Millions of Christians around the world are following the church calendar this year just as millions have done for generations. Jewish history claims that following appointed Scripture readings began during the time of Moses. Early Jewish-Christians brought this practice from their synagogues into their churches.
We are currently in Eastertide, a season celebrating the time between Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday and the day the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus’ followers at Pentecost. The prefix penta meaning five, because in our Scriptures the day of Pentecost occurs on the 50th day after the resurrection.
Prepositions carry a lot of weight in the church calendar. During the season of Lent, the 40 days of preparation and fasting prior to Easter, each Sunday is labeled a Sunday in Lent rather than a Sunday of Lent. That’s because Sundays aren’t Lenten and don’t count toward the 40 days. Each Sunday is a reprieve from the Lenten season—a feast day during a time of fasting.
Eastertide is quite a different story. This Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter.
Easter isn’t just one day but 49 days. Each Sunday is a celebration cautioning us not to go back to normalcy too quickly, because Christ is risen and nothing will ever be the same. For seven weeks we are reminded that he is alive and well, living inside each of us, transforming hearts and minds.
Can you see it? It’s not always easy in our world, but Jesus’ nail-marked hands are leaving fingerprints everywhere if we’ll look closely and slowly. That’s why we need a season and not just a day.
Like walking out of a dark theater on a sunny day, our eyes need time to adjust. Our spiritual eyes need time to adjust now that we know Jesus is alive.
Some hear him in their pain, feel his comfort in their grief or find his strength in their trials. Some hear him only in silence, while others find him in community. He’s there in a good belly laugh, and he’s there in a gut-wrenching cry. Jesus is always there, but we have to learn to recognize him.
If you look around and have trouble finding Jesus, that’s OK too. Don’t give up. This is a season, not a day. Keep your eyes open. He’ll find you.
Today in worship we hear the inspiring story of Theo Krause, a child of our church who has recovered in ways never predicted from a spinal cord injury due to a mountain biking accident in Colorado.
His father, Tim Krause, has written a book about Theo’s courageous battle for life after loss. It is also a deeper story of discovery about the people whose lives became interwoven with Theo’s and how they found their way in life, provoking questions about the meaning of “miracle” and the way the world works.
Copies of Finding Theo may be purchased beginning April 22 for $25 apiece, with all proceeds from church sales donated by the family to Wilshire’s Pathways to Ministry Endowment. The book also is available online in paperback and digital formats.
On Sunday, May 6, both Tim Krause and Theo Krause will be present for a free luncheon dialogue in Community Hall at noon. No reservation is required.
Sunday, April 29, 6:30 p.m., Wilshire Sanctuary
Wilshire Sanctuary Choir
Grace Jennings, soprano soloist
Choral works of John Rutter
To Everything There is a Season
For the Beauty of the Earth
A Gaelic Blessing
*In support of the Grief and Loss Center of North Texas
(Image used by permission and available at lyndeutsch.wordpress.com)
Time marches on. And, for those of us who have been around for a while, the pace of the march seems to be accelerating rapidly. We are all aging. It is inevitable.
Many actually find joy in newly found freedom and independence made possible by having achieved a certain age. Those able to retire may find time to pursue interests for which there never seemed to be enough time before, whether travel, hobbies or volunteering for worthwhile causes. Relationships with family and friends may be enhanced with the opportunity to devote more time to them.
Others may experience losses of various sorts related to aging: physical losses or the inability to engage in certain activities due to medical conditions, a loss of one’s sense of purpose or worth when no longer engaged in one’s life work, loss of independence if one is no longer able to care for oneself, loss of security or dignity, loss of family and friends due to death and ultimately, facing the prospect of one’s own mortality.
It is not likely that any one person will experience all losses or gains. It is more likely that there will be losses and benefits.
Could thoughts from our pastor’s Easter sermon, “All Things New,” be instructive as we transition from one phase of life to another? With a resurrection outlook—same you, new—it may be possible to adopt a forward-looking orientation that allows us to embrace the future.
