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Mollie was a natural loving to pose

Tuesday’s photo shoot at Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) was a howling success.  Fellowship Hall was turned into a photo studio and both dogs and people sat while photographer Kris Hundt captured their image and personality. 

We met Kris several months ago when she attended Central’s “Pop-In Tuesday” cooperative work environment headed up by Pastor Ken Crawford and Daryn DeZengotita and have used her skills with the camera on several occasions.   

Kris draws inspiration from connections forged during the actual shoot.  Her interaction with both people and their pets is a natural gift for bringing personalities to surface. 

Her images have been published in nationwide magazines and on the web.  She loves to travel and of course, her camera is one of her greatest traveling companions. Like many artists, Kris finds beauty everywhere. 

“The world is a beautiful place, you just have to be open to seeing it,” she said. 

Central Christian Church is often referred to as “the church with the dog park.”  Out back, just behind the church is a one-acre dog park with plenty of seating, natural shade from the huge life oaks, running water, a dog wash station and professionally manned waste containers.  Open from dawn to dusk, a statue of St. Francis of Assisi watches over it all. 

Church members and dog park regulars lined up in Fellowship Hall all day Tuesday to have professional portraits made. Coming along for the photo op were big dogs, little dogs and a variety of breeds making for a very amusing day.  Numerous poses were taken of each subject— dogs, kids and owners, (selection won’t be easy) to give everyone the opportunity to get the perfect shot that says it all.  

Back scene shots may be funny, but the finished product is a beautiful treasured photo that you will cherish forever. 

If you missed today’s photo shoot, watch for future opportunities on Central’s website and on BubbleLife Community Media.  

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Gathered in the dog park

There is no doubt that Dallas is a dog friendly city.  Throughout the day and evening, Dallasites are walking dogs in wooded parks, suburban neighborhoods and on city streets.

You can find a pet specialty store and grooming salon within miles of each other all around town.  In 2008 the Dallas City Council was a trendsetter when they passed a law allowing dogs on restaurant patios.  Retirement centers are welcoming dogs to live out their life with their senior owner.  Hotels from A - Z, Adolphus to Zaa Zaa, plus La Quintas, Hiltons and Marriott’s in between accommodate Fido, often presenting him with a welcome bag of goodies upon arrival.  Even hospitals are re-thinking the “no-pet” policy as they realize the importance of the four-legged member in a patient’s well-being. 

But what about church? 

When I arrived at Central Christian Church Sunday morning, Pastor Ken, a group of church elders and Central visitors were gathered in the dog park singing “Shall We Gather At The River?” 

“Shall we gather at the river, the beautiful, beautiful river, Gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God.” 

We weren’t really at the river, but the “saints” were there—romping, sniffing, playing fetch— doing whatever dogs do.  And their owners were worshiping in a casual, outdoor setting.  

Join us at church in the dog park at 9 a.m. the first and third Sunday of each month. There is plenty of seating and plenty of shade.  Coffee and donuts are served.  Come and bring your dog to church.

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Tomato Tart

“You say tomaato, I say tomauto.” Whatever!  The brightly colored, highly anticipated round, red fruit is all over Dallas and is bursting with summer flavor. 

There is something about Texas and tomatoes. And when they are ripe and ready, you see them everywhere.  A church member brought in vine-ripened, home grown tomatoes to share with parishioners last Sunday and another some home grown tomatoes and Texas sized cucumbers and squash.  Central Market has a huge bin of tomatoes on display advertising “tomatoes from Jacksonville.”  Jimmy’s Food Store has a hand printed sign in the window that reads “East Texas Tomatoes.” 

Texans love tomatoes.  And we don’t need a recipe. You may remember as a child confiscating the salt shaker from the table (yes it was kept right there by the napkin holder) and heading to the backyard for a snack right off the vine.  Today, we serve them on the side, add them to salads, sandwiches, soups—even garnish a breakfast plate of bacon and eggs with a slice of tomato. 

