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What We've Done in 2011

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

New Board Officers Announced
Posted December 22, 2011

During the quarterly business meeting of the membership of White Bluff Chapel on Sunday, December 18, outgoing Board of Trustees President George Feather announced the newly-elected officers for 2012. At the helm of the group, Milt Bergman will serve as President, while Karen Williams and Tom Moore have been elected Vice-President and Secretary, respectively.

Bob Harris will continue as Treasurer of the Board. Other members completing their three-year term as Trustees, along with Feather, are Susan Johnston and Sara Edwards. New members joining the Board for their three-year term as trustees are Larry Chapman, Nancy McGinnis and Jean Rose.

Choir Goes Caroling at W.B.
Posted December 22, 2011

According to their practice of the past several years, the White Bluff Chapel Choir regaled some of residents of White Bluff with cheerful Christmas caroling. Led by Director Tom Reedy, a group exceeding fifty members and guests took to the roads of White Bluff to sing Christmas wishes to some who are less able to get out during the season.

The group also enjoyed appetizers and desserts at the Reedy home, where JoAnn and Tom received them and shared their festive Christmas decorations.

Adopt a Highway Project
Posted December 15, 2011

Under the Texas "Adopt a Highway" program, White Bluff Chapel volunteered a number of years ago to keep clean a two-mile stretch of Hwy. 933 adjacent to the White Bluff entrance. This project requires recruiting and organizing a crew of volunteers three or four times a year to pick up trash along the highway.

On Friday, December 9, a crew of Chapel men gathered together to pick up 17 bags of trash. Participating in the project were Bill Allen, Steve Allie, Howard Clement, Rick Faught, Bob Hatherly, Dennis Robinson, Harry Seurkamp, and Ron Williams. More volunteers would be welcome in the future to help support the reoccurring maintenance needs of the project.

WBC Hosts Community Christmas
Posted December 15, 2011

The Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance hosts a Community Christmas Service each year, with the honor of hosting the event rotating among the participating churches in the Alliance. This year on Sunday evening, Dec. 11, White Bluff Chapel hosted our own congregation and visiting members of neighboring churches for a concert by participating choirs, piano-organ interludes, the singing of Christmas hymns, and a reception of coffee and punch, desserts and fellowship.

Music Director Tom Reedy opened the program by directing the WB Choir in "African Noël." The Nazarene Church Choir sang "Jesus Saves," and a solo was sung by a member of First Baptist Church, who also accompanied himself in the work he had composed. Betty Newman and Kathy Ward played duets on the piano and organ, and then the WB Choir closed the concert with "Images of Christmas," a medley of traditional Christmas songs highly embellished with organ and piano accompaniment.

Progressive Dinner Festive Affair
Posted December 15, 2011

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. 10. About 104 people participated in the 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 Ginger Seurkamp.

Ten homes of Chapel members were open to us for the event. Hosts included Linda and Jerry Christensen, Amee and Tommy Edgar, Cathy and Ken Cole, Betsy and Bill Torman, Tish and Tom Robinson, Linda and Larry Turner, Rhonda and John Bass, JoAnn and Tom Reedy, Linda and Mac McClary and Chris and Charlie Whisenand. The remarkable design of this party provides that each hosting home receive 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. The evening culminated with the participants singing a few Christmas carols and then partaking of a sumptuous finale of desserts and coffee.

McGinnis Reviews Chapel's Year in Poetry
Posted December 15, 2011

A highlight of the Chapel's annual Christmas Progressive Dinner is the gathering in the Sanctuary for the singing of Christmas carols before adjourning to the Fellowship Hall for coffee and desserts. As in the past several years, Nancy McGinnis emceed the event on Saturday evening, Dec. 10, introducing host couples and treating those in attendance to one of her clever poems. This year's poem served to review the wide range of our Chapel's activities that define our year of 2011.

It's getting closer and closer to the time
When we celebrate our Savior's Birthday.
So I decided to write this little rhyme,
And tell about the White Bluff Chapel way.

We now have Reedy, talented musicians,
A new organ and a superior choir.
We have children's ministry, kid's klub,
And teachers that never tire.

We offer many full services – Advent programs, Easter,
Community Christmas and Veterans Day.
We have fun times with Valentines, Trunk or Treat, chili cook-offs.
We do get to play.

Our outreach program reaches very near and very far.
We travel, build houses, refurbish, teach and sing.
Our volunteers are many; check out their Gold Star.
You'll recognize them by the smiles they bring.

We watched the food multiply for the Drive;
We accomplished our goal to feed the food banks.
By doing this, we really do keep folks alive,
And just seeing their faces is our personal thanks.

Let's not forget our Missions Committee;
The scholarships we sponsor are many.
Deciding which ones to aid and all must agree.
And, as you know – they do not miss any.

