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ESL Classes: Changing Lives Forever|
||Posted June 25, 2015|
The 2014-2015 school year for ESL classes (English as a Second Language) culminated on May 11, 2015, having served fifty-four adults and thirty-six children and youth of the Whitney community. For the past five years, the ESL program has been provided by the joint efforts of King Memorial Methodist Church and White Bluff Chapel. It is designed to provide adults and children with the tools to become productive English-speaking citizens of our community and nation.
At an end-of-the-year celebration dinner, Wes Mitchell presented nine students with dual-language Bibles. Students must achieve a certain level of dual-language ability to earn these Bibles, which they will use at home with their families. The Bibles were provided by White Bluff Chapel.
The complete ESL course of study offered through this program consists of four different levels, taking two years to complete each level. Hence, eight years are required to complete all levels. Five graduates from last year were challenged to return to serve as bilingual assistants this year. They all accepted the challenge and contributed much to the classes throughout the year.
A highlight of this year’s program was a new check-out library system available to the students. It consists of a large cabinet with holds a collection of over two hundred books to be checked out for reading at home. White Bluff Chapel provided the library unit and donated or loaned most of the books.
A faculty of sixteen teachers and workers were involved in making the year a success. White Bluff Chapel was represented by David Briggs, Jody Yarbro, John and Kathleen Knightstep, Madeleine Lively, Wes and Peggy Mitchell, and Tommy Edgar. Edgar supervises the youth program while their parents attend the English classes.
New classes will begin in the middle of September and will follow the Whitney school calendar.
WBC Billboards to Appear on FM 933
Posted June 25, 2015
An exciting new event in White Bluff Chapel’s outreach to the community is scheduled to debut on the weekend of June 26-28, barring inclement weather. A pair of billboards visible to traffic on FM Road 933 will be installed and will feature a photo of the chapel with an invitation to the public to attend our Sunday worship services. An ad highlighting the billboard copy also appeared in the Lakelander newspaper on Wednesday, June 24.
One billboard will be installed on the east side of FM 933, facing the northbound traffic coming from town toward White Bluff, at 4/10 of a mile north of Eubank Drug and Kitty’s shopping center. The second sign will be at the Lamp Post gas and convenience store on the west side of FM 933, facing the traffic turning onto FM 1713.
The idea for the billboards originated and has been carried out as a joint effort of the Needs Assessment and Communication Committees, with approval by the Board of Trustees. Due to some very generous Chapel members, this sign comes at no cost to us.
VBS Shoe Drive to Benefit Orphan Souls
Posted June 25, 2015
The 2015 VBS Shoe Drive kicked off on Sunday, June 14 and is running for 30 days, through July 12. VBS children are collecting brand-new shoes for children (infant through 18-years old) to benefit the “Buckner’s Shoes for Orphan Souls” project. There is a critical need for shoes for the older children at this time, adult sizes 4-12 in athletic-style shoes.
Steps to take in preparing your shoe donation include:
- Take all the tags off of the shoes.
- Put a personal note in the shoes, reminding the recipient of God’s love for them. (If written in a child’s hand, the message will carry special meaning.)
- Rubber band the two shoes together.
- Place them in the collection pool in the chapel narthex no later than Sunday, July 12.
"Counting Blessings" Series Debuts
Posted June 25, 2015
A popular item on WBC’s website is our “On the Road Again” column. In it, individuals are invited to submit articles in which they tell of travels or life experiences that they have had in which God’s hand has touched them. The column seems to be more popular with readers, though, than it is in attracting a variety of writers.
One of our more prolific contributors to the column is Bill Burris. For this issue, Bill has submitted an article in which he writes of counting our blessings. This idea is so appealing that we have decided to run a series called our “Counting Blessings” series under the “On the Road Again” column. Chapel members are encouraged to consider writing about counting your blessings, and website editor Madeleine Lively promises to assist you in getting it “copy ready” for publication. Even if you have only the kernel of an idea, contact Madeleine at 254-694-3719 or firstname.lastname@example.org and she will help you brainstorm your approach.
As chapel members hit the road for summer travels, they are reminded to jot down a few ideas of moments during their travels when they are struck with God’s presence in their lives. Snap a couple of pics to accompany your ideas, and an article is born!
A companion column of “On the Road Again” is called “On the Road to Recovery.” Two recent (June 10) contributors to this column include Laura Smith, with her narrative and song, “On the Wings of a Dove,” and Bill Burris, who wrote about a young man from New Orleans named Clyde. This column can include narratives and/or reflections on anything from physical to emotional recovery.
Letter from the Facilities Assessment Committee
Posted June 25, 2015
Thanks to the many of you in the congregation that have already begun to pray for our committee and the work that we are attempting to do on your behalf and that of our Lord and Savior's ministry here in White Bluff and the Whitney community. Be assured that the committee is faithfully seeking the Lord's leadership in our efforts to discover where our congregation can best seek to modify or expand our White Bluff campus to meet the changing needs of our community. We covet your prayers in our efforts.
Our mission, as we have discussed, is to discover how the Chapel might best meet the needs revealed in the work of the Needs Assessment Committee. The Needs Assessment Committee found that:
(1) The parking facilities of the Chapel have become strained;
(2) The facilities for doing work with the surprising number of teenagers and children in White Bluff has limited our ability to do productive out-reach to these at the most reachable time of their lives;
(3) Some of the Chapel's best ministries have been limited by a lack of adequate teaching facilities;
(4) The restroom facilities are not as wheel-chair friendly as they might be;
(5) The welcoming center could be more visitor-friendly;
(6) The storage for our growing choir's materials has become inadequate;
(7) The office area could use some expansion to meet the needs of our staff more effectively; and
(8) There are certain times of the year when our fellowship hall and kitchen areas are inadequate to meet the needs of some activities.
