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What We've Done in 2010

Articles are sorted with the most recently posted at the top.

Santa's Workshop at Park Plaza Nursing Home
Posted December 23, 2010

Santa's Workshop gift day at Park Plaza Nursing Home in Whitney was held this year on Wednesday, December 15. Each year White Bluff Chapel volunteers collect gift items that the Park Plaza residents can select as gifts for their relatives and friends, or sometimes just for themselves! Helpers assist residents in selecting their gifts and also wrap the gifts for them. Charlie and Chris Whisenand organize the project.

In anticipation of next year's event, Charlie and Chris are asking that we save Christmas gift bags that can be recycled for this project. The gift bags are easier for residents to handle and also spare our wrapping elves the difficulty of dealing with odd-sized packages. Email the Whisenands or call (254)694-8838 if you have gift bags to contribute or to be put on the list of volunteers for next year.

Thank You from the Joint Committee for Christmas
Posted December 23, 2010

by Susan Johnston, Chairman, Joint Committee for Christmas 2010

Each and every year as we complete the work of the Joint Committee for Christmas, I find myself amazed and overwhelmed at the generosity and Christian love expressed by the residents of Lake Whitney. This year was especially worrisome for us as we discovered that the Toys for Tots program would not distribute toys in Hill County and that we needed to move our intended location just a few weeks before D-day, also known as "Distribution Day".

How silly of me to worry! Local individuals and groups stepped forward and donated generously to provide more toys than we could imagine. McCown Valley Community Center rearranged their schedule and opened their doors to us as did the Open Range Cowboy Church. We were flooded with offers to help with the work of organizing and distributing the food, clothing and toys. Almost before we knew we had a need, someone stepped forward with an offer of help. As a result, almost 300 local families received baskets of food, clothing purchased especially for their children, and toys chosen from the "Cowboy Toy Store"!

On behalf of the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance's Joint Committee for Christmas, let me extend a heartfelt thank you to our kind and generous local residents, churches and businesses. You have genuinely expressed His love at Christmas time.

Christmas Caroling at Park Plaza Nursing Home
Posted December 23, 2010

Each year White Bluff Chapel volunteers visit Park Plaza residents and lead them in Christmas caroling. The event is organized by Charlie and Chris Whisenands and is very popular with the residents.

Email the Whisenands or call (254)694-8838 if you wish to be put on the list of carolers to be contacted for next year.

Christmas Progressive Dinner
Posted December 16, 2010

White Bluff Chapel's annual Christmas Progressive Dinner, one of the highlights of the fellowship activities we enjoy during the year, was held this year on Saturday, Dec. 11. About 120 people participated in this popular event, which actually consists of two home stops for appetizers and finally a stop for singing, coffee and dessert at the Chapel's Fellowship Hall. The event is sponsored and organized by the Chapel's Hospitality Committee, under the direction of Sharron Lively.

Twelve homes of Chapel members were open to us for the event. Hosts included Sandy and Tom Moore, Liz and Mike Umble, Linda and Jerry Christensen, Marilyn and Mike Pollard, Cynthia Redden, Mildred Jackson, Pat and Ray McGinnis, Cathy and Ken Cole, Ginger and Harry Seurkamp, Linda and Larry Turner, Patty and Richard Turner, and Chris and Charlie Whisenand. The remarkable design of this party provides that each hosting home receives about twenty guests for ninety minutes in a cocktail-party style format. Each participant makes two cocktail party stops in private homes during the evening, mixing with an almost completely different group of guests at the second home.

After the home visits, all gather at the Chapel for a brief Christmas program. Nancy McGinnis emceed the event, which featured a group of young folks from Lake Whitney Arts performing songs from their upcoming Christmas show. Dr. James Hoffman, Vice-President of Lake Whitney Arts and Chairman of Children's Art Education at the organization, introduced the performers and their musical selections. The evening culminated with the participants singing a few Christmas carols and then partaking of a sumptuous finale of desserts and coffee.

The dessert party, hosted by the women of the Hospitality committee and under the direction of Madeleine Lively, provided visions of sugar plums and all kinds of confectionary delectables. But it was the men who came to the rescue when a small coffee crisis in the kitchen occurred.

WBC Members Visit Bethlehem in 2010
Posted December 9, 2010

Seems like it's always cold in Bethlehem. However, the trip by White Bluff Chapel members to "Bethlehem Revisited" this year wasn't nearly as cold as last year's trip to Burnet to view a similar production. A group of eight Chapel members ventured over to Waxahachie on Sunday, Dec. 5, to enjoy the life-like re-enactments of the holiest of times.

