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Rev. Deborah Morgan Stokes

Reverend Deborah Morgan Stokes, Senior Pastor of East Dallas Christian Church, was guest speaker at the September meeting of Disciples Women’s Ministry at Central Christian Church.

Deborah presented the story of the biblical character, Lydia, and how she became a successful business woman by extracting the color purple and selling it to wealthy clients. Today, purple is still the color associated with royalty and kings.

The economic power that Lydia enjoyed was a rarity during her time. Extracting the dye was laborious and time-consuming, creating a very busy lifestyle for Lydia, but still she managed to take time away from the busyness of her life to worship God and transform her household.  

Deborah illustrated through Lydia’s story, how women today are programmed by busy schedules, their lives dictated by what must be done—often leaving no time for their spiritual life and family.

Her brilliant presentation was an inspiration for career women, soccer moms, grandmas and everyone else who needs to slow down, breathe and smell the roses in this wonderful world God has given us.   

Following the program, the women dined in Central’s fellowship hall enjoying a “Back to School” menu of Sloppy Joe Sliders, tossed salad, apple crisp and Rosemary Davenport’s “most requested” Caramel Apple Cake.  Recipe follows.

If you would like to attend next months meeting as a guest of Central Christian Church, email for details.


Caramel Apple Sheet Cake with Fresh Apple 


2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter

1 cup water

2 cups + 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups granulated sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 medium apple, diced small (about 1 1/4 cups)

For the Icing

3 tablespoons milk

1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cup powdered sugar

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 tablespoons caramel topping* 

*Use caramel topping, not syrup.  Trader Joe’s caramel sauce worked well.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly coat a 10x15 inch jelly roll pan with nonstick cooking spray.

In a medium saucepan, bring butter and water to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent burning. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

In the meantime, in a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon. In a separate bowl, whisk together the sour cream and eggs. Combine the wet ingredients with the dry. Fold in the diced apples. Gradually stir in the warm melted butter and mix well.

Pour batter evenly into the prepared pan (batter will be loose.) Carefully transfer to the oven and bake for 25-27 minutes, until the center of the cake springs back when touched. Let cool for 20 minutes.

Make the icing by combining the butter and milk in a medium microwave safe bowl; microwave for 45 seconds, and then in 15 second intervals until butter is melted. Whisk to combine. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and caramel topping; whisk to combine.

Pour icing over the cake while it’s cooled, but still slightly warm. Allow to set for about 15 minutes.

Slice into squares and enjoy!

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Mary Quick

Either you have one, love it and use it all the time, or you have one and it is still sitting in the box because you don’t know what to do with it, or you are thinking about getting one— but for sure you have heard about the Instant Pot.  

To help you get to know your Instant Pot, overcome your fears and get cooking, Central Christian Church  (Disciples of Christ) held a class Saturday morning on Instant Pot Cooking.  

The Instant Pot is the 3rd generation programmable pressure cooker that can also slow cook, sauté, boil eggs, cook pasta, beans, rice and more. It speeds up cooking by two to ten times, using up to 70% less energy and producing nutritious healthy food. 

It is the best thing since sliced bread for today’s busy lifestyle when there is often no time at the end of the day to prepare time-consuming recipes.  Whatever the reasons for its popularity, the Instant Pot has gone viral.

Class Instructor Mary Quick quipped “Currently, the three most googled topics on-line are religion, porn and recipes for the Instant Pot,”

During the two-hour class, Mary demonstrated a variety of foods that can be cooked at a fraction of the normal cooking time using the Instant Pot. 

The delicious and nutritious bean may be one of the top reasons home cooks are interested in owning the appliance.  Imagine coming home on a fall or winter day and having a pot of beans or bean soup for dinner.  It is possible with the Instant Pot even if you didn’t pre-soak.

Mary cooked pasta and it turned out “al dente,” hard cooked eggs slipped from the shell and rice was perfectly steamed without being gummy.

She shared tips on timing such as allowing time for the pot to come to pressure and the difference on quick or natural release when pressure cooking time has finished.   She went over cautions and safety tips to prevent burns and other accidents; the number one reason people are intimidated by “pressure cooking.”