Plus, like any other fruit (and tomatoes are a fruit but often used as a vegetable in savory dishes) they can become a pie or tart, wrapped and baked in a flaky pie crust. 

A tomato tart is a great dish for a summer brunch or light lunch.  I made one and it turned out beautifully—and delicious. 

Here is what you need! 

Equipment:

Two-piece tart pan with fluted edges and removable flat bottom. 

Ingredients:

Pie dough for one-crust pie

½ cup cheese (grated) I used gruyere

Tomatoes!  I sliced one very large East Texas tomato and it filled a medium tart pan.  (You can use cherry or colored heirlooms if you wish.)

½ small sweet onion like Noonday or Vidalia (thinly sliced)

Fresh Basil for garnish

Salt and pepper to taste 

This is so simple and making it even more simple (besides only five ingredients) is the dough puck that I purchased at Central Market. The puck is an HEB exclusive and has been in Central Market since last fall.  However, I only recently discovered it and I am impressed by its taste, texture and ease of handling.  

The Dough Puck originated at The Texas Pie Company in Kyle, Texas and is used for all of their baked goods. 

I was so impressed with the product that I called The Texas Pie Company to let them know how much I love the dough puck.  Chef Julie Albertson came to the phone. 

“We’ve been using the dough for thirty years, and decided that we needed to let others in on our secret,” Chef Julie said. 

Directions: 

Preheat oven to 350.  Lightly spray tart pan sides and bottom with non-stick spray.  Roll thawed dough between two pieces of wax paper, forming a circle an inch or so larger than your tart pan. 

Gently turn dough into pan and press dough into fluted sides.  Trim excess off top using a sharp knife.  Refrigerate. 

Slowly cook the onion slices in a sauté pan on top of a low to medium heated burner.  Slow roasting brings out the sugar and the caramel flavor of the onion.  Don’t burn them.  When they are caramel in color they are ready. 

Spread the onions evenly over the chilled crust. Arrange tomatoes slices over onions in a circle.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake 20-25 minutes until crust is golden and cheese melted.  Garnish with a chiffonade of basil. 

Serve a slice of this with a green salad at your next lunch or next to a pile of fluffy scrambled eggs for brunch. 

Plus the variations are endless; I am making a second tomato tart omitting the onion and gruyere and substituting chive, thyme and goat cheese.

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Movie Poster

The Dallas Holocaust Museum/Center for Education and Tolerance is sponsoring the  showing of the film An Unknown Country at Temple Shalom on Tuesday evening, June 14. 

An Unknown Country is an independent film that tells the story of families who fled Europe during World War II, escaping the Nazi terror to find refuge in the unlikely destination of Ecuador. 

Filmmaker and Emmy winner Eva Zelig’s family was among those who found sanctuary in the small South American country, barely known at the time.

Zelig’s parents arrived in Ecuador in 1939 from Bratislava, in former Czechoslovakia. Her father opened a restaurant in Guayaquil, but it soon burned down.  The family stayed in Ecuador for 10 more years, living off profits from a small bakery. Zelig said that her parents “were never happy, always depressed, and couldn’t adapt.”

Zelig’s adventurous life alone is movie material.  When she left Ecuador and moved to the United States, Zelig did menial work for a year in Florida, but as she had been a ballet dancer with the National Ballet of Ecuador, she moved to New York City, where she still resides, and spent two years auditioning and taking ballet classes. Eventually she gave up dance and got a job at ColumbiaUniversity, where she was able to take advantage of free evening classes to earn a degree in French literature. 

After working for several years for a company that produced medical videos, she decided to follow her dream of broadcasting and took an internship at Channel 13. She was hired to do research for science and technology series where she got a chance to produce shows.  Her productions have appeared on The Learning Channel, New York Times TV, ABC, and National Geographic Channel.

