READINGS Oct. 1 Exodus 17:1-7 Psalm 78:1-4,12-16 Philippians 2:1-13 Matthew 21:23-32 Oct. 8 Exodus 20:1-4,7-9,12-20 Psalm 19 Philippians 3:4b-14 Matthew 21:33-46 Oct. 15 Exodus 32:1-14 Psalm 106:1-6,19-23 Philippians 4:1-9 Matthew 22:1-14 Oct. 22 Exodus 33:12-23 Psalm 99 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 Matthew 20:1-16 Oct. 29 Deuteronomy 34:1-12 Psalm 90:1-6, 13-17 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 Matthew 22:34-46    ...

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September Pastor’s News

Posted by on Aug 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

September Pastor’s News

Pastor Edgar’s Message Warm Greetings in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ! There are lots of exciting things going on @ Davis Street.  First, the “Moving Forward” was overwhelmingly embraced by the key lay leadership.  Praise the Lord! This blueprint contains the five main priorities of Davis Street including specific strategies, leadership and timeline as we move forward to be a growing and vital church.  This blueprint was a result of intense prayerful discernments, holy conversations and reading of the community.  And I give thanks and praise to God for each one of you for sharing your dreams, your vision and your commitments as we move forward to be a growing vital church. It is important to remember that “Moving Forward” will require Davis Street’s unity and total surrender to God— giving up our personal preferences and instead, championing God’s mission and vision.  It will require Davis Street to embrace a radical shift that is both fast and hard.  It will require Davis Street to have a strong, bold and decisive pastoral and lay leadership.  It will require Davis Street to embrace a radical shift in terms of our attitudes, behaviors and the way we think church.  It will require Davis Street to be adaptive, courageous, risk-takers and not afraid to fail. And it will require Davis Street to get out of its comfort zone and to fully trust God to lead us in the moving forward! And secondly, Davis Street has launched a new logo!  Praise the Lord! The four leaves represent the four discipleship marks of Davis Street— “Connect, Worship, Grow & Serve.  Davis Street connects all people to Jesus Christ.  We are passionate for the lost, the last and the least, inviting them to a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.  (Luke 5:30-32; Luke 15; Matthew 18:14).  Davis Street invites all people to passionate, relevant and Spirit-filled worship experience (Romans 12:1; Hebrews 10:23-25).  Davis Street plugs people to grow from cradle to grave so that they will become mature disciples that make disciples of Christ (Luke 19:10; 2 Timothy 2:2).  And Davis Street sends people to serve in mission to the community and the world (Isaiah 61: Matthew 25). Moreover, the four leaves represent John Wesley’s quadrilateral that illuminate the core of our Christian faith.  The four components or “sides” of the quadrilateral are (1) Scripture, (2) tradition, (3) reason, and (4) experience.  These four elements taken together bring the individual Christian to a mature and fulfilling understanding of the Christian faith and the required response of worship and service. The center of four leaves is a Biblical symbol of cross representing the centrality of our faith to God through the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and in the power of the Holy Spirit.  It may also be interpreted as an intersection—where we meet all people at the intersection of their lives and point them to Jesus. The earth-tone colors suggest connectedness to the historic mission of Davis Street, grounded as a vibrant faith community in Burlington and generously bearing the fruits of life-changing mission and ministry. The design and font represent God’s movement that is shifting and moving.  Davis Street is not fixated in a building, but rather a dynamic Christian movement that is doing whatever it takes— reaching out and making...

