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During the spring and fall semesters, the students of El Centro Community College Food and Hospitality Department prepare lunch on Thursdays and invite the public to take advantage of what they, as aspiring chefs, caterers and restaurant owners, are learning in this top-rated culinary program at the school. 

The Westside Wanderers, mostly seniors from Central Christian Church, love to check out the “best of Dallas and surrounding areas” and take advantage of those deals as a small group. They enjoy the $12.00 lunches provided by the El Centro students so much that they are returning on November 15 for a California Buffet.  

What is expected at a California Buffet? We see all around town at grocery stores and farmer’s markets signs that say “locally sourced” and signs that encourage the consumer to “buy local.”  Restaurants promote “farm to table” as the freshest ingredients on their menus. 

One of the first proponents of using fresh, locally available foods was Helen Evans Brown who became friends with James Beard after publishing “Helen Brown's West Coast Cookbook” in 1952. She advocated using produce and spices available in one’s own neighborhood, forgoing poor grocery store substitutes, as well as fresh seafood, caught locally. The book received wide acclaim and became the "template" for what is now thought of as California cuisine. 

California cuisine is typically chef-driven, low in saturated fats and high in fresh vegetables and fruits (which everyone needs to include in their diet) with lean meats and seafood.  The term arose as a result of culinary movements in recent decades. 

If you are a senior, new in Dallas or would just like to make new friends, you are encouraged to join the Westside Wanderers on any of their excursions.  If you would like to dine with them at El Centro, email for more information.  Seating is limited and on a “first come, first served” basis.  

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Blessing the Animals

St. Francis Day was celebrated this year on October 4, but if you missed the time-honored Christian tradition of taking your pet to church for a blessing, Central Christian Church will gather on Sunday, October 28 for the annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.  

St. Francis was an Italian friar, deacon, and preacher.  He is widely acknowledged as the patron saint of animals and various legends attest to his love for nature and the environment. 

Central shares that same love for animals, nature and environment.  Nearly twelve years ago the church designated one acre of its grounds for a community dog park where people can come and sit under the shade of mature live oaks, read or visit with other dog owners while the dogs play unleashed in the fenced-in park. 

Join people through-out the community as they gather with their furried best friend for a blessing and a good time Sunday afternoon at 3:30 in Central’s Community Dog Park.   

Music, refreshments, a door prize and treats for the dogs are part of the celebration. Each dog will receive a St. Francis Medallion to wear on his or her collar to commemorate the blessing. 

St. Francis is said to have preached to a group of birds without one flying away and to have stopped a wolf from attacking the Italian town of Gubbio by making the sign of the cross and commanding it not to hurt anyone.  

Not only the animals, but all who attend will leave feeling blessed! Hope to see you in the dog park.

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Joining the Disciples Women of Central Christian Church on Tuesday November 6 as program guest speaker is former Senior Co-Pastor, Rev. Dr. Debbie Chisolm.

If you have ever heard Debbie speak, either in Central’s sanctuary or on WRR radio, you know that you are in for a treat.  If you have not—you are in for a treat.

Debbie was Senior Co-Pastor at Central from July 2011 until February 2016.  Looking back, some of the great memories include an old-fashioned "tent-type" revival in downtown Dallas. Modern skyscrapers were the backdrop while Debbie proclaimed, “we are standing on holy ground” as Central celebrated their 150th anniversary.  Or the summer of surprises! That was the year the church had no air-conditioning and Debbie kept the congregation coming by preaching in front of a casket when no one had died and celebrating a wedding when no one got married. During Holy Week she directed the re-enactment of “The Last Supper” and wrote and directed the play, “Have You Seen My Son?” to bring Biblical stories to life.

Prompted by a busy lifestyle as wife to a General, mom to three daughters and grandma to 10 adored granddaughters with another on the way, after 39 years in ministry, Debbie retired from her position as a congregational pastor. However, she will never totally retire from the pulpit as her talent as a preacher is too well known. Debbie is frequently asked to speak at area churches when a minister is away.

The Disciples Women of Central are thrilled to have her at the November meeting to share the stories of Hulda and Anna, two women prophets who demonstrated their purpose and calling as they heard from and spoke for God.

The meeting will be held in the sanctuary and begins at 10:30 a.m.

Following the program, everyone is invited to enjoy a fiesta buffet on the church lawn by the sprawling Bois D’Arc tree. Lunch will be catered by El Fenix Restaurant in honor of Debbie and her heritage. In case of inclement weather, there is a back-up plan for lunch.

You don’t have to be a member of Central, or any church for that matter, to be a part of Disciples Women and their ministry.  Email for a reservation.   Cost for lunch is $5.00.  All are welcome.