Wilshire’s Stephen Ministers have been trained to offer care to those experiencing losses due to aging. If you find yourself in need of such care, or know someone who is, contact Tiffany Wright, minister for care ministries, at (214) 452-3107.
Grief and Loss Center dinner and auction. The Grief and Loss Center of North Texas, created by and housed at Wilshire as a distinct community ministry, will hold its annual “Celebrate Hope” awareness dinner and silent auction this Thursday, April 26, at Lakewood Country Club. Learn more and reserve seats at mygriefandloss.org.
Affinity Group Luncheons, Sunday, April 29:
*Preschool and children parent ideas. Parents are invited to stay after worship on April 29 for a free luncheon and roundtable dialogue to share best ideas on summer activities for preschoolers and children. This is part of the monthly Affinity Group luncheon series. There is no speaker, just an informal crowdsourcing of what you’ve learned and want to share with others. No reservation required.
*Dealing with difficult parents. Adults who face challenges in dealing with difficult senior adult parents are invited to an Affinity Group luncheon with Paul Chafetz, Ph.D. in clinical psychology with a specialization in senior adults, on Sunday, April 29, at noon. No reservation is required, and lunch is free.
*Learn about mentoring and coaching. The Missions Committee invites anyone interested in learning how to become an effective mentor, coach or volunteer counselor to an Affinity Group luncheon on Sunday, April 29, at noon in Community Hall. No reservation is required, and lunch is free. The roundtable will be led by Scott Spreier, a Wilshire member who is a nonprofit volunteer and a professional business coach.
This Wednesday at Wilshire, April 25. Come to Koinonia Café for lunch or dinner, then stay for Wednesday activities. The noon Bible study continues in Community Hall. At 6 p.m., all are invited to the two short-term studies listed below:
Gospels overview. For two more weeks including this Wednesday, April 25, Senior Pastor George Mason will continue to lead an overview of the New Testament Gospels. The class will meet at 6 p.m. in Room 1205-L.
Hymn writing seminar. A seminar on hymn writing will continue for the next two Wednesday nights on April 25 and May 2 from 6 to 6:45 p.m. in Room 1205-G. This week will include a presentation by Brian Hehn, director of the Center for Congregational Song, on the state of hymn writing and usage today. The final week will be a hymn lab, singing together new texts written by participants. No prior poetry writing or musical knowledge is required to participate.
Koinonia Café April 25: Grilled sausages with mustard sauce, chicken with wild mushrooms, bacon potato salad, sauerkraut, glazed peas and carrots, green beans, salad bar, dessert bar.
Topper baby shower. All are invited to a baby shower for Pastoral Resident Jakob and Alyssa Topper on Sunday, May 6, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in the Parlor. The parents-to-be prefer gift cards and are registered at Target and Amazon.
Medicare and You seminar. Learn how changes to Medicare will affect you in 2018. A free information session will be conducted by an outreach insurance specialist with Medicare Health Plans Operations. Participants will learn about the new Medicare card and how to avoid insurance fraud and scams. The date is Thursday, May 3, and the time is 9 to 10:30 a.m. RSVP by April 29 to Jessica Capps at (214) 452-3129. Breakfast burritos will be served.
Adventurers to Fair Park. Senior adults are invited to join Wilshire Adventurers for a historical tour of Fair Park on Thursday, May 24. The group will leave the church at 9:45 a.m. and return after lunch at the Old Mill Inn in Fair Park. The event is free, except for lunch, which is on your own. Sign up at the Adventurers table on Sunday mornings in the South Lobby or during Wednesdays at noon in Community Hall.
Help needed for CBF Assembly. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship’s annual General Assembly will be held at the Dallas Hyatt Regency complex downtown June 13-15, and Wilshire volunteers are needed in many capacities. The event includes fellowship, inspiration, education and worship for clergy and laity alike. Volunteers are needed for registration, hospitality and ushering, among other roles. If you are willing to give a few hours or an entire day, visit these links to register and learn more. To serve as a hospitality volunteer, go here: https://bit.ly/2Gvkxe8. To serve as a registration volunteer, go here: https://bit.ly/2uECMIv. Or follow the links with one click from wilshirebc.org/registration.
