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Paula Deen's Family Kitchen

“How to define your core brand values and why you should” was the topic of discussion at my church’s weekly meeting.  Pastor Ken Crawford of Central Christian Church asked the question in relation to our church mission and our role in it.   We went through an exercise of typical church stereotypes— what we like about church and what we dislike.

I brought the same question up at lunch the following day. 

Holly Puig quickly answered that the camaraderie among the congregation and genuine feeling of family was what stood out about Central.  The four other ladies, all members of Central, agreed that a friendly, welcoming attitude, inviting all without judgement, is an important part of “church” as a religious organization.

Where were we during this conversation?  Having lunch at Paula Deen’s new restaurant “Family Kitchen” in Fairview, Texas eating “down-home” cooking, family style.  

My point is that the Disciple Women, and men, don’t just have fellowship on Sunday morning or during a monthly meeting.  Our friendships extend into the week.  Central and the Disciples Women’s Ministry build relationships.

Our first meeting of the 2018/19 year of Disciples Women’s Ministry will be held on Tuesday, September 4 at 10:30 a.m. in the parlor at Central.

Rev. Deborah Morgan-Stokes will be the guest speaker. Deborah is the Senior Pastor of East Dallas Christian Church and she will present “Positioned for Purpose, the Story of Lydia” from Just Women’s study guide “Called for God’s Purpose.” 

Following the program, lunch will be served in fellowship hall.  The cost for lunch is $5.00 per person. 

Moms and Grandmas, now that school is back in session, treat yourself and make new friendships.  You do not have to be a member of the Christian Church, or any church, to discover all that Disciples Women has to offer.  Plan to visit and bring a friend.  For reservations call the church office at 214-526-7291 or email  All are welcome!

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Counting the days until school starts!  Back to school is always an exciting time in the life of a student and their parents.  The new school year is a new beginning—a chance to learn, achieve and make new friends.

However, the financial burden of clothing, lunches and school supplies can be a struggle for many families, and economically disadvantaged students have a harder time succeeding in school and are more likely to drop out as they age.

In recent years, “back to school drives” have helped alleviate the problem by collecting school supplies, uniforms, etc. and donating to lower income schools for students who need the assistance.

Central Christian Church of Dallas began their drive for donations last month and church members and members of the community generously donated to the cause.

Jayne Hawley, Buzz Dicken and Frank Whitington sorted spirals, paper, pens, pencils, colored markers, glue, crayons, compositions, rulers, scissors, backpacks and more Monday afternoon before boxing up the supplies, loading them onto the truck and delivering to Maple Lawn Elementary School for distribution.

Thank you Central members and friends of the church for supporting the drive!

Moms, now that school is starting, if you find that you have more time on your hands and would like to volunteer, Central may be just the place for you.  There are so many volunteer opportunities for community outreach at Central. 

Genesis Women’s Shelter, Juliette Fowler Communities, Angel Tree, kids coat drives and winter blanket drives, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Austin Street and Stewpot are but a few of the charitable programs that Central supports.

Morning worship is at 11 a.m. on Sundays and the Disciples Women meet the first Tuesday of each month between September and May for a program and lunch. 

Plan a visit and see what you think.  Central is a warm and welcoming congregation and the Disciples Women’s Ministry is a true sisterhood of women who care about one another.

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David Aston and Amelita Facchiano

What is sanctuary drama?  Gossip about the person seated in the pew behind you or who brought the tastiest chicken casserole to the church pot-luck?  Neither, according to Central Christian Church Music Director, David Aston. 

Sanctuary drama is the use of dramatic interpretation to deliver a liturgical message.  It may be the “acting out” of a scripture, dramatic reading, liturgical dance or the incorporation of film and theater in conveying a message.

“When I was in high school, I was invited to attend ‘Government in Action’ in Washington D.C. and the United Nations in New York. During my stay I visited the Foundry United Methodist Church. The service began with 'Out, Out, Damn Spot,' from Shakespeare’s McBeth, David recalled.  “As a youngster from Texas, I had never seen orheard such narrative in church before— but it made a lasting impression.”