We support our two nursing homes.
We have African Missionaries.
Even our Critters set the tone
For the young, the old, and the Militaries.

Our involvement with the Ministerial Alliance
Takes us to other levels, by God's Grace.
We ring the bell for Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels,
Angel Tree and Isaiah's Place.

We have authors, artists, speakers and visiting choirs.
We are a sign-up chapel – we eat, eat and eat.
We have the Men's breakfasts that all admire.
All in all – we are very, very sweet.

So after we sing a little – let's AGAIN all go eat!

Cheer Delivered by Red Kettle Bell Ringers
Posted December 8, 2011

White Bluff Chapel once again participated in the annual Salvation Army Red Kettle drive at Wal-Mart in Hillsboro when twenty of our members contributed their time and Christmas greetings to Hill County shoppers. Working in two-hour shifts on Dec. 1 and 5, the team brought in a total of $1916 for the two days. They were happy to learn that historically, on the days they ring, they have succeeded in bringing in more funds than any of the other participating groups, nearing $1000 per day.

100% of the funds raised by Red Kettle Bell Ringers will stay in Hill County to help needy families here.

Annual Church Clean-up Day
Posted December 1, 2011

Tuesday, November 23, 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 Chrismon 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.

Kathleen Copple Honored
Posted November 22, 2011

Music Director Tom Reedy awarded Kathleen Copple with a certificate of appreciation on Sunday, November 20, at the end of the Worship Service. Kathleen has announced her retirement after having served White Bluff Chapel as piano accompanist for the past five years.

On behalf of the choir, JoAnn Reedy and Dottie Redden presented Kathleen with a bouquet of red roses and a hand-carved Santa figurine crafted by local artist and Chapel member Harry Seurkamp. Copple was also honored at a reception planned and executed by Mary Parish and members of the Hospitality Committee.

"Trunk or Treat" & "Biker Bible Bites"
Declared a Success
Posted November 3, 2011

by Kay Lea Scott

Halloween does not usually bring Jesus and the Christian life style to mind. But, it does offer an opportunity to piggy back on something of the "world" and bend it to our Lord's purpose. That's exactly what we did the Saturday night preceding Halloween. Make believe topped with candy grabbed the children's attention and we turned that attention to the Word.

At the Trunk or Treat event, your WBC mates re-enacted Bible characters, sharing their stories with trick-or-treating children and giving them sweets to reinforce the learning about the character. Ann McAlpin and Carolyn Williams made the stories of Ruth and King Darius come alive. Ruth told the children about a book in the Bible named for her. King Darius used puppets to illustrate Daniel's faith and courage in the lions' den. Trick-or-treaters were spellbound and ready to tell others what they had learned.

Dolled-up in black eye, cuts and bruises, I lay moaning on the ground. As the children gathered round, I told them how robbers had beaten me, stolen my money and made off with my donkey. The children were enthralled as I told about two travelers who wouldn't answer my cries for help and one other traveler, whom I held in low regard, that did respond to my cries. Given an opportunity to emulate the "good neighbor," the children happily covered me in band aids and accepted Nestlé's Crunch bars as a reminder of how I had felt before they helped me. Do you think they will remember the lesson of the Good Samaritan?

A motorcycle can make the eyes of any boy (6 months to 99 years) light up. Our bikers learned that some boys will even walk past candy in their awe of the bike! Thanks to Monte and Marelia Geren, John and Rhonda Bass, Ray Fox, Charles and Linda Young and Scotty Scott, WBC used a mix of motorcycles, costumes and candy to say "hello" to downtown Whitney's trick-or-treaters. Our bikers also gave the children a special pencil with Isaiah 41:10's reminder to "Fear not, God's love shines bright".

Anne Fox and Don Robinson rounded out the 2011 T-or-T and BBB teams. Thank you to our 2011 volunteers, and may God continue to bless them for their efforts. I certainly hope you are on the 2012 T-or-T or BBB team. Because as I peel off another band aid, I think of all I learn and how much my heart grows every time God leads me to interact with a child in His name.

Organ Recital a Resounding Success
Posted September 29, 2011

White Bluff Chapel's Music Director, Tom Reedy, greeted an estimated crowd of 260 for the Organ Dedication Concert on Sunday afternoon, October 25. Of those, approximately 50 or 60 were members of the community who responded to the Chapel's invitation to join our congregation in dedicating our new Allen Protégé organ.

Guest artist Larry McCain performed an impressive repertoire that showcased the wide range of capabilities of the new instrument, including the different sounds associated with traditional cathedral organs in Germany, England, France and America. He also demonstrated various symphonic and percussive effects that the organ can produce, such as bells, horns, chimes and strings. Click here for a recording of the concert.