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David Aston, Holly Puig and Margaret Wilson enjoying lunch at El Centro

The Westside Wanderers of Central Christian Church  dined at El Centro Collage Thursday, enjoying a Rocky Mountain inspired lunch.

During the spring and fall semesters the talented students in the Food and Hospitality Department of the school prepare lunch on Thursdays and open a fine dining experience to the public for the reasonable price of $12.00. In addition to the price being a "deal" the money helps support the hospitality department.  You can also purchase beautifully decorated cakes for $3.00, bread at the unheard of price of three loaves for $1.00, cookies and muffins, etc. 

The students choose a theme or International cuisine each week to keep the menu fresh and exciting. Rocky Mountain food is very much the farm-to-table concept, but it tackles using a lot of ingredients forged in the Rocky Mountains. For example—local herbs and flowers like the Columbine, Colorado’s state flower. 

Peak fishing in Rocky Mountain National Park takes place from mid-June through mid-October when the trout are plentiful and bite frequently. A delicious ginger lime glazed trout was the star of the show on Thursday’s menu which also featured a jicama salad with spicy pork empanada, poblano potato soup, Annatto rice with queso fresco and choice of chocolate lava cake with bourbon ice cream or berry Napoleon dessert.

The Westside Wanderers are a group of church members who seek the friendship of other seniors while enjoying lunches, day excursions and theater around Dallas and surrounding areas. You do not have to be a member of the church, or any church for that matter, to be a part of the fun. They enjoy the lunches at El Centro so much that they are returning in November for a California Buffet.  If you haven’t dined at El Centro and would like to, email for information.  Seating is limited and on a “first come, first served” basis. 

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Tionashe enjoys a corny dog

Allan Eubank, founder of the Thai Christian Foundation was guest speaker at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Sunday morning. The Eubanks are a family of three generations of missionaries and Allan and his wife Joan have served in Thailand for half a century.  

Allan presented the Gospel in a way that fits Thai culture and world view with a power point presentation during Sunday School and at the pulpit during morning worship.

Following the service, members and visitors had the opportunity to shop the “Thai Village,” a craft bazaar featuring hand-made crafts set up in Central’s fellowship hall. Beautiful jewelry, greeting cards and totes were among the items for sale as well as whimsical pot holders and coasters all making festive, early Christmas shopping a part of the after-church fellowship.

Central always looks forward to a visit from the Eubanks and welcomed them with a Texas size “howdy” and a corny dog reception celebrating the State Fair of Texas.

Not just on Sundays, but throughout the week, there is always something going on at Central.  Call the church office to learn about book club, co-working, day trips, church in the dog park and more. Next Sunday Central will be blessed by a visit from former pastor Norman Stolpe and his wife Candy. Lunch will be served following morning worship in fellowship hall in honor of the Stolpes. All are welcome.

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Photo from previous Corn Dog fellowship

Theater in Dallas is very sophisticated today with spectacular Broadway productions at the Music Hall and Winspear Theaters.  However, that was not always so! 

“In the early days of Dallas show business, all one needed for a production was a good-looking man, a pretty girl, a clown, an old lady and a dumb blond,” recalled local historian Rose-Mary Rumbley.

“The Madcap Players, a tent show directed by Neil Fletcher and performed on the grounds where City Place Target stands today had all those components,” she said.

Portraying the “dumb blond” was Fletcher’s wife, Minnie.

The band would play “Happy Days Are Here Again,” the curtain would rise and the script would go something like this:

Minnie: I’m staying at the Paul Revere Hotel and it is terrible.  I want to complain to Paul Revere.

Straight man: He’s dead.

Minnie: Oh, I didn’t even know he was sick.

Eventually the fire department closed-down the Madcap Players but judging by the number of corny dogs consumed by State Fair goers in the years to follow, Texans didn’t hold the Madcap humor against Fletcher. 

Even though the tent gigs were over, Fletcher and his brother, Carl, were soon humming “Happy Days Are Here Again,” after their invention of the famous Fletcher’s Corny Dog.

How was the dog-on-a-stick conceived?  There is more than one story and more than one person who claims credit for the invention, but here is ours, as told to me by Neil Fletcher.

Mr. Fletcher came into my travel agency in Lewisville, Texas one afternoon to purchase an airline ticket. My small-town agency was set up like a living room to encourage people to sit in comfort and plan their travel or just stop by to visit.

Mr. Fletcher stayed for a visit and charmed the staff with stories of his days in Vaudeville with celebrities like George Burns.  Eventually the conversation turned to the corny dog.