Music, dance and acting are some of the greatest teaching tools that we have available to us and several members of the church are talented musicians and actors with teaching credentials.  Central is also home to Dance Idea, a contemporary dance studio.

Members of Central’s talented chancel choir met Wednesday evening in the home of Tim Caffee and Brad Montano to discuss incorporating those modes of expression during Sunday morning service to enhance the worship experience.

Central’s vision is to be an inclusive church home to a diverse congregation. It is a long-time supporter of the arts, one of the first churches in Dallas to house a fenced, off-leash dog park and a church that provides extensive community outreach programs addressing today’s social and charitable needs.   

David and Assistant Music Director, Tim Caffee, always welcome young talent to perform in the sanctuary during Sunday service.  If you would like to audition, contact the church office at 214-526-7291 and ask for David or Tim.  

Morning worship is at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary on Sunday or 9 a.m. the first and third Sunday of the month in the dog park.  Come dream with us. All are welcome.   

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Disciples Women and Pastor Ken Join Birthday Sing-A-Long

A monthly event at Juliette Fowler Communities is a birthday party to honor residents who have birthdays during that calendar month.  Once a year Disciples Women of Central Christian Church host the celebration. 

Several of Central’s Disciples Women along with Pastor Ken gathered at Juliette Fowler Communities on Thursday afternoon to help residents of Pearl Nordan Care Center celebrate their July birthday. 

It is a fun celebration complete with birthday presents, cake, ice cream, home-baked goodies and music that puts a smile on the faces of the residents as well as the Disciples Women. 

“We bring cakes and cupcakes and a small gift for each birthday person,” Disciples Women’s president, Becky Riggins said.  “The purpose of the birthday party is to celebrate life and to enable the birthday people to feel special.  The ironic part is that each of us who participate come away with a feeling of purpose and with happiness in our hearts for having the opportunity to uplift a very special community,” Becky added.

At this year’s party, Central’s music director, David Aston, played the piano to accompany sing-a-longs and Fowler activities director, Colleen Oates, shared her beautiful singing voice which is always a special treat for everyone.  

Founded in 1892, Juliette Fowler Communities has served thousands of elders, children, and families at its historic Lakewood location. Named for Dallas’ first female philanthropist, Juliette Peak Fowler, the facility offers a full continuum of care that includes independent living, assisted living and memory care as well as a five-star rated nursing and rehabilitation center. In 2014, Fowler opened “The Ebby House,” a residential program named for Ebby Halliday and designed for young women who have aged out of foster care.  

Supporting Juliette Fowler Communities is a cherished outreach program for the Disciples Women of Central Christian Church.

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Due to the high cost of living, unemployment rates and unforeseen expenditures, many families are struggling financially.  “Back to school” is an exciting time in a child’s life, but it often means a financial burden on parents and many cannot afford the basic school supplies that are essential in helping their children be effective students. 

Additionally, schools across the country are facing budget cuts and cannot subsidize supplies that are needed by students and faculty.  

Economically disadvantaged children are “Children at Risk.” DISD has many schools in low-income neighborhoods with a high number of students on free meal plans.

A school supply drive is an easy way to help families and to have an impact on public education. Plus, if you no longer have kids at home, it’s just nostalgic fun to shop for pencils, crayons and notebooks, again!

Supplies collected by Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will be delivered to Maple Lawn Elementary School.  Once at Maple Lawn, they will be distributed between Maple Lawn and Rusk Middle School.

You may drop supplies at the church office at 4711 Westside Dr.  through August 12, Monday thru Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

Here are items needed:

• Crayons • Composition notebooks (WIDE RULE) • Pens • Pencils • Colored pencils • Glue sticks • Paper  (WIDE RULE loose leaf, manila or colored construction) • Scissors • Tissues  • Paper clips (large) • Tissue paper • Rulers • Markers • Dry Erase Markers • Sharpies • Erasers • Page protectors • Disinfectant wipes • Index cards • Hand-held pencil  sharpeners • Hand disinfectant • Band-aids • Copy paper  •Highlighters and • Backpacks.

The dollar stores and many other stores are loaded with merchandise for school right now, but if you are not up to shopping, you may make a monetary donation, noted school supplies, and the church staff at Central will make the purchases for you.  Thank you for helping kids succeed!