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August Pastor’s News

Posted by on Jul 31, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Warm greetings in the Mighty Name of Jesus Christ! First of all, my family and I would like to give thanks to God for Davis Street’s prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.  Even before we arrived, we strongly felt the authentic love, radical hospitality and extravagant generosity from the people of Davis Street Church.  And this prepares the way for Judy, the girls and myself to experience a very smooth and Spirit-led pastoral transition to our new mission field. Yes!  Davis Street is a mission field that is so ready to “shift” through the power of the Holy Spirit, towards God’s preferred future of becoming a GROWING VITAL CHURCH.  We are already seeing God’s signs shifting Davis Street in such powerful and amazing ways.  Praise the Lord! Let me share with you the seven main priorities (for the next 12-24 months) where God is leading us as we invite the Holy Spirit to reignite spiritual awakening and revitalization in the life of our church, and “shift” Davis Street towards becoming a GROWING VITAL CHURCH: Develop a clear sense of God’s mission (What is God calling us to do?) and vision (What is God’s preferred future?). Relaunch Davis Street as “A Church for All People” focusing on reaching out to new, young and diverse people. Offer passionate and Spirit-filled worship experiences. Create a discipleship pathway system through life groups. Launch children and youth ministries. Develop strong clergy and lay leadership development.                                 Launch innovative and risk-taking mission and ministries impacting the lives of people in the community. As we journey together for these exciting new beginnings, please join with me in praying daily:  “Lord, let Your miracles break forth every day and let me not be an obstacle in any way!” Pastor Edgar AUGUST WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READINGS Aug. 6 Genesis 32:22-31 Romans 9:1-5 Matthew 14:13-21 Aug. 13 Genesis 37:1-4,12-28 Romans 10:5-15 Matthew 14:22-33 Aug. 20 Genesis 45:1-15 Romans 11:1-2a,2-32 Matthew 15:(10-20) 21-28 Aug 27. Exodus 1:8-2:10 Romans 12:1-8 Matthew...

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July Pastor’s News

Posted by on Jun 25, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

July Pastor’s News

MEET OUR NEW PASTOR, REV. EDGAR DE JESUS Pastor Edgar was born and raised in the heart of Manila, in the Philippines.  He is married to Judy and blessed with two children, Kristina and Elaine. Pastor Edgar’s faith journey started at Wesley UMC in Manila which he encountered, at a young age, God’s unconditional love and grace. When he was in high school, he became involved with the United Methodist Youth Fellowship where he discovered more about Jesus Christ and His offer of salvation. Pastor Edgar heard God’s voice from his inner being at a youth event called “Christmas Institute.”  This became the first turning point of his life as God’s prevenient grace awakened his earnest longing for deliverance that led him to personally accept Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. The second turning point of Pastor Edgar’s life came in 1997 when God called him to serve through the ordained ministry.  After earning his Bachelor of Social Sciences degree from the University of the Philippines, he pursued a Master of Divinity degree from Duke Divinity School at Duke University.  He was commissioned as a Probationary Member in 2000 and ordained Full Elder in 2003— the first and only Filipino-American clergy member of the North Carolina Conference. Pastor Edgar responded to God’s invitation to serve in various mission fields in the North Carolina Conference:  Saxapahaw UMC (2000-2003), Edenton St. UMC (2003-2006), Mt. Zion UMC (2006-2010) and Cornerstone UMC (2010-2013).  Prior to his appointment to Davis Street UMC, he served as Lead Pastor of Richlands UMC from 2013-2017. Moreover, Pastor Edgar’s leadership has led him to represent the connectional church to the Jurisdictional and General Conferences of The United Methodist Church, World Methodist Conference and the World Council of Churches.  He has led mission teams to Illinois, Wisconsin, Mississippi, Philippines and Costa Rica. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, Pastor Edgar leads the church in fulfilling God’s mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  He is a visionary leader who loves people with a strong passion in preaching, leadership and evangelism. It is great pleasure that the Staff Pastor Parish Relations Committee welcomes Pastor Edgar to Davis Street.  We look forward to doing ministry together for the glory of God. JULY WEEKLY SCRIPTURE READINGS July 2 Genesis 22:1-14 Psalm 13 Romans 6:12-23 Matthew 10:40-42 July 9 Genesis 24:34-38,42-49, 58-67 Psalms 45:10-17 or Psalms 72 Romans 7:15-25a Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30 July 16 Genesis 25:19-34 Psalm 119:105-112 or Psalm 25 Romans 8:1-11 Matthew 13:1-9,18-23 July 23 Genesis 28:10-19a Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24 Romans 8:12-25 Matthew 13:24-30,36-43 July 30 Genesis 29:15-28 Psalm 105:1-11,45b Romans 8:26-39 Matthew 13:31-33,...

