Preparing for Worship

haney-doug_138x195.jpgHome is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.  --Robert Frost

These lines come from “Death of the Hired Man,” written in 1914, 10 years before Frost won his first Pulitzer Prize for poetry. This poem tells the sad tale of a farmhand, Silas, who has returned to the place he considers home. The belonging and acceptance from his friends, Warren and Mary, are a more powerful attraction than the home of a brother only 13 miles away. In the line above Warren gently mocks the idea of home, and then here: “It all depends on what you mean by home.”

Is home the place where we spent childhood years and long for nostalgically for the rest of our lives? Or is home the place we escaped as soon as we could and only go back to for weddings and funerals? Or have we given up on finding home? Or is home just a sweet idea in a Hallmark movie? Well, it all depends on what you mean by “home.”

While a stable home and a loving family are good gifts from God, it is interesting that Jesus offered a broader understanding of home. Once while talking to a crowd, Jesus was told his mother and brothers were outside and wanted to speak to him. He said: “Who is my mother? And who are my brothers?” And he pointed to the disciples and said, “These who do the will of my Father.” A new definition of family?  A new definition of home?

And yet even if the meaning of home changes or expands, for most of us there is a longing to be at home, to find a place where we love and are loved, where we are accepted and included and wanted. 

Today’s closing hymn, “Softly and Tenderly,” expresses this yearning. But it also expresses a hope that there is someone (Someone?) who awaits our homecoming: “Come home, come home; ye who are weary, come home.”

Weary? That is some of us all of the time and all of us some of the time.

We may enter this place of worship wondering whether God is interested in the minutia of our lives, much less ready to embrace us fully. Maybe before we believe we must belong. Wilshire is following the way of Christ to be a place where all are welcomed home. 

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2018 Summer Camps registrations

Pre-register for all events at www.wilshirebc.org/registration 

Children’s Events

sungraphic-sm.jpgBabylon, Daniel’s Courage in Captivity. Interactive night-time Vacation Bible School for preschoolers who have turned 3 years old by Sept. 1, 2017, through completed sixth grade. Children will join their tribe as they visit the marketplace, worship and learn about turning tough times into opportunities to trust God and live courageously. Sunday through Tuesday, June 10-12, 6 to 8 p.m.; free.

Cooking Camp I. For completed first through sixth graders to learn about food safety and nutrition and to prepare a three-course lunch served daily. There is a new theme and new set of menus each year.  Monday through Friday, June 25-29, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $100. If you bring an apron from a previous camp, you will receive a $5 refund on the first day of camp. Participants will be allowed to invite one guest for lunch on Friday, June 29. Registration ends Wednesday, June 20. Waiting list will be started when camp reaches capacity. Sign up soon as this camp fills up fast.

MusiCamp. For completed first through sixth graders. Learn a brand-new musical, “Unlikely Hero” written for Wilshire by George Gagliardi. It is a modern-day version of the Good Samaritan. The musical will be presented Sunday, July 15, at 5:30 p.m. Camp is Monday through Friday, July 9-13, from 9 a.m. to noon. Cost: $75. Auditions for solos and main characters will be the week before camp.

Cooking Camp II. For completed third through sixth graders who have participated in a previous Wilshire Cooking Camp. Learn about health and nutrition, advanced meal planning, hands-on preparation and serving a three-course lunch daily. There is a new theme and new set of menus each year. Monday through Friday, July 16-20, from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Cost: $100. If you bring an apron from a previous camp, you will receive a $5 refund on the first day of camp. Participants will be allowed to invite one guest for lunch on Friday, July 20. Registration ends Wednesday, July 11.

Children’s Adoption Camp. Will provide various hands-on activities to help adopted children, from completed first through fifth grade, build a sense of self-confidence, self-esteem and community. Monday through Wednesday, June 25-27, 9 a.m. to noon. Cost: $100.

Preteen Camp. Passport Kids! This camp in Brownwood, Texas, is for completed third through sixth graders. Thursday through Sunday, August 2-5. Cost: $300. We will leave the church at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, traveling to Brownwood by bus and staying in air-conditioned cabins at the Heart of Texas Baptist Camp and Conference Center. Students will participate in high-energy worship, interactive Bible study, creative recreation, missions and other fun activities throughout the camp. Although the camp activities will be led by Passport staff, we will provide one chaperone for every five campers to help with supervision. Chaperones are needed. A $75 deposit will guarantee a spot for your student. The full balance is due by May 31. The bus will return to Wilshire around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Preschool Events

Babylon, Daniel’s Courage in Captivity. Interactive night-time Vacation Bible School for preschoolers who have turned 3 years old by Sept. 1, 2017, through completed sixth grade. Children will join their tribe as they visit the marketplace, worship and learn about turning tough times into opportunities to trust God and live courageously. Sunday through Tuesday, June 10-12, 6 to 8 p.m.; free.