The appreciative audience gave McCain a standing ovation as they requested an encore and then even repeated their enthusiastic singing of a favorite hymn. The ladies of the Chapel hosted a reception for the crowd at the close of the joyous event.

Men's Ministry Treats Chapel to Breakfast
Posted September 22, 2011

WBC's Men's Ministry Committee treated the Chapel membership to a pancake breakfast on Sunday, September 18, in Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. Harry Seurkamp welcomed the hungry crowd immediately following the Worship Service and announced that the event was offered as the organization's annual gift to the Chapel. Seurkamp and Ron Williams lead the group.

The purpose of the Men's Ministry is to use the talents of our men's membership to glorify Christ Jesus by assisting individuals in the Lake Whitney area who cannot help themselves, as well as local organizations in need extra support. A sample of one of their projects includes the procuring and recycling of no-longer needed wheelchair ramps to customize and install at the homes of Whitney area patients who need them.

The Men's Ministry meets at 8:00 a.m. on the second Saturday of each month in Fellowship Hall. A devotional, reports from other charitable organizations, and a breakfast are included. Email Harry Seurkamp, or call him at 694-7206 for additional information.

Reedy Named WBC Music Director
Posted July 21, 2011

At a called business meeting of the White Bluff Chapel congregation on Sunday, July 17, the membership voted unanimously to accept a recommendation from the Board of Trustees to appoint Tom Reedy in the post of Music Director. George Feather, President of the Board, congratulated Reedy and his wife JoAnn. Reedy, a member of White Bluff Chapel’s choir since 2004, has been serving as Interim Director of the group since the retirement of Cynthia Redden this past spring. After an extensive search by an elected Music Director Search Committee, it was determined that our best candidate was right here at home.

Reedy’s choral experience ranges from life-long church choir membership (including Park Cities Baptist Church in Dallas, First Baptist Church in Euless, and Trinity Lutheran Church in Irving) to more intensive choral work in recent years with two prestigious groups out of Dallas, Vocal Majority and Sacred Song. With the two latter groups, Reedy has toured and competed both nationally and abroad. He sings Lead tenor in “America’s Premier Pops Chorus,” an auditioned group that has won 11 gold medals in the Barbershop Chorus international competition and has recorded nearly 20 CDs. Of those, many are inspirational, including a joint CD with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

About his interest in serving as WBC Music Director, Reedy says, “Music and singing have been a source of immense enjoyment and an integral part of my life for as long as I can remember. I relate well to people and encourage them to perform to the best of their abilities. I believe singing should be fun and that good singing is even more fun. The hymns and special music presented in a worship service should bring honor and glory to God and point worshippers to Him.”

Apple Award Grants Presented
to Whitney Teachers
Posted June 9, 2011

For four years now, visionary teachers in the Whitney ISD have been receiving recognition with annual awards to improve their students' learning.  The White Bluff Chapel Education Subcommittee of the Missions Committee established the Apple Award grant with the goals of enriching the educational experiences of students and rewarding innovative and creative teachers.  Whitney ISD, in cooperation with White Bluff Chapel, recently awarded three grants of $700 each to Whitney teachers.  The awards were made at the teachers' June 3 end-of-the-year luncheon.

Tonya Ringo, a reading and technology specialist at Whitney Elementary School, received funding to purchase 12 Leapster Tag reading systems for the Elementary school.  Leapster Tag is a touch-and-talk reading system that enables students to hear storybook characters talk, play interactive games, learn vocabulary, and improve their reading on their own.

Lisa Mays, Whitney High School German teacher, received funding to purchase MP3 players so students can review vocabulary, improve pronunciation and fluency, and practice for contest events.  The Whitney High School has a 21-year tradition of participating and excelling in regional and state German oratory competitions. 

Middle school teachers Wendy Jones and Binky Woodell were awarded a grant to bring an online education program to the math classrooms of Whitney Middle School.  Students can access Study Island, a web-based site, from the math lab classroom or from home to practice math skills, review problem -solving steps, and to improve mathematics comprehension.  Jones and Woodell hope the program will help improve the school's standardized test scores.

Members of the Apple Awards committee are Janis Collins, Janna Delaney, Melody Haley, Grace Hewitt, Gail Kralik, Carolyn Kuhlmann, Melissa Marbut, Sandy Moore, Jane Osborn, Gene Solis, Wendy Wright, and John York.  Kralik, Kuhlmann, Moore, and Osborn represent White Bluff Chapel.  For more information, please email Carolyn Kuhlmann or call her at 254-694-3437.

WBC Awards $68K in Scholarships
to Area Students
Posted May 26, 2011

Give a man a fish and he has food for one meal.  Teach a man to fish and he has food for a lifetime.  Likewise with a student – Give a young person an education and he/she has opportunities for a successful and fulfilling life.  By awarding financial assistance, the White Bluff Chapel Scholarship Committee hopes to enable qualified area students to seek higher education or vocational training beyond high school graduation. Financial support for the scholarship program comes through designated giving. 

