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decorating Gingerbread Houses

It’s Christmastime!  At least it is Christmas Party Time for Central’s Disciples Women. Tuesday, December 4 the women will meet at 10:30 a.m. in the parlor of Central Christian Church to enjoy a special Christmas program and meeting.

Singer and actress, Lois Leftwich, will perform several Christmas selections from Broadway Musicals such as White Christmas from “White Christmas,” Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas from “Meet Me in St. Louis” and more. Before each song she will give a brief synopsis of the story-line that led to the musical’s selection.

If that program doesn’t warm everyone’s heart and put them in the Christmas spirit, a delicious hearty soup to warm body and soul will be simmering on the kitchen stove. Hot cider and cocoa will be enjoyed while the traditional cookie and treat plates are prepared for delivery to the elderly and infirm who are no longer able to join the activities at Central. A list of those receiving a plate of homemade treats will be provided at the meeting.

Christmas is the season of giving and the Disciples Women ‘s Ministry is sending a gift of $50.00 to each of the charities and organizations that the group supports.  The list of recipients will be available at the meeting.

As always, cover charge for the event is a can of food or non-perishable item for North Dallas Shared Ministries and the cost for lunch is $5.00. And don’t forget to bring your sweets for the cookie plates.  If you want to bake them in the kitchen, let Becky or Shelia know beforehand so the oven can be pre-heated.

The Disciples Women’s Ministry reaches out to the community throughout the year, but in December the spirit of Christmas fills fellowship hall. The season includes activities like baking and delivering pies to Stew Pot and Austin Street Center, children decorating Gingerbread Houses, filling and delivering Christmas Stockings to Juliette Fowler and more. 

Come and be a part of this special organization. You do not have to be a member of Central, or any church for that matter, to belong with this group of special women that empowers each woman to find her voice and live out her call.  

Please RSVP as only enough food is prepared and enough places set for those who have responded that they are attending. RSVP to 

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Enjoying fellowship at Central


Central Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) will celebrate the late Ed Delatte and the Westside Players at a special service on Sunday, November 25.  In honor of his birthday, Ed and the drama troupe that he formed at Central, will be remembered during morning worship.

Ed was an actor in movies and one iconic television commercial, founder and artistic director of the NorthPark-based Dallas Repertory Theater, Associate Professor of Theatre in the Department of Dance and Drama at the University of North Texas, an instructor of drama at Hockaday School and El Centro College and founder of the Westside Players——but it was as church elder and friend to everyone at Central that Ed most wanted to be remembered.  

In addition to fond memories, Ed left a monetary gift to the musical ministry of Central.  The sanctuary’s beautiful grand piano is a result of Ed’s generosity and love for the church.

Join Central as the church re-unites the Westside Players, pays tribute to Ed and his legacy, and Central’s long-time support and recognition of the arts and the role they play in spirituality.

“Theatre both expresses and forms our feelings, beliefs and ideas. Whether about ourselves, the world, or God, we engage in this drama to re-member and re-create God’s work in and around us and convey our hopes and fears,” Rev. Ken Crawford said.

Following the service, a reception will be held in Central’s fellowship hall.  All are welcome!

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Steeped in local history and firmly embedded in the community, East Dallas Christian Church (EDCC) often referred to as an urban oasis, plays a vital role in the lives of the people who make up the fascinating and diverse neighborhoods east of the City.

The church is home to The Housing Crisis Center whose mission is to prevent homelessness and stabilize those at risk, East Dallas Community Organization, a non-profit seeking to increase availability of quality housing and educational opportunities, and Family Compass, helping build healthy families by preventing child abuse and neglect.  EDCC is the ELM East Dallas Campus of Literacy Achieves helping families become strong, independent and self-sufficient through volunteer-based English literacy programs.  

Additionally, the congregation supports The Bridge, Juliette Fowler Communities, It’s My Park Day, Feast of Sharing, The Agape Clinic and more.