Preschool Friends Camp. Monday through Thursday, July 9-12, from 9 a.m. to noon. This week’s theme is “I am Special to God.” Open to all who have turned 3 by Sept. 1, 2017, through those who have completed kindergarten. Cost: $85.

Preschool Adoption Camp. Will provide various hands-on activities to help adopted preschoolers who have turned 3 years old by Sept. 1, 2017 to those who have completed kindergarten, build a sense of self-confidence, self-esteem and community. Monday through Wednesday, July 16-18, 9 a.m. to noon. Cost: $100.

Ice Cream on the Playground. A playdate on the Wilshire playground, open to all preschool families. Wednesday, June 20, and Monday, July 23, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Mommy and Me Playdate. A playdate in the multipurpose room (Room 1350), for families with infants through two-year-olds. Monday, July 30, from 10 to 11:30 a.m.

Pre-register for all events from the links at www.wilshirebc.org/registration 

Questions? Or for more information, contact:
Julie Girards for children’s ministry at jgirards@wilshirebc.org or (214) 452-3104.
Joan Hammons for preschool and adoption ministry at jhammons@wilshirebc.org or (214) 452-3141.
Sarah Stafford for music ministry at sstafford@wilshirebc.org or (214) 452-3121.

All Wilshire events for preschoolers and children are open to the community.
All events take place at Wilshire, unless otherwise noted.

Also, join us for Sunday School every Sunday at 9:40 a.m. We have age-graded classes from birth through sixth grade.

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News Briefs

Get ready for Youth Choir auction. The annual Youth Choir Spaghetti Luncheon and Silent Auction is just two weeks away. Make plans to join the festivities on March 4. Lunch is free but all tips to servers go toward supporting the choir’s summer mission tour to Oregon. Bake sale items will be available in James Gallery and outside the main office as well. Here’s a sneak peek at some of what’s coming in the auction: Tickets for “An Evening with Steve Wozniak”; tickets for “An Evening with Rita Moreno”; tickets for the Dallas Summer Musicals production of Waitress; tickets for the Dallas Summer Musicals production of The Lion King; tickets to a Texas Rangers game; seven-night stay in a gorgeous Caribbean getaway.

Lenten book study. Throughout the Lenten season, Wilshire will focus on the theme “40 Days with the Holy Spirit,” following the book by Jack Levison of the same name. A Wednesday night class to discuss the book will be led by pastoral residents Feb. 21 through March 7 at 6 p.m. Copies of this book of daily Lenten readings are available in the church office for $5. Jack Levison is an SMU professor who spoke at Wilshire in the fall.

Strengths class. The Living Your God-Given Strengths class will be offered on Wednesday nights from Feb. 21 through April 4 at 6 p.m. This class uses the Gallup StrengthsFinder instrument to help participants identify and know how to use the positive attributes given to them by God. Online registration is required at wilshirebc.org. For more information contact class facilitator and certified StrengthsFinder coach Geri McKenzie at (214) 452-3159.

Practicing Prayer with Creation. What does prayer have to do with the earth? What can prayer do about climate change, environmental racism and degradation? An upcoming Wednesday night study titled “Into the Wilderness: Practicing Prayer with Creation” will follow Jesus’ example to answer these questions and turn to the wilderness. In each of three sessions (Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7) an element of creation—matter, water and time—will speak to the nature of our most sacred practices—communion, baptism and daily prayer—and thereby enrich our theological consciousness, devotional life and sense of ecological vocation. The class will be led by Leanna Coyle-Carr, recent master of divinity graduate of Wake Forest University.

Adventurers to Banff. All interested senior adults are invited to join Wilshire Adventurers and guide Mark Wingfield on an eight-day trip to Banff National Park and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 12-19. Trip brochures are available in the church office. Reservations are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis with a $100 deposit.

Hurricane relief funds. Among many communities that were devastated by Hurricane Harvey last September is Rosharon, Texas, a community known by residents as “Little Cambodia.”  According to CBF field personnel Butch Green “about 90 percent of the 200 Asian families in that area are displaced and have lost the large greenhouses they used for farming. There is still a lot of work to be done that will continue probably for years.” Families in Rosharon lost both homes and livelihoods, as the village’s crops supplied Asian produce to local grocery stores. Wilshire will use designated hurricane relief gifts generously given in the fall to help one community member and her family: Yeang Prim is an older Cambodian woman who is caring both for her husband, left handicapped by a stroke several years ago, and her grandchild. Her home was completely devastated and is currently being renovated by volunteers. Wilshire’s dollars will replace the roof and will allow her and her family to move back in their home.

Remember to vote. Wilshire’s Christian Advocacy Committee urges everyone to vote in the upcoming primaries. Early voting starts this Tuesday, Feb. 20, and ends March 1. Election Day is March 6. Fewer than 2 million registered voters showed up for the last midterm primary elections in Texas—in a state with 28 million people. Candidates only need a simple majority to win, so that means about 7 percent of all Texans determined our state’s current policy agenda for the other 93 percent of us.

