The talk of hut-to-hut evangelism flooded my mind with memories connected to a distant faith I once knew and practiced. The familiar anxiety and angst filled my gut, and my mind began fervently praying, “O, God, please don’t let that be a part of our day tomorrow.”
Just last week I was in northwest Tanzania with three others from Wilshire visiting four unique villages hosted by Peter Kampanda, the community development coordinator of the African Inland Church of Tanzania. The AICT is holistically ministering to the most vulnerable villages in their district by empowering local churches to mobilize communities and facilitate community development.
Our first stop was Bukwabwa, a village renowned for its commitment to darkness and sorcery. Peter explained to us that engaging in good community development work is possible anywhere, but engaging in community development work that empowers people to live lives “in a manner worthy of the gospel” begins with illuminating even the darkest of places with the knowledge and love of Christ. Through years of mutual trust and relationship building and yes, even a little hut-to-hut evangelism, the village of Bukwabwa came to the decision that if Peter and the others represented the church, then they wanted a church in their village. The church in Bukwabwa built by the residents of Bukwabwa is not only a place where former witch doctors now gather to worship Jesus, but where nonbelievers and believers alike come together to discuss and solve the most pressing issues in the life of their community. Needs are prioritized, and people come together, placing their differences aside, to identify local resources that will help solve the problem at hand.
One woman shared with our group that prior to engaging in this process with the AICT, their village would have seen our group and wondered what it was we had to give to them. “Now,” she said, “we are no longer beggars, knowing that we have all we need to solve our biggest problems ourselves.”
The AICT is living in Christ, extending this life to the villages they serve not only through agricultural training, water wells, medical clinics and schools, but through illuminating the way of Christ.
All are invited to stay for lunch on Sunday, Sept. 24 at noon in Community Hall for Wilshire Talks.
After a quick lunch is served, three Wilshire members will give brief TED-style talks:
- Martha Hinojosa-Nadler will tell about the oral history video project she has undertaken with her parents and siblings;
- Les Carter, a therapist and counselor, will tell about the most difficult question he’s ever been asked;
- Fred Tibbals, nanoscientist and author, will talk about how to understand the science of climate change.
No reservation is needed except for child care, which is available by reservation.
Throughout the month of October, Wilshire congregants are invited to participate in a series of home meetings for fellowship, food and dialogue with Senior Pastor George Mason.
Think of these as new member fellowships for those who aren’t new members any more (but new members are indeed welcome!). The goal is to meet folks outside your normal circles of influence at Wilshire, to share friendly stories with each other and to hear from George an informal state of the church talk. Learn what’s ahead in 2018 and how Wilshire continues to build a community of faith.
These events are precursors to a November generosity emphasis to be called “All In,” although the home meetings will not be fundraising events. Come learn how we can all be “all in” through participation, presence and giving.
Refreshments or desserts will be served at each gathering, and older children and youth are welcome to attend. Because of the diverse locations, child care will not be provided at the church.
Choose the location or date that works best for you, and then let us know you’re coming by registering here. Advance registration is not required, but it will help the host homes prepare.
Have a question about this? Contact Mark Wingfield at email@example.com or (214) 452-3128.
It’s Christmas in September this week.
This Wednesday, Sept. 27, Sanctuary Choir will preview some of the Christmas music for Wilshire’s annual Hanging of the Green service—which will be held on Sunday evening, Dec. 3—and for Sunday mornings in Advent.
Anyone interested in singing in the choir during Advent is invited to the preview.
Featured music includes In Terra Pax by British composer Gerald Finzi, a work for choir, soloists and orchestra that combines the nativity story from Luke 2 and verses from the Robert Bridges poem “Noel: Christmas Eve 1913.”
Also supporting this year’s Advent theme at Wilshire is “The Work of Christmas,” an ethereal a cappella anthem by Dan Forrest set to a profound text by African-American theologian and poet Howard Thurman.
There are several options for participating in Sanctuary Choir this fall.
1. Come join Sanctuary Choir on a permanent basis. Rehearsals are 7 to 8:30 p.m. on Wednesdays in Choral Hall. Child care is available for infants and younger children during rehearsals. The choir sings most Sundays at 11 a.m. and occasionally at 8:30 a.m.