"Bethlehem Revisited" is presented each year by the Central Presbyterian Church in Waxahachie. It is located in a permanent installation just adjacent to the church. It is well worth the time spent strolling through the recreated village at the time of the birth of Jesus. Venues ranging from the inn, a wine merchant's shop, a cobbler, a baker, the jail and a temple are among the many that feature real people in costume bringing the life of those times alive for current-day visitors.

At appointed intervals, Mary and Joseph enter the city, with Mary riding on a donkey. They are turned away at the inn and then go to the stable. Afterwards, the Wisemen and their camels come to the stable to worship. Roman soldiers patrol the area throughout.

This was a really nice way to spend an evening. Those who didn't attend missed a real treat, but will have the opportunity to see it in subsequent years. Don't forget!

Annual Church Clean-up Day
Posted December 2, 2010

Monday, November 22, was the annual Church Clean-up and Decorating Day in anticipation of the Christmas season.

Chapel members turned out in full force to brush cobwebs, clean out pantries and cupboards, wash windows, prune trees and flower beds, and change smoke alarm batteries, all the kinds of jobs that don't fall under the responsibility of the weekly janitorial services.

Then boxes of Christmas decorations were dragged down from the attic while the brave ones mounted ladders to hang garlands and wreaths. The Chapel's crowning glory of the Christmas season, our Christmas tree, was set up in the Sanctuary and decorated. This special Christmas tree is adorned with hand-made ornaments crafted by Chapel members and representing a great variety of Christian symbols of the holiest of seasons.

Our Daily Bread Food Pantry Annual Food Drive
Posted November 23, 2010

At least sixteen volunteers from White Bluff Chapel combined their time, efforts and talent on Friday, November 19 with sixty of their neighbors from six other churches in Whitney to help make Our Daily Bread Food Pantry's annual Food Drive a success. Also working at the drop-off center in the Church of Christ's parking lot in downtown Whitney were students from Aquilla and Whitney ISD's and members of the Christian Motorcyclist Association. An additional twenty people worked at the Food Pantry. Sponsoring organizations of the nine-county wide Food Drive, Channel 10 of Waco and HEB Grocery Stores, were on hand to record the event.

Diana Van Wagner, Coordinator of the Food Drive and White Bluff Chapel member, reports that 52,000 pounds of food were collected on Friday. She says the drive will continue through Monday, November 29 (when they will be open 9:00 – 11:00 a.m.), to accept food and monetary contributions in hopes of achieving their stated goal for the year of 65,000 lbs. Diana pointed out that 30,000 lbs of the food was that purchased with monetary contributions. She emphasized that so much more value is gained in this way, since food can be purchased wholesale at enormous savings, hence stretching the donors' dollars and allowing the Food Bank to purchase food when their shelves get empty.

Our Daily Bread Food Pantry feeds and average of 500 people every month throughout the year, at about 20-30 families per day. A new money-saving initiative being adopted by the organization is the offering of a partial "Client Choice" agenda in which families may opt out of receiving certain food items that they do not expect to use. That program is expected to cut down significantly on waste.

Other churches participating in the Food Drive on Friday included First Church of the Nazarene, King Memorial Methodist, Open Range Cowboy Church, First Baptist, Fort Graham Baptist and Our Savior Lutheran. Volunteers from White Bluff Chapel were Wayne Thomason, Jean Rose, Ann McAlpin, Bill McKee, Sandy DiLorenzo, Ginger Seurkamp, Jerry and Linda Christensen, Gary and Karen Williams, Jim and Lanette Browder, Maura and George Collins, Diana Van Wagner and Garry Parvin, Director of the Food Bank.

Men's Ministry Honors Wives with Breakfast
Posted November 23, 2010

On Saturday, November 13, the Men's Ministry held their monthly meeting and breakfast at 8:00 a.m. in Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. The men had invited their wives to the event and they cooked and served the ladies breakfast as a highlight of the meeting.

The event was attended by thirty-eight people. Seven men cooked a menu of pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage. The meal was followed by a devotional presented by Pastor Terry Cosby. Harry Seurkamp reported to the group some of the programs the Men's Ministry undertakes in the church and community.

Main Street Bethlehem
Posted November 23, 2010

It was a c-c-cold day in December, 2009, when White Bluff Chapel members chartered a bus to Burnet to explore the narrow streets of Bethlehem at the time of Christ's birth.

"Main Street Bethlehem," presented annually by First Baptist Church of Burnet, is an outstanding event that brings Bethlehem to life. Costumed men, women and children--along with live camels, donkeys and sheep--create a living re-enactment.

And their cooking fires help keep visitors warm!

