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Blessing of the Animals

 

The Feast of St. Francis is a time-honored Christian tradition and bringing your pet to church for a blessing has become even more and more popular in recent times. So once again Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) gathered Sunday 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 nature and environment.  Ten years ago it gave one acre of its grounds to a community dog park where people can come and sit under the shade of huge live oaks while their dogs play unleashed in the fenced-in park. 

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.  

Following Sunday’s processional of the animals and an individual blessing of each dog, Rev. Dr. Ken Crawford delivered a beautiful sermon titled “Creation Care at Worship” and explained “blessings” and what blessings our pets are to our lives. 

“For God so loved the world,” Pastor Ken quoted John 3:16, “He singled out no one,” he said.   “God loved the whole world.  And that includes our pets.” 

During the service musical ministry was performed by Music Director David Aston, Assistant Director Tim Caffee and guitarist Eric Stolpe along with the Chancel Choir.  One of the highlights of the morning was featured soprano, Marsha Anderson, singing, “His Eye is on the Sparrow.”  

Communion brought the service to a close— but not the festivities. Drawings for door prizes from Pets Supply Plus, Hollywood Feed and Brooke Palmer/ Motive Real Estate Group were handed out to happy winners.  Jackie Pinson of Pawsitive Touch shared the benefits of massage therapy for pets and demonstrated techniques on lucky dogs who volunteered for a massage. 

Frank Whitington and Tom Irwin were at the grill cooking up hot dogs for a chili dog and baked beans lunch.  Of course each pet took home treats and a St. Francis Medallion to wear on their collar, commemorating this day of blessings. 

Visit Central anytime.  Services are held at 9 a.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month in the dog park so you can bring your dog to church.  Traditional morning worship is at 11 o’clock in the sanctuary. Bible study is at noon on Wednesday. Come if you are looking for a church home or if you are just looking for a cup of coffee and some friendly faces. You’ll be glad you did.   

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My new collar with my St. Francis Medallion

Hi, I’m Wheels and I am all excited about Sunday.  It is the annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi at Central Christian Church.  It’s a big day for dogs and people!  We gather on the beautiful church lawn in the shade of the sprawling Bois D’ Arc tree and give thanks for the wonderful part animals play in the lives of their people. 

This will be my fifth year to attend the event and I look forward to seeing and meeting new dogs and people every year.  Just like the church says about Sunday worship:  “You don’t have to be a member to participate in the Blessing of the Animals.  All are welcome!” 

Come at 10 for coffee and pastries and check out the one-acre dog park located just behind the church.  Central established a community dog park ten years ago so that people and their dogs would have a safe place to commune with nature and God, visit with each other, play ball with their dogs, all in a fenced, shaded, off-leash dog park.  Today outdoor worship is held the first and third Sunday of the month in the dog park. 

At 11 o’clock Sunday morning a processional will begin the blessing of the animals.  Following the service and communion, people will enjoy hot dogs with all the trimmings, an opportunity to win the drawing and learn massage techniques from Jackie Pinson of Pawsitive Touch.  Of course, there will be plenty of treats and take-home goodies for the dogs.    

See the St. Francis Medallion on my new collar?  Everyone gets one.  Come on over to Central Christian Church located at 4711 Westside Dr.  It’s all fun and all free.  Here are some pictures from past blessings to show how much loving fun we have.  You will be glad you came.  If it rains, we have a back-up plan. 

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Dominick Lacy

The Good Works Under 40 award is designed to honor the most committed, skilled and passionate volunteers under the age of 40 who are truly making a difference in the lives of North Texans. 

The program is in its eighth year in Dallas and the award is co-presented by The Dallas Foundation and The Dallas Morning News. The awards ceremony will be held on November 8, 2017 at Café Momentum

Five finalists were selected from a field of 46 volunteers nominated for the honor of being named top volunteer. 

Dominic N. Lacy (Dom) is one of those outstanding young volunteers. Dom wants to see his fellow deaf and hard of hearing community members enjoy visibility in the community, equal economic opportunities, and have access to the resources and education necessary to make that happen. 

Dom is currently the Board President of Deaf Action Center, a non-profit organization serving our North Texas deaf and hard of hearing communities. He previously served as Vice President and Member at Large on the same Board. Dom has also served on the Community Development Commission for the City of Dallas representing District 14 under Councilman Philip Kingston. 

A graduate of Southern Methodist University, Dom is a senior manager at Accenture Strategy, where he has worked with numerous clients across different industries and geographical locations for more than 12 years. Dom credits his success to his deaf parents who inspired him with a "can-do!" attitude and instilled a sense of service in him.  