2. Join Sanctuary Choir for the fall semester. Attend the entire rehearsal each Wednesday night and plan to sing in worship throughout the fall. Enjoy all the music of the fall and the Christmas season with no long-term commitment.
3. Sing in the Advent choir. Attend the first half of rehearsals beginning this Wednesday and subsequent weeks. Music for Hanging of the Green and Advent will be rehearsed first each week; singers who prefer to sing only Christmas music may be dismissed at the rehearsal break. Those committing to the Advent choir are asked to sing on Sunday mornings Dec. 3, 10, 17 and 24 and the Hanging of the Green service on Sunday evening, Dec. 3.
In two weeks, tickets will go on sale for Wilshire’s annual Thanksgiving Dinner, except this year it will be a Thanksgiving Luncheon.
The traditional Thanksgiving meal in Community Hall—with all the traditional foods served buffet-style—will be offered in one seating at noon on Sunday, Nov. 19. As before, reserved seating will be offered.
That morning’s 8:30 and 11:00 worship times will focus on Thanksgiving, including the ingathering of grocery bags filled with donated nonperishable items and Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families. More information on this mission component of the day will be forthcoming.
Children and adults alike are welcome at the Thanksgiving Luncheon; no child care will be provided during the meal, but children’s portions of the lunch will be available on the buffet.
Mark your calendar and plan to participate in this churchwide social event.
New young adult class starts next week. A new young adult Sunday School class begins next Sunday, Oct. 1. Odyssey is a class designed for singles and couples in their early 30s. It will be led by Vic Henry and Candy McComb and will meet in Room 3207.
Beginnings Class for newly married. A fall version of Wilshire’s Beginnings Class for newly or nearly married couples will begin Oct. 15 and will meet each Sunday morning through Nov. 19. Any couple newly married or anticipating marriage is invited to attend from 9:40 to 10:40 a.m. weekly. Topics covered include communication, conflict resolution, understanding your families of origin, finances, spirituality and love languages. Contact Tiffany Wright, minister for care ministries, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 452-3107.
This Wednesday noon at Wilshire. Aaron Coyle-Carr will teach this week’s Wednesday noon Bible study on Psalm 119:97-104. Protestantism often has a profoundly negative view of “law,” but Psalm 119 displays the law as an object of love and delight. How could it change our perspective on law if we understood it this way? Come join the group for lunch between 11 a.m. and noon, and then stay for Bible study at noon in Community Hall.
Wonderful Wednesdays. Children’s Wednesday night programming is back with Music and Missions, as well as children’s Bible skills classes, for 3-year-olds through sixth graders. All children are welcome, whether they regularly attend Wilshire or not. Preschool and children’s classes begin at 6 p.m., with a family dinner served from 5 to 6 p.m. in Community Hall. Classes also are offered for adults.
Deacon Nominations.The Deacon Nominating Committee respectfully asks Wilshire members to submit names of persons to be considered for deacon service either as a new deacon or by returning to active service after being a deacon in reserve. Nominees should be individuals who have been church members for at least one year who have modeled consistent, faithful service and leadership in the life of Wilshire. You may nominate as many individuals as you desire. Those chosen will serve a three-year term beginning January 2018. Please note that a deacon in reserve is not automatically considered by the committee; reserve deacons must be nominated to return to active service. Nominations due Sept. 30. Find more information here to nominate.
New Wednesday night classes for adults. Beginning this week, on Sept. 27, two new four-week studies for adults will be offered on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. Pastoral Resident Kevin Sinclair will lead a discussion on “How to Talk to Each Other,” highlighting creative ways to have meaningful conversation with people who disagree with you on important issues. Minister of Missions Heather Mustain will lead a class introducing the Enneagram, an instrument that helps individuals understand themselves and how they are wired and how they relate to others. Any interested participant is welcome, whether you can attend all four weeks or just one week. Both classes will meet near the office on the first floor.
Adventurers to Arboretum. On Monday, Oct. 16, Wilshire Adventurers will take a group outing to the Dallas Arboretum, departing the church on a chartered bus at 10 a.m. and returning around 1:30 p.m. A picnic lunch will be provided. There is no cost, but reservations are needed. Sign up at the Adventurers table at noon on Wednesdays in Community Hall, in the South Lobby on Sunday mornings or by calling Kathi Lyle at (214) 452-3130.
