Preparing for worship

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This Sunday's Prayers of the People will focus on child refugees and immigrants. Many of God’s beloved children are being held captive by partisan politics, used as pawns by both sides of the aisle in order to reach political compromise.

It was just three short months ago when children of all ages were ripped from their parents’ arms and locked in cages. The media has moved on, and so have many of us, but as of today there are 400 children who remain separated from their families. A ‘zero-tolerance’ policy enacted by our federal administration will have long-standing traumatic effects for generations to come.

The Apostle Paul says, “If one member suffers, all members suffer with it.” So today we focus our prayers on the suffering of God’s beloved children and we pray for policies and responses filled with compassion and mercy. After each petition made to God, we will join together and sing a meditative response written by the Taizé community:

O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer,
When I call, answer me.
O Lord, hear my prayer,
O Lord, hear my prayer.
Come and listen to me.

By using just a few words, this simple song expresses a basic reality of faith that can be quickly grasped by the mind. Repetition allows a word’s meaning to penetrate the whole being and leads to our listening of God’s voice. Together we take part in a time of prayer and remain attentive in our waiting on God. And when words escape us, this short and simple song helps us to call out to God in our collective pain.

The work of the Taizé community focuses on solidarity. They say, “When we experience solidarity with others nearby or far away—the experience of belonging to each other, of depending on one another—our life becomes meaningful. The true meaning of life is found in solidarity with others, lived out through concrete acts. Such solidarity allows us to glimpse that there is a love that is beyond us; it leads us to believe in God’s love for every human being.”

So as we pray together, may we continue to work toward our solidarity, a solidarity that reminds us that our individual freedom is tied to the freedom of others. And may the simple words of our prayer together continue in the silence of your hearts this week as you work, speak with others or rest.

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Diana Butler Bass in November

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Wilshire will join faith communities across Dallas to kick off the week of Thanksgiving with author Diana Butler Bass.

On Sunday morning, Nov. 18, she will preach at Wilshire in both morning services and then make comments at the noon Thanksgiving luncheon in Community Hall. (Tickets to the noon luncheon are on sale in the church office).

On Monday evening, Nov. 19, she will speak at 7:30 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in downtown Dallas. That event is free and open to the public.

Diana is a renowned scholar of American religion and an award-winning writer on the intersection of religion in culture. She will speak about a new paradigm for social and political relationships that is based in a spiritual understanding of gratitude and shared communal life, with a goal to bring people together in these contentious times.

Her latest book, Grateful: The Transformative Power of Giving Thanks, will be available for purchase on Monday night.

The Monday night event is hosted by Faith Commons, in partnership with many congregations, organizations and individuals in the Dallas community. More information may be found at www.faithcommons.org.

She holds a Ph.D. from Duke University and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, PBS, CBS and FOX, has been interviewed on NPR, CBC and Sirius XM, and has work featured in Time, USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. From 1995 to 2000, she wrote a weekly column for the New York Times Syndicate. She was a founding blogger for both Beliefnet and Huffington Post religion. Her bylines include the Washington Post and Atlantic.com.  She has preached and taught in hundreds of churches, colleges, and conferences.

Born in Baltimore she lives in Alexandria, Va., with her husband, Richard Bass, and their dog, Rowan.

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Apply to be a Stephen Minister

The Stephen Ministry leadership team is looking ahead to January 2019, when a new class of Stephen Ministers will commence training. There is always room for more trainees. So if you think you may have an interest, please give it prayerful consideration.

Through Stephen Ministry, trained lay caregivers provide one-to-one, confidential, non-judgmental, Christ-centered care to people who are hurting, whether that be from death of a loved one, diagnosis of a serious or terminal illness, providing care to one who has received such a diagnosis, disability, chronic unemployment, divorce or any of a number of other of life’s debilitating circumstances.

Stephen Ministry is not counseling, and no specialized background or knowledge is required.  Good listeners with a caring bent, committed to being a faithful and constant presence for their care receivers make for good Stephen Ministers in-training. The training equips Stephen Ministers to serve their care receivers, and Stephen Ministers are further supported in their work by fellow Stephen Ministers in regular supervision sessions.

