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Previous drama camp at Central Christian Church

Kids, if you love to perform on stage, join Summer Showtunes Camp at the Westside Players Academy. Camp session is July 8 through 19 with dress rehearsal and performance July 20. Space is still available and the camp is open to students between 2nd and 12th grades. (You must have completed 1st grade.)

The two-week session promises fun and excitement, honing or just finding your talents in singing, dancing and acting. You will love instructors, Lois Leftwich and Tim Caffee.

Lois has a long and varied career in performing and teaching. She is originally from Dallas, but she took a 30- year detour through New York and Connecticut where she did numerous commercials, worked in daytime drama and off-off Broadway. She also developed her love of teaching while in Connecticut and has led a variety of Musical Theatre and Acting Camps for ages 5 through 17.   

Tim is an accomplished Pianist and Music Director.  Originally from Norfolk, Virginia, he is currently Music Director at Central Christian Church and a teacher with Highland Park ISD. Tim enjoys working with young actors on nurturing and bringing out their best talents.

The camp session is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and the cost is $250.00 with a discount for the second child in the family.  Scholarships are available. Westside Players Academy is located inside the church building at 4711 Westside Drive in Dallas. The church auditorium in Fellowship Hall has a fully operable stage where the final performance will take place.  Family and friends are invited to enjoy the show and see what the kids have learned during the exciting two weeks.

For more information or to register, visit the church website or contact Laura in the church office at 214-526-7291. The office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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Kirsten Joy Burch

“It begins with the breath,” Kirsten Joy Burch, Director of Westside Wellness, located at 4711 Westside Dr., explains when talking about the benefits of yoga for seniors.  “And, it does not have to be hard,” she said. "Most of the time you are sitting in a chair."

The Thursday afternoon class is designed for seniors of varying levels of ability, to give them the benefits of stretching and simple exercises to promote balance, bone density, improved circulation and joint lubrication.

Simple seated movements combined with mindful breathing help improve your immune system by increasing blood flow to your lymphatic system. Using props to help you stabilize, you can lubricate joints and improve circulation with simple standing poses while improving strength and balance. 

"Everyone knows the importance of good balance to prevent life-changing falls," Kirsten said.

The Thursday class, held at 2 p.m., in the church Fellowship Hall, is a small, informal group that lets you participate at your pace.  It is open to everyone and you do not need a reservation or a commitment to a series of classes.  It is drop-in, $10.00 at the door. If you want more information call 214-526-7291.

Come see what you can do and how good you will feel!

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Join dogs and their owners on the first and third Sunday of the month for a church service that embraces today’s lifestyle in the Central Community Dog Park.

The service is a casual get together that includes prayer, music and a short message while you enjoy coffee and donuts.  Dress is casual! Shorts are a good choice now that it’s summer! There is plenty of parking in the adjacent parking lot and plenty of seating under the shade of mature live oaks. Enjoy nature while your dog plays off-leash in the one-acre, fenced dog park.

Central Christian Church was a pioneer in offering part of their church grounds for a park where the community could come sit, read, visit with other dog lovers and play with their dog in a peaceful sitting behind a church.

For fun and to honor that pioneer spirit, the first Sunday in July the park will offer the dogs a sample of the latest dog treats—Blueberry Waffle and Shortcake Biscuits, prepared and marketed by another pioneer, Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. 

The next dog park church service will be at 9 a.m. on July 7.  Plan to come and invite a friend to come and bring their dog.  You may also want to provide your email contact so that you can be notified of any special events in the park, like the dog fest held earlier this month. All are welcome!

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Members of Central Christian Church in Dallas visited Ham Orchard, Monday, to enjoy, as the orchard boasts, “a sweet taste of a Texas summer.”

Ham Orchard, just east of Terrell, Texas, was established in 1979 by Dale and Judy Ham.  Dale planted his first orchard of 50 trees in 1979 on the original 23 acres. In 1980 he planted 450 more trees and continued to add fruit trees each year after. Today, over 30 varieties of peaches are grown at the orchard and people come from all over to purchase them, pick blackberries, dine on famous barbecue and shop the market store.

The women browsed the store purchasing peaches, jams, jellies, fruit butters, canned okra, beets, pickles and more.

They lunched on the shaded, covered pavilion enjoying Eddie Deen’s famous Texas barbecue. Eddie has been the king of barbecue across the state (and country!) for years. Whether serving food at George W. Bush’s opening presidential ceremonies or feeding 12,000 at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Deen’s BBQ has been everywhere. After Hurricane Katrina, Eddie Deen’s BBQ was served to over 100,000 evacuees and 65,000 power line workers. One of the all-time menu favorites is the peach pulled pork.

Following lunch, the two young members of the group headed to the berry patch to hand pick blackberries. Everyone returned to the store for dessert, peach ice cream or hand-made fudge.

The orchard is about an hour’s drive from Dallas and is open everyday during the summer except Sunday.

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Join Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on July 14 when the music ministry will feature old-time favorite hymns during Sunday’s gospel hour.

Music director, Tim Caffee, accompanied by the choir and a male quartet will perform those old favorites that never lose their ability to inspire. If you get a good feeling when you hear the Gaither Band, you will love this music!  