Stephen Ministry training. A new class of Stephen Ministers is currently being organized. Training commences in January 2018 and continues with weekly sessions through the second week in May. Wilshire’s Stephen Ministry equips lay people to provide confidential, one-on-one Christian care to individuals who are experiencing difficulties in their lives. Learn more by visiting the Stephen Ministry page under the Care tab at wilshirebc.org. Applications for Stephen Ministry training are available online and should be submitted to Tiffany Wright no later than Oct. 29.
Flood relief help needed. The first of several trips for Wilshire volunteers to help those affected by flooding in South Texas will take place Oct. 1-6. Wilshire will participate in a larger effort coordinated by CBF Texas and Fellowship Southwest. Additional trips are anticipated throughout the fall, and new opportunities will be open to teenagers as well as adults. Work to be done will vary by location and time. To learn more about volunteering in the South Texas flood relief project, contact Timothy Peoples, McIver Fellow, at email@example.com or (214) 452-3153.
Balance class offered. A fall-prevention and balance class conducted by physical therapy students from TWU will be offered at Wilshire on Monday mornings at 10:30 a.m. beginning Oct. 23. The goal of the class is to increase strength and flexibility, reduce the risk of falling and encourage active lifestyles. Participants will receive individualized attention. Among senior adults, falls are the leading cause of injuries and hospital admissions for trauma. Falls also are the leading cause of injury deaths. This class will teach how to reduce falls and includes an exercise program that is doable for any senior adult to increase balance and strength. Registration is not required, and all are welcome. For information, contact Parish Nurse Linda Garner at (214) 452-3151 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ice cream on playground. Wilshire’s preschool ministry recently held its first Ice Cream on the Playground event for church, ECLC and neighborhood families. The next event will be Oct. 23 at 2:45 p.m. All are welcome.
Be part of a support team. A training session will be offered on Sunday, Oct. 22, at noon for anyone interested in becoming part of a support team at Wilshire. Support teams are groups of six to 10 volunteers who work together to offer practical, emotional and spiritual support to individuals and families with serious health care concerns or other special needs. Examples include chronic or terminal illnesses, crisis situations or caring for the elderly who have become frail. Services offered may include transportation to doctor or therapy appointments, help with household chores, running errands, providing simple social outings, providing respite time for regular caretakers. Support team members do not provide financial assistance or medical care. To learn more, contact Tiffany Wright at email@example.com, (214) 452-3107 or Linda Garner at firstname.lastname@example.org, (214) 452-3151.
Creation lesson. Wilshire’s preschoolers recently took a hands-on approach to their lessons about God’s good creation with a visit from the Country Critters petting zoo. This is an annual event in Sunday School.
Senior housing seminar. On Sunday, Oct. 8, Paul Markowitz of Senior Living Specialists will offer a seminar on Housing Options for Senior Adults. A complimentary lunch will be served in Community Hall at noon as part of the seminar. Reservations are requested at wilshirebc.org/registration or through the church office. Senior adults and the children of senior adults are invited to get a head start by learning important factors to consider when developing a plan of action or transition plan. Paul has been assisting families since 2008 after he discovered the challenges of finding appropriate care for his mother. He brings energy and expertise to a complicated and emotional issue facing senior adults and their families.
Chair yoga added. Chair yoga will be offered on Tuesdays starting Oct. 17 and running through Nov. 14. Time is 11:15 to noon, and location is Room 3208. Cost is $5 per session. Susan Austin will guide the class in stretches that help extend mobility and relieve tension. Come ready to laugh, stretch and meet someone new. For more information, contact Jessica Capps at (214) 452-3129 or email@example.com.
On Sunday, Oct. 8, Paul Markowitz of Senior Living Specialists will offer a seminar on Housing Options for Senior Adults. A complimentary lunch will be served in Community Hall at noon as part of the seminar.
Reservations are requested at wilshirebc.org/registration or through the church office.
Senior adults and the children of senior adults are invited to get a head start by learning important factors to consider when developing a plan of action or transition plan. Paul has been assisting families since 2008 after he discovered the challenges of finding appropriate care for his mother. He brings energy and expertise to a complicated and emotional issue facing senior adults and their families.
The first of several trips for Wilshire volunteers to help those affected by flooding in Houston will take place Oct. 1-6.