Back in the day it was not unusual for someone to offer a trade if they owed a debt they could not pay. Neil’s brother, Carl, was owed money by a fella who could not fulfill his obligation but had a booth at the upcoming State Fair of Texas.  Carl accepted the rights for the fair booth in lieu of payment for the debt.

Space at the fair was a coveted commodity even back then, but the problem was Carl had no product to sell. The Fletcher brothers put their heads together.  It seems there was a man in Oak Cliff who was baking wieners in corn bread, resulting in a delicious treat.

Obviously that cooking technique would not produce quick results like you would need to run a concession. The guys decided to put the wiener on a stick, dip it in the batter and fry it!

Happy days were for sure here again as the famous Fletcher's Corny Dog is the most anticipated food at the State Fair of Texas year after year.

Sunday, following morning worship at Central Christian Church, we will enjoy corny dogs in honor of the State Fair of Texas in fellowship hall.

Additionally, the Thai Christian Foundation will be visiting the church and the Thai Village Craft Bazaar will be set up in the Hall of Missions.

Be sure and plan to stay after worship.  If you would like to visit Central, Sunday morning service is at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary and church in the dog park is at 9 a.m. All are welcome!

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Carol Archer, Carolyn Shinn and Rev. Charlotte Nabors

The Disciples Women of Central Christian Church gathered Tuesday morning to hear Rev. Dr. Charlotte Nabors tell the story of the Biblical character, Abigail, and how she was a woman of purpose, acting with discretion and reason when grave danger loomed over her household.

This year’s study guide for Disciples Women is “Called for God’s Purpose.”  Charlotte, like Abigail, was also called for God’s purpose. She was associate pastor of Central Christian Church from 1983 to 1991. While at Central she earned her doctorate at Brite Divinity School in Ft. Worth. After her service at Central she became Co-Pastor with her husband Oran at First Christian Church of Denton.

When Charlotte was called to serve Central back in the early 80’s, there were very few ordained women serving churches as pastors or associate pastors.  Charlotte reminded the woman that the picture has changed dramatically since those days and she attributes Central as a forerunner in that change. 

“Central took a bold step at that time, and it took some members a while to adjust,” Charlotte said.  “Some may never,” she quipped.

The women of Central Christian Church were pioneers of that movement and can take pride in their role.

Following the program and a short business meeting, the women enjoyed a delicious lunch of salad, pumpkin soup, miniature corny dogs and individual pecan pies (recipe follows). Carol Archer, Jayne Hawley and Holly Puig hosted the luncheon and did a stellar job of decorating Fellowship Hall with fantasy pumpkins and leaves and preparing the fall-themed meal.

In honor of the State Fair of Texas a display table was set up featuring Big Tex, Cotton Candy and blue-ribbon entries won by Central member MaryAnn Duckworth at fair days gone by.

An enormous collection of warm winter clothing and food staples were donated by the women for delivery  to Austin Street Center and North Dallas Shared Ministries.

Next month’s meeting will be another homecoming! Former Senior Pastor Rev. Dr. Debbie Chisolm will be the guest speaker, and a catered Mexican fiesta on the front lawn by the sprawling Bois D’ Arc will celebrate her visit.

If you would like to visit the Disciples Women’s Ministry, call the church office at 214-526-7291 or email  You don’t have to be a member of Central, or any church, to enjoy our meetings and luncheon and to be a part of the vital ministry and community outreach of the Disciples Women. We would love to have you.

Mini Pecan Pies

Courtesy of Ree Drummond (Pioneer Woman)

1 cup granulated sugar

½ cup corn syrup

½ cup maple syrup

1/3 cup salted butter, melted

3 Tablespoons brown sugar

2 Tablespoons whiskey

¾ teaspoon vanilla

½ teaspoon kosher salt

3 large eggs, beaten

1 heaping cup chopped pecans plus 14 halves for garnish

14 prepared mini pie shells in disposable pans*

*found at Walmart

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Mix together the granulated sugar, corn syrup, maple syrup, butter, brown sugar, whiskey, vanilla, salt and eggs in a bowl.

Divide the chopped pecans among the pie shells.  Pour the syrup mixture over the top and put a pecan half on top of each.

Bake until just set, 20 to 25 minutes.  Let cool.




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Sync Life Book Club is discussing “The Art of Gathering: How We Meet and Why It Matters” by Priya Parker.

In the book, Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives are often lackluster and unproductive. She says we rely too much on routine and the conventions of gatherings when we should focus on distinctiveness and the people involved.

Coming together is a ritual for most of us, one that began very early on— perhaps with our Christening or first birthday party.  However, through the years as we sat in boring meetings or made small talk at a party, the child-like anticipation of coming together began to falter and we “rolled our eyes and hum-drummed” at the thought of another event— be it family, friends or co-workers.

