Randy Crosland wraps up time on staff.
Randy Crosland, Wilshire’s director of operations since early last year, will leave the church staff as of June 15. The church’s new director of operations is Merik Gillett, who began work June 1 in a newly expanded full-time role.
Randy joined the staff in a part-time capacity after the retirement of Business Administrator David Nabors in February 2021. This spring, when Facilities Manager Dale Pride retired, Randy agreed to work full-time until a new operations director could be hired.
“We’re so grateful that Randy could step in and help us navigate smoothly through this period of transitions in our operations area,” says Associate Pastor Doug Haney. Among the projects Randy has overseen in his 17 months with us was guiding the first-floor restroom renovation to completion. Doug says, “As much as we’ve appreciated Randy’s ability to get things done, we are even more grateful for his unflagging cheerful and positive spirit.”
Randy and his wife, Carolyn, joined Wilshire in 2004 when Randy went to work for Temple Emanu-El. He was previously on staff at First Baptist Church in Richardson. In 2016, the Croslands moved to New Mexico to work at Glorietta Camps and were there until COVID struck in 2020. Randy and Carolyn settled in Abilene, and have been splitting time between there and Dallas.
The Croslands have remained Wilshire members through their moves. Randy says, “I think we were some of the first people to start watching Wilshire on YouTube every Sunday morning.”
This summer the Croslands will return to Glorietta, where Carolyn is working part-time and Randy will volunteer during the camp’s peak summer season. After that, they’ll head back to Abilene and look forward to “traveling and having fun.”
“I’ve enjoyed doing this work,” Randy says. “The last couple of months working full-time have been fun. It’s a messy job because there’s always something going on. But I kind of like living in the mess.”
Fellowship Lunch starts June 12
All are invited to Community Hall after worship each week for a Fellowship Lunch prepared by the Wilshire kitchen staff.
■ The buffet-style “chef’s choice” meal will cost $10 for ages 10 and up and $5 for ages 4–9. Ages 3 and under eat free. $35 household max.
■ Advance registration and payment are not required, but are encouraged to help staff plan while being conscious of waste. Get started at wilshirebc.org/summer-lunches.
■ You can pay at the door with cash, check or credit card.
■ Everyone will have to check in. Expedite your check-in by registering and paying in advance.
■ If you have dietary restrictions, please let us know by Wednesday each week. Email Elizabeth Ferguson or note your request when registering online.
Preachers to speak.
Our guest preachers will join us for lunch each week. At about 12:45, they will spend a few minutes sharing thoughts or engaging in a time of Q&A.
Want to eat free?
Volunteer greeters and cashiers are needed each week from 11:45 a.m. to about 12:15 p.m. and will get a free lunch. Contact Carolyn Murray or look for the SignUpGenius link at wilshirebc.org/registration.
We are offering one Sunday worship service, at 11 a.m., through Aug. 14. Sunday School remains at 10 a.m.
■ Through Aug. 14: One service, 11 a.m.
■ June 12 – Aug. 14: Fellowship Lunch
■ Aug. 21: Back to two services, 9 & 11 a.m., on Promotion Sunday.
Matt Cook is June 12 guest preacher
Matt Cook is assistant director of the Center for Healthy Churches, a consulting group that works with congregations and clergy. He and his wife, Allyson, joined Wilshire in 2019 along with their children, Nathaniel, 17, and Caroline, 15. Matt and Allyson attend Seekers Class.
A sought-after preacher, teacher and workshop leader across denominational lines, Matt combines research and scholarly insight with an emphasis on strategic focus and missional awareness. “We are in the midst of the most challenging but also most dynamic period of change that congregations in North America have ever seen,” Matt says. “We can either drown in those waves of change or we can surf them. But when a congregation decides to do the work of gaining missional clarity and creatively engaging its community, amazing things can happen.”
Matt served as senior pastor at First Baptist Church of Wilmington, North Carolina; Second Baptist Church in Little Rock, Arkansas; and First Baptist Church in Rosebud, Texas. He has recently served as interim pastor of churches in Florida and Texas. He was moderator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship in 2015-2016.
Matt completed both his M.Div. and Ph.D. in church history at Baylor University. He has taught at Belmont University, Central Baptist Theological Seminary and Baylor’s Truett Seminary.
He is an avid cyclist, a diehard OU football fan and a connoisseur of all kinds of barbecue.
The Wilshire Pulpit
A diverse lineup of guests will preach at Wilshire during our pastoral transition. Our pastoral residents will also preach about once a month. Here’s a look at who’s coming up:
- June 19: Veronice Miles is an associate professor of preaching at Wesley Theological Seminary in Washington, D.C. An ordained Baptist, she has participated in various facets of ministry for over 40 years. Her current research, Preaching and the Anticipatory Language of Hope, explores preaching as a conduit of hope in the face of seemingly hopeless circumstances.