Through first-hand accounts and documented archives, “An Unknown Country” reveals the terrifying escape to the small country who had agreed to take the fleeing Jews when so many had turned them away.  Still, Ecuador had few resources and many of the refugees found new struggles in the unfamiliar land. Many made a living farming.  One refugee sold fabric door to door. Some immigrants were able to eventually create businesses that provided pharmaceutical products and other necessities.

They also influenced Ecuadorian arts and the film highlights the contributions the immigrants made to the economic, artistic, and social life of their host country.

Zelig began working on this project in 2010 and eight months into it, she traveled to Ecuador to reunite and interview exiles, their children and grandchildren, both there and in the United States.  

“In the refugees’ poignant experience I found a lesson in survival and perseverance,” Zelig said. “I was reminded that it's more important than ever to capture and preserve the stories of those who witnessed and endured one of the most harrowing periods of the 20th century.” 

Temple Shalom is located at 6930 Alpha Rd. in Dallas.  Beverages and Bites will be enjoyed at 5:30 p.m. with a 6 p.m. film screening.  Questions and answers with Ms. Zelig will follow the film. 

RSVP to Deanne McElroy at the Dallas Holocaust Museum, 469-399-5210 or dmcelroy@dallasholocaustmuseum.org

Museum supporters Jerri and Fred Grunewald are sponsors of the event.

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Dr Larry Ross and Ken Crawford

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) of Dallas celebrated the installation of Rev. Dr. Ken G. Crawford as Senior Pastor Sunday afternoon in the church sanctuary. 

A formal installation service is a special religious service that honors, inspires and informs the new pastor of his or her new duties and obligations.  It also reminds the church members to follow the new pastor’s leadership.  Although Dr. Crawford preached his first official sermon at Central on November 20, 2016, the formal installation on June 4, 2017 publicly recognized him as the new pastor of Central.

Rev. Dr. Larry Ross, Area Minister & President for North Texas Area Disciples of Christ, officiated at the prayer of installation.

The choir of St. Thomas the Apostle Episcopal Church joined Central’s Chancel Choir, performing two anthems during the service, “Cantique de Jean Racine” by Gabriel Faure and “The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune” arranged by R. Vaughan Williams. “The Old Hundredth Psalm Tune” was arranged for the Coronation of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey, June 2, 1953.

“Come Dream With Us” was the message shared during the installation service.  Denominations across the country recognize the changes facing churches, today.  Central, like many other churches, has dreams for the future of the church and is moving toward those dreams, even though it may require changes in traditional worship styles.

Dr. Crawford has the spirit and energy to lead Central in making those dreams a reality.

Following the installation service church members and guests enjoyed a magnificent buffet prepared by Chef Scott Jones of Food Hugs Kitchen.

Visit Central’s website to learn more about “church in the dog park” and the summer drama camp.

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Bronze statue erected in Frisco Heritage Village

Sunday afternoon, June 4, a beautiful bronze statue of Frisco resident John Turner led by a faithful Seeing Eye dog was dedicated at the Frisco Heritage Center. Over 250 people gathered for the event.   

John, a life-long resident of Frisco, lost the sight in one of his eyes at the age of four years old and the second during his teen years. 

In1953, only weeks before high school graduation in the small town of Frisco, a detached retina, due to a hereditary weakness began affecting John’s sight.  John loved sports and played high school football, lettering all four years.  He was also catcher for his baseball team. It was during his senior year that John began seeing more than one ball being pitched to him.   

Blindness is a heavy burden for anyone and you can only imagine for a young man about to begin his future. 

“What am I going to do?” John asked his mother during a hospital visit in Chicago.  

“Return to our farm in Texas and continue doing what we have been doing,” she replied.   

With that attitude, John never let blindness stop him from achieving what he had set out to accomplish. 

His wife Linda says, “John lives his life with the philosophy that blindness is an inconvenience; not a handicap." 

While the bronze statue represents hope and encouragement “to never give up,” it also symbolizes friendship and love for one another.  

In rural Texas towns, most students in the 19th and early 20th centuries attended a one room schoolhouse where a single teacher taught multiple grades all at the same time. Such a school was the setting that formed a life-long friendship between first graders John Turner and David Griffin. 

