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Pepper Strain, Gloria Shouse, Jo Spalti and France Pepper Strain, Gloria Shouse, Jo Spalti and Frances Moiser at buffet.

Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) may be the oldest church in Dallas, but it is one of the liveliest. Each Sunday Central members enjoy an old tradition in modern church history—after-worship fellowship.


Believing that friendship and camaraderie are vital parts of the church family, Central strives to keep fellowship at its best.


Yesterday was Italian Family Dinner.” Fellowship Hall was decorated in red, green and white, Dean Martin was crooning old favorites like “That’s Amore” and the buffet table was brimming over with traditional Italian dishes right down to the finale with specialties like Jim Clark’s Panna Cotta dessert and Gus  Dracopoulos’ after dinner Cappuccino.


The church’s main focus is the inspirational Sunday service and musical ministry.  However, there is never a shortage of fun activities through-out the week at Central.


Today begins a drama camp for budding young entertainers.  All week Fellowship Hall’s stage will be alive with singing, dancing and acting as The Dallas Summer Musical Academy teaches musical arts to kids six through 12. 


The camp will end Sunday, June 12, with a performance of numbers from “The Jungle Book.”


The public is invited.  The performance will be at 1 p.m.  Central Christian Church is located at 4711 Westside Drive in Dallas, just off Mockingbird Lane. 


Several people asked for Clark’s recipe for Panna Cotta.  It follows.


Panna Cotta


1 envelope of unflavored gelatin

2 tablespoons cold water

2 cups heavy cream

1 cup half and half

1/3 cup sugar

1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract



In a very small saucepan sprindle gelatin over water and let stand about one minute to soften. Heat gelatin mixture over low heat until gelatin is dissolved and remove pan from heat.


In a large saucepan bring cream, half and half and sugar just to a boil over moderately high heat, stirring.  Remove pan from heat and stir in gelatin mixture and vanilla.  Divide cream mixture among eight 1//2 cup ramekins and cool to room temperature.  Chill ramekins, covered, at least four hour or overnight. 

To unmold:

Dip ramekins in a bowl of hot water for three seconds, then run a knife along the edge of each ramekin to loosen.  Invert onto serving plate. Garnish as desire.  Clark chose fresh raspberries and mint leaves.

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