Wilshire receives Pathways grant. The John and Eula Mae Baugh Foundation of San Antonio has awarded Wilshire a $1 million grant over five years to sustain the Pathways to Ministry program. The grant will provide $200,000 per year beginning this year that may be used for operating expenses for the pastoral residency program. This generous gift will help the church carry on with the residency program while gifts to the Generations emphasis over the next three years continue to push the George A. Mason Pathways Endowment to the desired baseline of $8 million. The current balance in the endowment is $5,527,000. The full Pathways to Ministry program costs about $400,000 annually to operate, with the residency being the largest portion at about $325,000.
Preschool ministry changes. The Personnel Committee announced this week that as part of reductions made in the 2020 Unified Budget, the position of Early Childhood Learning Center director and minister to preschoolers will be merged into one full-time position effective June 1. Mary Browder will retire from her role as ECLC director at the end of this semester, and Joan Hammons will take over leadership of the day school as part of her ministerial staff duties. By next Promotion Sunday, kindergarten Sunday School and missions classes will move to the children’s division, under the leadership of Julie Girards, minister to children. Also, Carolyn Murray, who joins the staff this week as coordinator for community outreach and member engagement, will become the staff liaison to Wilshire’s Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) group. This summer, Joan’s staff office will move from the second-floor education wing to the preschool hallway. In addition to cost savings, the Personnel Committee said combining the preschool minister and ECLC director roles would help facilitate greater integration of all preschool ministries.
Blood drive. Wilshire’s quarterly blood drive will be held on Sunday, Feb. 22, from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. All eligible blood donors are encouraged to participate. No appointment is necessary; just show up in Community Hall. The gift of blood saves lives.
Condolences to: Betty Skelton on the death of her husband, Bob; Charmaine O’Brien and Kim and George Mason on the death of Bill O’Brien, Feb. 1. A memorial service for Bill O’Brien will be at 1:30 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 10, in the Sanctuary and via live stream.
Adventurers Valentine luncheon. All senior adults are invited to a Wilshire Adventurers Valentine luncheon on Monday, Feb. 10, at 11 a.m. in Community Hall. Entertainment will be provided by the Sentimental Journey Duo of Texas Winds. Cost is $12 per person, which includes a luncheon buffet and the program. Menu is mixed baby greens with fresh vegetables, chicken breast stuffed with smoked gouda and ham, twice-baked Yukon potatoes with cheddar and bacon, roasted vegetable medley, strawberry cheesecake tart or crème brûlée with berries. Sign up with Pat Tilley at the Wilshire Adventurers table in the South Lobby today.
Romantics, Prayers and Poetry. Jerry McElveen is leading a three-week Wednesday night class called Romantics, Prayers and Poetry, looking at some traditional and some less-conventional “poetic” prayers. Writers such as Thomas Gray, William Wordsworth, Percy Shelley and Robert Burns will provide a springboard for class discussions and self-examination. Participants will be encouraged to try their hands at some compositions of their own — with assistance from Prof. McElveen and other attendees. The class meets from 6 to 7 p.m. on Feb. 12 and 19.
Playing in the Dark: Race in Popular Culture. In 1992, Toni Morrison wrote Playing in the Dark: Whiteness and the Literary Imagination, challenging depictions of race in classic American literature. She showed how white authors throughout history have used the existence of unfree black characters to serve their own themes of freedom, individualism and personhood in white characters. Since she penned this groundbreaking analysis, nothing has changed. In our films, television shows and books today, this presence that Morrison calls the “Africanist” is still used to serve white characters. Leigh Curl is taking up this issue in a three-week class on Wednesday nights through Feb. 19. Participants will look at the presentation and portrayal of black characters in film, television and books to see the ways in which racism and white supremacy are engrained in what we consume on a daily basis. The class meets from 6 to 7 p.m..
Youth Choir auction and spaghetti luncheon. The annual Youth Choir Spaghetti Lunch and Silent Auction will be Sunday, March 1, in Community Hall from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. This event helps fund the choir’s summer mission trip to Denver to sing, serve and sightsee. If you would like to donate items or services to the silent auction, contact Carolyn Murray at firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions include gift cards to local restaurants, new household items and event tickets. Also, professional services make great donation items. If you are musician, tutor, photographer, baker, designer, accountant or have some other professional service to provide, consider donating a gift certificate of your time or service.
Koinonia Café: Feb. 12 — Barbeque chicken, beef brisket, corn with peppers and onions, potato and sweet potato fries, grilled vegetables, green beans, salad bar, dessert bar. Feb. 19 — Chicken-fried steak, tilapia Vera Cruz, mashed potatoes, peas and carrots, spinach wild rice, broccoli, salad bar, dessert bar. Feb. 26 — Roast turkey with cranberries, pork chops, cornbread dressing, roasted potatoes, okra with tomatoes and bacon, grilled cauliflower and broccoli, salad bar, dessert bar.
Adventurers to Chicago and Mackinac. This year’s Wilshire Adventurers fall trip will be to Chicago, Grand Rapids and Mackinac Island. The week-long trip led by Mark Wingfield begins with three nights in downtown Chicago, a river cruise, a lake cruise, history and arts tours and great food. The group then travels to Grand Rapids to see the Gerald Ford Presidential Museum and Meijer Gardens before heading to beautiful Mackinac (pronounced “Mackinaw”) Island for a three-night stay at the Mission Point Resort. Enjoy the old-world charm of this island where cars are not seen and history comes alive. See full trip details at wilshirebc.org/registration or in a brochure available in the front office. Registration will be finalized on a first-come, first-served basis, with only 50 seats available.