As the two boys grew and sports entered their lives, their friendship grew stronger and they became best of friends— a real team. And they were constantly doing what boys do, looking for mischief. 

David’s wife Shirley said that John had to be convinced that skipping school was a good idea, where as David was always at the ready.   

“I can’t believe we just did that,” John would say. 

“Well, we did and now we are going to ride some horses.” David would answer and off they went. 

Following their senior year at Frisco, David enlisted in the U.S. Marines and served in Korea. It was during that time that David learned in a letter from his mother about John’s sight. 

John attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a BBA in Marketing.  He became an independent insurance agent and was one of the five most successful agents in Dallas. 

The friendship that began in the little schoolhouse in Frisco continues today. John respects David for his service to our country and David says of John, “he does not know he meaning of quit.” 

The two stay in touch and often spend New Year’s Day sharing tamales and black eyed peas. 

David and his wife Shirley, now living in Dallas, commissioned Houston sculptor Bridgett Monjeon to capture and immortalize the hope and determination of John and his faithful seeing eye dog in the bronze statue erected at the FriscoHeritageCenter. 

For over 60 years, John has shared his life with eight guide dogs from The Seeing Eye. l

These incredible animals become part of the family, a constant companion to the blind even sleeping at the foot of their master’s bed.  John’s first companion was Villa, then Inky, Pepper, Gordy, Steffie, Corenne, Robyn and currently, Eben.  All of John’s dogs have been female with the exception of Gordy and Eben. 

Weddings rarely go without a glitch and Linda shares the amusing story of hers. Gordy, having been with John throughout the day of the wedding was also forced to respect the tradition of not seeing the bride before the ceremony.  When the ceremony began, John and Gordy were solemnly stationed at the altar.  When Linda came down the aisle, John remained stoic, but Gordy could not contain his excitement.  He wanted to say “hello” to Linda.  Wedding guests are still laughing.  

The Seeing Eye, located in Morristown, N. J.  is the oldest existing guide dog school in the world and continues its role as a pioneer in the guide dog movement.

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Summer Drama Camp

If you attended the drama camp at Central Christian Church the past two summers, you know how much fun was had in the daily routine of singing, dancing and acting. And you remember the excitement of performing on-stage in the grand finale— the live production showcasing the results of the camp. 

Kids and parents, the summer camp is back for the third year in a row, bigger and better than ever. Join us July 10 through 22. 

What makes Central’s camp so special?  

  • The kids: their energy and excitement, filling the walls and halls with song and laughter.
  • The atmosphere: Even the volunteers are often heard singing tunes like “Bare Necessities” while preparing snacks.
  • The instructors:  This summer, Central is excited to have Lois Leftwich directing the program.  Leftwich is skilled at choosing material that is “right” for each child—material that showcases their strengths and puts them at ease so they can perform to the best of their ability. 

Leftwich has a long and varied career in performing and teaching. She is originally from Dallas, but spent 30 years in New York and Connecticut where she did numerous commercials, worked in daytime drama and off-off Broadway. She also developed her love of teaching in Connecticut and has lead a variety of Musical Theatre and Acting Camps for ages 5 through 17. She taught acting, improvisation, musical theatre and ?lm making at the Regional Center for the Arts, a performing arts high school in CT.  

Since returning to Dallas almost three years ago, Leftwich has taught for The Junior Players, Dallas Children's Theatre and Park Cities Dance. She has also been busy on stage in “A Civil War Christmas” and “The Wedding Singer,” both at Theatre Three. 

She is delighted to bring her experience and technique to young Dallas performers this summer at Central Christian Church and the two-week drama camp featuring Summer Showtunes. 

“There is no wrong way,” Leftwich said.  “It’s all about having fun. However, learning to perform in front of an audience is an advantage to everyone as it builds confidence, poise, self-esteem and teaches the ability to ‘to think on one’s feet,’ she added.” 