Adventurers March day trip. Join Wilshire Adventurers for a day trip to the Dallas County Historical Museum at the Old Red Courthouse and a trolley tour of downtown Dallas on Monday, March 19. The group will leave Wilshire at 9 a.m. on a chartered motor coach, then arrive at the Old Red Courthouse for a self-guided tour, followed by lunch at Corner Bakery in the West End. Next, hop aboard a climate-controlled trolley for an 80-minute narrated tour of downtown, Klyde Warren Park, the Arts District, Farmers Market and the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Cost is $35 per person and includes lunch. Sign up with Pat Tilley at the Adventurers table in the South Lobby on Sunday mornings or in Community Hall on Wednesdays at noon.

Branson trip. Registration remains open for a Wilshire Adventurers and New Song Choir trip to Branson, Mo., April 16-20. This trip is a senior adult camp with activities and outings each day. Sites to visit include Silver Dollar City, College of the Ozarks, downtown Branson, Top of the Rock, and a performance of “Samson” at the Sight and Sound Theater. Sign up in the associate pastor’s office with Kathi Lyle.

Listening Prayer Retreat. “Breathe in God’s Presence” is the theme of this year’s Listening Prayer Retreat that is a joint effort among Wilshire and several other Texas churches. The retreat dates are April 6-8, and the location is Arrowhead Camp and Retreat Center near Glen Rose, Texas. Cost is $160 per person single occupancy or $150 per person double occupancy. The retreat is a loosely organized weekend of contemplation and renewal. Brochures are available in the church office. Deadline for receiving registrations is March 23.

Women's Ministry Brown Bag Book Club. All interested readers are invited to bring a lunch and join the Brown Bag Book Club that meets in the Parlor from noon to 1 p.m. on the following dates: March 1, Hornet Flight by Ken Follett; April 5, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline; May 3, Garden of the Beasts by Jeffery Deaver; June 7, A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner.

Nova seeks singers. Nova, Wilshire’s select adult vocal ensemble, seeks singers who are interested in eclectic and challenging choral literature ranging from Renaissance to modern. Rehearsals are Sundays from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. The group sings in worship about every six weeks. Singers should have a pleasant voice and a keen ear. To schedule a vocal interview, contact Doug Haney at (214) 452-3123.

Koinonia Café Feb. 21: Italian turkey meatloaf with marinara, herbed pork cutlet, tortellini primavera, red potatoes with garlic butter, broccoli, roasted vegetables.

Summer internships. Wilshire’s children’s ministry offers two paid summer internships, available for 10 weeks, approximately June 1 through Aug. 10. Each internship averages 20 hours per week plus a four-day overnight camp working with children in grades one through six. Candidates should have completed at least one, or preferably two or more, years of college and have experience working with children as well as having a desire to explore the opportunity to serve in a ministry position. Contact Julie Girards, minister to children, at (214) 452-3104.

Life Line screenings. Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, will be at Wilshire on Thursday, March 8. Three key tests check for blocked carotid arteries, an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, and high blood pressure, which are the three leading risk factors for stroke. Other tests check for abdominal aortic aneurysms and hardening of the arteries in the legs. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (888) 653-6450 and receive a $10 discount or go to www.lifelinescreening.com/community-partners. Pre-registration is required.

MOPS child care workers needed. Do you love rocking babies? Do preschoolers tug your heart strings? Are you free on Friday mornings? Wilshire MOPS needs you. We are looking for volunteer or paid child care workers to help every other Friday morning during the school year. Please contact Joan Hammons at (214) 452-3141.

Spring break mission team. A spring break mission trip to Shaw, Miss., is open to all ages for service with Wilshire mission partner Delta Hands for Hope. The group will travel by carpool, leaving Wilshire the morning of Saturday, March 10 and returning Thursday, March 15. Volunteers will host a camp for kids and youth who also will be off for spring break. Contact Heather Mustain for more information.

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Summer Internships

Wilshire Baptist Church is offering 2 paid summer Children’s Ministry internships available for 10 weeks during the summer of 2017, approximately June 1 – August 10. 

Each internship will be approximately 20 hours per week plus a 4-day overnight camp working with children in grades 1 – 6.  Each intern will work with the church staff and volunteers to coordinate and run various programs offered throughout the summer including Sunday school, Vacation Bible School, preteen camp, and other special events.  Most hours will be weekday mornings and Sunday mornings. Candidates should have completed at least one, or preferably two or more, years of college and have experience working with children as well as having a desire to explore the opportunity to serve in a ministry position. 

Wilshire Baptist Church is a vibrant and active moderate Baptist congregation in Dallas, Texas, affiliated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.  Please send resume and/or completed application and direct any questions to Julie Girards, Minister to Children, at 214-452-3104.