Farewell receptions for Wright and Dodrill. Everyone is invited to a farewell reception next Sunday, Feb. 16, for Tiffany Wright, minister for care ministries, and Matt Dodrill, McIver Fellow. Tiffany will conclude her 20 years of service on Wilshire’s staff at the end of February and begin several new ventures beyond the church. Today, Matt is preaching in view of a call to become the senior pastor at Pulaski Heights Baptist Church in Little Rock. If called to that position, he and his family will move at the end of this month. The joint reception will be held in James Gallery during the Sunday School hour.
Adventurers to Holocaust Museum. Wilshire Adventurers will take a day trip to see the new Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum on Monday, March 23. A chartered motor coach will depart Wilshire at 10:30 a.m., making a stop for lunch on your own near the museum, then arriving at the museum for a noon admission. The group will depart the museum at 2 p.m., arriving back at Wilshire around 2:30 p.m. Thanks to the underwriting of a generous donor, this event is free. However, preregistration is required. See Pat Tilley at the Adventurers table in the South Lobby on Sunday mornings or in Community Hall on Wednesdays at noon.
Beginnings Class for newly & nearly married. The Beginnings Class for newly and nearly married couples will be offered on six Sunday mornings beginning March 1. The class meets during the Sunday School hour, from 9:40 to 10:45 a.m. It is open to all couples making life commitments. Guest speakers and topics covered include family financial management with David Nabors, couple conflict resolution with Phill and Gloria Martin, spirituality in marriage by George Mason, the Five Love Languages by Ryan Wilson, and understanding issues with family of origin by Amy and Cory Anderson. The class is free but preregistration is preferred. Contact Darren DeMent at (214) 452-3102.
Marriage Connections 2020. All married and partnered couples are invited to a new semester of Marriage Connections, Wilshire’s monthly enrichment program. Free child care is provided at the church while couples have a chance to learn from a speaker’s brief presentation, and then couples are able to leave and enjoy a meal on their own. Child care opens at 6:30 p.m., and the program runs from 6:45 to 7:15 p.m. Child care pickup is at 9:30 p.m. New year’s dates are Feb. 14, April 3 and May 8. Reservations for child care are required by the Sunday prior to the event at www.wilshirebc.org/registration.
Brown Bag Book Club. Wilshire’s Brown Bag Book Club meets once a month on Thursdays at noon in Room 1205-L. Bring your own lunch and join the conversation about a great book. March 12, Still Life by Louise Penny; April 2, Call Your Daughter Home by Deb Spera; May 7, The New Girl by Daniel Silva; June 4, The Guardians by John Grisham.
WOW! Tuesday Evening Book Club. The Women of Wilshire Tuesday Evening Book Club meets monthly at 7 p.m. in the Parlor.Upcoming dates and book titles are: Feb. 18, When All Is Said by Anne Griffin; March 24, Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.
Summer for kids at Wilshire. Don’t forget to register for summer kids activities at Wilshire. Visit wilshirebc.org/registration for all details. And remember: Full-day options are available for Vacation Bible School and Music Camp this year for the first time.
Faith in 3-D. “Lighting the Way,” Wilshire’s 2020 Faith in 3-D production, will be presented on Friday and Saturday, March 6 and 7, at 7:30 p.m. in Community Hall. In association with Climate Change Theatre Action, the evening will be anchored by 10 brief plays written by an array of international playwrights, interspersed with music and exposition. With themes from the absurd to life-and-death, the plays explore the consequences and remedies concerning global warming. Thirty-three Wilshire performers will combine their talents to present this theatrical event in 3-D: drama, dessert and dialogue. The event is free and open to the public. Preschool child care will be provided on Friday, March 6.
Save the date for Wilshire’s Road to Resurrection family Lenten experience. It will be Palm Sunday, April 5, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. This is a come-and-go event in Community Hall. Bring your family for a multi-sensory experience, traveling with others the path of Jesus during his last week on earth. This hour-long event is filled with Bible-time experiences that will engage participants of all ages (especially older preschoolers through middle elementary ages). We’ll create and wave palm branches, taste the Passover meal and visit the Garden of Gethsemane. A family friendly lunch will be available for $5 starting at 11 a.m. The event itself is free. Volunteer opportunities are available for those willing to serve as greeters, travel guides, costumed characters, assistants or to help with decorating. Contact Julie Girards at (214) 452-3104.
Film screening March 8. Wilshire member Cheryl Allison has created an award-winning film, Shatter the Silence, that will be screened at Wilshire on Sunday, March 8, at noon. Lunch will be served. No reservation is required, and the event is free. In the film, the use of archival footage including suffragettes, Anita Hill, Eleanor Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson and President John Kennedy helps support the modern-day voices of women and men weaving together a story of the ongoing fight for gender equality.
Sing your winter blues away. Now is a great time to visit a Sanctuary Choir rehearsal on Wednesday evenings as the choir begins to work on music for Lent, Holy Week and Easter. New singers and seasonal singers are welcome. Rehearsals are at 7 p.m. on Wednesdays in Choral Hall, located on the second floor south wing.