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Rev. Deborah Stokes


Rev. Deborah Morgan-Stokes will be the guest speaker at the September meeting of Disciples Women’s Ministry at Central Christian Church in Dallas.

Deborah is the Senior Pastor at East Dallas Christian Church.  She is a native Dallasite with many ties to East Dallas.

Deborah graduated from Bryan Adams High School in 1980.  She attended Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth where she received her Bachelor of Science in Education.  After graduation, she spent three years teaching public school at L. G. Pinkston High School in West Dallas.

During her time as teacher, Deborah acknowledged her call to ministry and made her way to Vanderbilt Divinity School in Nashville, Tennessee where she completed her Masters of Divinity degree. 

Deborah was ordained in 1990 and served at First Christian Church of Waynesboro, Tennessee and at Saguaro Christian Church in Tucson, Arizona.

She began her ministry at East Dallas Christian Church in 2006 and loves her work with the historic “congregation-in-transformation,” and the call that brought her back home to Dallas.

She currently serves on the boards of Lakewood’s Juliette Fowler Communities and Literacy Archives.

Seven years ago, Deborah married Don Stokes.  The union brought together a blended family of four cats. Deborah is an avid reader of fiction and when time permits, she loves to travel.  She especially loves to hike the desert southwest, which she fondly refers as “my heart-home.”

The 2018/19 Disciples Women’s study program topic is “Called for God’s Purpose” and Deborah chose the lesson: Positioned for Purpose, the story of Lydia.

“I chose Lydia because she was a rarity in her time—a woman who was a successful merchant during a period when women rarely had access to economic power,” Deborah said. “She made her money by excreting the color ‘purple’ from shells which she sold to Rome’s elite.”

“As a TCU alum, the color purple is important to me,” Deborah quips. “But not only did Lydia make money—she was generous with her earnings, sharing with the first Christian Church, supporting the apostle Paul,” Deborah said.

The lesson states that because Lydia took time away from the busyness of her life to worship God, she was positioned to hear the gospel, become a believer in Christ, transform her entire household and offer hospitality to Paul and his traveling companions. She was positioned for purpose, just as women can be today.

The Disciples Women of Central are excited to welcome Rev. Stokes as the first speaker in the “Spectacular Fall Line-Up” of exciting programs for the coming year.

Following the presentation, as always, lunch will be served in fellowship hall.  The cost for lunch is $5.00 per person and lunch requires a reservation.  Call the church office at 214-526-7291 or email Central is located at 4711 Westside Dr. between Lemmon Avenue and Mockingbird Lane.

The meetings are open to the public (you do not have to be a member of Central or any church for that matter) and all are welcome.

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Young and old gather for ice cream

Central Christian Church celebrated Sunday’s after-worship fellowship with sundaes, ice cream cones and banana splits in honor of National Ice Cream Day. 

Prior to the ice cream celebration, Dr. Crawford delivered Sunday morning’s sermon, “The Measures of True Faith,” reflecting on the use of the “plumb line” to build a good foundation.  

Following the inspirational service, the congregation gathered in fellowship hall to build one’s own ice cream concoction topped with fruits, nuts, whipped cream and maraschino cherries.

A huge thank you goes to Karen Woods for the beautifully presented “soda shoppe.”

Ice Cream has a long history as the favorite cold treat during the hot summer months.

By the late 1700’s America’s “high society” was enjoying ice cream and the first ice cream parlor opened in New York in 1776. 

The “sundae” dates back to the Gay Nineties when ice cream merchants introduced a non-carbonated version of ice cream soda to serve on Sundays in response to criticism of the rich soda as too sinful to be enjoyed on the Sabbath.

Central is the oldest continuously operating Protestant church in Dallas, but it is young at heart and both young and old enjoyed Sunday’s service and fellowship.

Check out the website and join Central anytime.  All are welcome!

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Wheels, Bubble Life Special Contributor

Do you work from home?  If so, you probably love the flexibility and freedom that working from home allows. Additionally, work from home employees and entrepreneurs site traffic, out-of-sight gasoline prices, parking, dress codes and even company politics as great reasons to work from home.   And for many, an added pleasure of working from home is that you have your dog right by your side!