Tentative hours/Important Dates:
All Sunday hours:  9:30am – 12:00pm (or 8:30 – 11:00am)
Weekdays not designated, hours:  9:00am-12:00pm

Designated hours:
June 10 - 12   Vacation Bible School
Hours:  5:00pm – 8:30pm (in addition to Sunday morning regular hours)

Sunday, June 25 – afternoon/early evening set up for Cooking Camp
June 25 – 29   Kids Cooking Camp I
Hours:  8:30am – 1:00pm

July 9 - 13   MusiCamp
Hours:  8:30am-12:30pm
Sunday, July 15 – rehearsal for performance and set up for Cooking Camp, 4:45 – 7:00 p.m.

July 16 – 20    Kids Cooking Camp II
Hours:  8:30-1:00pm

August 2 - 5   Preteen Camp
Hours: Friday, 8:00am - Monday, 4:30pm

(Other special times may arise over the course of the summer.)

Days off:  Wednesday, July 4 and Monday, August 6

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Art show interprets Genesis 1

art-show-whole-2-sm.jpg

A new art show in the South Lobby tells the creation story of Genesis 1 through seven intricate and colorful tapestries.

Titled Tov (Hebrew for “good”) the show is the work of fabric artist Shirley Cunningham. Shirley is a Wilshire member who created the permanent Community Tapestry in the South Atrium as well as the liturgical paraments used in the Sanctuary throughout the year.

art-show-god-sm.jpgShirley chose the Hebrew word tov for the exhibit because it has a variety of meanings, including excellence, a benefit, something that is pleasing, a moral good and bounty. “The inclusiveness of this Hebrew word for good speaks to me of the beauty and eminence of this world we were given,” she said. “My hope is that as you stand amid these tapestries you will remember the Genesis story and be reminded of the beauty that abounds and surrounds our world and the loving, creative God that gave this gift.”

The first piece in this exhibit shows a pocket of light emerging from a darkened whirl of tapestry. Each day, or span of time, in the Genesis story continues in separate art pieces depicting the separation of sky and sea, vegetation, sun and moon, birds and fish, animals and humans and then ending with the artist’s envisioning of God resting.

These free-hanging multi-medium works are created using a layering process. The artist applies color using vintage fabric, objects and various threads and yarn as paint on top of a supportive layer of thick wool, cotton or supportive fibers.

It took Shirley four years to complete this show.

Wilshire is only the second venue to host this show, which debuted at John Brown University last fall.

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Prayer Notes

February 11-16

Condolences to:

Julie and Jeff Owen on the death of Julie’s mother, Virginia Offord, Saturday, February 10.  Visitation: Friday, February 16, 5-7 p.m., Autry Funeral Home, Jacksonville, Tx. Service: Saturday, February 17 at 10 a.m., Central Baptist Church, Jacksonville, TX.

Charlie Burgin on the death of Charlie’s sister, Earleen Diebrel, Tuesday, February 13 in Duncan, Okla.

Aaron and Manjeet Schultz on the death of Aaron’s mother Wednesday, February 7.  Grandchildren are:  Aaron and Sunitha Schultz.

Brian and Michele Stinecipher on the death of Brian’s sister, Amy Scott, Thursday, January 25. Service is Saturday, February 17, at Green Acres Baptist Church in Tyler, Texas.

Others in need of prayer:

Virgil, Bettye, Carole

*Names in bold indicate Wilshire members.

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Preparing for Worship

darrendement.jpgRecently I visited the optometrist for the first time in more than two years. Now I know that I should probably go yearly, but I wasn’t really having any vision problems, so I just never bothered to go. In fact, the only reason I went at all was that I wanted to get some new frames, and I had to have an updated prescription to get them.

At that last eye appointment two years ago, my prescription had not changed at all from my previous visit, which, knowing me, was probably two-plus years before that. So I have not had any adjustment to my prescription in almost five years.

Now keep in mind, I was not experiencing any noticeable vision problems that pushed me to the doctor, so I assumed there would be little to no change in my prescription. And it turns out, I was right. In fact, the doctor told me that while there was a slight change, I could probably just continue with my current glasses and get by fine. Given that the entire purpose of my visit was to get new frames, I took my slightly updated prescription and headed over to Warby Parker to pick out my new frames.

A few days later my new glasses arrived at my house, and I eagerly opened them up and put them on. I was shocked at the difference. At first, I thought there must have been some mistake because I felt like I was looking through someone else’s glasses. But as I continued to look around, I began to notice how much sharper and crisper everything looked. I had no idea how dull my vision had gotten until I allowed myself to see things with “new” eyes. It served as a good reminder that sometimes a very slight change can have a significant effect.

This is a truth that is not limited to our vision but can have application to our spiritual lives as well. Maybe, like I was with my vision, you have been content just to get by in your spiritual life. It could be that it is time for a change.

This Wednesday we begin the season of Lent. During Lent, many Christians commit to giving up certain luxuries in order to replicate the sacrifice of Jesus Christ’s journey into the desert for 40 days. Others add a Lenten spiritual discipline, such as reading a daily devotional or praying through a Lenten calendar to draw themselves near to God.