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June Pastor’s News

Posted by on May 29, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

June Pastor’s News

  Time, like a leaf that drops into a moving stream, seems to just pass on by.  Like the leaf, sometimes floating on its back, lazily sunning down through deep, wide, slow moving water; or, making mad road race dives, plunging through sudden descents, crashing wildly around rocks on foaming crests of waves, time moves on.  It has been three years since I first arrived as the pastor of Davis Street UMC and now it is time to travel on, to move and become the pastor of Oriental UMC at the close of June.  In some sense, it seems that just the other day I was unpacking boxes here at Davis Street, and now they are being filled yet again. As I look back today, I feel a mixture of joy, appreciation, sorrow, and regret.  There has been much joy.  The way Deborah and I were welcomed here, how James, Vernon, and Bob worked so hard to prepare my study before I arrived.  The relationships that we have formed here and the many times of conversation, laughter, and worship together we have had are glorious memories of joy. There is appreciation for the way everyone supported Deborah and me as we cared for Brian in the last eighteen months of his life.  You were very gracious in your support, without which, we would not have been able to work and care for him, allowing him the maximum amount of time with his daughter and also to live in his home until the end.  I am also very grateful for your support in the gift of two months off for spiritual renewal after Brian’s death.  And it has been wonderful fun to have had the opportunity to work with Meagan, Chris, Jane, Garrett, and Stephen as we led worship and music together.  We have been so blessed with the gifts, graces, and talent of the folks who have led our music ministry in my time here.  I appreciate the opportunity to work with each of them. There is sorrow.  I will miss the interaction and joy of relationship with people here.  I give thanks for the many moments of laughter, and the rewards of working together, that we have shared.  There are also deep bonds from having had the privilege of walking with many of you through times of sorrow and death, as well as times of great “mountain top experiences” of exhilaration in your lives. There is also regret.  In my time here I have been absorbed in caring for Brian, or dealing with his estate, or houses, or my own weariness and sense of loss.  Many of you think that I have failed in my job as your pastor.  You have a point.  I have certainly not been available in the ways many of you have desired.  I can only ask your forgiveness for that.  My deepest regret though, is that in my time here we have not managed to discover a passion, a vision, a direction for Davis Street to grow into more vibrant faithful ministry; to have a vision and plan for where you would like to go and who you would like to become; alas, we seem only to have been able to lament our decline, yet not begin to imagine a different course and...