The winner will be awarded a grant to his or her charity. The four remaining finalists will receive a donation to the charity of their choice.

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Fighting for Right to Fight

The DallasHolocaustMuseumCenter for Education and Tolerance presents “Fighting for the Right to Fight—African American Experiences in WWII.

The Military history of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history of the United States to the present day. In every war fought by or within the United States, African Americans participated.  However, due to racial discrimination they were often classified as unfit for combat and were not allowed on the front lines. They were mostly given support duties, and were segregated from units with white soldiers.

Some of that changed in 1941, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 prohibiting racial discrimination in the national defense industry. The order was enacted partly due to pressure from African-American civil rights leaders but also due to the realization that America could be forced into another global war, needing the aid of additional soldiers.

This was a time in history when blacks were blatantly discriminated against. “White Only,” “Colored to the Back of the Bus,” “Colored Entrance” and “Colored Waiting Room” signs were displayed without discretion, especially throughout the southern states. 

Order 8802 could ban discriminatory employment practices by Federal agencies and all unions and companies engaged in war-related work, but it could not do away with racial discrimination. 

Racism in the Military was a constant presence during World War II. 

This touring exhibit “Fighting for the Right to Fight” on loan from The National WWII Museum in New Orleans honors heroic black men and women. It uses photographs, videos, news clippings and personal testimonies to highlight African-American determination, achievements and struggles as they fought for the right to fight during World War II. 

“We have so much to learn from the bravery and determination of African Americans who chose to fight for the very freedoms denied to them,” said Mary Pat Higgins, Museum President & CEO. “Their sacrifices not only helped save the world from a terrible fate but helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement at home.” 

Located at 211 North Record Street in Dallas the museum will host the special gallery exhibit through January 26, 2018. 

In addition to experiencing the touring exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to view  the museum’s permanent exhibit,  dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and to teaching the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference, for the benefit of all humanity. 

Hours and admission fees can be found on the museum website.  The museum is not recommended for children under 11 years of age.

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Fighting for the Right to Fight

The Military history of African Americans spans from the arrival of the first black slaves during the colonial history of the United States to the present day. In every war fought by or within the United States, African Americans participated.  However, due to racial discrimination they were often classified as unfit for combat and were not allowed on the front lines. They were mostly given support duties, and were segregated from units with white soldiers.

Some of that changed in 1941, when President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signed Executive Order 8802 prohibiting racial discrimination in the national defense industry. The order was enacted partly due to pressure from African-American civil rights leaders but also due to the realization that America could be forced into another global war, needing the aid of additional soldiers.

This was a time in history when blacks were blatantly discriminated against. “White Only,” “Colored to the Back of the Bus,” “Colored Entrance” and “Colored Waiting Room” signs were displayed without discretion, especially throughout the southern states. 

Order 8802 could ban discriminatory employment practices by Federal agencies and all unions and companies engaged in war-related work, but it could not do away with racial discrimination. 

Racism in the Military was a constant presence during World War II. 

This touring exhibit “Fighting for the Right to Fight,” on loan from The National WWII Museum in New Orleans, honors heroic black men and women. It uses photographs, videos, news clippings and personal testimonies to highlight African-American determination, achievements and struggles as they fought for the right to fight during World War II. 

“We have so much to learn from the bravery and determination of African Americans who chose to fight for the very freedoms denied to them,” said Mary Pat Higgins, Museum President & CEO. “Their sacrifices not only helped save the world from a terrible fate but helped lay the groundwork for the Civil Rights Movement at home.” 

Located at 211 North Record Street in Dallas the museum will host the special gallery exhibit through January 26, 2018. 

In addition to experiencing the touring exhibit, visitors will have the opportunity to view  the museum’s permanent exhibit,  dedicated to preserving the memory of the Holocaust, and to teaching the moral and ethical response to prejudice, hatred and indifference, for the benefit of all humanity. 

Hours and admission fees can be found on the museum website.  The museum is not recommended for children under 11 years of age.

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Judi Proctor and Becky Riggins serving cake at Pink Lunch

The women of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) met Tuesday morning for the monthly meeting of Disciples Women’s Ministry.  

They kicked off October, breast cancer awareness month, with a theme of “pink” chosen to remind everyone to get a mammogram and to honor and memorialize those who have survived breast cancer or any type of cancer as well as those who have passed away.  