Following the service, the congregation and guests will enjoy another old-time favorite— a church pot-luck.

Plan to come and bring a friend or neighbor to this special gathering of summer fun, reminiscent of days gone by. It is great family time! Older kids will have a chance to live a bit of Americana. For the little ones, there is a colorful nursery, manned by a professional attendant and stocked with toys, books and games to encourage play and imagination. If you would like, you are invited to share a main dish, side, salad or dessert for the pot-luck lunch.

Central is located at 4711 Westside Drive between Mockingbird Lane and Lemmon Avenue.  Sunday morning worship begins at 11 a.m. in the church sanctuary. Lunch will be served in fellowship hall at 12:30. Plenty of parking is available in the front and back parking lots and plenty of seating in the sanctuary.  All are welcome!

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Nicole visits with class to find out what they want to accomplish.

Nicole Payseur, Yoga Maestra, taught Thursday’s Graceful Aging class at Westside Wellness Center.

The class is designed for seniors to give them the benefits of stretching and simple exercises to promote balance, bone density, improved circulation and joint lubrication.

“It begins with the breath,” Kirsten Joy Burch, Director of Westside Wellness, explains when talking about the benefits of yoga for seniors.  “And, it does not have to be hard,” she assures.

Simple seated movements combined with mindful breathing help improve your immune system by increasing blood flow to your lymphatic system.  You can lubricate joints and improve circulation with simple standing poses while improving strength and balance.  You can learn to use props to help you stabilize while moving fluidly.

This Thursday’s class was taught by Yoga Master Instructor, Nicole Payseur.  Nicole has instructed with Dallas Yoga Center for over 10 years, is a Business Coach and attorney from NYC. 

Before the class, Nicole visited with each participant to find out what they would like to achieve and to discuss their limitations due to surgeries, injuries, etc.

“But, I don’t sugar coat” Nicole said.  “I often remind the ladies that the fastest way to die is to fall and break a hip! Not on my watch or if I can help it,” she adds.

“Downward Facing Dog,” “Tree Pose” and meditation from a chair?  Nicole explains the benefit of each exercise as she encourages the class “to repeat the move, stay in the pose, and/or hold it” followed by praise for a job well done.

At the end of the one- hour class, Nicole asked the women to summarize what they had gleaned from the session.

“That I really need to stretch, I need to practice balance and I am more flexible than I had thought” were some comments shared by the women. The one thing they all agreed on— time well spent.

The Wellness Center is located at 4711 Westside Dr. in the Park Cities. The Thursday group is drop in and open to all.  $10 at the door. 

Nicole, teaching anatomically intelligent yoga, will be a regular at Westside Wellness. Tuesday’s and Thursday’s at 9 a.m. she will lead a fast paced Vinyasa Flow Class for advanced Yogis and on Wednesday’s she will be available for private yoga sessions. You can reach her at

There is something for everyone at Westside Wellness. Yoga, Tai Chi, Nutrition Counseling, Vibroacoustic Therapy and more. 

“You are never too old or too young to take care of your body, soothe your mind, and vitalize your energy. Everyone can participate and everyone can benefit,” Director Kirsten Burch reminds men and women of all ages. Contact her at

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Bake Sale

Saturday’s Summerfest in Central Community Dog Park was a howling success!  Crowds gathered to enjoy music and a hot dog lunch while visiting with other “dog people” as their canine family members ran and played in the one-acre, off-leash dog park.

Dogs had the opportunity for some free sprucing at the nail trim tent or at the dog bath station.  An impressive bake sale featured delicious treats like home-baked bread, caramel brownie and iced cookies shaped like dog bones.

Marleigh’s Friends, a newly formed rescue was on hand with several adoptable dogs, looking for a fur-ever home. Nutmeg showed off his beautiful red coat, Grandpa, his white beard and Dickens sported a sign that read “adopt me.” If you are looking for a new pet to fill your life with more love than you believed possible, contact Jennifer Lewis at

The dog park is a rustic park, shaded by mature live oaks that was opened 13 years ago to welcome the community to the grounds of Central Christian Church. It is located at 4711 Westside Dr. in the Park Cities, just behind the church.  There is plenty of parking and plenty of seating.

Visit the website,, to find out what is happening at the dog park and the many activities at Central.  Summer drama camp for kids is coming up, Westside Wellness is holding yoga and wellness classes and there are always opportunities for volunteering within the community.

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Penelope, adopted last October loves her new home

Springfest in the dog park was postponed due to the heavy rains that Dallas experienced this spring and the annual event has turned into a Dog Park Summerfest.  The dog park festival will take place this Saturday from 11 a.m. till 1 p.m. in Central Community Dog Park and is open to all of Dallas. 

The park is located at 4711 Westside Drive, behind Central Christian Church. Established by the church as part of community outreach over a decade ago, it has continued to grow in popularity with the neighborhood and City of Dallas.

There is plenty of seating under the shade of mature Live Oaks in the one-acre, off-leash dog park so you can relax, listen to music and visit with other people who share your love of animals.

