Timothy Peoples called with 99% vote
In a special business meeting after worship last Sunday, Dec. 4, Wilshire members voted to call Timothy Peoples, an alumnus of the church’s pastoral residency program, to be their next senior pastor. Deacon chair Debbie Meripolski moderated the meeting and announced the results: of the 528 members who cast ballots, 521 voted in favor of the Pastor Search Committee’s recommendation to call Timothy — a rate of 99%.
After the announcement, Timothy — now with a “We Are Wilshire” t-shirt over his dress shirt — and his wife, Valerie Lott, re-entered the Sanctuary to an enthusiastic standing ovation.
Timothy’s first Sunday as senior pastor will be Jan. 22, and he’ll start in the office the next day. Timothy and Valerie will move to Dallas from High Point, North Carolina, where Timothy has led Emerywood Baptist Church since 2017.
The Wilshire Sanctuary was full for Sunday’s worship service. “If I pass out up here, y’all keep going,” Timothy joked before delivering his sermon, “The Deepest-Rooted Dream of the Trees,” based on the day’s reading from Isaiah 11:1-10. Sunday School attendance for the day was 550, the highest number since March 1, 2020. During Sunday School, Timothy visited preschool and children’s classrooms and spent 15 to 20 minutes in a Q&A session with youth moderated by search committee member Evelyn Wilson, a high school junior.
A note from Katie Murray, Pastor Search Committee chair: “Wilshire, second only to your constant prayers, your excitement this past week is the best gift you could have given the search committee. Your thunderous applause (and hollering!) in the Sanctuary after Debbie announced the results of the vote is a memory I won’t soon forget. Thank you for your trust. It has been our great honor to serve Wilshire in this way.”
Sanctuary Choir featured in worship Dec. 11
Morning worship on Dec. 11 will feature selections from Sanctuary Choir with orchestra. The choir will sing two settings of the Magnificat, one by Antonio Vivaldi and one by American composer John Ferguson. The orchestra will play Ralph Vaughan Williams’ Fantasia on Greensleeves as the prelude, and Associate Pastor Doug Haney will offer brief reflections.
Winds, Ringers concert Dec. 11 at 6:30 p.m.
Wilshire Winds and Carillon Ringers will present a Christmas concert on Sunday, Dec. 11, at 6:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary. Joyous Noel is the theme of the program, which will include music from each group and the two together. A reception will follow in James Gallery. Shana Gaines directs Wilshire Winds, made up of brass, woodwind and percussion players. Ralph Manuel directs Carillon Ringers, Wilshire’s adult handbell group. The Winds will open the concert with “Christmas Exhilaration,” a new medley of holiday tunes. Other Winds selections include “Veni Emmanuel,” “The Wexford Carol,” “On This Day Earth Shall Ring” and “Divinum Mysterium,” best known as the hymn tune used for “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” Carillon Ringers will be joined by Tanya Benson on flute for “Aria,” an original work by Derek Hakes. The Ringers will also play “Ring, Little Bells,” a traditional German carol, and “Hark, the Herald Angels Sing.” The finale, “Joyous Noel,” will feature both groups. The concert will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.
Last chance for Giving Tree
Select a tag from Wilshire’s Giving Tree in James Gallery and fulfill a Christmas wish for a child or adult served by one of our mission partners. A few tags remain, and gifts are due back to the church Monday, Dec. 12.
■ Our Virtual Giving Tree is complete.
Preschool music program
Wednesday, Dec. 14 | 6 p.m. | McIver Chapel
Wilshire’s preschool choirs will present a program on Wednesday, Dec. 14. Titled Gloria! Jesus is Born, the program will feature the Kindergarten, Pre-K and 3 Year Old choirs. A cookies-and-cocoa reception for family and friends will follow in James Gallery.
Christmas Eve at 5 and 11 p.m.
Wilshire will offer Christmas Eve candlelight services at 5 and 11 p.m. The 5 p.m. service is family-friendly and suitable for all ages; it will feature carols, Scripture and a brief message from Associate Pastor Heather Mustain. The 11 p.m. service, with a message from Associate Pastor Darren DeMent, will be more liturgical in nature, with more extensive readings, robed ministers and celebration of the Lord’s Supper. No childcare is provided. Both services will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel.
Youth Choir alumni invited to sing
All alumni of Wilshire’s Youth Choir are invited to sing together for the 11 p.m. Christmas Eve service. Anyone who has sung in Youth Choir or is currently an 11th or 12th grade singer is invited to Choral Hall at 10:30 for a cookie, coffee and a quick rehearsal. Please let Jeff Brummel (email@example.com) know if you’re able to sing Christmas Eve.
Christmas and New Year’s
■ Dec. 25: Worship at 10 a.m. in McIver Chapel. No Sunday School or coffee service.
■ Jan. 1: Worship at 10 a.m. in the Sanctuary. No Sunday School. Join us for coffee and treats in James Gallery starting at 9:15 a.m.
Sign up kids to build nativity set
Children in grades 1 through 6 can sign up to build the Sanctuary nativity scene by carrying an element to the chancel during worship. We will build the scene week by week, finishing at the 5 p.m. Christmas Eve service. Sign up at wilshirebc.org/registration. Contact: Julie Girards (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Stop by the Library during the holiday season to enjoy a display of nativity sets from around the world. Most are from the collection of Wilshire member Linda Garner.