Holy Land trip. George Mason and Rabbi Nancy Kasten will lead an interfaith tour to the Holy Land Oct. 28 through Nov. 8, with an optional add-on that extends the trip to Nov. 11. Find information and registration at wilshirebc.org/registration.
Room in the Inn this summer. Join other Wilshire volunteers in welcoming homeless women to spend a cool night in Community Hall during the heat of the summer on June 15, July 20 and Aug. 17. Contact Heather Mustain for more information.
Food on the Move this summer . Wilshire’s annual Food on the Move summer missions project will run June 12 through Aug. 10, and volunteers are needed to help pack and deliver weekend food bags and to host and run weekly one-hour summer classes on science or reading. All ages are welcome to volunteer. Learn more at www.wilshirebc.org/serve/mission-videos. Contact Heather Mustain to sign up.
Bible and culture class. “The Wired Word” is the name of a new adult Sunday School class. This intergenerational class seeks to engage adults who are not currently attending Sunday School and anyone looking for a fresh start in group Bible study. Directed by Alice Willhoite, the class will use a variety of guest teachers, who will connect the Bible with national and international news of the preceding week. The class meets in Room 3201 at 9:45 a.m.
Summer mission team to New York City. Wilshire has started a new partnership with CBF field personnel Lesley-Ann Tommey in New York City. We’ve been invited to lead a week of camp (Aug. 4-11) for children through Rauschenbusch’s Metro Ministries. Ninth graders through adults are needed. Email Heather Mustain to enlist. Groups will stay in dormitories at Metro Baptist Church and will have evenings free.
Women’s ministry. An expanded women’s ministry is being launched at Wilshire. The new name is WOW! which stands for Women of Wilshire. This is an intergenerational group for all guests and members of Wilshire. All women are welcome. Planned events include socials, Bible and book studies and opportunities to connect and build community. A kickoff event will be a free brunch on Saturday, May 12, from 10 a.m. to noon in James Gallery. RSVP with Tiffany Wright. Child care is available. Also, a Women of Wilshire Facebook page has been created.
Time for Turquoise Tables. If you would like to have a Turquoise Table in your yard this year, contact Tiffany Wright. After a successful effort last spring, Wilshire volunteers are painting more tables and continuing to cultivate authentic community where our members live. By signing up to take a table, you commit to hosting an informal gathering of your neighbors at least once per month at your table.
A new art exhibit in the South Lobby shines a light on the pervasive problem of sex trafficking in Texas.
Artifacts of Human Trafficking was curated by Austin artist Amie Stone King, with her own works and juried mixed media works from artists around the world based on the themes of desperation, isolation and deceit. Amy is a member of First Baptist Church in Austin and holds degrees in theater and art museum education from the University of Texas at Austin. She is interested in collage and installation art and her work invites the viewer not only to look but to participate with mind, body and spirit.
The centerpiece of the exhibit is an “isolation room” that invites participants to sit in darkness in a small space and contemplate the plight of women and men who are held in virtual slavery. Did you know that Texas ranks No, 2 in the United States for annual reports of people being trafficked?
The show is open without charge during regular church building hours through May 7. It came to Wilshire directly from the Baylor University School of Social Work.
Worship interview about the art exhibit
All-church picnic: Wilshire at the Lake
Sunday, May 20 | 5 to 7 p.m.
Winfrey Point at White Rock Lake
A family-friendly event with live music, bounce house, face painting and outdoor activities.
All ages are invited.
Air-conditioned seating inside as well as picnic space outside.
The church will provide fried chicken, vegetarian pasta salad, rolls and beverages.
The rest of the meal is potluck. Last names A-H, bring salads and fruits; last names I-P, bring vegetables; last names Q-Z, bring desserts.
New this year: An old-fashioned Hymn Sing-a-Long led by Darren DeMent and friends.