This year, a total of $68,000 in funding was awarded to twenty students from Whitney and Blum High Schools. Included were two 4-year, $12,000 grants and 18 two-year grants which ranged from $2,000 to $6,000. Students are required to submit transcripts to WBC at the end of each semester to retain their eligibility during the duration of their grant period.

Each recipient is also appointed a mentor from the Chapel who provides guidance, counsel and moral support for as long as the student receives Chapel funding for the pursuit of his/her educational goals. A few more mentors to join this team are still being sought. A list of suggestions and guidelines for being an effective mentor is provided. Those interested in serving should email Ann McAlpin or call her at 254-694-7880. This year's students and mentors will be presented at Chapel worship service on Sunday, May 29.

Scholarship applications were read by this year's scholarship committee, composed of Ann McAlpin, Bill McKee, Cheryl Robinson and Linda Yeary.  Next came personal interviews with the applicants before the final selections were made. 

Bill McKee and Ann McAlpin attended the Awards Day program at Blum High School and presented scholarships to two outstanding young men, Tyler Mackey and Derek Williamson.  Tyler will be attending Conner College in Oklahoma and Derek will attend Clarendon College in Texas.  Both young men plan to go to Texas Tech University after their first two years.

Ann McAlpin and Cheryl Robinson attended the Awards Day program for Whitney High School and presented 17 scholarships to the following deserving students:

Bonner, Dacy
York College in Nebraska
Schretlen, Kensey
Baylor University
Bullard, Brittany
Tarleton State
Sisson, Kaytie
McLennan Community College

Creamer, Jacklyn
Southern Nazarene Univ.
Smith, Alex
Texas State University
Diduch, Nicole
Tarleton State
Thomas, Jaeden
Texas A&M
Fletcher, Kolten
Hill College
Tull, Blaine
Texas Tech University
Fulton, Baylor
UT Arlington
Williams, Schquina
Hill College
Karr, Ashley
McLennan Community College
Wimberly, Robin
Brookhaven College
Lee, Zach
Texas A&M
Wright, Robin
Austin College
Rojas, Andrea
Midland College in Nebraska

A final scholarship was awarded to home school student, Dillon Johnson, who will be attending McLennan Community College.

Easter Services Draw High Attendance
Posted April 27, 2011

White Bluff Chapel’s wide selection of Easter Services drew enthusiastic crowds for all events. Of particular interest were two new services that were offered for the first time this year. The Stations of the Cross, held in the wooded lot just east of the chapel on the Friday afternoon preceding Palm Sunday, had over twenty attendees.

The Sunrise Easter Service drew a surprising attendance estimated at between eighty and a hundred participants. It was held on the bluff and was followed by a breakfast served at the chapel by the Adult Sunday School Class.

The Maunday (Holy) Thursday Communion service was preceded with a lecture demonstration by Dr. Don Locke, who made the amazing quilt based on Leonardo da Vinci's “The Last Supper” that is getting worldwide attention. Dr. Locke pointed out the participants in the painting and described how their actions in the painting reflected their personal character and story. As has been the tradition at White Bluff Chapel, Friday’s Tenebrae Service, a worship service of darkness, is the most highly-attended service of all those leading up to our popular Easter Sunday service.

Two large groups of children, many of whom were visiting grandparents and White Bluff, attended Sunday School on Easter morning, which featured special seasonal crafts and snacks.

Palm Sunday Service Features Children's Groups
Posted April 21, 2011

White Bluff Chapel’s Palm Sunday service opened with a processional of children from the Children’s Sunday School class bearing palm branches, simulating the celebration of Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The children processed to the front of the Sanctuary to lay their palms at the foot of the cross draped in the traditional purple cloth.

Skyelar Robinson performed a flute selection of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy,” accompanied by Dwain Redding on the guitar. She then joined three other children from the Kid’s Klub group to sing “Praise Him All Ye Little Children.” Harriet Carrell directed the quartet.

WBC Holds First Stations of the Cross Service
Posted April 21, 2011

Twenty attendees participated in White Bluff Chapel's new lenten devotional experience this year in preparation for Easter. It was held on the Friday preceding Palm Sunday at 3:00 in the afternoon in the wooded area just east of the church. The service, based on scripture, tradition and history, focuses on the fifteen Stations of the Cross.

Harold Edwards lead the service, with Ann McAlpin acting as Reader. Dwain Redding lead the singing of hymns and Chris Whisenand provided guitar accompaniment. Fifteen small crosses were nailed to trees throughout the wooded area, and the group processioned from one tree to the next, making their way through the readings and reflections.