This is not an exhaustive list of some of the things that our committee is considering, but it covers the high spots of what is being discussed.
The committee understands that some of these needs are not readily apparent to everyone that is not directly affected by each one of these situations. But, from input given to the Needs Assessment Committee and this committee, it has become obvious that most of these issues are placing limits on quality ministries of our Chapel.
The committee continues to actively seek continuing input from the congregation. We will be placing in the hallway outside of the offices an opportunity for all of you to make suggestions. Please be prayerful in developing this input. Feel free to approach any one of the Facilities Assessment Committee members with your thoughts and constructive ideas. Those committee members are:
Gary Comer - chairman
Wes Mitchell - co-chair
Tom Reedy - staff liaison
VBS 2015: A Formula for Success
Posted June 25, 2015
Without a doubt, for White Bluff Chapel, the week of Vacation Bible School is the busiest week of the year. It typically runs the last full week of June. This year, the fun-filled week is focusing on the formulas for learning about God’s plan for each of us, all in the context of science labs and experiments.
God’s Plan 4 U = Jesus!
Director of Children’s Education Ministries, Debbie Bradley, reports that a minimum of 50 adults has donated their time and talents to the big event that is underway this week. That includes preparation of curriculum and supplies, organizing, decorating, teaching, demonstrating, supervising, monitoring, photographing and feeding…all for the 95 fortunate children registered to attend the much-anticipated activities.
The big social scheduled for Thursday evening will be a swim party and hamburger/hot dog cook-out for all VBS attendees and families at the Cascade Pool in White Bluff. A special thank you goes to Mr. Dudley for his generosity and continued support of the VBS program and to Jennifer Oliver of WB Resort for helping coordinate the event.
The closing assembly will be on Friday, starting at 11:30. It will be followed by a pizza lunch and an opportunity to participate in some additional special science activities. Those able to provide home-baked cookies for the occasion are asked to sign up at the registration table.
Bradley sends out a special thank-you to all who have answered the call as volunteers. She is particularly pleased to announce that they even exceeded the required number of peanut-butter jars needed! How many families in White Bluff will now be eating their peanut butter out of plastic tubs for the next six months?
Go to the What's Happening page for prior news & events.
On the Road Again
First installment in the new series: Counting Blessings
Posted June 25, 2015
by Bill Burris
One way or another we are reminded to count our blessings. I thank God daily for all his blessings, but occasionally I try to actually count them. A person could go on forever counting God's many blessings. We just need to recognize them and thank Him. Trying to count just makes you more aware of God and His gifts and brings you closer to Him.
My first blessing was threefold: born into a Christian family, in the world's greatest country and knowing I'm a child of God. My folks provided love and Christian values. I spent years away from a church environment, but never lost the Christian values.
God works in and through us in many ways. That's perhaps another article. Marcie is a wonderful blessing in my life and has been a loving guide for my spiritual growth. Additionally, the family she brought into my life has been a wonderful experience and blessing. It has grown to six great-grandchildren.
It's been said that if God closes one door, He will open another. I know He did for me.
We recognize major blessings in our lives, but often overlook things small and seemingly insignificant. God wants us to slow down our day, spend time with Him and take time to look around. You'll be surprised at the blessings you see and hear: the beauty of nature, birds singing, a cool breeze, a rainbow, food on the table, a surprise phone call or note, a star-filled night, a smile from a stranger, a sunset, holding a newborn or even the internet. Well, let's think about that last one. I think you get the message. Stop and thank Him daily.
I love the answering machine message our neighbors have on their phone. "We can't come to the phone right now, we're busy counting our blessings and that might take a while."
I've learned to slow down some each day and to listen and watch for God to let me know He's nearby.
Christ on the cross is the world's greatest blessing.
When I think of God's majesty, I'm reminded of two beautiful passages in the Bible, Psalm 139 and Genesis 1 & 2. Take a few moments to look them up and reflect upon them.
Go to the On the Road Again page to see prior "On the Road Again" articles.
What We've Done
"Over the Hill Care Group" Holds Picnic
Posted June 25, 2015
Several years ago White Bluff Chapel organized members into a series of Cluster Groups. The purpose was for neighbors to become familiar with one another. Furthermore, it was intended to keep everyone aware of local needs and Chapel-related events. Some groups are more active than others.
On June 13, the “Over the Hill Care Group” (formerly Cluster Group 14) held their quarterly gathering, meeting at the Live Oak Park behind the White Bluff Sales Office. The event had been postponed from March since weather prevented use of the park. Once all had arrived Bubba Radke led the prayer. Everyone sat down to a meal of brisket, fried chicken, wonderful sides and great desserts. Some members brought along friends who were visiting and the evening was a wonderful time of fellowship, with twenty-four attending.
It was a warm evening but God blessed the group with a gentle breeze that also kept the flying intruders at bay. Just another example of when two or more gather in His name, He will be there with you.
Over time this group has blended into a wonderful network of friends who truly care for one another. It has been led by Marcie Burris since the beginning and she keeps all informed of anyone's needs. Christmastime they meet for fellowship and a wonderfully-crazy white-elephant gift exchange. This is just one of several "Cluster Groups" that have regular meetings and fellowship in the White Bluff community.
There always seems to be a member or a couple that steps in to host the gatherings. The next event will be in September at the home of Bill and Emily Morris.
Go to the
What We've Done page to see prior "What We've Done" articles.