EDCC is celebrating its 115th anniversary this month and they want to show their appreciation to the community who has helped make the church the strong force and energy that it has become through the years, fulfilling God’s purpose for this earth.

Saturday, November 17 will be Community Appreciation Day.  Open to the community, the celebration will be an afternoon of free, family fun. Festivities will be held under the big tent next to the Worth Street Community Garden between 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.

Sliders, cupcakes and cold drinks will be provided by Gateway Buick GMC.  A DJ will keep the party rocking and rolling all afternoon.  The Children’s Corner will offer crafts and a safe place to play.  Oncor and the Fire Department are bringing big trucks for kids to explore and a petting zoo will allow “city kids” the opportunity to be up close with animals who live on the farm.

EDCC is located at 629 No. Peak Street. Look for the big tent and join the fun Saturday afternoon, rain or shine.  For more information contact Janie Autz at 214-824-8185.

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Mary Quick was back in Fellowship Hall at Central Christian Church Friday morning with a convoy of Instant Pots, sharing with humor and wit her knowledge of food preparation and ” hands-on how to” use this modern pressure cooker that is all the rage.

The Instant Pot—everyone has one or is thinking about getting one. Even the kitchen TV and cookbook gurus are getting in on using the popular appliance. Have you seen Pioneer Woman Ree Drummond’s floral signature pot?

And why not take advantage of it?  Today’s busy lifestyle requires time-saving methods and instant gratification. And that is exactly what the Instant Pot provides.

Mary went over the basic applications associated with pressure cooking and safety measures to assure that you do not get burned with steam.  Many people grew up hearing horror stories of how Grandma’s cooker blew up the kitchen. The Instant Pot has come a long way from the old stove-top pot and is reinforced with safety features. However, as always in the kitchen, common sense must be used and children should never be allowed to experiment with an Instant Pot.

Mary prepared Trader Joe’s 1-Minute Chicken Soup, Mississippi Pot Roast, Creamy Mac and Cheese and a dessert of cheesecake with Dulce de Leche, all cooked in the Instant Pot.  A tossed salad and buttered rolls finished the meal which everyone enjoyed after class.

Proceeds from the class go to Disciples Women’s Ministry to help fund the community outreach that the service organization provides.  If you would like more information on Central’s Disciples Women or on future cooking classes, contact Shelia Huffman at

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Donation Dock at Austin Street

Disciples Women’s Ministry of Central Christian Church has been collecting warm clothing to donate to the Austin Street Center.  President Becky Riggins delivered clean, folded clothes to the Center Thursday afternoon, none too soon for the cold front that moved in this week.

Founded in 1983, Austin Street Center is an emergency shelter that serves men, ages 45 and older, and women, ages 18 and older. Each person who finds shelter with them is provided a safe place to sleep, showers, clothing, and meals. Once their basic needs are met, they can begin working on other aspects of their lives that will help them transition out of homelessness. 

Austin Street encourages people to get involved and help create a better world for everyone.

The Center welcomes groups from churches, schools, and businesses throughout the year. All group volunteer projects begin with a tour of the shelter and overview of the center’s mission. Austin Street even holds classes several times throughout the year to help volunteers understand homelessness and learn what Austin Street is doing to help prevent it.

Visit the website for information on the Center and contact Lacy Montgomery if you are interested in volunteering.

Delivering warm clothing to the center was just the “kick-off” of the Disciples Women’s community outreach for the winter and coming holiday season.  

If you would like more information regarding their ministry, call the church office at 214-526-7291 and schedule a visit to learn about the wonderful mission of the Disciples Women. You do not have to be a member of Central, or any church for that matter, to be a part of this great organization.  All are welcome!

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Rev. Dr. Debbie Chisolm

“Called for God’s Purpose” is the lecture series that the Disciples Women’s Ministry of Central Christian Church is studying this year.  Program Chairman, Shelia Huffman, has arranged for professional women, who actually were called for God’s purpose, to share lessons selected from the study guide at the monthly meetings.