Classes will begin Tuesday, Jan. 8, and will meet weekly at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday evenings through May 7. Each class runs about two and a half hours.

To learn more, contact any of the Stephen Leaders: Tiffany Wright, Linda Garner, Michele Blaker, Craig Keith or Rob Banta. There is an application to be completed, which may be obtained from any of the Leaders or online on Wilshire's Stephen Ministry page under the Care tab.  There is additional information about Stephen Ministry on Wilshire’s website and also at www.stephenministries.org.

Completed applications should be submitted to Linda Garner by the end of the first week in November. Stephen Minister application (pdf)

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Tapestry News Briefs

This Wednesday at Wilshire, Oct. 17. Two new short-term classes for adults are offered this Wednesday, Oct. 17. Matt Dodrill will lead a 6 p.m. class inspired by the writings of poet Christian Wiman. Sometimes the best theology is found in non-theological texts such as letters, essays, poems and short stories, what Wiman calls “accidental theology.” Come explore the significance of discerning truths about God, revelation, beauty and human nature from literature not intended to be “theological.” Jared Jaggers and Ryan Wilson will discuss how work matters: a theology of work and leisure and a Christian understanding of work as participation in the character of God. American culture has taught us that we need to work as much as possible to find worth and value, but research shows people are more dissatisfied than ever in their work. How might our Christian faith empower us?

Wednesday night schedule on Halloween. Because Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, the Wednesday evening meal and all normal Wednesday evening activities except Sanctuary Choir rehearsal will be cancelled that week. Koinonia Café and Bible study will continue at noon as normal.

Koinonia Café Oct. 17: Beef ravioli with marinara; chicken with mushrooms, onion and bacon; eggplant Parmesan; parsley potatoes; creamed spinach; Italian vegetables; salad bar; dessert bar. Kids: Grilled chicken, pasta alfredo, salad.

Spring break missions. Looking for spring break plans? Look no further! A team from Wilshire will head to Shaw, Miss., March 9-14 to work with our missions partner Delta Hands for Hope. Volunteers will spend the week leading a children’s spring break camp, completing a few manual projects for the organization and touring important civil rights locations. Families are highly encouraged to participate in this trip as children of all ages are welcome. The average cost of the trip per person is $220. Contact Heather Mustain for details.

Warm outerwear collection. Wilshire’s Globetrekkers will collect new and gently used coats, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats and other warm outerwear and new socks and underwear for one of our mission partners, Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries in New York, now through Oct. 31. Collection boxes are available outside the main church office, near the north entrance, and in the second floor education offices.

Voter registration drive. To date, Wilshire’s Christian Advocacy Committee helped 45 people register to vote. Here, committee member Randy Patterson shows the registration under way. The Committee encourages everyone to exercise Christian citizenship and vote in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. To find out more about candidates visit either The League of Women Voters or Dallas Morning News websites for nonpartisan voter guides. Early voting in Dallas County is on Oct. 22-26 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Saturday, Oct. 27, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; on Sunday, Oct. 28, from 1 to 6 p.m.; and on Oct. 29 through Nov. 2, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Country Critters. Preschoolers will learn about the animals God made when they attend the Country Critters petting farm at Wilshire this Sunday, Oct. 14, near the Prayer Garden. Children in 2-year-old through kindergarten classes will visit the portable farm during Sunday School. Families with babies and 1-year-olds and others may visit before or after Sunday School.

Thanksgiving basket drive. It’s time to begin thinking about Thanksgiving, when Wilshire will partner with the Wilkinson Center for its annual Turkey Basket Drive. Wilshire is committed to collect 75 turkey baskets this year. These baskets will be received by adult students in the Wilkinson Center’s GED program. We will deliver these baskets to Arcadia Park (West Dallas) on the morning of Nov. 15. The cost of putting together one basket is about $75 ($20 cash/check will be collected for each basket for a meat or meatless voucher). Sunday School classes are invited to take on this project. To sign up, contact our missions and advocacy intern, Shelby Patterson. Volunteers also are needed to accept donations at Wilshire, load the U-Haul and distribute the baskets on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Help for foster and adoptive parents and children. Wilshire has partnered with My TreeHouse to provide training and nurture for adults and children united through foster care or adoption. Monthly groups will be offered on the second Friday of each month. Rosalind Funderburgh from My TreeHouse will lead the group for parents. Joan Hammons will lead the group for preschoolers and children. All groups will meet at Wilshire beginning at 6:30 p.m. and last about two hours. Register online at wilshirebc.org/registration or contact Joan Hammons for more information: (214) 452-3141. Registration needed by the Sunday prior.