Also new this year: A Pie Contest. To participate, bring one homemade pie and the recipe. Pies must be made entirely from scratch to be considered. Official pie judges will award a variety of prizes.
George Mason and Rabbi Nancy Kasten will lead an interfaith tour to the Holy Land Oct. 28 through Nov. 8, with an optional add-on that extends the trip to Nov. 11.
The land tour package includes one night in Haifa at the Dan Panorama Hotel, three nights in northern Israel at the Kfar Giladi Guesthouse and six nights in Jerusalem at the Dan Panorama Hotel. An optional extension offers three nights in Jordan.
Cost for the basic land package (without the Jordan addition) is $2,490 per person based on double occupancy. Single occupancy adds an additional $925. The land package does not include airfare but does include all ground transportation in Israel. The Jordan extension adds $1,095 (single occupancy an additional $245).
George and Rabbi Kasten will provide historical and biblical context each day, along with a certified Israeli tour guide.
Trip highlights include a guided visit through ancient Acre, including the underground Crusader City and the reconstructed Hamam; driving tour of the Lower Galilee to Nazareth with an optional visit to the Church of the Annunciation and a visit to the Nazareth Baptist Church; the ancient city of Sephoris; the Golan Plateau along with the biblical sites of Tel Dan and Caesarea Philipi ; the Byzantine period Um el Kanatir synagogue, which is being reconstructed from a literal pile of stones, using ground-breaking technology; the Sea of Galilee, the Mount of Beatitudes, Capernaum, the Valley of Genezerath, Tiberias; the traditional site of Jesus’ baptism and also where Joshua crossed the River Jordan in to the Promised Land; Jericho; Jerusalem’s Western Wall complex; a Jerusalem Sabbath; the Israel Museum; the Bible Lands Museum; the Mount of Olives; the Old City and Bethesda Pools, the Crusader Via Delarosa, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher and the Garden Tomb; the Dead Sea Basin and the Herodian Fortress; Qumeran, where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found; Bethlehem; the Temple Mount; a guided visit through the Roman and Crusader ruins, concluding in the re-constructed Crusader city; and Jaffa.
The optional extension includes a visit to Petra and related sites.
Brochures with trip details are available in the church office. All reservations and arrangements will be handled by the tour operator--Makor Educational Journeys.
Register today. A deposit of $500 (single occupancy) or $1,000 (double occupancy) will hold your reservation. Space is limited.
P.S. The tour begins in Israel on Oct. 29 but travel time to get there needs to be taken in consideration which is why we are listing Oct. 28. For example, it is an approximate 17 hour flight from Dallas to Jerusalem.
Ben Holden - By Statement
Dale Cohen - By Letter for First Baptist Church, Tyler, TX.
Sarabeth Smetzer on the death of her husband, Bob Smetzer, Tuesday March 13 in North Potomac, Md. Daughter: Sara Thompson. Grandchildren: Cormack and Finn Thompson. Memorial service: Monday, April 23, 3 p.m., McIver Chapel.
Carolyn Strickland on the death of her sister, Juanice Collins, Thursday, April 12. Service: Monday, April 16, 11 a.m., Emken Linton Funeral Home, Texas City, TX.
Others in need of prayer:
Lynette, Preston, Perry, Sue, Elaine, Louise
*Names in bold indicate Wilshire members.
Legendary folk singer Kate Campbell appeared at Wilshire last weekend along with songs with the release of her newest album, Damn Sure Blue, inspired by the swirl of human rights events and cultural conversations that have engulfed the nation over the last two years. The album includes titles such as “Change Should’ve Come by Now” and “Peace, Precious Peace.”
Kate Campbell steps to the beat of a different drummer. Originally from the Mississippi Delta and the daughter of a Southern Baptist preacher, her formative years were spent in the very core of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the indelible experiences of those years have shaped her heart and character as well as her songwriting.
Kate’s endearing, clear vocal delivery and her eloquent gift for storytelling have drawn repeated comparisons to such bastions of the Southern literary tradition as Flannery O’Connor, Eudora Welty and William Faulkner.