As we prepare for our Lenten journey, I encourage you to examine your life and see if there aren’t some adjustments you should make. Remember, even a slight change can have a significant effect. 

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News Briefs

Affinity Groups this Sunday, Feb. 11. Six Affinity Group Luncheons will be offered this Sunday at noon in Community Hall. These luncheons are provided as a means for people to gather for an informal conversation around common interests. No reservations are required. Topics and facilitators are Living with Special Needs Children, Gina Waterman; The Many Faces of Adoption and Foster Care, Joan Hammons; One Starry Night planning, LeAnn Hampton; Immigration and Refugee Issues, Heather Mustain; Help! I Didn’t Grow Up Baptist (or Christian), Matt Dodrill and Aaron Coyle-Carr; and Help! I Grew Up Southern Baptist, Pat Cullum.

Bethlehem comes to Wilshire. Imagine Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born—the village bustling with merchants and artists, musicians and storytellers, beggars and royalty. Now, imagine that you are a baker, potter, weaver, carpenter, scribe or palace guard and you are welcoming guests who have come from far and wide to shop in the colorful tents, register for the census and hear the news about the baby. You can do that and more on Dec. 21 when One Starry Night fills Wilshire’s Community Hall with the sights and sounds of a first-century village. And you can start this Sunday at noon during the Affinity Group Luncheons in Community Hall. Come learn how you can become a part of this popular outreach event for the community and intergenerational experience for church members and their families. Or for more information, contact LeAnn Hampton.

Adoption and foster care. Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system or those in need of adoption? Join an affinity group luncheon at noon today for “The Many Faces of Adoption and Foster Care.” Discussion will include how to become a CASA volunteer to advocate for a foster child and the Education Advocate Project that Dallas County attorneys may get involved in. In addition, information will be given about what respite parents do and how to become a foster or adoptive parent.

Documentary screening. Join Pastors for Texas Children and Coalition for Equity in Public Education at First United Methodist Church of Dallas for the screening of “Backpack Full of Cash”, a feature-length documentary that explores the growing privatization of public schools and the resulting impact on America’s most vulnerable children. A panel discussion with Q&A will follow. The screening is Feb. 16 at 7 p.m. in Fielder Atrium. For more information visit: firstchurchdallas.org/backpack.

Souper results. At last week’s Souper Bowl of Caring, $8779 was given to the Phil Strickland Offering for World Hunger, $1,200 more than was given the previous year.

Ash Wednesday, Feb. 14. This week is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the season of Lent. Pastoral residents will lead an Ash Wednesday worship service at noon in Community Hall and at 6 p.m. in McIver Chapel. All are welcome. The imposition of ashes will be offered.

Koinonia Café Feb. 14: Lemon-dill tilapia, chicken with sun-dried tomatoes and basil, barley pilaf, green beans with bacon, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots.

Lenten book study. Throughout the Lenten season, Wilshire will focus on the theme “40 Days with the Holy Spirit,” following the book by Jack Levison of the same name. Am Wednesday night class to discuss the book will be led by pastoral residents Feb. 21 through March 7 at 6 p.m. Copies of this book of daily Lenten readings are available in the church office for $5. Jack Levison is an SMU professor who spoke at Wilshire in the fall.

Prayer for refugees. Gateway of Grace Ministries will host An Evening of Prayer for Refugees on Monday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. This gathering will include worship music as well as Scripture readings and prayers from Christians across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A reception will follow with light refreshments. The event will serve as the kick-off for 30 Days of Prayer for Refugees. Christians from various sectors of the community and across denominations will provide a daily prayer that will be available at www.gatewayofgrace.org.

Adventurers to Banff. All interested senior adults are invited to join Wilshire Adventurers and guide Mark Wingfield on an eight-day trip to Banff National Park and Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Oct. 12-19. Trip brochures are available in the church office or online here. Reservations are confirmed on a first-come, first-served basis with a $100 deposit. Limited space available.

Branson trip. Registration remains open for a Wilshire Adventurers and New Song Choir trip to Branson, Mo., April 16-20. This trip is a senior adult camp with activities and outings each day. Sites to visit include Silver Dollar City, College of the Ozarks, downtown Branson, Top of the Rock, and a performance of “Samson” at the Sight and Sound Theater. Sign up in the associate pastor’s office with Kathi Lyle.

Strengths class. The Living Your God-Given Strengths class will be offered on Wednesday nights from Feb. 21 through April 4 at 6 p.m. This class uses the Gallup StrengthsFinder instrument to help participants identify and know how to use the positive attributes given to them by God. Online registration is required at wilshirebc.org/registration. For more information contact class facilitator and certified StrengthsFinder coach Geri McKenzie at (214) 452-3159.