Featured adult class of the week. Did you know Wilshire has a women’s class? The only gender-specific adult Sunday School class offered is the Women’s Bible Class, taught by Linda Garner. This is a class for women, whether married or single, who want to study the Bible as it applies to everyday life and establish relationships to support each other in following Christ. The class meets in Room 3104 every  Sunday at 9:40 a.m. Women of all ages are welcome.

One Starry Night volunteers. On Dec. 14, One Starry Night will once again fill Wilshire’s Community Hall with the sights and sounds of a first-century village. It’s an interactive outreach event for the community and an intergenerational experience for church members and their families. Volunteers are needed for a variety of booths and activities. Contact LeAnn Kite Hampton at (214) 693-7335, or Joan Hammons at (214) 452-3141 for more information. 

Advocacy training. Texas Impact will offer a community advocacy training session at Wilshire on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. The training will include a faith panel with guest speakers, basic information on how to become a Christian advocate with elected officials, plus breakout sessions on hunger, education, payday lending and immigration. Register at texasinterfaith.org/training.

Women’s Brown Bag Book Club. Bring a lunch and join these book discussions from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 1205-L. No reservation required, and guests are always welcome. The book for Nov. 1 is Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert. The book for Dec. 13 is Two Sisters, by Asne Seierstad.

Fall prevention class. Physical therapy students from Texas Woman’s University will offer a “Balance ’n’ Boogie” fall prevention class at Wilshire on Mondays from Oct.  22 through Dec. 3. The class will meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Room 3301. The first session will include an initial assessment of each participant’s balance along with an introduction to the class. Classes following will focus on building strength, improving balance, practice getting from the floor to standing, tai chi and dance. For more information, contact Laura Danks or Linda Garner at lgarner@wilshirebc.org or (214) 452-3151.

Adventurers to Heritage Village and market. Wilshire Adventurers will take a day trip on Thursday, Nov. 8, to the Dallas Heritage Village with lunch at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Forty seats are available on the chartered motor coach, which will depart Wilshire at 10:30 a.m. First stop is lunch on your own at the Farmer’s Market, followed by a guided tour at the Heritage Village. Cost is $15 per person, plus your 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. 

Wilshire’s annual Thanksgiving Luncheon will be offered this year in one seating at noon on Sunday, Nov. 18, in Community Hall. That morning’s 8:30 and 11:00 worship times will focus on Thanksgiving, including the ingathering of grocery bags and Thanksgiving baskets for hungry families. A traditional Thanksgiving buffet with all the traditional foods will be offered in Community Hall with reserved seating. Tickets are on sale now in the front office. Cost is $9 for adults, $6 for children 10 and under, with a maximum charge of $30 for immediate families. Diana Butler Bass will offer brief words about the power of gratitude to shape us into thankful people.

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Prayer Notes

October 7-12

New Members:

Tori Korson - by previous baptism

Mary Grace Thompson - by statement of previous baptism in a Baptist church.

Condolences to:

Jill and Rob Reed and Greg Woodring on the death of Jill and Greg’s father, Wayne Woodring, October 4. Grandchildren: Matalee Reed and Morgan Reed.

Bill and Charlotte Bruster on the death of Bill’s brother, Johnny Bruster, Sunday, October 7.

Others in need of prayer:

Anne, Alex, Carol, Donna, Henry, Charles

*Names in bold indicate Wilshire members

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Donate Thanksgiving Baskets

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It’s time to begin thinking about Thanksgiving, when Wilshire will partner with the Wilkinson Center for its annual Turkey Basket Drive.