Following a short business meeting, Senior Pastor Dr. Ken Crawford shared an interactive and thought-provoking syllabus based on Paslm 146 asking what we can do to reach out to those in need, whether due to illness or other life circumstances. Anne Pogson, in prayer, reminded us that cancer attacks. 

Prior to lunch, members had the opportunity to happily acknowledge those in their lives who have encountered and survived breast cancer and to share fond memories of those who passed before us.  

After the meeting, the group convened to Fellowship Hall where a display table had been set by Central’s beloved member, Rosemary Davenport, with “Run for the cure brochures”, “hats,”  “ribbons” and other memorabilia promoting a cure and honoring those we love. 

The ladies were treated to a gourmet lunch orchestrated by Anne Pogson with the assistance of Rosemary Davenport, Becky Riggins and Judi Proctor.  

Anne chose a puff pastry entre filled with ham and cheese in a béchamel (recipe follows) and strawberry and pretzel congealed salad from the Chocolate Angel for the delicious luncheon.  Dessert included a strawberry cake with old-fashioned seven minute frosting and a chocolate cake with chocolate icing. 

You are welcome to visit the Disciples Women for the monthly meetings. Consider attending the November meeting which is the first Tuesday of the month.  Call the church office for more information. 214-526-7291.    

Puff Pastry Filled With Ham And A Delicious Cheesy Bechamel

2 sheets puff pastry

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 cup warm milk

1 pinch of salt

Freshly cracked pepper to taste

Ground nutmeg (optional)

1/2 lb cooked ham, diced

2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed and chopped

1 cup Swiss cheese, grated

Cut the puff pastry sheets into 5-inch (13cm) squares. Set aside in the refrigerator. Pre-heat your oven to 400°F(200°C).

For the bechamel sauce: Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan. Add flour and salt; cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture becomes pale golden with a slightly nutty aroma.

Pour warm milk in 2 steps, stirring constantly with wooden spoon and whisk until smooth. Cook the mixture, stirring constantly along the bottom of the saucepan, until boiling, about 7 minutes.

Reduce heat to low. Simmer gently until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. If you still have lumps, use your immersion blender!

Stir in spinach and cook for 1 minute. Add ham and cheese and stir well. Set aside.

Arrange the puff pastry squares on a  baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Dollop 1 or 2 tablespoons of the bechamel mixture, top with grated cheese and close the pockets by folding the corners on top.

Make an egg wash using an egg and 1 coffee spoon of cold water. Brush the puff pastry and bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until puffed and golden. Serve immediately with a crisp salad.

Because so many pastries were needed to feed the group, Anne substituted the puff pastry sheets with prepared puff pastry shells, also found in the supermarket freezer, and it worked well.

 

 

  

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Join us as we celebrate St. Francis of Assisi and The Blessing of the Animals. 

Sunday, October 15, Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will honor St. Francis with the annual Blessing of the Animals.  

Each year people and their pets look forward to gathering on the church lawn for a special worship service. Crisp October weather and the sprawling Bois D’ Arc tree make a perfect setting for praising God and thanking Him for the love we share with our animals. 

Beautiful music, communion and a pet blessing will highlight the service, followed by grilled hot dogs, soft drinks and all of the trimmings.  

There will be a drawing for a door prize.  Pet massage therapist Jackie Pinson of Pawsitive Touch, will be on hand to demonstrate therapeutic massage.  Her Greyhound, Vinny, will entertain with baseball tricks.  After lunch you may want to sit in the shade while your dog plays off-leash at Central’s one-acre community dog park located just behind the church.  Whatever you do, the day will leave you feeling a great since of love and camaraderie with your dog and other dog lovers. 

In addition to this special day of blessings, Central offers worship services in the dog park on the first and third Sunday of the month.  Casual dress, donuts and coffee with your best friend is but another way Central welcomes you to worship your way. 

You do not have to be a member of the church to participate in the Blessing of the Animals.  All are welcome!  It’s all free!  Plan to come and stay for hot dogs and fun! Worship on the lawn begins at 11 a.m. 

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Dr. Crawford showing off his hat on Derby Day

The women of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are turning fellowship hall pink for the October meeting of Disciples Women to help encourage breast cancer awareness and early detection. 

Think pink, wear pink and join the ministry Tuesday, October 3 in the church parlor at 10:30 in the morning.  

Pink, of course, is the quintessential female color but do you know how the pink ribbon evolved?  There are interesting stories about the history of ribbons uniting our country in various causes. 