Practicing Prayer with Creation. What does prayer have to do with the earth? What can prayer do about climate change, environmental racism and degradation? An upcoming Wednesday night study titled “Into the Wilderness: Practicing Prayer with Creation” will follow Jesus’ example to answer these questions and turn to the wilderness. In each of three sessions (Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7) an element of creation—matter, water, and time—will speak to the nature of our most sacred practices—communion, baptism, and daily prayer—and thereby enrich our theological consciousness, devotional life, and sense of ecological vocation. The class will be led by Leanna Coyle-Carr, recent master of divinity graduate of Wake Forest University.

JazzStand. This week’s JazzStand on Abrams concert will feature the Gabe Meadows Quartet with Gabe Meadows on vocals, Tommy DeSalvo on piano, George Anderson on upright bass and Jaelun Washington on drums. The free concert is this Tuesday night, Feb. 13, in the Sanctuary at 7 p.m. and will be followed by a reception in Community Hall.

Summer internships. Wilshire’s children’s ministry offers two paid summer internships, available for 10 weeks, approximately June 1 through Aug. 10. Each internship averages 20 hours per week plus a four-day overnight camp working with children in grades one through six. Candidates should have completed at least one, or preferably two or more, years of college and have experience working with children as well as having a desire to explore the opportunity to serve in a ministry position. Contact Julie Girards, minister to children, at (214) 452-3104.

Life Line screenings. Life Line Screening, the nation’s leading provider of preventive health screenings, will be at Wilshire on Thursday, March 8. Three key tests check for blocked carotid arteries, an irregular heart rhythm called atrial fibrillation, and high blood pressure, which are the three leading risk factors for stroke. Other tests check for abdominal aortic aneurysms and hardening of the arteries in the legs. A bone density screening to assess osteoporosis risk is also offered and is appropriate for both men and women. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (888) 653-6450 and receive a $10 discount or go to www.lifelinescreening.com/community-partners. Pre-registration is required.

Women's Ministry Brown Bag Book Club. All interested readers are invited to bring a lunch and join the Brown Bag Book Club that meets in the Parlor from noon to 1 p.m. on the following dates: March 1, Hornet Flight by Ken Follett; April 5, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline; May 3, Garden of the Beasts by Jeffery Deaver; June 7, A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner.

MOPS child care workers needed. Do you love rocking babies? Do preschoolers tug your heart strings? Are you free on Friday mornings? Wilshire MOPS needs you. We are looking for volunteer or paid child care workers to help every other Friday morning during the school year. Please contact Joan Hammons at (214) 452-3141.

Youth Choir auction needs items. Each summer, Wilshire’s Youth Choir travels to another city to sing and engage in mission opportunities. These trips are funded in part by the annual Spaghetti Lunch and Silent Auction. This June, the group will travel to Oregon to sing and serve. Donations of new goods and a variety of services are needed from church members for the upcoming auction. Gift cards to local restaurants, home décor, electronics, food and beverages, sign-and-go parties, and event tickets are obvious donation ideas. However, professional services also make great donation items. If you are a musician, tutor, photographer, baker, designer, accountant or have some other professional service to provide, please consider donating a gift certificate of your time or service. Donations will be accepted through Feb. 18. Contact Lisa Butler at (214) 384-6844. And mark your calendar for Sunday, March 4, to attend the Spaghetti Lunch and Silent Auction.

Nova seeks singers. Nova, Wilshire’s select adult vocal ensemble, seeks singers who are interested in eclectic and challenging choral literature ranging from Renaissance to modern. Rehearsals are Sundays from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. The group sings in worship about every six weeks. Singers should have a pleasant voice and a keen ear. To schedule a vocal interview, contact Doug Haney at (214) 452-3123.

Spring break mission team. A spring break mission trip to Shaw, Miss., is open to all ages for service with Wilshire mission partner Delta Hands for Hope. The group will travel by carpool, leaving Wilshire the morning of March 10 and returning Thursday, March 15. Volunteers will host a camp for kids and youth who also will be off for spring break. Contact Heather Mustain for more information.

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Preparing for Worship

mustain-heather_138x197.jpgA bishop once said, “There’s a hunger beyond food that’s expressed in food, and that’s why feeding is always kind of a miracle.”

This Sunday, Feb. 4, we host our annual Souper Bowl of Caring luncheon (from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Community Hall), designed to raise both awareness of and funding for hunger and poverty alleviation efforts through Wilshire’s Phil Strickland World Hunger Offering. The late Phil Strickland nurtured in congregations like ours a deep sense that the suffering people face due to hunger and poverty can be alleviated if we just partner together. And so today is a very special day for our church.

Over the course of the last two years, Wilshire’s Missions Committee has been discerning the movement of God among us as it relates to our global missions work, and today we launch a new partnership between Wilshire and the African Inland Church of Tanzania. After visiting briefly in September, I’m confident our partnership will bring a fresh expression to the ways in which we bear witness to Christ in the world and will create long-lasting, sustainable change in communities that find themselves hungry both spiritually and physically. The food the AICT is providing to the most remote villages in Tanzania is producing miracles of all sizes. 