Following the class, everyone enjoyed chicken, beans, rice, veggies, potato salad and deviled eggs—all prepared in the Instant Pot. Dessert was Trader Joe’s Ultimate Vanilla Wafers filled with Instant Pot Dulce de Leche.

If you are interested in joining a future cooking class at Central, email to be put on the mailing list. The classes are “pay as you may” with proceeds going to community outreach and charities supported by the Disciple Women’s Ministry.

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Gathered under the shade of the Bois d' Arc tree

The National Benevolent Association (NBA) launched NBA XPLOR in 2014. The program is a prophetic movement of and for young adults who are considering lives of service. It provides 10-months of professional development and vocational discernment opportunities for 21- to 30-year-olds while living simply in the community and engaging in service and/or justice work.

Through NBA XPLOR, the young adults are partnered with Disciples of Christ congregations, regional and general ministries, and wider communities—positively engaging neighborhoods, the congregations and the young adults.

The 2018/19 team arrived in Dallas this week where they will take up residency at Juliette Fowler Communities. This is the fourth year that Fowler has hosted the group on their East Dallas campus.  

After settling into what will be their living arrangements for the next eight months, the participants will begin their vocational internship at area churches and non-profits.

Tuesday, following a tour of Dallas, representatives from area Christian churches gathered at Central Christian Church for lunch to give the young people a Texas size welcome.

NBA President of Operations, Dani Loving Cartwright, provided lunch catered by Dallas owned Dickey’s Barbecue Pit. Dessert was Blue Bell ice cream— another Texas legend.

NBA and area Christian churches look forward to getting to know the members of this year’s XPLOR team and watching them grow as they develop their talents for a life spent making the world a better place.

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You will love the group of women and speakers

Welcome back Disciples Women!  After a break for the summer, the women of Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) are ready to resume monthly meetings where learning is fun, friends are made and community outreach is the mission. The meeting is Tuesday morning. September 4 at 10:30 in the church parlor.

The fall line-up is exciting with professional speakers sharing the lessons “Called for God’s Purpose.”

Rev. Debora Morgan Stokes, Senior Pastor of East Dallas Christian Church will kick off the season with the biblical character Lydia from 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. Not only did Lydia make money—she was generous with her earnings, sharing with the first Christian Church, supporting the apostle Paul.”

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

Following the program, lunch will be served in Fellowship Hall.  The “Back to School” menu will include Sloppy Joe Sliders, Tossed salad with Paula Deen's Poppy Seed Dressing and fresh apple desserts.

Now that school is back in session, moms and grandmas take some time from your busy schedule and treat yourself to Disciples Women.  You do not have to be a member of Central Christion Church or any church for that matter to join this friendly, progressive-thinking group of women for a great time.

The meetings are free, open to the public and the cost for lunch is $5.00 per person.  Come and bring a friend.  RSVP to for a lunch head count.

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Mary Quick to teach Instant Pot cooking


Do you have an Instant Pot sitting unused on the counter-top or worse yet, still in the box, because you are not sure what to do with it? Or maybe you still remember horror stories from long-ago that pressure cooking blows up in your face? 

Gather in the kitchen at Central Christian Church Saturday, September 1 when Mary Quick will teach a class on how to get the most out of this convenient one-pot appliance. 

In this class, Mary will show how to take advantage of the Instant Pot so that you will be ready for fall weather cooking of beans, soups and stews—those time-consuming foods that you often can’t enjoy because of your busy schedule. The Instant Pot has the capability to cook foods in minutes that normally takes hours. 

“I use mine on an average of three times a week,” Mary said. 

The Instant Pot is a versatile appliance that performs as a crock pot, sauté and more, freeing up cabinet and counter space that is needlessly taken up by single use machines. 

After class, sit down to a sampling of the delicious foods prepared in the Instant Pot.

Class will begin at 10 a.m. and will be over at 12:30 including lunch time. This is a “pay as you may” class with donations to Disciples Women to help support their outreach ministry.  Email Shelia Huffman at for a reservation.

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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!