- June 26: Jonathan Merritt is a writer and speaker on issues of faith and culture. He is a contributor to The Atlantic, a contributing editor for The Week and a columnist for Religion News Service. His writings have appeared in outlets including the New York Times, USA Today and Christianity Today. Merritt’s latest book is Learning to Speak God From Scratch.
- July 3: Pastoral Resident Brianna Childs
- July 10: Aurelia Dávila Pratt is the lead pastor and founder of Peace of Christ Church north of Austin. She cohosts the Nuance Tea Podcast and writes for Progressing Spirit, Alliance of Baptists and Good Faith Media. Pratt holds a master of social work degree from Baylor University and a master of divinity from Baylor’s Truett Seminary. Her book, A Brown Girl’s Epiphany, will be published this fall.
See the full schedule at wilshirebc.org/guest-preachers.
Pastor Search Committee update
We continue to feel uplifted by your support and prayers as we enter into the exciting work our committee has ahead of us this summer. We have enjoyed reading the recommendations many of you sent in and have spent meaningful time as a committee in prayerful conversations around the qualities we feel led to look for in our next senior pastor. It cannot be overstated how grateful we are that you have entrusted us with this important work.
This summer marks a significant shift for our committee. The past four months have been a time of preparation for us; a time of listening, discerning and envisioning our church’s future. This week our process moves to the next stage as we begin communications with candidates. There is a tangible excitement within our committee as we enter into a part of the search that we have been eagerly awaiting and are given the opportunity to dialogue with a great pool of candidates. There is, however, still substantial work to be done in examining the details that will be gathered in this next stage.
We would ask that you continue to hold us in your prayers as we go through the summer and pray for the following:
■ For our conversations with candidates. That our time together would be enlightening and provide clarity for our committee and the candidates alike as we enter into this season of discernment.
■ For our conversations with one another. That we would continue deepening the relationships we have established within our committee, be willing to ask hard questions of ourselves, and trust one another with these important decisions.
■ For our conversations with God. That through prayer we can remain faithful to God’s work through the people of Wilshire Baptist Church. May we remember that we stand on the shoulders of the generations of members that have been faithful before us, and with your support do not go about this task alone.
With unwavering gratitude,
Andy, Anna, Bob, Brad, Collin, Colman, Evelyn, Jimmy, Katie, Meredith, Molly and Paula
VBS starts Monday
Passport to Peace is the theme for our Vacation Bible School for preschoolers and children, which will be held Monday through Friday this week starting June 13 from 9 a.m. to noon. Children’s VBS is for those who have completed kindergarten through grade 6, while Preschool VBS is open to kids 3 and older who have not completed kindergarten. VBS is free. Class sizes are limited. Advance registration has ended; walk-ups will be accommodated Monday morning if space allows. Registration tables will be located in James Gallery.
Give to VBS missions effort
Our VBS mission project will be to collect items for our 6th graders to take on their daily mission field trips. Collection bins will be located just inside the north entrance and near the main office.
■ Needed by Thursday: canned goods for White Rock Center of Hope.
■ Needed by Friday: hygiene items for Healing Hands Ministry — thermometer, small hand sanitizer, toothbrush, toothpaste, bars of soap, 2-in-1 shampoo/conditioner, feminine hygiene products, water bottles.
George to be honored at Dialogue Institute dinner
Dialogue Institute Dallas will honor Senior Pastor George Mason at a dinner on Wednesday, June 15, at 7 p.m. George will be recognized by the Institute for his decades of religious leadership and interfaith work. Wilshire members are invited to attend the event, which will be held at the Institute’s Richardson headquarters. Space is limited. Find the link to RSVP at wilshirebc.org/registration.
New to Wilshire?
■ Coffee and Conversation will be hosted by Associate Pastor Darren DeMent on Sunday, June 12, at 10 a.m. in the senior pastor’s study (Room 2203). This informal event gives guests and new members a chance to ask questions about Wilshire.
■ The monthly Wilshire Welcome Class, which helps guests and new members learn what Wilshire is all about, will meet June 26 at 10 a.m. in the Prayer Room near McIver Chapel.
■ Questions about these events? Contact Carolyn Murray at email@example.com.
Parish nurse available at summer Fellowship Lunches
Linda Garner, parish nurse at Wilshire, will be available this summer during our Fellowship Lunches for blood pressure checks, general health consultations and referrals. No appointment necessary. Contact Linda at firstname.lastname@example.org or 214-452-3151.
Next blood drive will be June 29
The Carter BloodCare bus will be at Wilshire for a blood drive on Wednesday, June 29, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Carter is still feeling the effects of a decrease in blood donations during the pandemic; they have a less-than one-day supply of many blood types. A link to make an appointment will be available soon. Contact Parish Nurse Linda Garner with questions at email@example.com or 214-452-3151.