Music, lunch ($5.00) and pooch pampering will be part of the festivities. Marleigh's Friends will be on hand with some examples of the love you might bring into your life (like Dickens and Roko) if you are ready to add a new member to your household. The rescue is a nonprofit, volunteer and foster run rescue based in the Dallas area that just started up last December.

You will meet Jenn and Sherrie so that if you are not currently in the market for a new dog, you’ll have a contact when you are ready to adopt.

All dogs will leave the festival with a doggie goody and you with memories of a special time spent with your best friend— your dog.  All are welcome and it’s all free. But if you wish to make a monetary donation, it will be appreciated and will go to the upkeep of the community dog park.

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Rubin and Maria Cansino

Central Christian Church members, Rubin and Maria Cansino, were honored during Sunday fellowship for their U.S. Citizenship.

The United States has a long history of welcoming immigrants from all parts of the world. America values the contributions of immigrants who continue to enrich this country and preserve its legacy as a land of freedom and opportunity.

Becoming a U.S. citizen through Naturalization shows commitment to the United States and loyalty to its Constitution. In return, an individual is rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship.

Deciding to become a U. S. citizen is one of the most important decisions in a person’s life.

After residing in America for 19 years with permanent resident status, Wilebaldo (Rubin) and Maria Cansino, applied for their citizenship a year ago and became U.S. citizens this month.

Coming to America from Belize, Rubin has worked in this country as a permanent resident for many years. A lawful permanent resident is someone who has been granted the right to live in the United States indefinitely with a “green card” but remains a citizen of another country.

“We were given 100 questions on English, American civics and history to prepare for the Naturalization test,” Rubin said.

During Sunday’s fellowship, Rubin was asked to recall some of the questions he was asked.

“What is the supreme law of the land and what are the first three words of the Constitution were some of the questions on the test," Rubin said.

Opening the church building on Sunday mornings, Rubin is a constant figure at Central as he prepares coffee service and sets out donuts to welcome members and guests and prepares communion service for morning worship.

Following Sunday morning worship, the congregation along with Cansino family members and their friends gathered in fellowship hall to celebrate Memorial Day and honor Rubin and Maria for their achievement with a buffet lunch of “All American” favorites like hot dogs and apple pie.

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Carol Archer, Holly Puig, Karen Woods, Rosemary Davenport

The Disciples Women of Central Christian Church held their last meeting of the year Tuesday morning. President Becky Riggins brought the meeting to order and presided over a short business meeting.  

To say “good-bye” to the 2018-19 year and “hello to summer,” Lois Leftwich performed a vocal solo of “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess.

Anne Pogson reviewed the newly released best seller, “The Matriarch: Barbara Bush and the Making of an American Dynasty.”  A drawing was held for a hardback copy of the book and was won by Holly Puig.

Lemons, artichokes and yellow and green napkins decorated the tables for the salad lunch (a year-end tradition of the Disciples Women), that showcased a smorgasbord of sides that everyone will want to include on their Mother’s Day buffet, at summer picnics and backyard barbecues.  From vintage salads, like Margaret Wilson’s congealed Apricot-Pineapple Salad, to Rosemary Davenport’s new twist on an old favorite, BLT Deviled Eggs, the salad lunch was divine. Desserts included Carol Archer’s “made from scratch” Banana Pudding and Trader Joe’s fantastic lemon bars.

Although the members of Disciples Women do enjoy lunching together and having fun, the mission of the organization includes education and charitable outreach.

As Disciple Sarah Bessey said in an article about the group: “We are NOT a safe club for little ladies to play church. We are smart. We are brave. We want to change the world. As women, we can offer strategic leadership, wisdom, counsel, teaching, and preaching. We want to give and serve and make a difference. We want to be challenged. We want to read books and talk politics, theology, and current events. We want to listen to each other.”

This year marks the 145th anniversary of Disciples Women’s Ministry.  Over the years, the women of Central have generously given their time and money to non-proifits such as Juliette Fowler Communities, Austin Street Center, Genesis Women’s Shelter, North Dallas Shared Ministries, Maple Lawn Elementary School and more.

Happy Anniversary to this wonderful organization!

Apricot Pineapple Congealed Salad

1 3 oz. package orange jello

3 T sugar

1 small can crushed pineapple with juice

Mix together and bring to boil.



4 oz. Cool Whip (whipped topping)

1 ½ cups Buttermilk

1 small can apricots, drained and chopped

¾ cups pecan or walnuts (chopped)

Pour mixture into 9- inch square dish and chill till firm


BLT Deviled Eggs

6 large hard boiled and peeled eggs

¼ cup mayonnaise

3 slices cooked and crumbled plus more for garnish bacon

2 seeded and finely chopped cherry tomatoes

1 Tablespoon dried parsley flakes

Salt and pepper to taste

Halve the eggs lengthwise. Remove the yolks and add them to a medium bowl. Mash the yolks with a fork and stir in the mayonnaise, bacon, tomatoes, and parsley. Add salt and pepper, to taste, and blend well.

Fill the egg whites evenly with the yolk mixture and garnish with bacon, if desired. Arrange them in a container and store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.