Pot-Luck Gathering Provides Africa Send-Off
Posted November 23, 2010

Preparation activities for Ann McAlpin's mission trip to Kenya, in east Africa, kicked off on Sunday, November 14, with a pot-luck lunch and the presentation of a Prayer Campaign being undertaken by the congregation. Close to 100 members of the congregation participated in the event, which followed the Sunday worship service. Sara Edwards, Chair of the Subcommittee on Global Missions, presented information on the Chapel's involvement in Global Missions. Ann shared details of her planned itinerary and goals for her trip with those in attendance. She will be ministering to children at a youth camp in Kenya. Vicki Thompson shared the idea of having people at home wear prayer bracelets while Ann is on her trip, and she had some bracelets with her for people who plan to join the effort to take with them.

Organized by members of the Chapel Missions committee, the Prayer Campaign features a guide to accompany each day of Ann's itinerary while she is on her trip, giving appropriate scriptures, specifics about her itinerary for the day, and optional space for individual prayer warriors to jot down reflections during prayer. Folks are asked to commence immediately praying for Ann and the success of her mission trip, to take up and follow the Prayer Guide on December 1 through 11, to wear a prayer bracelet during Ann's trip, and to submit their names to be added to the list of Prayer Campaign participants by emailing Glenna Bodeker or calling her at 694-7060.

The Chapel's hospitality committee, under the direction of Sharron Lively, organized and set up the pot-luck buffet.

WBC Provides Popular Halloween Stops
Posted November 11, 2010

On Saturday evening, October 30, White Bluff Chapel members hosted two popular Halloween venues for a total of 700-1000 children out trick or treating, one at White Bluff Resort and the other in downtown Whitney.

At the Trunk or Treat event in the Chapel parking lot, costumed Bible characters opened their car trunks and shared their stories and accompanying candy treats with the children stopping by. In downtown Whitney, six bikers rode their motorcycles to Whitney's Downtown Merchants Halloween Event to provide treats for kids at our first Biker Bible Bites project.

The Bible characters participating in the Trunk or Treat event included Charlie and Chris Whisenand, playing guitars and singing a joyful sound, with the character David distributing Almond Joy candies. Mildred Jackson and Ann McAlpin, dressed as Mary and Martha, shared their story, along with M&M candies. Jim and Ann Duncan dressed as hosts of Noah's Ark, recounting that story by their ark (recycled from VBS) and giving out animal crackers. Giving out Snickers candies were Glenn and Harriett Carrell, dressed as Abraham and Sara and laughing over their story of bearing a child in their very old age. Kay Lea Scott dressed as the joyful slave girl saved by Paul, and Larry and Tonia Chapman registered the children and passed out lemonade. It was the third year for this event to be held. Each child also received an activity booklet of a salvation story and a pencil with wishes for God's blessings.

Along with candy treats at the Biker Bible Bites venue, approximately 300 salvation story bookmarks with wishes for God's blessing from White Bluff Chapel were distributed. The adults participating in this event included Monty and Marelia Geren, Charles Young, Mac McCleary, Ann Fox, Bo and Jeanne Barham, John and Rhonda Bass, and Scotty Scott.

Griffin Ranch BBQ
Posted November 7, 2010

On Saturday, October 2,  approximately 120 members of White Bluff Chapel enjoyed beautiful fall weather, good food, and great fellowship at a barbecue hosted by Jim and Pat Griffin at their ranch just north of White Bluff. 

Barbecue was prepared by Danny Bodeker, with side dishes and desserts brought by members.

Members who arrived early could fish in the nearby pond, and many enjoyed a hayride around areas of the ranch.  This event is much anticipated  each year by the members of White Bluff Chapel.

More photos

Sound-Absorptive Panels Installed in
Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall
Posted November 7, 2010

Sound-Absorptive Panels being installed

Sunday Fellowship attendees and exercise class participants were pleasantly surprised recently to note that there is a noticeable reduction in white noise and echo bouncing around the room in the Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. The credit goes to new sound-absorptive panels installed on the ceiling of the room. Additional panels are being installed on the walls, as well, and observers note how unobtrusive the panels are; they are hardly even noticeable!

White Bluff Chapel Trustees are committed to improving the acoustics in that facility, and a lot of research has gone into finding a viable solution. The concrete floors and hard surfaces of the hall have their advantages, such as being easy to clean and not vulnerable to harm by frequently-moved furniture or coffee / food spills, but they also create added noise, which makes it extremely difficult to hear satisfactorily and to decipher conversational tones.

Sound absorptive panels

Earlier in 2010, the Trustees took advantage of a free sound room analysis offered by Auralex, one of the world's leaders in sound abatement solutions. Auralex recommended the installation of strategically-placed sound panels on the ceiling and walls of the Fellowship Hall. The panels are engineered to capture and absorb sound rather than allowing it to bounce around the room.

The congregation approved the purchase of these sound-absorbing panels and installation has begun. Once the panels are in place, we will determine if the problem has been adequately solved or whether further actions must be taken.

The Trustees are committed to solving the problem, so if this initial effort is not adequate, additional solutions will be explored and implemented.

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