This is also Communion Sunday, when we intentionally carve out space to communally reflect on both our own physical and spiritual hunger as well as the world’s. We gather at a table that offers us the nourishment our bodies and souls are in need of, reminding us that we find God in the most mysterious of ways.

Author Sara Miles recounts her first experience at the Table in this way: “And then we gathered around that table. And there was more singing and standing, and someone was putting a fresh, crumbly bread in my hands, saying, ‘The body of Christ,’ and handing me the goblet of sweet wine, saying, ‘The blood of Christ,’ and then something outrageous and terrifying happened. Jesus happened to me.”

May it be so. May Jesus happen to you and to me. May Jesus happen to Peter and to the African Inland Church of Tanzania. May Jesus happen to those who find themselves incredibly hungry today. And may it lead us to outrageous and terrifying things. 

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News Briefs

Women’s Ministry Brown Bag Book Club. All interested readers are invited to bring a lunch and join the Brown Bag Book Club that meets in the Parlor from noon to 1 p.m. on the following dates: March 1, Hornet Flight by Ken Follett; April 5, Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline; May 3, Garden of the Beasts by Jeffery Deaver; June 7, A Fall of Marigolds by Susan Meissner. All women invited.

Baby shower for Silas Dodrill. A church-wide baby shower is planned for Silas Dodrill, son of Pastoral Resident Matt Dodrill and his wife, Abi, on Saturday, Feb. 10, in the Parlor from 10:30 a.m. to noon.  (Silas was born the end of November 2017). Gift needs are registered at Target and Babies R Us under Abi Dodrill. 

Have you renewed your giving? If you give to Wilshire through automated credit/debit card withdrawal, have you renewed or updated your giving for the new year? Recurring online gifts should be renewed each January. Make sure your generosity hasn’t lapsed. For assistance, contact Lori Gooden at lgooden@wilshirebc.org.

Prayer for refugees. Gateway of Grace Ministries will host An Evening of Prayer for Refugees on Monday, Feb. 12, at 6:30 p.m. at Church of the Incarnation in Dallas. This gathering will include worship music as well as Scripture readings and prayers from Christians across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. A reception will follow with light refreshments. The event will serve as the kick-off for 30 Days of Prayer for Refugees. Christians from various sectors of the community and across denominations will provide a daily prayer that will be available at www.gatewayofgrace.org.

Voter registration this Sunday, Feb. 4. Are you registered to vote? If not, a nonpartisan voter registration drive is happening this Sunday morning, Feb. 4, in the South Atrium. You may register to vote if you were born on or before Dec. 4, 1999. You will not be eligible for the March 6 primaries if you are not 18 years old by Feb. 4, but you still can register at 17 years and 10 months. At the table, you may register to vote, file for a name change, file for an address change, file to replace a lost Voter Registration card.

This Wednesday evening at Wilshire. After dinner this Wednesday, come hear Wilshire’s own Shirley Cunningham talk about her art now on display in the South Lobby. Her elaborate tapestries tell the creation story from Genesis 1. She will speak at 6 p.m. in Room 1205-L.

Adoption and foster care. Are you interested in helping children in the foster care system or those in need of adoption? Join an affinity group luncheon at noon on Feb. 11 for “The Many Faces of Adoption and Foster Care.” Discussion will include how to become a CASA volunteer to advocate for a foster child and the Education Advocate Project that Dallas County attorneys may get involved in. In addition, information will be given about what respite parents do and how to become a foster or adoptive parent.

2017 giving statements. Year-end contributions for 2017 were emailed this week along with the current edition of the Generosity Report. If you haven’t seen yours, look in your email spam or junk folders or check with your spouse. For couples/families who have “combined” giving, the statement can only be emailed to the head of household. In addition, the statement link in the email is only active for a short amount of time, so print and save the contribution statement so you will have it when you do your taxes. If Wilshire doesn’t have an email address on file for you, a paper statement was mailed. If you have questions or issues, contact Lori Gooden at lgooden@wilshirebc.org or (214) 452-3131. Members may access their contribution records online anytime by following the login link at wilshirebc.org.

Lent book available. Ash Wednesday this year falls on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. Throughout the Lenten season, Wilshire will focus on the theme “40 Days with the Holy Spirit,” following the book by Jack Levison of the same name. Copies of this book of daily Lenten readings are available in the church office for $5. Jack Levison is an SMU professor who spoke at Wilshire in the fall.

Strengths class. The Living Your God-Given Strengths class will be offered on Wednesday nights from Feb. 21 through April 4 at 6 p.m. This class uses the Gallup StrengthsFinder instrument to help participants identify and know how to use the positive attributes given to them by God. Online registration is required at wilshirebc.org/registration. For more information contact class facilitator and certified StrengthsFinder coach Geri McKenzie at (214) 452-3159 or gmckenzie@wilshirebc.org.