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May Pastor’s News

Posted by on May 2, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

May Pastor’s News

People who study such things say that if you will practice something for thirty days it will become a habit.  Habits are practices, rhythms, ways of ordering our lives and our conduct.  We also locate ourselves within larger rhythms; sunrise and sunset, seasons of the year, holidays, etc.  One of the things we try to do in the church is practice a liturgical rhythm, by following the seasons of the Christian year.  This is an attempt to ground our lives within the life and ministry of Jesus. This practice often produces surprising results. In the March 2017 issue of Guideposts magazine, there was an article by Lynda Hacker.  In this article she related how caregiving had taken over her, and her husband’s, lives, “Caregiving has a way of sneaking up on you,” she said.  It started with their son, “a great kid who fell in with a bad crowd and eventually spiraled into heroin use.  We went through every nightmare you’ve ever heard about addiction.”  Then her mother needed help.  When her mother died, they moved in with her father to take care of him, all the while holding down full time jobs.  “At first we barely noticed how all of these changes — which we took on gladly — consumed our lives.” Her son finally became sick of being an addict and entered a long-term residential treatment center.  A month later her Dad died.  She awoke one morning, in her brother’s childhood bedroom (“When Mom died suddenly of a stroke, it seemed logical to move in with Dad.”), surrounded by Hardy Boy books, toy cars, board games, and soldiers.  Looking at her husband, she said, “We’d become caregiving machines that were no longer needed.  Our own house, a few miles away, was a mess. . . The magnitude of the task before us seemed insurmountable.  It wasn’t just Mom and Dad’s affairs to put in order.  It was our lives we had to rebuild.  Our marriage.  Even our house!  We gazed at each other, wondering where to begin.”  Then she said, “In our bewilderment we turned to God.” As I read, I settled down into that article the way you wrap yourself in a blanket on the couch on a cold winter’s day.  She was writing, but they could just as well have been my words.  They were my words.  She had just given voice to them.  A deep, guttural, voice that spoke of the last seven years of mine and Deborah’s life. The short story is that in August of 2015, when Brian and his wife separated, we moved in with him, beginning five years of increasingly demanding caregiving. In November of 2015, he developed a massive infection which lead to his death on December 18.  Then there was the funeral, establishing the estate, cleaning out his house, turning toward our house, the upstairs of which was wall to wall with boxes and furniture, the downstairs stripped to the studs due to water damage.  Where to even begin?  One foot in front of the other, and faith. On Tuesday of this week, after the resolution of a seven month battle with UNC hospitals over a claim against Brian’s estate, I made the final accounting to the clerk of court and closed the estate.  It is done.  Finished. ...

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April Pastor’s News

Posted by on Mar 30, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

April Pastor’s News

When I was about five or six years old, my grandfather opened a country store at a crossroads near our house, Weaver’s Four Way.  About four miles up that road his brother-in-law, my Uncle Dewey, also operated a little country store.  As a small boy, I had never been inside Uncle Dewey’s store, only passed it by while traveling down the road.  One day my Dad needed to talk to Uncle Dewey about something, so he went to Uncle Dewey’s store to see him, taking me along.  Once inside, I began to wander around, looking at the store.  Then I begin to compare and contrast Uncle Dewey’s store with my grandfathers, and of course, I spoke out loud, “This isn’t like Granddaddy’s store, he has a better selection of (whatever).”  Very quickly my Dad gave me “that look,” rapidly followed by, “Don’t say things like that.”  Between the look and the verbal admonishment, I got the message! I shut up. Small children have no filters.  Whatever they think they tend to say.  That’s part of their charm; sometimes.  However, we quickly learn (are taught) that filters are a good idea.  For example, I may think that you are wearing the ugliest jacket in the entire universe, but it probably isn’t going to be helpful to our relationship for me to say that.  Filters are a necessary part of living in relationship. So when does “a filter” become being dishonest?  Another thing we learn as small children is how to put a “spin” on things.  “I didn’t do that, I think it was the dog.”  “Yes I was there, but Billy threw the rock that hit the windshield.”  (Notice that I did not say I wasn’t throwing rocks, just like Billy; it’s just that mine did not hit the windshield, therefore I am not culpable.) Surprisingly, perhaps the hardest thing is to be honest with ourselves.  I know that may sound strange — why would I lie to myself? — but it is true.  Our brains are great at rationalizing the things we really want to do.  “After the day I’ve had, I deserve a quart of Rocky Road!”  “I know, but everybody does it.  Do you really put down everything on your taxes?” — I think you get my point. One of the things about the season of Lent is that it is a time to be honest with ourselves.  It is not a time for self-flagellation, but it is a time to admit that sometimes we come up short.  A time to look honestly in the mirror and say, “Yes, I acted out of pride, or selfishness, or envy, or (fill in your own blank.)”  The purpose of this honesty is to open ourselves up to God’s grace (the resurrection of Easter, life out of death, etc.).  The only thing that God can’t forgive or heal is the thing which we refuse to admit is true. It is sort of like an athlete, when the coach says, “Johnny, you have a problem here, try it this way.”  If Johnny says, “Okay coach,” and works on it, he becomes a better player, the “problem” disappears.  If, on the other hand, he says, “I don’t a have a problem, I just have a stupid coach,” nothing much changes. I don’t think...

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