This month’s speaker was Rev. Dr. Debbie Chisolm who shared the Biblical stories of prophetesses Hulda and Anna. Beyond the inspiring presentation of the lesson was the moving reunion between Debbie and the Disciples Women.    Debbie was Senior Co-Pastor of Central until her retirement a few years ago.

Preceding the program was the monthly business meeting where it was decided that the Disciples Women’s Christmas charity would include adopting a family from “Literacy Achieves,” a group that assists moms in learning English.  Additionally, a monetary Christmas gift will be given to each of the 14 charities and non-profits that the ministry supports.

Following the program and meeting was a fiesta luncheon catered by El Fenix Mexican Restaurant. What a fellowship! It was a time to visit and catch up with former Pastor Debbie. And everyone enjoyed the traditional Mexican fare of enchiladas, tamales, guacamole, chips, queso and salsa.  Margaret Wilson brought delicious home-made pralines and Becky Riggins brought a fruit-topped tres leches cake.  

Tom Irwin displayed former Central Pastor Norman Stople’s new book, “Ripples: A Pastor’s Heartfelt Stories That Ripple Through Lives.”  Besides a great book to read and own, the collection of stories and recollections make a wonderful Christmas gift. Visit the web-site  to purchase.

If you are “being called for God’s purpose” during the forthcoming season of giving, consider Disciples Women’s Ministry.  You don’t have to be a member of Central, or any church for that matter, to be a part of the group.  Everyone is welcome.  The group of women laugh, share, eat and learn, but community outreach is their mission.

They are currently collecting warm clothing for Austin Street Center, food for North Dallas Shared Ministries and will be delivering Christmas cookies and goodies in December to those who are no longer mobile due to age and illness.   Email for more information. 

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It was another blessed day at Central Christian Church Sunday afternoon as over 50 dogs and their owners gathered in the dog park as the  church celebrated its tenth annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of  animals.

It is said that St. Francis preached to a group of birds without one flying away. That same awareness was demonstrated by the dogs as they seemed to pay attention and listen when receiving a blessing.

Erik Stolpe, Grady Quick and Michael Raines led a “sing a long” before the dogs and their owners lined up for an individual blessing by Pastor Ken Crawford and church elders, Tyson Woods, Frank Whitington and Grady Quick.

Daisy Cakes on Lemmon Avenue provided beautiful, delicious cupcakes for pet parents to enjoy while our neighborhood grocery, Trader Joe’s, and local pet stores, Pet Supplies Plus, generously donated treats and goodies for doggie bags and a door prize.  Central sent everyone home with the printed prayer of St. Francis and a medallion to place on the dog’s collar to commemorate the blessing.

It was a great Sunday afternoon of fun and fellowship in the dog park.  However, Central doesn’t just celebrate love of animals once a year, “Church in the Dog Park” is held the first and third Sundays of the month at 9 a.m.

It’s a casual service with music, a short message, do-nuts and coffee.  Sunday morning, come as you are, and bring your dog to church.

Watch for the “Lighting of the Christmas Tree” in the dog park in December.  It is another celebration similar to the feast of St. Francis where everyone gathers for wassail, caroling and celebrating the joy that animals bring to our lives.

At Central, all are welcome, and “all” means all. Call the church office if you would like to be added to the email list so that you know what’s happening at Central Community Dog Park.

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During the spring and fall semesters, the students of El Centro Community College Food and Hospitality Department prepare lunch on Thursdays and invite the public to take advantage of what they, as aspiring chefs, caterers and restaurant owners, are learning in this top-rated culinary program at the school. 

The Westside Wanderers, mostly seniors from Central Christian Church, love to check out the “best of Dallas and surrounding areas” and take advantage of those deals as a small group. They enjoy the $12.00 lunches provided by the El Centro students so much that they are returning on November 15 for a California Buffet.  

What is expected at a California Buffet? We see all around town at grocery stores and farmer’s markets signs that say “locally sourced” and signs that encourage the consumer to “buy local.”  Restaurants promote “farm to table” as the freshest ingredients on their menus. 