Wilshire is committed to collect 75 turkey baskets this year. These baskets will be received by adult students in the Wilkinson Center’s GED program. The cost of putting together one basket is about $75 ($20 cash/check will be collected for each basket for a meat or meatless voucher).

Sunday School classes are invited to take on this project.

Volunteers also are needed to accept donations at Wilshire, load the U-Haul and distribute the baskets Arcadia Park (West Dallas) on Thursday, Nov. 15. 

To sign up, contact Wilshire's missions & advocacy intern, Shelby Patterson.

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Preparing for Worship

george-mason-smaller.pngThis Sunday is World Communion Sunday in the global church. When we come to the Lord’s Table, we are being asked to remember not only Jesus but also every member of the body of Christ across the world.

Communion is one of two ordinances in the Baptist church. It is also called The Lord’s Supper, and sometimes Eucharist, meaning thanksgiving. All churches everywhere include Communion, by any name, along with baptism as two of their key spiritual rites, also known as sacraments.

Baptism symbolizes the entrance of the individual into the communal life of Christ, the church. It’s a one-time event with lifetime effect. The baptism rite calls us to a daily life of dying with Christ and serving the world out of sacrificial love. Communion is a repeated reminder of the meaning of the baptized life.

We are first and foremost communing with the Holy One in Holy Communion. We reaffirm our relationship with God by remembering Jesus. We take in the broken bread and the wine poured out as if it is his body and blood given for us. We are nourished by the spiritual food of his living presence among us.

But, as Frederick Buechner puts it, we are also “communing with each other. To eat any meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic need. It is hard to preserve your dignity with butter on your chin, or to keep your distance when asking for the tomato ketchup.

“To eat this particular meal together is to meet at the level of our most basic humanness, which involves our need not just for food but for each other. I need you to help fill my emptiness just as you need me to help fill yours. As for the emptiness that’s still left over, well, we’re in it together, or it in us. Maybe it’s most of what makes us human and makes us brothers and sisters.”

On World Communion Sunday, we acknowledge our need for those we can see at our elbows in the pew and also those we cannot see who are joining us in cathedrals and storefront churches in cities and villages across the globe. Our distance makes no difference because of the Spirit who makes us one, again and again and again.

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Tapestry News Briefs

This Wednesday at Wilshire, Oct. 10. Two new short-term classes for adults begin this Wednesday, Oct. 10, and continue on Oct. 17. Pastoral Resident Matt Dodrill will lead a 6 p.m. class inspired by the writings of poet Christian Wiman. Sometimes the best theology is found in non-theological texts such as letters, essays, poems and short stories, what Wiman calls “Accidental Theology.” Come explore the significance of discerning truths about God, revelation, beauty and human nature from literature not intended to be “theological.” Pastoral Residents Jared Jaggers and Ryan Wilson will discuss a Christian understanding of work as participation in the character of God in their study Work Matters: A Theology of Labor and Leisure. American culture has taught us that we need to work as much as possible to find worth and value, but research shows people are more dissatisfied than ever in their work. How might our Christian faith empower us?

Generosity update. As of Sept. 30, gifts to Wilshire’s Unified Budget totaled $2,728,271, which was $211,729 or about 7.2 percent below projected revenue for the period. By comparison, gifts to the Unified Budget through September 2017 totaled $2,679,655, which was about 11.2 percent below projected revenue for the period. Expenses through September 2018 totaled $3,002,205, creating a year-to-date deficit of $273,934. Designated gifts for specific missions and ministries totaled $55,498. The current value of the George A. Mason Pathways to Ministry Endowment stands at $4,756,596, with $53,126 given toward the endowment thus far this year.

Spring break missions. Looking for spring break plans? Look no further! A team from Wilshire will head to Shaw, Miss., March 9-14 to work with our missions partner Delta Hands for Hope. Volunteers will spend the week leading a children’s spring break camp, completing a few manual projects for the organization and touring important civil rights locations. Families are highly encouraged to participate in this trip as children of all ages are welcome. The average cost of the trip per person is $220. Contact Heather Mustain for details.

Warm outerwear collection. Wilshire’s Globetrekkers will collect new and gently used coats, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats and other warm outerwear and new socks and underwear for one of our mission partners, Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries in New York, now through Oct. 31. Collection boxes are available outside the main church office, near the north entrance, and in the second floor education offices.

Thanksgiving basket drive. It’s time to begin thinking about Thanksgiving, when Wilshire will partner with the Wilkinson Center for its annual Turkey Basket Drive. Wilshire is committed to collect 75 turkey baskets this year. These baskets will be received by adult students in the Wilkinson Center’s GED program. We will deliver these baskets to Arcadia Park (West Dallas) on the morning of Nov. 15. The cost of putting together one basket is about $75 ($20 cash/check will be collected for each basket for a meat or meatless voucher). Sunday School classes are invited to take on this project. To sign up, contact our missions and advocacy intern, Shelby Patterson. Volunteers also are needed to accept donations at Wilshire, load the U-Haul and distribute the baskets on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Sanctuary Choir guest clinician. While Doug Haney is away on a six-week sabbatical leave, Sanctuary Choir rehearsals are being be led by Allen Hightower, professor and director of choral studies at the University of North Texas in Denton. Prior to his appointment at UNT, Allen was the first holder of the Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music at Luther College, where he served as conductor of the renowned Nordic Choir and artistic director of “Christmas at Luther.” Prior to that, he was professor of music and director of choral activities at Sam Houston State University. You can learn from him during these six weeks by joining Sanctuary Choir. New and returning singers are welcome during Doug’s sabbatical. Rehearsals are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Choral Hall.

WOW! Tuesday Night Book Club. The Women of Wilshire book club meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Parlor. For Oct. 9, the book is A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. All women are welcome.

Exercise Christian citizenship and vote. The midterm elections are quickly approaching on Nov. 6, and the Christian Advocacy Committee encourages everyone to vote. To find out more about candidates visit either The League of Women Voters or Dallas Morning News websites for nonpartisan voter guides. In Dallas, early voting begins two weeks prior to the Nov. 6 election. Note that Dallas County has a Sunday date and polls are open longer during the second week of early voting. Early voting on Oct. 22-26 is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; on Saturday, Oct. 27, vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; on Sunday, Oct. 28, vote from 1 to 6 p.m.; and on Oct. 29 through Nov. 2, vote from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Help for foster and adoptive parents. Wilshire has partnered with My TreeHouse to provide training and nurture for adults and children united through foster care or adoption. Monthly groups will be offered on the second Friday of each month. Rosalind Funderburgh from My TreeHouse will lead the group for parents. Joan Hammons will lead the group for preschoolers and children. All groups will meet at Wilshire beginning at 6:30 p.m. and last about two hours. Register online at wilshirebc.org/registration or call Joan Hammons for more information: (214) 452-3141.

Featured adult class of the week. If you’re interested in holding your Bible in one hand and a newspaper (or iPad with news app) in the other, the Wired Word Class might be for you. This relatively new class is intergenerational and discusses current events from a biblical perspective. Give them a visit in Room 3201 on Sunday mornings at 9:40 a.m.

Special baptism service planned. Have you joined Wilshire on the basis of your previous baptism by another form but would like to be baptized by immersion now? Have you never been baptized but would like to take this step in following Jesus in a less-crowded setting than Sunday morning? A special baptismal service is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. There will be no all-church worship service—just the family and friends of those who are being baptized. If you wish to participate, contact Debby Burton at (214) 452-3132.

Stephen Ministry. A new training class of Stephen Ministers will begin in January. Applications are now being accepted for prospective Stephen Ministers, who are trained lay volunteers assigned to one-on-one caring relationships with individuals in difficult life circumstances. The deadline for applications is Sunday, Nov. 4. For more information, contact Tiffany Wright, minister for care ministries or visit the Stephen Ministry page on our website. .

One Starry Night volunteers. On Dec. 14, One Starry Night will once again fill Wilshire’s Community Hall with the sights and sounds of a first-century village. It’s an interactive outreach event for the community and an intergenerational experience for church members and their families. Volunteers are needed for a variety of booths and activities. Contact LeAnn Kite Hampton at (214) 693-7335, or Joan Hammons at (214) 452-3141 for more information.

