New Pastoral Residents named. For the first time in the 18-year history of Wilshire’s pastoral residency program, an all-female cohort has been chosen for the new term to begin Aug. 1.
Jenna Sullivan and Ashley Robinson will become first-year residents, joining Leigh Curl and Leanna Coyle-Carr, who will enter their second year of residency.
Wilshire’s flagship clergy apprenticeship program has included at least one female minister in the mix of four in all but three years. To date, the program has graduated nine women and 23 men.
Jenna currently serves as associate pastor of Magnolia Road Church in Jonesboro, Ark. She previously completed internships at First Baptist Church of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Second Baptist Church of Memphis, Tenn. A native of Little Rock, she earned the bachelor of arts degree at Rhodes College in Memphis with a religious studies major and Africana studies minor in 2015. She completed the master of divinity degree at Wake Forest University School of Divinity in 2018.
Ashley currently serves as volunteer and development director for Lost-n-Found Youth, an Atlanta nonprofit that serves homeless LGBTQ youth. She previously served as executive assistant for Baptist Women in Ministry and as minister of music and administration at Decatur United Church of Christ in Decatur, Ga. She also served a pastoral internship at Oakhurst Baptist Church in Atlanta. She is a curriculum writer and blogger and musician. She earned a bachelor of music degree in 2004 and a master of music degree in 2009 from the University of Alabama and will complete the master of divinity degree this month from Central Baptist Theological Seminary. When you meet Ashley, you might feel like you’ve seen that face before. She is a sister to Erin Robinson Hall, who is married to Jake Hall, one of Wilshire’s first pastoral residents.
Zoom chat with Leanna Coyle-Carr. We’re continuing Wednesday night conversations with some Wilshire ministers. This week, chat with Pastoral Resident Leanna Coyle-Carr at 6 p.m. The format will be an open question-and-answer session. The chat will happen online through Zoom. To receive information on how to connect, send an email to Leanna no later than 3 p.m. this Wednesday, May 6.
COVID-19 Advisory Group named. A 15-member ad hoc advisory group has been created to advise the senior pastor and other church leadership about necessary closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic and creating a plan for reopening the church and its programs in a proper way. This group will be facilitated by Associate Pastor Mark Wingfield and includes a mixture of staff and lay leadership: George Mason, senior pastor; David Nabors, director of business administration; Heather Mustain, minister of missions and advocacy; Doug Haney, minister of music; Darren DeMent, minister to students and young adults; Linda Garner, parish nurse; Cory Anderson, chair of Risk Management Committee; Rob Banta, chair of deacons; Debbie Meripolski, chair-elect of deacons; Bill Jernberg, health ministry team; Christy Tabor, chair of Weekday Education Committee; Gayle Lawson, chair of Building and Grounds Committee; Barbara Gass, chair of Finance Committee; Kenton Keller, facilitator of strategic planning.
June events to be reimagined. Based on currently available information, the COVID-19 Advisory Group, the Children’s Education Committee and staff leadership have asked that all programs scheduled for the month of June be reimagined to meet current standards for stay-at-home orders and social distancing. This immediately affects Vacation Bible School and Cooking Camp, which were scheduled for June. Staff and lay leaders are working to create alternate experiences for VBS that can be done at home but with guidance and resources provided. Likewise, short of new information coming to light that is not known today, Wilshire’s worship services and Bible study groups will continue to meet digitally at least through June.
Women of Wilshire Letters of Encouragement. Women of Wilshire (WOW!): Would you like to send (and receive) an encouraging handwritten note each week? To participate in this note exchange ministry, send an email to Carolyn Murray. Once a week you will receive an email with the name and address of another WOW! member. Simply write an encouraging note to your person and drop it in the mail. You also will receive a note of encouragement in the mail from another WOW! member.
Rise Against Hunger: meal packing update. On Martin Luther King Day this year, more than 70 Wilshire congregants gathered in Community Hall to pack meals with Rise Against Hunger. This week we learned that those meals were received by partner Convoy of Hope in El Salvador. Convoy of Hope nourishes lives through food assistance that helps children like Yesenia Tatiana Ortiz (above), age 6, who lives in an adobe clay home in the mountainous town of Sonsonate with her parents and 2-year-old brother. In Sonsonate, unemployment is widespread, and many lack access to adequate nutrition and sanitation. While Yesenia’s family struggles to meet their basic needs, she is a happy and energetic child who loves going to school. At Yesenia’s child development center, she receives Rise Against Hunger meals distributed by Convoy of Hope. As a result, Yesenia’s health has greatly improved. Yesenia’s teacher, Cristina Gomez, said, “The entire family is very thankful, because thanks to the food we receive, they are fed and have good health, and both her mother and the father express that it is truly a blessing to receive this help. Like them, many other parents are very thankful for the support this institution receives.”
O’Brien Mission Vision Room. The Mission Vision Room located on the second floor north wing will be renamed to honor the late Bill O’Brien. Bill served as Wilshire’s first full-time minister of music in the 1950s before he and his first wife, Dellanna, became missionaries to Indonesia. Bill became an internationally known missiologist and educator, spending his latter years at Wilshire, where he met and married Charmain O’Brien. Bill passed away earlier this year. This special room is used for meetings, counseling sessions and visioning.
Know Your Number workshop. Have you heard about the Enneagram but not known where to start? Do you hear friends or family members talking about their “number” but not understand what they mean? Would you like to know more about yourself, about how you are uniquely created by God? Join in a free online workshop scheduled for Saturday, May 16, from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The “Know Your Number” workshop will be led by Heather Mustain and Geri McKenzie. It will introduce the dynamic system of self-discovery called the Enneagram. This workshop is intended for those who are new to the Enneagram and have not yet identified their numbers. Leaders will introduce Enneagram terminology, work through all nine numbers and provide resources for continued growth. Space is limited to 30 participants. Advance registration is required by May 13 at www.wilshirebc.org/registration.
Just Mercy screening. We are planning a virtual screening of the film Just Mercy in collaboration with Wilshire and Friendship-West Baptist Church. The shared screening via Amazon Prime will be followed by a panel of experts discussing the current problems with our criminal justice system and the potential for reform. Pre-registration will be required. To receive details once they are finalized, register now via the link at wilshirebc.org/registration.