The ecumenical service was originally written and used by our own Harold Edwards when he was serving at Lakeway Church in Austin. Dr. Edwards explains that the majority of devotional materials written on the Stations of the Cross emphasizes the suffering of Jesus and encourages people to identify with these experiences. But the version Harold has written of the Stations of the Cross service emphasizes that there are spiritual lessons which can be learned from each station, lessons that will help persons grow in their faith and their understanding of God's will and thereby will assist them in living the Covenant.

Cynthia Redden Honored
Posted March 31, 2011

White Bluff Chapel and Community turned out in large numbers to honor Cynthia Redden upon her retirement as the Chapel’s Music Director. The program on Saturday afternoon, March 26, opened with a spoof on Cynthia at a choir rehearsal, delightfully reinacted by Gail Warren (as Cynthia) and a very enthusiastic choir.

Nancy McGinnis emceed the event, in which the musical numbers, “I’ll Fly Away” and “An Expression of Gratitude,” were performed by the choir, under the direction of Tom Reedy. Tom offered remarks in praise of Cynthia’s tenure, followed by Assistant Pastor Ann McAlpin and WBC’s first pastor, Maurice Martin.

After the presentation of gifts and a special certificate of appreciation, an elegant reception in Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall followed, featuring exquisite decorations by Ann Duncan and a gourmet spread catered by Mary Parish. A large, framed poster centered with a photograph of Cynthia directing the choir was made available for guests to sign with special sentiments to Cynthia.

Amahl (???) and the Night Visitor
Posted March 31, 2011

By Madeleine Lively

Twilight was settling in over White Bluff Chapel and the Monday evening intermediate bridge class was deeply engrossed in instructor Tom McMillan’s lecture when a stranger wielding a bulky load stealthfully entered the Fellowship Hall. As we all looked up in mild confusion, slightly annoyed at the interruption of our over-worked minds trying to process concepts that at this point in our lives rival those I once tackled in my doctoral-level statistics class, our night visitor hesitantly asked if he could go into the Sanctuary to take a photo.

Mumbling acquiescence while not wanting to lose our train of thought, the class didn’t miss a beat and this mysterious stranger wandered off down the dark hall on his own. Then, as I slowly regained lucidity, it occurred to me that he could perhaps be a terrorist ready to plant a bomb, a thieving Jean Valjean on the cusp of escaping with our version of the Bishop’s candlesticks, or maybe just someone who might go away with tales of our lack of Christian hospitality. So I begrudgingly got up from my chair and met him in the hall, saying I would guide him and help find the light switches along the way.

I had barely eased up the dimmer light switch in the Sanctuary when I heard, “Stop, that’s perfect!” then click, and “Good, that’ll do.” And it was over. One snap. The tripod was once again hefted on his shoulder, and our night visitor was heading out the door. Then, as an afterthought, he stopped and asked where to send the photo if it turned out well.

Praise God for shoving me out of my comfortable chair, or we would have missed out on this artistic rendition of our favorite place of worship. And thank you, photographer Phil Frigon.

Monica Allen Defends Chili Title
Posted March 24, 2011

The Men's Ministry Chili Cook-Off was a great success, with thirteen entries vying for the big prize. But Monica Allen successfully defended her title as the WBC Grand Champion. For the second year in a row, the judges had to be reassembled for a tie breaker. Monica Allen and Sandy Dilorenzo's entries had received the highest score, based on an accumulation of five criteria: taste, appearance, color, texture and consistency.

Allen took the Grand Prize in the run-off taste test. She had also won the 2010 competition after a tie was decided by a taste test. Sandy Dilorenzo took the second place trophy, while Bill McKee hauled in third place. The Men's Ministry has contributed a travelling winners' plaque, with the name of each year's winner being added after each new competition. Monica was given the option of hanging the plaque in her home for the year. She chose to designate it for display at the Chapel.

Harry Seurkamp thanked the judges Steve Short, Mary Parrish and Wes Mitchell, for lending their taste buds and iron-clad stomachs to the competition, as well the Hospitality Committee that provided the set-up, cornbread, condiments and drinks, and all the contestants who provided the chili for the meal. The Cook Off feast was attended by seventy hungry and appreciative participants.

The function raised $557, which will be used to purchase materials to build wheelchair ramps for low-income individuals qualifying for the program. If you were unable to attend and would like to donate to this program, please write a check to the Chapel and designate it for the Men's Ministry

Our Goal Has Been Met!
Posted March 24, 2011

In just under three months, White Bluff Chapel members have risen to the occasion, in the honor of our Lord, to meet our fund-raising goal for the purchase of a new organ. At the conclusion of the March 20 worship service, Milt Bergman, member of the Board of Trustees, made the announcement to the congregation that the order has been placed for the Allen Protégé organ, adding that we exceeded even the most optimistic plans and timeframes for the project.

