Pastor Dan Damon

Pastor Dan DamonWhile working on this episode of Stories from The Point, I kept thinking of the proverb, “If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing.” Our guest, Pastor Dan Damon of Point Richmond’s First United Methodist Church, seems to lead his life by this wonderful saying. And in his audio postcard, he shares with us a personal experience that offers a similar encouragement to cut through the perfectionism that I’m sure holds many of us back from truly expressing ourselves.

Pastor Damon grew up in a fairly restrictive household, with very little exposure to any breadth of musical styles. But before entering seminary school and ultimately bringing together his two life passions – religion and music – Pastor Damon graduated college as a vocal music major. Even though he would have liked to major in piano, he admits, “I wasn’t a piano major because I wasn’t good enough. I didn’t have the Bach and Mozart background. But I had enough voice and I got in as a voice major and sang my way through.” Yet, that didn’t stop him from branching out after college and learning to play musical genres he really hadn’t much exposure to until adulthood (rock, jazz, etc), on piano no less!

To me Pastor Damon is both a music advocate (an anti-snob if you will) and a true spiritualist (call it what you will). What I mean is this: Musically he is someone who truly appreciates the art of music, but works just as hard learning it as he does getting others to see that you don’t have to be a piano or vocal superhero to create music. And in regards to religion, this non-practicing Jew (me) truly appreciates how well he humanizes the practice of religion. In this day and age, I see religion most often equated to intolerance, fear, and condemnation. That’s not Pastor Damon. He has built the First United Methodist Church into a welcoming place where you can come to seek solace and support as well as to simply check out great music. To end, “If you can walk, you can dance. If you can talk, you can sing.” Don’t be afraid to be yourself. That’s what I hear in this episode of Stories from The Point. What do you hear?

The piano in the background of this episode is all from Pastor Damon. You can buy his CDs online at www.damonstuneshop.com/record.htm. You will find jazz, hymns, and solo piano. All of which are very enjoyable. To be sure, something for everyone.

Please remember, I love to read your comments. So, after listening be sure to leave yours. Enjoy this Story from The Point!

 

Visit Pastor Dan Damon online at:

www.damonstuneshop.com

Visit the First United Methodist Church of Point Richmond: www.pointrichmondmethodist.org

Do not to miss the two music series hosted inside the beautiful First Methodist Church of Point Richmond:

Point Richmond Acoustic: www.pointacoustic.org

Point Richmond Jazz: prjazz.org

Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan

Photo: Bruce Kaplan & Claudia RussellThere are so many wonderful people who live and work here in Point Richmond. And really, that is the inspiration that started this project – I want to share these voices with you! For episode 1 of the Stories from The Point podcast, I could not have been luckier to get the time to speak to a couple of very talented local musicians, Claudia Russell and Bruce Kaplan. They do a lot for the community here: one of those things is producing the annual Point Richmond Acoustic Concert Series at the First Methodist Church. If you are nearby I strongly encourage you to attend. Claudia and Bruce epitomize the neighborly and supportive way of thinking that I have found in so many people in Point Richmond.

So, go on, give this episode a listen to learn a bit about The Point through Claudia and Bruce’s take on this unique place on the San Francisco Bay. Don’t forget to leave a comment after listening.

 

Visit Claudia and Bruce online: