I Am Wilshire – Claudia Barner.
Education: Bryan Adams High School; BS, Univ. of North Texas; PhD in nutrition, Texas Woman’s Univ; Dietetic Internship at Houston VA Hospital
Profession: Registered dietitian/nutritionist; assistant professor, UT Southwestern Medical Center
Tell us about your family.
Joe and I have been married 56 years, and we have two grown sons who grew up at Wilshire. Robert and his wife, Betsy, live in San Antonio; Todd and his wife, Stefani, live in Dallas. Each couple has blessed us with two wonderful grandchildren.
Tell us about your work/volunteer life.
After my internship, I was a pediatric clinical dietitian at John Sealy Hospital in Galveston. When we moved to Mobile for Joe’s medical internship, I worked as a clinical dietitian at Mobile Infirmary. When the boys were in high school, I returned to college to get my doctorate and later was a clinical instructor and assistant professor in the UTSW Allied Health Sciences School, retiring in 2000. I volunteer as a Certified Master Gardener.
What are your favorite hobbies?
Knitting, reading, gourmet cooking and gardening.
What are your favorite places to travel?
Turkey, Paris, Italy and Alaska
What brought you to Wilshire and when?
After Joe’s radiology residency in Denver, we returned to Dallas in 1973. We joined Wilshire because of the music and excellent preaching. Rather than a traditional gender-segregated arrangement, we wanted a couples class, which we found in Compass (formerly Alternate Young Adults!).
Where are you engaged at Wilshire?
After George’s arrival and with his encouragement, I chaired the first environment stewardship committee, “Caring for Creation.” I planned and coordinated women’s retreats and was involved with the Companions in Christ spiritual formation program. I currently serve on the Christian Advocacy Committee and co-lead a knitting group that meets at Wilshire, Knit Unto Others. I am active in Compass Class activities and am a deacon.
What’s surprised you most about Wilshire?
We continued to evolve, learn, grow and change, not remaining a stereotypical “Baptist” church.
Tell us about your faith journey.
After the Baptist “Takeover,” I embarked on an intentional journey of reading spiritual and theological authors, from early church mothers and fathers to current progressive theologians, who challenged me with new insights and perspectives. These authors have been my spiritual mentors.
What’s something interesting most people wouldn’t know about you?
During my time of intense interest in spiritual formation, I attended the Trinity Institute Conference in New York and was probably the only Baptist there. While there I met former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. I told him I was a Baptist from Texas. With a twinkle in his eye he said, “My, you have come a long way, haven’t you?”
If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming I Am Wilshire article, contact Carolyn Murray