Advocacy training. Texas Impact will offer a community advocacy training session at Wilshire on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. The training will include a faith panel with guest speakers, basic information on how to become a Christian advocate with elected officials, plus breakout sessions on hunger, education, payday lending and immigration. Register at texasinterfaith.org/training.

Women’s Brown Bag Book Club. Bring a lunch and join these book discussions from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 1205-L. No reservation required, and guests are always welcome. The book for Nov. 1 is Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert. The book for Dec. 13 is Two Sisters, by Asne Seierstad.

Fall prevention class. Physical therapy students from Texas Woman’s University will offer a “Balance ’n’ Boogie” fall prevention class at Wilshire on Mondays from Oct. 22 through Dec. 3. The class will meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Room 3301. The first session will include an initial assessment of each participant’s balance along with an introduction to the class. Classes following will focus on building strength, improving balance, practice getting from the floor to standing, tai chi and dance. For more information, contact Laura Danks or Linda Garner at (214) 452-3151.

Adventurers to Heritage Village and market. Wilshire Adventurers will take a day trip on Thursday, Nov. 8, to the Dallas Heritage Village with lunch at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Forty seats are available on the chartered motor coach, which will depart Wilshire at 10:30 a.m. First stop is lunch on your own at the Farmer’s Market, followed by a guided tour at the Heritage Village. Cost is $15 per person, plus your 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.

Resident-led vespers. The next resident-led vespers service will be on Wednesday, Oct. 24, at 6 p.m. in McIver Chapel. All are welcome to participate.

Wednesday night schedule on Halloween. Because Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year, the Wednesday evening meal and all normal Wednesday evening activities except Sanctuary Choir rehearsal will be cancelled that week. Koinonia Café and Bible study will continue at noon as normal.

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Preparing for Worship

jaggers-jared-138x195.jpgDon’t you love the Sundays when we have a children’s moment? There’s something joyful in the simple image of seeing one of our very important ministers, one who is ordained to the ministry of the gospel of Jesus Christ, sitting on the steps with children around. There’s an innocence and beauty in their responses that make us laugh and often make us reminisce. No matter the content of a children’s moment, we’re sure to be reminded of Jesus welcoming the little children and calling us to a child-like faith.

When I recently was in Tanzania with several others from Wilshire, children made significant impressions on all of us. They were so glad to meet us and tested their English greetings on us; they chased our Jeep as we drove away; and they worshiped with us as we joined a congregation in the African Inland Church of Tanzania. That church celebrated their own beautiful moments with children. The youngest members of the church left during the sermon for their own Bible lesson, but they lined up in front of the chancel for a prayer and blessing from the pastor before they exited the sanctuary.

Perhaps even more beautiful was the young girl who simply wandered about during the singing and praying. She seemed to be in wonder as she observed the choir that danced and sang. She seemed to look at the faces of her elders to learn some wisdom from the community. She even approached the communion table with her curious hands before an adult scooped her up.

This Sunday, we sing about God’s children of every tribe and race, we read about Jesus’ care for the “little ones,” and we are reminded that we’re all God’s children. Perhaps we all can find a way to worship together as children this Sunday morning, lining up in our pews for a blessing from God before we exit this sanctuary to our busy lives that lie beyond.

Listen this Sunday morning for God’s voice in the music, in the actions, in the words. Let your eyes wander like that little Tanzanian girl, looking for the face of God in the people around you. As you look at our own communion table, gaze with curiosity about how God may be inviting you to offer yourself in service to the kingdom.

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Tapestry News Briefs

Wilshire Talks is this Sunday, Sept. 30. Plan to stay for lunch and Wilshire Talks at noon this Sunday, with two Wilshire members telling their stories in a TED Talk format. No reservations necessary. Speakers will be Wally Brewster, former U.S. ambassador to the Dominican Republic, and Kristi Walters, mom, fitness instructor, blogger and humorist. Lunch is free. Wally made international news in 2013 when after unanimous confirmation by the United States Senate he became the first person in a same-sex marriage to represent the U.S. at the ambassadorial level in the Americas. His appointment was opposed by the Catholic Church and evangelical leaders. In his Sunday talk, Wally will explain how his own Christian faith sustained him in this challenge. Kristi is a regular blogger for Wilshire’s Facebook page, where she often writes about her husband, “Fireman Dave,” and their three boys and their journey through public education, family drama and lessons learned as a fitness instructor.