But many of the best things happen and the best memories made when we gather.  No matter how far we go with technology—texting, emailing, conference calls, nothing will ever replace coming together in person to learn, celebrate or even grieve.

“Thank goodness for this book. It opens new ways of thinking about wonderful gatherings with a delicious confection of smartly-defined concepts and detailed examples. Hosts of all kinds, this is a must-read,Chris Anderson, owner and curator of TED, said.

Led by Daryn DeZengotia, the book club meets Wednesday mornings at 10 a.m. in the parlor at Central Christian Church and everyone is welcome. 

Daryn is taking the book by chapter and next Tuesday the club will discuss Chapter 3, so you can easily catch up.

Come gather with us and let’s learn together how to create meaningful, memorable experiences for work and play. For more information contact the church office at 214-526-7291.

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Disciples Women’s Ministry will gather in the parlor at Central Christian Church  on Tuesday, October 2nd at 10:30 a.m. for the monthly meeting of the 2018/19 year.

Rev. Dr. Charlotte Nabors will be the guest speaker. Former missionary and professor at Thailand Theological Seminary (now McGilvary College of Divinity) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, Rev. Nabors served as Associate Pastor of Central Christian Church of Dallas and Co-Pastor with her late husband, Rev. Dr. Oran Nabors, at First Christian Church of Denton.

“Called for God’s Purpose” is the theme of this year’s lessons and Rev. Nabors will share the story of Abigail, a woman of wisdom and action.  Despite her difficult situation, Abigail is used for God’s purpose when she balances her gifts of wisdom, leadership, hospitality and humility to save her family.

Following the program and a brief business meeting, lunch will be served in fellowship hall.  Holly Puig, Carol Archer and Jayne Hawley are hosting the luncheon and are preparing a wonderful meal featuring a seasonal menu. Did I hear Butternut Squash soup for starters?

As we begin the busy holiday season, all women are encouraged to take time for themselves and there is no better way than to become a part of Central’s Disciples Women’s Ministry.  Even the logo symbolizes the mission and purpose of the organization and how all women are welcomed and embraced.

The Cross is the pivot point around which all the Disciples Women’s Ministries beliefs and activities revolve. The circle attached to the cross is symbolic of birth and life.

In 1874, Caroline Neville Pearre organized women of the church for mission work, creating the Christian Woman’s Board of Missions.  Jessie Trout, in 1949, birthed the Christian Women’s Fellowship. From those founding mothers, the Christian Women’s Foundation and eventually, Disciples Women’s Ministries evolved.

The arms in the logo represent strength. Disciples Women are strong in their dedication to the church and relationships with their families and communities.

The up-swinging arms are energy-filled and indicate the joy of being a Christian and a Disciples woman, serving the Lord and world community.

The embracing arms reflect that Disciples Women are nurturing and all inclusive.  

All are welcome!  You do not have to be a member of Central Christian Church, or any church for that matter, to join the group of loving, welcoming women.  They enjoy learning, laughing and lunching at the monthly meetings and serving the community in various ways.  

If you would like to visit the October meeting, email or call the church office at 214-526-7291 and let us know that you would like to be our guest.

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Get Cooking with Mary Quick

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for!  Following the popularity of Central Christian Church’s Instant Pot Cooking Class in early September, many requests have come in asking for a second class.    You will be happy to know that Mary Quick is back in the church kitchen, dressed for Fall, and ready to get you cooking in your Instant Pot.   Friday, November 10, Mary will teach a Basic Instant Pot class just in time for Thanksgiving.

With humor and a down-to-earth approach to cooking, Mary will calm your fears of being blown up by your pressure cooker, truly a concern of many who remember the old pressure cookers of days gone by. 

She will point out safety features of the modern pressure cookers and caution you to “do as she says, not as she did” to prevent getting burned.  She will explain terms like “come to pressure,” “quick release” and “natural release.” She will share recipes and show you how you can eat healthy, economically and not have to clean the stove-top.

Smells and tastes of Fall will fill the Instant pot and Central’s fellowship hall at this November class.

Following the class, everyone will enjoy sampling recipes that were prepared in the popular pressure cooker that is all the rage in Dallas. The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond, just launched her own floral pot. 

As before, the cost for the class is “pay as you may” and all proceeds will go to the Disciples Women’s Ministry to help support their community service projects and charities.  Genesis Women’s Shelter, Juliette Fowler Communities, Bryan’s House, North Dallas Shared Ministries and Maple Lawn Elementary School are but a few of the community entities that have benefited by the organization’s patronage.

The class is likely to fill quickly as did the last one, so get your name on the list as soon as possible as it is first, come serve.

Email for a reservation.