All of us remember the song “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” by Tony Orlando and Dawn.  It became more than a catchy tune.  Penney Laingen, wife of a hostage who’d been taken in Iran, was inspired by it to tie yellow ribbons around the trees in her front yard. The ribbons represented her desire to see her husband home again. The nightly news picked up the story and the ribbon became more than an ornament, it became a message. 

Eleven years later AIDS activists looped a red ribbon and pinned it to their lapel.  The ribbon represented love and support for those living and dying with HIV. 

The stage was set for the pink ribbon that appeared in the 90’s. 

Alexandra Penney, then editor-in-chief of Self Magazine, created a ribbon and enlisted the cosmetics giant Estee Lauder to distribute it in New York City stores. Evelyn Lauder went her one better and promised to put the ribbon on cosmetics counters across the country. 

“Disciples Women’s Ministries is a conduit for diverse connections empowering each woman to find her voice and live out her call.” 

Spiritual growth, enrichment, education, and creative ministries are all a part of the women’s movement of the Christian Church.  However, you do not have to be a member of Central or any other church to be a part of Disciples Women. 

Come and visit us for this exciting October meeting.  Hear Central’s minister, Dr. Ken Crawford as he shares Psalm 146, which reminds us that God's justice often involves both quiet waiting on God's promises and active struggle in God's work.  

Anne Pogson is hosting the luncheon and her talent in the kitchen has never disappointed.  

If you would like to attend, call the church secretary at 214-526-7291 and let us know. The cost of lunch is $5.00 and we will heartily welcome you. Hope to see you in the church parlor at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, October 3.

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Collected items for Harvey victims and volunteers

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) is an official drop-off for donations for victims and volunteers for Hurricane Harvey. 

Diapers, dog food, car seats and cups are currently among the items stored in Central’s fellowship hall for distribution this week. 

Again, love stretches all across America and the community of Wadsworth, Ohio located in MedinaCounty collected much of the impressive bounty.  Wadsworth residents Bob, Andrea, and Deanette (pictured with Central’s Frank Whitington) rented a truck and drove to Dallas, arriving Sunday morning to unload the items at Central— one of the designated headquarters for Harvey donations.   

Items will be loaded onto a second truck and driven to Houston for distribution this week-end.  If you have donations, please bring them before Friday for this first delivery to Houston.    

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Members Frances Moiser, Paquita Mueller and Dovie Wu enjoy lunch

Looking for a way to meet people and support your community?  Disciples Women of Central Christian Church may be just what you are looking for as we approach the holiday season.  The organization held their first meeting Tuesday morning for the 2017/18 year and it was filled with hope and love as we begin the season of giving.  

Following a short business meeting, former broadcaster B. J. Austin gave a dynamic presentation on freedom and struggle in the bible, based on Exodus 3; 1-12— the story of God calling Moses from the burning bush to rescue the Hebrews from slavery.  

Austin cleverly invited audience participation, resulting in an interactive discussion about what we can do today to help those struggling with the many issues that scourge our lives and those living among us.  

Acts of kindness are a priority within the organization and the women voted to contribute $1000 to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund through Disciples of Christ “Week of Compassion.” 

Following the presentation and business meeting the group enjoyed a delightful luncheon of quiche, croissants with strawberry butter, an amazing spinach salad and assorted cheesecakes.  Member Judi Proctor was responsible for decorating Fellowship Hall with fall mums and colors and providing the delicious lunch.

Next month Central’s pastor, Dr. Ken Crawford, will be the guest speaker at Disciples Women.  

If you are looking for ways to get involved in the community, visit Disciples Women’s Ministry.  We meet the first Tuesday of each month at Central Christian Church, located at 4711 Westside Dr.  You do not have to be a member of the church to participate in the women’s group.  Fun and informative, it is a great way to meet new friends and enjoy an inexpensive morning out. 

Although empowering women through education and creative ministry is our mission, we often kick-back and just have fun, hearing guest speakers like the legendary Rose-Mary Rumbley or the former Ms. Senior Texas, Jill Beam. Each April we have a field day.  These trips have included excursions to Waxahachie to lunch at the famous Dove’s Nest Restaurant, a visit with lunch to the Bush Library, the Texas Bluebonnet Trail and more.  

Our philanthropic endeavors include baking pies for the Austin Street Center during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, baking and delivering Christmas cookies to elderly shut-ins, heading up a winter coat drive for less fortunate Dallas children, supporting an area low-income elementary school with uniforms and supplies, filling Santa’s lists through an “angle tree” and much more.   

For more information about the Disciples Women’s Ministry contact President Shelia Huffman at shelia0806@sbcglobal.net