Bergman stated, “As the music ministry of the Chapel continues with the new organ, each and every contributor can take pride in their part.” He reported that we anticipate the installation of the new organ by mid-summer and that actions are already underway for site-planning chores, such as the positioning of the new speakers.

Special praise was given to the members of the different committees that have given their time on this effort, and Bergman went on to made a point to credit all contributors to the fund for their generous gifts. Charlie Whisenand, chair of the fund-raising committee, is pictured above, celebrating the good news. Other members of his committee included Milt Bergman, Jim Duncan, Madeleine Lively, Liz Umble, and ex-officio member John Upchurch, who chaired the organ search committee.

Posted March 24, 2011

By Jim Browder

Once every 18 years or so the moon moves closer to earth by about 17,000 miles, creating a "Supermoon" which is bigger and brighter than our normal full moon. Since Lanette and I may not be around in 2029, I thought we should take a look.

Lanette suggested we go up near to Golf Drive mail boxes to get a clear view of the moon coming up over the No. 3 fairway. I suggested we scout around for other locations, so she drove us high and low through White Bluff, only to return to the mail box area, the spot she originally had picked, just as the moon started rising. We watched the spectacular moon rise. I shot some nice pictures.

But I wanted a photo of the moon over White Bluff Chapel. She drove us down to the Chapel, but things weren't right. I had her drive up Brookside until I yelled STOP!
She angled the car into the ditch area, but the angle wasn't right for me to lean out the window and get the shot I wanted.

"How about leveling us off down in the ditch," I suggested.

"Why didn't we bring two cars," she replied. "Why don't you get out and lean on the car."

I got out and wandered in the dark out into the field. About that time a vehicle turned up Bookside and stopped at our car. Security wanted to know what was going on.

"Just taking pictures of the moon," I said. And he didn't even ask me if I had been drinking.

I took a few so-so shots of the moon coming up over the chapel and Lanette asked if I was ready to go home.

Just a couple of more photos.

Then it happened. The big orange moon hit just the right spot. I zoomed in on the moon and the cross atop the steeple. I snapped the shutter. My hands were moving--the image was blurred.

So I sat down on the weeds in the field, braced my hand on my knee and shot again. Perfect. Somebody put the moon at the right place at the right time, and He also put me there, too. It was 8:25 p.m. Saturday, March 19, 2011. In just a few seconds, the perfect image disappeared. I was lucky.

Still I insisted to go to another location for a few shots. I'm lucky Lanette didn't drive off and leave me.

Insights to the Revelations Gained at Bible Retreat
Posted March 17, 2011

The sixty-five attendees at the annual Chapel Bible Retreat led by Dr. Jerry Hilton gained a new perspective of the book of Revelations. Hilton taught that for us to understand the revelation that John received from the Lord, we must use our imaginations and realize that John used both codes and symbolism to convey the message.

The important teaching is that Christ walked among the seven churches in Asia Minor, understanding their strengths, their weaknesses and the obstacles they encountered. Christ's message to them, as it is to the churches today, is to be faithful and courageous because He has already won the battle.

When the allied forces of World War II won the battle at Normangee, it was just a matter of time before the war was won; so it is that when Jesus died on the cross, the battle was won and it is just a matter of time until we will experience the eternal life John describes in the last chapter of Revelations. 

Ash Wednesday Observed
Posted March 10, 2011

White Bluff Chapel members observed the beginning of the Lenten season with an Ash Wednesday service on March 9. Terry Cosby, Ann McAlpin and Harold Edwards conducted the service and Tom Reedy directed the congregation in a responsive reading and the singing of hymns.

The service, entitled “A Season of Reflection: On the Sacrifice and Sufferings of Jesus,” marked the opening of the 40-day Lenten period leading up to Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Ann McAlpin offered the homily, and the traditional Imposition of Ashes was conducted by Terry Cosby and Harold Edwards. The evening event culminated a day-long observance of prayer for the White Bluff Chapel community.

2011 Valentine Banquet Popular Event
Posted February 17, 2011

Last Saturday the Hospitality Committee of White Bluff Chapel held our sixth annual Valentine Banquet.  It was a great success, with ninety people in attendance. 

The decorations were beautiful, the food delicious and the entertainment, a lot of fun. We dined on either chicken breast or a 12-ounce steak with baked potato, green beans almondine, tossed salad and special Valentine pies. 

Nancy McGinnis was the emcee for the evening, featuring a little slant on the Newlywed Game; she called it the “not-so-newlywed game.” 

In the end, it was concluded that we don’t score any better after several years experience.  Four couples, the Schiftners, the Bodekers, the Pauls and the Ray McGuinnises competed to see who knows the most about their mate, while the other couples in attendance played along at their tables.  After discussing the results, most couples found that they didn’t fare any better than the contestants.