One of the first proponents of using fresh, locally available foods was Helen Evans Brown who became friends with James Beard after publishing “Helen Brown's West Coast Cookbook” in 1952. She advocated using produce and spices available in one’s own neighborhood, forgoing poor grocery store substitutes, as well as fresh seafood, caught locally. The book received wide acclaim and became the "template" for what is now thought of as California cuisine. 

California cuisine is typically chef-driven, low in saturated fats and high in fresh vegetables and fruits (which everyone needs to include in their diet) with lean meats and seafood.  The term arose as a result of culinary movements in recent decades. 

If you are a senior, new in Dallas or would just like to make new friends, you are encouraged to join the Westside Wanderers on any of their excursions.  If you would like to dine with them at El Centro, email for more information.  Seating is limited and on a “first come, first served” basis.  

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Blessing the Animals

St. Francis Day was celebrated this year on October 4, but if you missed the time-honored Christian tradition of taking your pet to church for a blessing, Central Christian Church will gather on Sunday, October 28 for the annual Blessing of the Animals in honor of St. Francis of Assisi.  

St. Francis was an Italian friar, deacon, and preacher.  He is widely acknowledged as the patron saint of animals and various legends attest to his love for nature and the environment. 

Central shares that same love for animals, nature and environment.  Nearly twelve years ago the church designated one acre of its grounds for a community dog park where people can come and sit under the shade of mature live oaks, read or visit with other dog owners while the dogs play unleashed in the fenced-in park. 

Join people through-out the community as they gather with their furried best friend for a blessing and a good time Sunday afternoon at 3:30 in Central’s Community Dog Park.   

Music, refreshments, a door prize and treats for the dogs are part of the celebration. Each dog will receive a St. Francis Medallion to wear on his or her collar to commemorate the blessing. 

St. Francis is said to have preached to a group of birds without one flying away and to have stopped a wolf from attacking the Italian town of Gubbio by making the sign of the cross and commanding it not to hurt anyone.  

Not only the animals, but all who attend will leave feeling blessed! Hope to see you in the dog park.

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Joining the Disciples Women of Central Christian Church on Tuesday November 6 as program guest speaker is former Senior Co-Pastor, Rev. Dr. Debbie Chisolm.

If you have ever heard Debbie speak, either in Central’s sanctuary or on WRR radio, you know that you are in for a treat.  If you have not—you are in for a treat.

Debbie was Senior Co-Pastor at Central from July 2011 until February 2016.  Looking back, some of the great memories include an old-fashioned "tent-type" revival in downtown Dallas. Modern skyscrapers were the backdrop while Debbie proclaimed, “we are standing on holy ground” as Central celebrated their 150th anniversary.  Or the summer of surprises! That was the year the church had no air-conditioning and Debbie kept the congregation coming by preaching in front of a casket when no one had died and celebrating a wedding when no one got married. During Holy Week she directed the re-enactment of “The Last Supper” and wrote and directed the play, “Have You Seen My Son?” to bring Biblical stories to life.

Prompted by a busy lifestyle as wife to a General, mom to three daughters and grandma to 10 adored granddaughters with another on the way, after 39 years in ministry, Debbie retired from her position as a congregational pastor. However, she will never totally retire from the pulpit as her talent as a preacher is too well known. Debbie is frequently asked to speak at area churches when a minister is away.

The Disciples Women of Central are thrilled to have her at the November meeting to share the stories of Hulda and Anna, two women prophets who demonstrated their purpose and calling as they heard from and spoke for God.

The meeting will be held in the sanctuary and begins at 10:30 a.m.

Following the program, everyone is invited to enjoy a fiesta buffet on the church lawn by the sprawling Bois D’Arc tree. Lunch will be catered by El Fenix Restaurant in honor of Debbie and her heritage. In case of inclement weather, there is a back-up plan for lunch.

You don’t have to be a member of Central, or any church for that matter, to be a part of Disciples Women and their ministry.  Email for a reservation.   Cost for lunch is $5.00.  All are welcome.