Even if a child is not going to pursue theater or communication as a future career, being knowledgeable and comfortable on-stage and in front of an audience is a head start for all children. 

Additionally, children learn social issues through theater, better equipping them to deal with diversities and differences that face us every day. 

Visit Central Christian Church on line or call the church office at 214-526-7291. Ask for Laura for more information about the summer camp.

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Love these pops

 

Everyone loves popsicles. Nothing is more refreshing than licking the cold, sticky confection from a stick on a hot summer’s day. Orange, purple, red, green—popsicles are as much a part of summer as backyard wading pools and water hoses. 

Many foodies, (those who study and know new eating trends) are saying the coolest new summer treat in the popsicle line is the Pickle Pop. That’s right! Frozen pickle juice. Bob's Pickle Pops and Van Holten's are making these icy pops simply from pickle juice frozen in a tube, except Van Holten's also adds electrolytes to their pops to help athletes who are worried about cramping. Yeah, pickle juice pops could take the place of fancy sports drinks and bars. I would try one. 

But besides the kids and the athletes, there is a third group out there who deserves a special summer treat—the four-legged, furred, family members who love to be in the middle of everything and are always in line for a treat. Now there is a popsicle just for them! 

My animal loving friend Kelley Reynolds shared this recipe with me for a homemade treat that gives your dog the benefit of coconut oil and fresh berries in a cool refreshing snack. Coconut oil is good for skin and coat and dogs love it. 

Besides being a canine breeder and handler and equestrian instructor, Kelly teaches at Collin County Junior College.  Plus, I have enjoyed some of her homemade people confections during the Christmas holidays, so I know the dogs are in for a real treat with these frozen paw pops. 

When you are freezing juice or Kool Aid popsicles for the kids this summer, make a tray of pops for the dogs. They will love them and it is so simple.

 

Here is all you need! 

Small silicone ice mold (I ordered mine on-line in the shape of paw prints)

Jar of coconut oil in solid form

Frozen blueberries (or raspberries or both)

Instructions

  1. Place a frozen blueberry into each paw in the silicone mold. Set aside.
  2. If the coconut oil is solidified, warm gently to liquefy, but it will probably already be liquid in our Texas kitchens. Allow coconut oil to cool for a few minutes, and then carefully spoon oil into the sections of the mold.
  3. Place mold into the freezer. The silicone is wobbly so I put it on a cutting board.
  4. When coconut oil treats are solid, pop them out of the mold.
  5. Store coconut oil treats in a baggie in the freezer.
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Dapper gentlemen Frank Whitington, David Tinney and Grady Quick

We’re “always dreaming” at Central Christian Church.  We are dreaming up ways that we can make our world a better place for everyone— today and in the future. 

One of our innovative ways is church service in Central’s Dog Park.  It has become a successful Sunday morning contemporary service, allowing those who want a casual, outdoor setting to attend church with their dog at their side. 

Mindful Co-Working on “Pop-In Tuesdays” provides a work place for entrepreneurs who often work from home to come by, have lunch and work together for an hour or a day. 

After worship fellowship is another way that Central makes attending church special for everyone. Memorable fellowship links friendships together forever.

Sunday, the congregation honored the Kentucky Derby by celebrating their own “winner’s circle” party in fellowship hall following morning worship. 

Roses decorated the hall while Kentucky favorites like fried chicken with all of the traditional trimmings and dessert of bourbon pecan and chocolate pie were enjoyed during the festive event.   

The ladies were lovely showing off their big hats adorned with flowers and feathers and the men were dapper sporting colorful blazers topped by bowler, boater and derby hats. 

Following lunch and a town hall meeting expressing the long and short-term goals and aspirations of the church, everyone enjoyed the finale—a parade of hats and selection of the winner.  

Judging the pageant were members Tim Caffee and B.J. Austin who gave out a number of honorable mentions for creativity and overall trendy hats.  But it was Katheryn Livengood, the lovely lady in blue, wearing a creation designed by her daughter Laura, who took home the blue— a homemade bourbon pecan pie. 