It’s all great, right?  But, bet you never thought you’d miss the conversation around the water cooler and the camaraderie of the weekly lunch bunch.

You can have the best of both worlds! Check out the co-working space available in the Mid-Century Modern building of Central Christian Church of Dallas.

Just like home, there is a fully operable kitchen for preparing a home-made lunch, plenty of dining tables for enjoying it and cozy sofas for when you need a break from the desk.

With “co-working” you can still have the pleasure of chats around the water cooler and at the Keurig coffee bar. And you have the much-coveted benefit of bouncing ideas around with others when you need a second opinion.

Work areas includes modular spaces with freshly painted walls in designer colors and light-filled windows looking out on mature Live Oaks. You may take a break from your lap-top with a walk around the manicured four-acre grounds or spend some quiet time in the meditation garden.  Or de-stress watching the dogs play in the one-acre dog park. If you are still not refreshed and relaxed, there is a Yoga studio.

Tuesday’s community lunch is a “bring and share” pot-luck.  Stop by for lunch and check out the atmosphere. Or call for an appointment to tour the building and discuss prices.   Day passes, two-week passes, monthly passes and more let you customize the plan that suits you best.

And yes, at this dog-friendly church, you can work with your dog by your side!

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Like picnics, parades and fireworks, kids and dogs spell Fourth of July. And Central Christian Church Community Dog Park had a float full of both at Wednesday morning’s annual Park Cities celebration.

The float, reminiscent of a park shaded by umbrellas and enclosed by a picket fence, invited everyone to “Bring Your Dog to Church.” Onlookers were treated to a packet of dog biscuits tossed from the float carrying the same message.

Central opened a community dog park on the church grounds 11 years ago. The off-leash park sits on one-acre and is shaded by mature Live Oaks, cooled by electric fans and has plenty of seating for dog owners to sit and relax while their dog roams, sniffs and fetches.   It’s like a “play date for Fido” as many of the regulars gather at the same time each day so that people and dogs can visit with one another.  

The park is equipped with waste stations, running water, a dog bath and a “library” where you may exchange books and magazines or browse the latest issue of AKC’s "Family Dog Magazine."

A little over a year ago, Elder Tyson Woods began holding worship services at 9 a.m. on the first and third Sunday of the month.  The informal service includes casual dress, sing-a-longs, coffee and donuts as well as a brief lesson about God’s love.

Following your Fourth of July celebration, come and enjoy this little piece of “heaven” anytime.  The park is open from sun-up till sun-down and there is plenty of parking. Visit Central’s web-site to learn about all of the neighborly amenities and community outreach program offered by the church.

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Hamburger picnic

The members of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) enjoyed a “Hymn Sing” and a hamburger cook-out followed by a patriotic sing-a-long to celebrate the Fourth of July Sunday morning.

For Sunday’s gathering, rather than a “traditional” church service, members had been asked to list their favorite hymns the previous Sunday. “It Is Well With My Soul,” “Just A Closer Walk With Thee,” “Blessed Assurance” and “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” were among the most requested songs tallied.

Led by Music Director, David Aston, and the chancel choir, the congregation had the opportunity to sing those special tunes–so dear to their hearts. 

Soloists Marsha Anderson performed “The Lord’s Prayer” and Amelita Facchiano “He Lives.”  Pianist Tim Caffe,  guitarist Erik Stolpe and organist David Aston accompanied the choir for a beautiful musical ministry.

Following morning worship, everyone gathered in fellowship hall to enjoy delicious hamburgers grilled on -premise by elders Frank Whitington and Jim Archer as well as home-made picnic sides like baked beans, potato salad, black bean and corn salad, watermelon and more prepared by the Disciples Women. Banana pudding, peach cobbler, brownies and Million dollar Pie were among the dessert choices.

Following lunch was another sing-a-long.  Patriotic tunes like “Grand Ole’ Flag” and “The Star Spangled Banner” reminded everyone how fortunate we are to live in a country that allows us the freedoms that we enjoy. 

Central Christian Church wishes everyone a safe and happy Fourth of July. Join us anytime.  All are Welcome! All means all!