Tree of Hope and Remembrance
Help decorate Wilshire’s Tree of Hope and Remembrance in the South Lobby by writing the name of a loved one as a memorial, or your name as a survivor of cancer or another disease. Blank ornaments and markers are provided next to the tree, which is decorated with bracelets representing different forms of cancer. Hang your ornament on the tree anytime during Advent and feel free to take it home close to Christmas for your own tree.
Wilkinson Center Toy Drive
Mission partner Wilkinson Center needs volunteers to shop with clients, wrap gifts, restock toys and act as runners at its Toy Drive and Distribution Saturday, Dec. 17 at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. Ages 16+ welcome; 12 – 15 if with an adult. Volunteers must sign up in advance; see link at wilshirebc.org/registration.
Dec. 18: Heather Mustain
Dec. 24, 5 p.m.: Heather Mustain
Dec. 24, 11 p.m.: Darren DeMent
Dec. 25: Brianna Childs
Jan. 1: John Kelly
Jan. 8: Darren DeMent
Jan. 15: Brianna Childs
Jan. 22: Timothy Peoples starts
Blood Drive is Wednesday, Dec. 14
Carter BloodCare will be at Wilshire for a blood drive on Wednesday, Dec. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Carter is still feeling the effects of a decrease in donations during the pandemic. Walk-ups are welcome, but for an appointment, look for the link at wilshirebc.org/registration or scan the code on page 11. Contact: Linda Garner (email@example.com)
Dec. 15: see the play based on The Accommodation
Join Wilshire friends for an outing Thursday night, Dec. 15, to see Soul Rep Theatre Company’s production of Travisville. The play was inspired by Jim Schutze’s book The Accommodation, which was recently read citywide as part of Big D Reads. Written by William Jackson Harper, a Dallas native known for acting on TV’s The Good Place, the play presents a fictionalized account of events depicted in Schutze’s book, which explored struggles around race and gentrification in midcentury Dallas. A regional premiere, Travisville is being staged at Fair Park’s Margo Jones Theater. The play starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at a group rate of $21 each and can be purchased through Realm. Visit wilshirebc.org/registration.
Do Timothy and Valerie a favor: update your photo in Realm
Let’s update our profile pictures in Realm to help new Senior Pastor Timothy Peoples and his wife, Valerie Lott, learn names and faces.
■ Open the Realm Connect app on your mobile device.
■ Tap your picture or the empty icon next to your name. (If you don’t see your profile picture, choose More from the bottom menu to go to the next screen, then look in the top left corner.)
■ Tap the pencil icon in the bottom right of the icon circle.
■ Chose New Profile Photo and then select a photo from your phone’s camera roll. Tap Apply to set the photo.
■ If you access Realm on a computer, click your name in the upper right corner, then choose Realm under My Profile Views. Click on your photo, then the pencil icon. You can then upload a photo from your computer.
Women of Wilshire book clubs
■ The WOW! Brown Bag Book Club meets one Thursday a month at noon in Room 1205-L. On Jan. 5, the group will discuss Kreis Beall’s The Great Blue Hills of God. Contact: Carolyn Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org)
■ The WOW! Tuesday Evening Book Club meets in the Parlor monthly at 6:30 p.m. On Jan. 10, the group will discuss Paula McLain’s Circling the Sun. Contact: Debby Burton (email@example.com)
Wednesday Night Live, Dec. 14: Final Wednesday night before Christmas break
Preschool concert, 6 p.m.
The final night of Wednesday activities before the Christmas break will feature a 6 p.m. preschool music program in McIver Chapel. Titled Gloria! Jesus is Born, the program will feature the Kindergarten, Pre-K and 3 Year Old choirs. A cookies-and-cocoa reception for family and friends will follow in James Gallery.
■ No Koinonia Café, KidConnect or adult study.
■ Final Watershed and Sanctuary Choir rehearsal before a Christmas break.
■ Wednesday Night Live resumes Jan. 11.
ONE STARRY NIGHT: Free event is Friday, Dec. 16
Grab the kids, gather the grandchildren — the whole family if you can! — and come to Wilshire on Friday, Dec. 16, for One Starry Night, an interactive Bethlehem experience with something for everyone.
Your first stop will be the census table, where, just like Mary and Joseph, you’ll register and receive a passport and some coins. From there you’ll enter the village, where you’ll find a tented market bustling with hands-on activities: baking, carpentry, painting, herbs and spices, pottery, weaving, music and dancing. You’ll enjoy interacting with craftspeople and vendors while roving musicians fill the air with sounds of the season.
While in the village, sample first century delicacies at Bethlehem Inn, pet the sheep at the shepherds’ pen and search the sky for the Christmas star at Stargazer Hill. But you better be on your toes when the tax collectors and beggars come around, and at Herod’s Palace, where the king and his scribe hold court.
Before you leave the village, you’ll want to visit the Memory Making area where you can dress up like the villagers for a group photo to remember the night. And of course, all roads lead to the stable, where you’ll find the Holy Family waiting quietly and reverently for your visit.
One Starry Night opens at 6:30 p.m. and closes at 8:30 p.m. It’s all free and is Wilshire’s holiday gift to the community.
Help still needed
It takes a village to create a village, and Bethlehem still has some needs:
■ Herbs for grinding.
■ Pizza stones for bakery booth.
■ Greeters and booth helpers.
■ Help setting up and cleaning up.
If you can help, contact LeAnn Hampton (firstname.lastname@example.org). There will be a brief meeting for volunteers in McIver Chapel at noon on Sunday, Dec. 11.
Yard signs available
One Starry Night is a major outreach event for Wilshire, and you can help promote it by displaying a sign at your home. Signs are available to pick up at the church office and the north entrance.