Take-Home VBS. Families with preschoolers and elementary-age children are invited to participate in a Take-Home Vacation Bible School the week of June 22. Those who preregister for the free event will receive a take-home packet that includes a craft with supplies and instructions for each day, an activity booklet, memory verses and a snack. Video links will be emailed daily for each day’s recorded worship with music and Bible story skit. Optional activities will be offered in the Wilshire north parking lot throughout the week for families in small groups. A Signup Genius will be emailed to all registered families to allow them to sign up for time slots to ensure social distancing guidelines. Packets will be available to pick up in the north parking lot on Friday, June 19, at 9:30 a.m. or 4:30 p.m., or Sunday, June 21, at 4:30 p.m. There will also be an option to pick up packets in Sachse on Sunday at 4:30 p.m. if that’s more convenient. You do not have to be a church member to participate. All are welcome. Register for Take-Home VBS at wilshirebc.org/registration.
Update on building closure. Wilshire’s COVID-19 Advisory Task Force has recommended that the restriction on public gatherings inside Wilshire’s building be continued at least until Promotion Sunday, which is scheduled for Aug. 23. Given the number of infections still being reported in Dallas County and the upward curve of those infections, the team believes it will not be possible to achieve the necessary criteria for reopening any earlier than late August. The task force continues to meet weekly and will constantly evaluate conditions in Dallas County specifically. This means that all summer activities will be re-imagined as remote or virtual events and the current pattern of online Sunday worship will continue until at least late August.
Good Neighbor Award. This week’s Good Neighbor Award is a family affair. Congratulations to Jeanne and Scott Spreier and daughter Mary Lu Hare for being this week’s winners. All three have found meaningful ways to connect to causes and people. From organizing a virtual half marathon, to making calls to members, caring for our youth, hosting virtual book clubs and using their front porch as a collection site for our missions partners, this family’s love for neighbor runs deep.
“This Is My Story” videos. The traditional Wednesday Bible study has shifted to our usual summer testimony series, “This Is My Story.” Each Wednesday, tune in to hear a pastoral resident interview a Wilshire member and help us understand more about that member’s faith journey. Look for the weekly videos posted on YouTube, Facebook and the Wilshire website on Wednesdays by noon and also sent out via the midweek update email from George Mason.
The Cost of COVID Experience. Wilshire and First United Methodist Church of Dallas are joining together for an online educational experience on Thursday, June 18, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The Cost of COVID Experience helps participants understand poverty, learn how to make the most impact and engage more with community needs. Our time together also will look at poverty through a racial equity lens and continue the conversation on how the church can grow in antiracist witness and actions of justice. Please register at wilshirebc.org/registration. There are 75 tickets available. If you are doing this as a family, please consider all using one computer so you will only need 1 ticket. Once you have selected your ticket you will receive a confirmation email with the necessary Zoom call information. Questions? Contact Abbey Adcox.
WOW! Tuesday Evening Book Club. The Women of Wilshire Tuesday evening book club now meets via Zoom one Tuesday each month at 7 p.m. Upcoming dates and books are: June 16, The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan with discussion led by Marilyn Spaulding; July 14, The Giver of Stars by JoJo Moyes with discussion led by Barbara Peterson. To register, contact Debby Burton.
WOW! Brown Bag Book Club. The Women of Wilshire Brown Bag Book Club now meets via Zoom the first Thursday of each month. Upcoming dates and books are: July 2, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman; Aug. 6, The Tatooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris. To register, contact Abbey Adcox or Carolyn Murray.
Good White Racist? discussion continues. Last week more than 80 Women of Wilshire participated in an online discussion of the new book Good White Racist? by Kerry Connelly. This week, the author will speak to the group on how to move past being just a good person into becoming a good person who is doing the good work of antiracism. The conversation will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, June 9, from 7 to 8:30 p.m. If you were not registered for last week’s conversation, please register at ….. to receive the Zoom link. Please note that this event is limited to the women’s ministry at this time as some of what we discuss is the intersection of our whiteness and our gender.
Unified Budget update. Giving to Wilshire’s Unified Budget has remained strong despite the church being scattered during this time of coronavirus isolation. With approval from the Finance Committee, the church sought and received a Paycheck Protection Program loan made available through the CARES Act passed by Congress. These funds — totaling $641,000 — are being held and applied to qualified monthly personnel and utility expenses in order to assist with cash flow. This infusion of money from a low-interest loan that will likely be forgiven will become more important as the summer months pass and we continue to be isolated. Wilshire has made a commitment to keep paying all its staff while the building is closed, including the teachers in our Early Childhood Learning Center. The PPP loan was key to being able to pay ECLC teachers, because all tuition for April and May was refunded. For the year to date, Wilshire members have given $1,386,464 toward the Unified Budget, which has spent $1,455,500 on budgeted needs. The year-to-date operating deficit of $69,036 has been covered by the loan. Your generous giving continues to make a difference and is vital to the church’s mission.
CitySquare Family Impact Day. On Saturday, June 13, at 1 p.m., you are invited to spend an afternoon giving back without leaving home. During CitySquare’s Virtual Family Impact Day you will learn about how poverty and food insecurity impacts our neighbors in Dallas and how you can join CitySquare in fighting the causes and effects of poverty. Participants will create and write pen pal cards that will be handed out with meals by CitySquare’s mobile food teams this summer. Sign up at www.wilshirebc.org/registration.
Will you keep up the Friday Five? All Wilshire congregants are invited to continue in an easy pastoral care project called “Friday Five.” Every Friday, commit to contact at least five Wilshire friends in your circle of influence to see how they’re doing. Think first of those who are not your family or closest friends but who would love to hear from you.