Women’s Brown Bag Book Club. Bring a lunch and join these book discussions from noon to 1 p.m. in Room 1205-L. No reservation required, and guests are always welcome. The book for Oct. 4 is Finding Theo, by Timothy Krause, who will be present to discuss the story. The book for Nov. 1 is Moloka’i, by Alan Brennert. The book for Dec. 13 is Two Sisters, by Asne Seierstad.

Stephen Ministry. A new training class of Stephen Ministers will begin in January. Applications are now being accepted for prospective Stephen Ministers, who are trained lay volunteers assigned to one-on-one caring relationships with individuals in difficult life circumstances. The deadline for applications is Sunday, Nov. 4. For more information, contact Tiffany Wright, minister for care ministries. Find out more.

Warm outerwear collection. Wilshire’s Globetrekkers will collect new and gently used coats, scarves, gloves, mittens, hats and other warm outerwear and new socks and underwear for one of our mission partners, Rauschenbusch Metro Ministries in New York, now through Oct. 31. Collection boxes are available outside the main church office, near the north entrance, and in the second floor education offices.

Koinonia Café Oct. 3: Barbeque brisket, roasted potatoes, fried catfish, macaroni salad, veggie-kale slaw, green beans with bacon, salad bar, dessert bar. Kids: Roasted chicken leg, peas and carrots, baked beans.

Thanksgiving basket drive. It’s time to begin thinking about Thanksgiving, when Wilshire will partner with the Wilkinson Center for its annual Turkey Basket Drive. Wilshire is committed to collect 75 turkey baskets this year. These baskets will be received by adult students in the Wilkinson Center’s GED program. We will deliver these baskets to Arcadia Park (West Dallas) on the morning of Nov. 15. The cost of putting together one basket is about $75 ($20 cash/check will be collected for each basket for a meat or meatless voucher). Sunday School classes are invited to take on this project. To sign up, contact our missions and advocacy intern, Shelby Patterson. Volunteers also are needed to accept donations at Wilshire, load the U-Haul and distribute the baskets on Thursday, Nov. 15.

Sanctuary Choir guest clinician. While Doug Haney is away on a six-week sabbatical leave, Sanctuary Choir rehearsals will be led by Allen Hightower, professor and director of choral studies at the University of North Texas in Denton. Prior to his appointment at UNT, Allen was the first holder of the Weston Noble Endowed Chair in Music at Luther College, where he served as conductor of the renowned Nordic Choir and artistic director of “Christmas at Luther.” Prior to that, he was professor of music and director of choral activities at Sam Houston State University. His choirs have drawn national and international acclaim, often chosen to perform at annual meetings of music educators. He is considered one of the premier choral directors in America today. And you can learn from him during these six weeks by joining Sanctuary Choir. New and returning singers are welcome during Doug’s sabbatical. Rehearsals are Wednesdays at 7 p.m. in Choral Hall.

Voter registration drive. Texas ranks 47th in voter turnout and 44th in voter registration out of the 50 states. The Christian Advocacy Committee is hosting a voter registration table in James Gallery this Sunday, Sept. 30, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Stop by the table to update and renew voter registrations or to register for the first time. Registration cards will be available along with sample ballots, FAQ’s, and nonpartisan voter guides on all candidates. Members from the committee will be present to answer questions. Midterm elections are Nov. 6, with early voting beginning Oct. 22.

This Wednesday at Wilshire, Oct. 3. Two new Wednesday night classes for adults continue this week at 6 p.m. “Speaking God Again” draws on Jonathan Merritt’s newest book, Speaking God from Scratch, to examine why Christians are slow to “speak God” in shared spaces. It is led by Chad Mustain, board-certified chaplain, and his father, Jim Mustain, founder of the local ministry Loving Community. Pastoral Resident Aaron Coyle-Carr is leading a two-week discussion about how early Christianity came face-to-face with the dominant world empire of Rome. Through “Christianity and Empire: From Christ to Constantine” learn how in the middle of the first century, Christianity was born from a minority religion in an insignificant corner of the mighty Roman Empire and by the middle of the fourth century, Christianity had captured the imagination of that same empire.