Wilshire will participate in a larger effort coordinated by CBF Texas and Fellowship Southwest. Additional trips are anticipated throughout the fall. At this time, volunteers must be age 18 or older.
The first Wilshire group will travel to Houston on Sunday, Oct. 1, and return on Friday, Oct. 6. Cars will be packed with donations and supplies and travel in a caravan, if possible.
Volunteers will work Monday through Thursday and come home Friday morning or afternoon. Lodging will be provided at Baptist Temple in Houston. Accommodations will be fairly primitive: sleeping on air mattresses and showering on a shower truck. The Wilshire team will bring its own food and pack lunches each day, with dinner catered.
The church will cover the costs of lodging and the mandatory supplemental insurance. Volunteers will be responsible for the cost of meals.
Work to be done will vary by location and time. One objective will be to assist families whose damaged homes will not be covered by insurance or FEMA. Other teams will help with general clean-up and tear-out.
Also, for those who are not able to make the trips to Houston, there are local opportunities. John F Kennedy Learning Center in Dallas needs volunteers to assist teachers in classrooms. This school has received about 60 evacuee children who are staying in shelters here. The classes are packed, so they are looking for volunteers to help organize donations.
To learn more about volunteering in the South Texas flood relief project, contact Timothy Peoples, McIver Fellow, at (214) 452-3153.
Wilshire is cosponsoring an event with Northway Christian Church and SMU's Perkins School of Theology to bring Jen Hatmaker and Nichole Nordeman to SMU’s McFarlin Auditorium on Wednesday, Oct. 25.
Purchase your tickets at www.itickets.com/events/385064.html. Prices range from $24-$99 each.
Because of the expected appeal of this event, normal Wednesday evening events for preschoolers and children will be cancelled that night. Watershed for youth and Sanctuary Choir will continue to meet as usual.
The format of this program will be a blend of music, stories and conversation. Doors will open at 6 p.m., with the program beginning at 7 p.m.
Jen Hatmaker is the author of bestselling titles Of Mess and Moxie and For the Love and nine other books. She is a blogger, a pastor’s wife, a mother and a public speaker based in Austin.
Her newest book, Of Mess and Moxie, is the inspiration for this fall’s tour with Nichole Nordeman that will begin in Dallas. In this book, she argues that backbone is the birthright of every woman. Women, she says, have been demonstrating resiliency and resolve since the beginning of time and have strong shoulders to bear loss, hope, grief and vision.
“Somehow women have gotten the message that pain and failure means they must be doing things wrong, that they messed up the rules or tricks for a seamless life,” she says. “As it turns out, every last woman faces confusion and loss, missteps and catastrophic malfunctions, no matter how much she is doing ‘right.’ Struggle doesn’t mean they’re weak; it means they’re alive.”
In her writing, Jen offers hilarious tales and hope for the woman who has forgotten her moxie. Whether discussing change (“Everyone, be into this thing I’m into! Except when I’m not. Then everyone be cool.”) or the time she drove to the wrong city for a fourth-grade field trip (“Why are we in San Antonio?”), she parlays her own triumphs and tragedies into a sigh of relief for all normal, fierce women—women who, like her, sometimes hide in the car eating crackers but also want to get back up and get back out to live undaunted “in the moment” no matter what the moments hold.
Nichole Nordeman has sold more than 1 million albums and won nine Dove Awards, including two awards for Female Vocalist of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. The video of “Slow Down” struck a chord with parents everywhere, amassing more than 20 million views. Her songs chronicle the journey, the ups and downs of life, and not looking back with regret— but with thankfulness that God was there at every turn. “
In this evening experience with Jen and Nichole, participants will laugh, swap stories, share struggles, breathe, listen, stand with one another, silence the voices of regret. And they’ll recognize that every part of life’s journey—every broken place—is leading to a bigger, more beautiful story.
This inclusive event welcomes everyone to open their hearts and join hands with their neighbors.
Michael Cox - By Previous Baptism
Marie Cook on the death of her grandson, Aaron Dye of Portland, Ore.
Family and friends on the death of Kim Martin Robins, former Wilshire member, Sunday, September 17.
Others in need of prayer:
Andrew, Helen, Bill, Carole
*Names in bold indicate Wilshire members.