Adventurers welcome storyteller to June 21 lunch event
The Wilshire Adventurers will enjoy lunch and a program from a professional storyteller on Tuesday, June 21, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Community Hall. Cost for the meal is $10 per person, and no reservation is needed. Elizabeth Ellis is a versatile and riveting teller of Appalachian and Texas tales, stories of heroic women and personal stories. Filled with hilarious and poignant honesty, her stories deliver down-home wisdom, southern style. Hers is a voice that finds the heart and the funny bone. Questions? Contact Barbara Clayton at 214-452-3125 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Adventurers activities are open to those 60 and up.
Women of Wilshire book clubs
■ The WOW! Tuesday Evening Book Club meets in the Parlor monthly at 6:30 p.m. On June 14, the group will discuss Cara Wall’s The Dearly Beloved. Zoom option by request. Contact: Debby Burton.
■ The WOW! Brown Bag Book Club meets one Thursday a month at noon in Room 1205-L. On July 7, the group will discuss Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet. Contact: Carolyn Murray.
Youth Choir headed to Denver
Wilshire’s Youth Choir will depart Saturday, June 18, for its first mission choir tour since 2019. A group of 37 singers and 9 sponsors will head to Denver, Colorado, to sing, serve and sightsee. The group will sing at Calvary Baptist Church, where pastoral resident alum Anne Jernberg Scalfaro is pastor, and at the missions sites where they’ll work, including Denver Parks & Recreation, Food Bank of the Rockies and Extreme Community Makeover. In addition to attractions in Denver, the group will take trips to Winter Park and Red Rocks. All are invited to their home concert in the Sanctuary on Sunday, June 26, at 6:30 p.m. Youth Choir alumni present at the concert will be invited to join the Youth Choir in singing its signature anthem, Psalm 139.
CBF General Assembly in Dallas, June 28–30
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Wilshire’s primary global partner for missions and ministry, will hold its 2022 General Assembly in Dallas on Tuesday, June 28, through Thursday, June 30. General Assembly is CBF’s annual gathering for learning, worship, inspiration and fellowship. Sessions will take place at the Hyatt Regency Dallas in downtown. Registration is free, although some events with meals require a ticket purchase. Learn more here: https://wilshirebc.org/cbf-general-assembly.
Summer events for Children and Preschoolers
We will offer two specialty children’s camps the week of July 11: Cooking Camp in the morning and Listen to Your Art! in the afternoon. Children who have completed second through sixth grade can participate in one or both camps. Completed first graders can choose one.
Monday–Friday, July 11–15, 9 a.m. –12:30 p.m.
Completed first through sixth graders will learn about food safety and nutrition and prepare a three-course lunch that will be served daily. Bring an apron from a previous camp and get a $5 refund on the first day. Cost: $100. Register by: July 4.
Listen to Your Art!
Monday–Friday, July 11–15, 12:30–5 p.m.
Creative arts camp has something for everyone who has completed grades 1 through 6: music, drama, movement, dancing, visual arts and more! Participants will rotate through four set groups plus two personal expression rotations. On Friday, children will stay for a pizza dinner, and families are invited to a 6:30 performance and art showcase. Lunch not included; snacks provided. Cost: $90. Register by: July 4.
Full-Day Option: Both Camps
Monday–Friday, July 11–15, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Completed second through sixth graders can register for Cooking Camp and Listen to Your Art! Lunch is part of Cooking Camp. Cost: $175. Register by: July 4.
Saturday–Tuesday, July 23–26
Passport Kids! Camp is for kids who have completed grades 3 through 6. We’ll depart by bus at 8:30 a.m. Saturday, and will stay at the Heart of Texas Baptist Camp and Conference Center near Brownwood. Campers will experience high-energy worship, interactive Bible study, creative recreation, missions and other fun activities. Activities will be led by camp staff with Wilshire chaperones (one for every five campers) helping with supervision. Chaperones needed. We’ll return around 4:30 p.m. Tuesday. Cost: $350; $100 deposit guarantees a spot. Full payment due July 10.
Preschool Friends Camp
Monday–Friday, July 18–22, 9 a.m. –noon
“I Can Be a Good Friend” is the theme for this VBS-style camp, open to preschoolers 3 and older who have not completed kindergarten. Cost: $75. Register by: July 13.
Friday Fun Play Dates
July 1 & July 29, 9:30 –11:30 a.m.
Parents can stay the full time with their preschoolers at no cost or pay $25 per child per date. Register for each date separately by June 24 (for July 1) and July 22 (for July 29).
Contacts: Julie Girards, children’s events, email@example.com; Joan Hammons, preschool events, firstname.lastname@example.org; Candy McComb, Listen to Your Art!, email@example.com; Carol Cabaniss, registrations, firstname.lastname@example.org. Camp formats subject to change based on Wilshire’s COVID protocols.
Preregister at wilshirebc.org/registration. All events open to the community.