Members Nancy Anderton and Shelia Huffman had assembled all the ingredients for the pies in the church kitchen, rolling dough and filling pie pans with the syrupy mixture.

Pie making is “old hat” to Anderton who has been producing pumpkin pies in Central’s kitchen for Thanksgiving delivery to the Austin Street Center for years, one of the church’s many outreach service programs. 

Following is the recipe for the Derby influenced pie. 

Bourbon Pecan Pie 

1 (9 inch) unbaked deep dish pie crust

½ cup white sugar

½ cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons butter (melted)

½ cup Karo syrup

3 eggs (beaten)

2 tablespoons bourbon (we used Maker’s Mark)

2 cups pecan halves 

  1. Preheat an oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Mix the white sugar, brown sugar, and butter together in a bowl. Stir in the corn syrup, eggs, and bourbon; fold in the pecans. Pour the mixture into the pie crust.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C); continue to bake until the pie is set, about 25 minutes more. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack before serving. 

Two of the pies were Paleo certified.  Anderton, who practices the Paleo diet, made a pie crust and filling, replaceing standard recipe ingredients with almond flour blend, coconut sugar and maple syrup to achieve the result.   They, too, were a hit!  

A cooking class taught by Sandra Lewis of “Life at the Table” is currently being planned for Central’s kitchen, another way to bring our community together.  

Try our recipe and try our church. All are welcome! 

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Monica Womack, Peg Dicken and Rosemary Davenport choosing lipstick colors with Natalie Rachel

The Disciples Women of Central Christian Church installed new officers for the coming year and celebrated a remarkably successful 2016/17 with a luncheon, entertainment and modish activities. 

The ministry is part of a national assembly under the Christian Church that meets monthly between September and May to encourage enrichment, education, and creative ministries to enable women to develop a sense of personal responsibility for the whole mission of the church. However, the organization is not limited to members of the Christian Church. “We seek to be a network of women committed to the justice-seeking, compassion-focused mission of Jesus Christ with no membership requirements or conditions.”  Following that mission statement, all are invited and encouraged to attend Central’s Disciples Women’s Ministries.

Some of the outreach programs that the Disciples Women have supported this past year include Bryan’s House, Juliette Fowler Communities, Metrocare and MapleLawnElementary School.  

The educational theme for the 2016/17 year was “Lavish Hospitality in the Bible” and the women were treated to a variety of lessons on God’s lavish grace and hospitality.

Entertainment included such delightful speakers and performers as Rose-Mary Rumbley and the former Ms. Senior Texas, Jill Beam.  Fun outings included a trip to historic Waxahachie and lunch at the famous Dove’s Nest restaurant.

After the installation of new officers, Shelia Huffman, President; B. J. Austin, Vice President and Program Chair; Anne Pogson, Secretary and Parliamentarian and Carol Archer, treasurer, the ladies were treated to a salad luncheon.

Catered by Chef Scott Jones of Food Hugs Kitchen, lunch included a delicious chicken salad, a delightful Texas Caesar, fruit, bread and banana pudding. Visit this new Dallas-based business on-line. 

Natalie Rachel, Huffman’s granddaughter, set up a “lipstick bar” of Lipsense lipstick, the lipstick that stays on your lips, and the women were invited to try a variety of shades of lipstick.  A percentage of sales were returned to Disciples Women.

Kris Hundt of Kris Hundt Photography was on hand to capture the ladies in a professional photo-shoot.  The head shots will be used in a new directory of Disciples Women for the coming year.

Central’s Assistant Music Director, Tim Caffee, entertained at the piano.  Door prize winners were Olive Henderson, Carol Keller and Peg Dicken.

The luncheon was a festive way to welcome summer but continue to look forward to the coming year of Disciples Women.  If you would like to visit the group and want more information you can contact Shelia Huffman at shelia0806@sbcglobal.net.