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the Rev. Dr. Judith Davis


about 100

Service Length

105 minutes

Sample Worshipper Dress

blue jeans, checkered flannel shirt



Famous Parishioners

John Philip Sousa

Congregational Fervor

Though much of the congregation was relaxed and reserved, Davis did her best to liven a recent 11 a.m. liturgy with her finely tuned sense of drama. In fact, her reading of John 11:32–44 was more than a little reminiscent of Orson Welles’ performance as Father Maple in the 1956 film Moby Dick. “Lazarus! Come out!” bellowed the rector, rousing the sleepy worshippers. HHHHH

Food for the Soul

During her sermon, Davis took a few moments to praise the appointment of Katharine Jefferts Schori as the first female presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church. “But not everybody welcomes this change,” Davis said, calling out the old guard for its resistance to change. “You’ve heard the old joke about the Episcopal light bulb? When it comes time to change it, Mr. Jones says, ‘But my great-grandmother gave that light bulb!’”HHHHH

Food for the Body

“We’re light on coffee, but the real feature is food—and punch,” said one congregation member. Sure enough, the tables in the fellowship hall had one lonely pot of coffee but plenty otherwise, including sandwiches, chips, cookies, oranges, crackers—and punch. HHHHH

Overall Worship Power

As the closing announcements crept onward into eternity, Davis seemed reluctant to bring the service to a close, despite the congregation’s growing unrest. “Does anybody have a birthday today? Tomorrow? Yesterday?” she asked, casting about for a few celebratory blessings. When the congregation remained mum, Davis was undaunted. “What about an anniversary? Tomorrow? Yesterday?” HHHHH

—Aaron Leitko