Accidental Theologies class. On Wednesdays, Oct. 10 and 17, Matt Dodrill will lead a 6 p.m. class inspired by the writings of poet Christian Wiman. Sometimes the best theology is found in non-theological texts such as letters, essays, poems and short stories, what Wiman calls “accidental theology.” Come explore the significance of discerning truths about God, revelation, beauty and human nature from literature not intended to be “theological.”

Work Matters: A Theology of Labor & Leisure. On Wednesdays, Oct. 10 and 17, Jared Jaggers and Ryan Wilson will offer a two-week series discussing a Christian understanding of work as participation in the character of God. American culture has taught us that we need to work as much as possible to find worth and value, but research shows people are more dissatisfied than ever in their work. How might our Christian faith empower us to find meaning in our work? Is ceaseless activity the primary goal for our lives?

WOW! Tuesday Night Book Club. The Women of Wilshire book club meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Parlor. For Oct. 9, the book is A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. All women are welcome.

Dust off that instrument and join the band. Do you have a band instrument hiding in your closet that you haven’t touched in years? Have you ever wondered what it would be like to play again? Wilshire Winds is looking for new members. The all-volunteer ensemble especially needs clarinet, low brass and percussion players. All sections would welcome additional musicians. For information, contact Shana Gaines at (214) 452-3163.

Special baptism service planned, Oct. 10. Have you joined Wilshire on the basis of your previous baptism by another form but would like to be baptized by immersion now? Have you never been baptized but would like to take this step in following Jesus in a less-crowded setting than Sunday morning? A special baptismal service is planned for Wednesday, Oct. 10, at 7:15 p.m. in the Sanctuary. There will be no all-church worship service; just the family and friends of those who are being baptized. If you wish to participate, contact Debby Burton at (214) 452-3132.

Ireland trip openings. There are just four spots still available for the May 2019 trip to Ireland led by Mark Wingfield. If you’re interested in going, see trip and registration details at wilshirebc.org/registration.

One Starry Night volunteers needed. On Dec. 14, One Starry Night will once again fill Wilshire’s Community Hall with the sights and sounds of a first-century village. It’s an interactive outreach event for the community and an intergenerational experience for church members and their families. Volunteers are needed for a variety of booths and activities. Contact LeAnn Kite Hampton at (214) 693-7335, or Joan Hammons at  (214) 452-3141 for more information.

Advocacy training. Texas Impact will offer a community advocacy training session at Wilshire on Oct. 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. The training will include a faith panel with guest speakers, basic information on how to become a Christian advocate with elected officials, plus breakout sessions on hunger, education, payday lending and immigration. Register at texasinterfaith.org/training.

MOPS: Surrender Daringly. MOPS kicked off the semester in September with two great speakers. On Sept. 7, MOPS moms heard from Heather MacFadyen, host of “The God Centered Mom” podcast, to speak about “true humility” and what it means to occupy your God-given space. On Friday, Sept. 21, moms heard the testimony of Patti Denman, small group and women’s Bible study leader, about how God has provided and shaped her life stage by stage. Advertising space is still available in the MOPS newsletter. Email Janet Stegner at janetstep@gmai.com for more information. For more information about joining the group or helping the MOPS moms, contact Katie Payne or visit wilshirebc.org/learn/mops.

Fall prevention class. Physical therapy students from Texas Woman’s University will offer a “Balance ‘n’ Boogie” fall prevention class at Wilshire on Mondays from Oct, 22 through Dec. 3. The class will meet from 10:30 a.m. to noon in Room 3301. The first session will include an initial assessment of each participant’s balance along with an introduction to the class. Classes following will focus on building strength, improving balance, practice getting from the floor to standing, tai chi and dance. For more information, contact Laura Danks or Linda Garner at (214) 452-3151.

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