MOPS child care workers needed. Do you love rocking babies? Do preschoolers tug your heart strings? Are you free on Friday mornings? Wilshire MOPS needs you. We are looking for volunteer or paid child care workers to help every other Friday morning during the school year. Please contact Joan Hammons at jhammons@wilshirebc.org.

February Affinity Groups. Sunday, Feb. 11, is the next day for Affinity Group Luncheons in Community Hall at noon. These luncheons are provided as a means for people to gather for an informal conversation around common interests. No reservations are required, but child care is provided only by reservation with Joan Hammons. February topics and facilitators are Living with Special Needs Children, Gina Waterman; The Many Faces of Adoption and Foster Care, Joan Hammons; One Starry Night planning, LeAnn Hampton; Immigration and Refugee Issues, Heather Mustain; Help! I Didn’t Grow Up Baptist (or Christian), Matt Dodrill and Aaron Coyle-Carr; and Help! I Grew Up Southern Baptist, Pat Cullum.

“Almost Valentine’s” luncheon. Wilshire Adventurers will host an “Almost Valentine’s” luncheon on Monday, Feb. 12, beginning at 11:30 a.m.  A special Valentine’s meal will be served for $10 per person, followed by a seasonal music program by the husband-wife Irish folk duo Eric and Laura Rothe. This luncheon is for singles and couples alike. Sign up at the Adventurers table in the South Lobby today or in Community Hall on Wednesday.

Youth Choir auction needs items. Each summer, Wilshire’s Youth Choir travels to another city to sing and engage in mission opportunities. These trips are funded in part by the annual Spaghetti Lunch and Silent Auction. This June, the group will travel to Oregon to sing and serve in the Portland and Eugene areas. Donations of new goods and a variety of services are needed from church members for the upcoming auction. Gift cards to local restaurants, home décor, electronics, food and beverages, sign-and-go parties, and event tickets are obvious donation ideas. However, professional services also make great donation items. If you are a musician, tutor, photographer, baker, designer, accountant or have some other professional service to provide, please consider donating a gift certificate of your time or service. Donations will be accepted through Feb. 18. Contact Lisa Butler at (214) 384-6844 or lillisa.butler@gmail.com. And mark your calendar for Sunday, March 4, to attend the Spaghetti Lunch and Silent Auction.

Nova seeks singers. Nova, Wilshire’s select adult vocal ensemble, seeks singers who are interested in eclectic and challenging choral literature ranging from Renaissance to modern. Rehearsals are Sundays from 2:30 to 3:45 p.m. The group sings in worship about every six weeks. Singers should have a pleasant voice and a keen ear. To schedule a vocal interview contact Doug Haney at dhaney@wilshirebc.org.

Practicing Prayer with Creation. What does prayer have to do with the earth? What can prayer do about climate change, environmental racism and degradation? An upcoming Wednesday night study titled “Into the Wilderness: Practicing Prayer with Creation” will follow Jesus’ example to answer these questions and turn to the wilderness. In each of three sessions (Feb. 21, Feb. 28 and March 7) an element of creation—matter, water, and time—will speak to the nature of our most sacred practices—communion, baptism, and daily prayer—and thereby enrich our theological consciousness, devotional life, and sense of ecological vocation. The class will be led by Leanna Coyle-Carr, recent master of divinity graduate of Wake Forest University.

Generosity update. As of January 31, gifts to Wilshire’s Unified Budget totaled $288,120, which was $28,880 or about 10 percent below projected revenue for the period. (By comparison, gifts to the Unified Budget in January 2017 totaled $389,386, which was about 23 percent above projected revenue for the period.) Expenses for January 2018 totaled $313,245, creating a year-to-date deficit of $25,125. Designated gifts for specific missions and ministries totaled $4,030. The current value of the George A. Mason Pathways to Ministry Endowment stands at $4,491,210.27, with $7,198 given toward the endowment this year.

Koinonia Café Feb. 7:  Beef tacos and grilled chicken with cilantro pesto, mixed vegetables, chile con queso, corn, fried yuca, pinto beans.

Career Day presenters needed Feb. 23. Heather Mustain is looking for volunteers to share with elementary-aged students at Jill Stone Elementary about their careers on Friday, Feb. 23. Presentations are usually about 30 to 45 minutes in length and can be as creative as you’d like them to be. Presenters will be asked to share with multiple classes in a rotation of sorts. Feb. 9 is the deadline. Contact Heather at hmustain@wilshirebc.org or (214) 452-3110.

Spring break mission team. A spring break mission trip to Shaw, Miss., is open to all ages for service with Wilshire mission partner Delta Hands for Hope. The group will travel by carpool, leaving Wilshire the morning of March 10 and returning Thursday, March 15. Volunteers will host a camp for kids and youth who also will be off for spring break. Contact Heather Mustain for more information.

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