For those who were not able to attend this year, we recommend that you think about it for next year.  It is a very enjoyable evening.

WBC Scoopers Help Snowbound Residents
Posted February 10, 2011

The Scooper Squad of White Bluff Chapel ventured out in freezing temperatures last week to rescue White Bluff Residents who couldn't get out of their driveways due to the ice and snow. Organized by Jim and Jane Osborn, scoopers Keith Moreland, Bill Allen, Milt Bergman and Jim Osborn polished off their shovels and hit the slopes, or drive-ways, that is, all in the name of Christian love (and a little light-hearted fun!). Among those benefitting from the Scooper Service were Bill and Betsy Torman and Mildred Jackson.

This neighborly call-to-action reminds us that residents who find themselves needing special services should email Jerry Christensen or call him at 254-694-9303. Jerry coordinates the Chapel's newly-organized Handyman Services.

Hospitality Committee Honors Sharron Lively
Posted January 27, 2011

Sharron Lively was recently honored for the two years of service she has completed as chair of the White Bluff Chapel Hospitality Committee. The new committee chair for 2011, Ginger Seurkamp, organized the group to surprise Lively at a luncheon on Wednesday, January 26, at Bella Veta restaurant in downtown Whitney.

Fourteen members attended the event to show their appreciation for Sharron's selfless service and leadership. A necklace featuring a sterling silver oval centered by a cross of pavé diamonds was presented to her by Seurkamp as a thank-you gift from the group.

Painted Churches Tour
Posted January 27, 2011

A March, 2010 excursion to the Schulenburg area in Central Texas proved to be a colorful trip for two van loads of White Bluff Chapel members and friends. Four of the historic "Painted Churches of Texas" were visited. It was an enjoyable and enlightening excursion. The churches ranged from simple to magnificent, but each was unique in the way it was painted inside.

A picnic on the grounds of one of the churches was welcome at mid-day, and a stop at a local steakhouse topped off the trip home.

Hands-On Christmas Gift for Hospice Patient
Posted January 13, 2011

As a Christmas gift from the Men's Ministry, on behalf of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, a Meridian hospice patient had his front porch reconstructed.

The Men's Ministry was contacted by Hospice of the Heart to help a gentleman in need. His porch was ready to collapse. It was so bad that the hospice nurses were afraid to approach the porch to enter the front door. One week prior to Christmas, a section of his porch was replaced by Hospice volunteers from White Bluff Chapel Men's Ministry.

The porch was so badly eaten away that the beams needed repair and supports had to be added under the porch to level it. A new facing was added to the front and the steps reinstalled. Richard Turner, Larry Lively, Ken Parish and Harry Seurkamp completed the project in one and a half days, with a total of 50 man hours.

M. Jackson Composes Musical Tribute
Posted January 13, 2011

Mildred Jackson presented a vocal tribute of praise to the Lord, in memory of her late husband, Bob, during worship service on Sunday, January 9. Jackson is a member of the White Bluff Chapel choir and is frequently featured as a soloist in choral presentations. She has quite a number of compositions to her credit, as many as fifty, and this latest was composed after her husband passed away on July 2, 2010. Bob Jackson was a member of the Chapel’s Board of Trustees.

Mildred’s newest song, “Through It All,” is written in the format of a prayer, thanking our Lord for the strength He gave her while weathering Bob’s illness and in the aftermath of losing her spouse of 60 years. The first song Mildred ever composed was “Teach Me to Pray, Lord,” about 40 years ago. Since then, most of the songs she has written have been of a spiritual nature.  Mildred wrote a song 27 years ago based on the 13th chapter of I Corinthians at the request of her daughter Patty for her wedding.  Four years ago, her granddaughter Stephanie asked Mildred to sing the song at her wedding, and then friend and WBC choir member Aggie Gladbach subsequently learned and performed it at her own daughter’s wedding.

Listen to Mildred's newest song here >>

The first required element in creating a work of art is the inspiration that sparks the creative flow. The spark for “Through It All” was provided by friend and Chapel member, Bob Kruse, who one day quipped to Mildred when seeing her at the mailbox station, “Have you written a song yet?” He was to asking about a song in memory of her husband, and also alluding to a previous song that Mildred had written after her mother’s death, “Do You Really Believe?” Struck with that spark of inspiration and with a sudden sense of urgency, Mildred went straight home, sat down, said a little prayer, and within half an hour had both the melody and the lyrics composed for “Through It All,” an ode of praise to the Lord.

