Central Christian Church supports and spotlights today’s youth through programs, camps, performances and scholarships. A recent collaboration was with the National Benevolence Association XPLOR Program.
XPLOR is a ten-month residency program affiliated with the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ.) It was launched as NBA XPLOR in 2014 to give young adults (age 21-30) who are considering a profession in care and service a ten-month opportunity to live in a community and engage in direct service for justice work. The Dallas participants, of which there are five, reside on the Juliette Fowler Communities campus and intern at an area non-profit.
That is how Amethyst Kelly came to know Central Christian Church and how the congregation came to know her. It has been a blessing!
Amethyst is from Tulsa, Oklahoma and is a graduate of Oklahoma State University with a degree in Biosystems Engineering.
A Chi Omega, Amethyst says she has learned a lot about working with people from her sorority.
“I love being in leadership positions, but my sorority has taught me that there are leaders and followers and sometimes there just aren’t enough followers,” she said. “I have learned when to step up and lead and when to step back and support others in their leadership roles.”
Volunteering is nothing new to Amethyst. She has mentored other students in multiple math and Biosystems courses, volunteered in summer camps and missions and in local animal shelters.
“I love animals and I am especially fond of cats,” she said.
Another of her passions is dance. She started dancing when she was three years old. Dance, Amethyst believes, can be used to let loose and relax or to meditate and heal.
We can’t talk about Amethyst and not mention food.
“I love to cook, and I love to eat,” she said.
For such a young person, Amethyst is quite knowledgeable about various foods and their preparation. And loving to eat is indisputably documented by her place in line at the buffet table, leaving those of us with more mature metabolisms a little green.
During her ten months as intern at Central there has been no “red river rivalry” between this Okie and the Lone Star State. Amethyst was quickly embraced by the congregation.
“The congregation at Central gave me an instant family,” she said.
Amethyst immediately became an asset to the various outreach programs that Central extends throughout the community.
Her previous mentoring experience at OSU was a plus for her position as intern at Central and she wasted no time using those skills to develop a relationship with Maple Lawn Elementary (Central’s outreach school) tutoring students in DISD’s after-school program. She also teaches crafts at Connecting Point of Park Cities, a day program for adults with disabilities housed in Central’s building.
Since her arrival at Central last September, Amethyst has headed up Central’s participation in “Trunk or Treat” at Maple Lawn, the Angel Tree for low-income students at the school during Christmas and she has worked in Maple’s Lawn’s book fair. She also created a new wedding brochure for the church.
Laura Ninesling, the church secretary says Amethyst is always upbeat and happy.
“She makes me smile,” Laura said.
Amethyst will be ending her tenure at Central next month as she heads off on a new journey. After a summer of visiting with family and traveling, she will attend graduate school at North Carolina State University in the fall.
The XPLOR program has been a “win-win” for Central who has always supported young people in their journey to fulfill their dreams. Music director, David Aston, welcomes young talent to perform on Sunday mornings. A fund-raising piano concert recently helped ensure that the remarkably talented Tinashe McGowan attend the famous Interlochen Arts Camp this summer.
The Westside Players, founded by the late Ed DeLatte, will once again host a drama camp.
Dance Idea, a newly formed flamenco-inspired dance school will premier May 26 on Central’s stage.
Central offers scholarships to college-bound church members to help them realize their dreams in whatever field they choose.
Visit the website or call the church office at 214-526-7291 for more information.