The process of writing a song is different for every artist, and it often involves a collaborative effort to bring the composition to its completed form. In the case of “Through It All,” as well as for the more recent use of the wedding song she wrote, Mildred turned to good friend and neighbor, Dwayne Redding. She needed his help “getting it on paper” before she was to sing it at Chapel this January. Dwayne is a retired educator and band director of 27 years. Faced with a tight timeline for getting the project done by January, and realizing that Mildred was leaving for an extended holiday trip, Dwayne made a short video of Mildred roughly playing her song on the piano and singing, as she “picked out” the tune that she had in her head. Mildred also provided Dwayne a copy of the lyrics with the name of the musical note written above each word or syllable.

“With the video to give me the rhythm, and the lyrics with the note names, I wrote a piano accompaniment with whatever changes needed to be made to put the song in a regular measure grouping. […] Because time was short, I worked to get through most of the song with plans to edit my work after Mildred returned home.” Then when Mildred and Dwayne got together, they worked on getting the melody to mesh with the rhythm that Mildred had in mind. “There was no guessing, she knew exactly how she wanted the music,” says Redding. He went on to explain that the computer program he uses took over when he would make certain changes, and several times the resulting mess caused him to overlook some things as he hurried to make the desired changes in the music.” 

The next stage of collaboration came when Mildred took Dwayne’s musical score to WBC choir director, Cynthia Redden, who was to accompany her on the piano. When later complimented on her performance while accompanying Mildred’s composition, Cynthia explained, “A good accompanist is one who can follow the singer without overpowering the singer. You want to contribute to the performance but not to attract attention to yourself.” She went on to point out, though, that adding embellishments of the music in the pauses and where the singer is taking a breath can help to further establish the tone and mood of the selection. Dwayne Redding added, “Not all pianists are as talented as our Cynthia, who can improvise with the written music.”

While playing for Mildred, Cynthia noticed a surprising element. As she was adding in a few minor chords to adjust to what Mildred was singing, when the music then returned to a major chord, the lyrics of the song at that same point also became much more uplifting. It is an established fact in music that while minor chords mirror sadness and mystery, major chords reflect more uplifting moods. That phenomenon occurred in this case without design.

Cynthia Redden went on to comment that Mildred Jackson’s mezzo-soprano voice has a very sweet, lyrical and sentimental quality that audiences adore. “The Sunday performance was great and was sung freely but beautifully, just as Mildred had wanted,” summed up Dwayne Redding.

When asked to submit an excerpt from the song for this article, Mildred selected two that she feels are particularly meaningful:

For Bob:
“How we do thank You for all that You have done…
For the sacrifice of Your only Son
Who has prepared a place
That when this life on earth is through
We may live forevermore with You.”

For Mildred:
“For You are holy and You are true.
You are the great I AM,
I can depend on You for strength and comfort
And guidance through the days that lie ahead.
Lord, my faith renew.”

Mildred expresses her love and appreciation to Bob Kruse for his spiritual nudge, Dwayne Redding for his work done in changing the basics into a musical rendition, and Cynthia Redden for adding her expertise as an accomplished accompanist. This collaboration helped it all come together so that the sentiments of Mildred’s heart could be shared with the congregation of WBC and others, with the realization that her beloved Bob is in the place prepared by our Lord for all who believe in Him. The prayers offered by their Christian friends for Bob, Mildred and their family have given them of His strength “through it all.”

Children Celebrate Jesus' Birthday
Posted January 6, 2011

On Sunday, December 26, the children at White Bluff Chapel held a celebration in honor of Jesus' birthday. During the worship service, Pastor Terry Cosby called the children to come to the front of the sanctuary for a special sermon just for them.  

Following the sermon, the children were dismissed to their classroom for a birthday party for Jesus. The story of Christmas was read, Christmas carols were sung, and nativity sets were used to retell the story. The party was concluded by everyone decorating and enjoying cupcakes. Just as the Wisemen presented gifts to Jesus, the children brought gifts of books to be sent to children in the valley through the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries.

Kid's Klub Presents Christmas Eve Pageant
Posted January 6, 2011

A musical dramatization of the birth of Jesus was a highlight of the White Bluff Chapel’s 6:00 pm Christmas Eve service. Kid’s Klub participants have been learning about the characters in the story of Christ’s birth, trying to imagine how each person felt as they lived their lives at that time long ago. In the Christmas Eve pageant, the drama unfolded as two angels narrated the story. Children sang “One Starry Night” from the musical of the same name and concluded with “Go Tell It on the Mountain.” As the shepherds departed to go out and spread the word, they proclaimed, “Jesus is Born!”

Kid’s Klub meets on Wednesday evenings at 6:30 pm during specified months during the fall and spring. They will resume on February 9 for a Valentine-making party and then will meet for the spring during the months of March and April. The principal objective of the club is that children come to know and love the Lord more fully as they learn about Him through music and mission activities and the memory of relevant Bible passages. The group is directed by Harriet Carrell.

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