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What We've Done in 2012

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

WBC Members Support Hillsboro Principal
Posted December 20, 2012

Cheryl and Gary Comer, teachers in the Hillsboro School District, have joined together with students and faculty to support Gary's principal at Hillsboro Junior High, Cathy Patterson, who is battling breast cancer. Wednesday evening they participated in a Neon Warrior Walk, wearing neon pink and warrior paint as they walked with their students and co-workers to raise funds to assist in defraying Patterson's medical expenses.

Chapel Choir Brings Annual Christmas Caroling to Local Homes
Posted December 20, 2012

A full-capacity turn-out of choir members, their spouses and guests spread throughout White Bluff Resort on Monday night, December 17, to bring the joyful sounds of the season to the homes of ten special neighbors, primarily those who don’t get a chance to get out much because of illness or surgery. The choral group first gathered at the home of Music Director Tom and JoAnn Reedy, using the Reedy residence as a ‘home-base’ before being split into two teams that set out to visit their designated homes.

Residents receiving visits from the festive carolers were Max Mullen, Charles and Beverly Chenault, Tom and Christina Hopkins, Gus and Pam Larson, Bill and June Mills, Howard & Linda Yeary, Helen Bodeker, Jim and Cindy McMahan, and Mike and Linda Bell.

Highlights of the event included a final stop at the home of Terry and Pam Cosby and then a phone call to Cynthia Redden in Fort Worth. Redden was the founding Director of the White Bluff Chapel. The group serenaded her by phone with a rendition of “His Strengh is Perfect” on the eve of her breast cancer surgery.

Many Enjoy Community Christmas Service
Posted December 13, 2012

On Sunday evening, December 9, White Bluff Chapel was again this year delighted to host the annual Community Christmas Service. Robert Rowe represented the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance, which sponsors the event, and he delivered a welcome message. It was a wonderful opportunity to gather with many others in the Whitney community, sing beloved Christmas carols, and hear beautiful Christmas music presented by choirs and instrumentalists.

Members from various area churches attended the service and participated in the singing of the Christmas carols. In addition, special Christmas selections were presented by choirs from the Nazarene Church and from White Bluff Chapel.

This was the second consecutive year that WBC had been asked by the Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance to receive the community's churches for this event. WBC Music Director Tom Reedy, who organized and directed the service, provided the following comment afterwards, "The enthusiastic singing of Christmas carols by the congregation, accompanied by Kathy Ward (organ) and Betty Newman (piano), was a special highlight for me." Following the service, the audience enjoyed a reception in the Fellowship Hall, prepared by the Chapel's Hospitality Committee and featuring desserts contributed by the membership.

Progressive Dinner Festive Affair
Posted December 13, 2012

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. 8. About 90 people participated in the popular event. Six homes of Chapel members were open to guests for the event. Hosts included Larry and Linda Turner, Mike and Liz Umble, Mildred Jackson, Rick and Holly Faught, Kathleen and Bob Henderson, and Terry and Betty Newman.

The main difference this year from previous years was that guests attended one home-based party (instead of going to two different ones) for a full appetizer buffet or for a meal, depending on the choice of the hosts. For the final stop of the evening, guests then progressed to the Chapel for singing, Christmas punch or coffee, and a sumptuous finale of desserts. The event was sponsored and organized by the Chapel's Hospitality Committee, under the direction of Ginger Seurkamp.

Ann McAlpin Preaches Last Sermon
Posted December 6, 2012

A standing-room only crowd showed up Sunday, December 2, to honor Assistant Pastor Ann McAlpin as she preached her last scheduled sermon before starting her retirement on January 1. The title of McAlpin’s sermon was “Prophecy, A Word of Hope”, focusing on the topic of the first Sunday of Advent.

The Prophets’ Candle of Hope was lit on the Advent wreath earlier in the service by Becky Watkins, as Roseanne Smith gave the accompanying reading. During the Offertory, a duet entitled “This Little Light of Mine” was sung by Kassie Hopkins and Amanda Taylor. The song, which most little children learn as one of their first Sunday school songs, was offered to honor the back-lighted cross that was dedicated at the opening of the service.

The Story Behind our New Cross
Posted December 6, 2012

Charles Stalmach was in the choir loft, staring at the blank rear wall, feeling sad because Dorothy was undergoing treatment for cancer and the outlook wasn’t bright. Suddenly, a vivid vision of a cross appeared on the wall, with a stunning light outlining the dark cross.

To Charles, the light streaming from the cross symbolized that the promise of heaven was near at hand for Dorothy. He described the vision to Dorothy; she liked it and hoped that someday it could be built. Little did we know that it was her death and subsequent memorials that would make this symbolic art a reality.

Shown above is a sketch of the vision. God knew he gifted Charles the brains to engineer a design that would match the vision. A photograph of the actual rendering shows Charles did a reasonable match. A peek into the interior shows this was not a simple task.

As given in the acknowledgement insert of the dedication bulletin, a lot of team work was involved in the final product.

During the dedication, the congregation faced the new cross. The first verse of “Lift High the Cross” was sung with the cross dark. Using a remote control, Charles commanded the lighting up to full bright during the second verse, then to a pre-set dim at the beginning of the third verse, and continued to dim, to a faint glow, and back to full bright at the beginning of the last refrain.

The dedication was an emotional event, as typified by eldest granddaughter, Natalie, hugging Charles. Charles stands before the cross, proudly displaying his labor of love.

He hopes that each time you leave a service, the cross will get your attention and remind you that you attended a Christian worship service with the promise of Heaven. When your time comes, he tells us not to be surprised if Dorothy is in the greeting line!

At Charles’ request, Betty Newman and Kathy Ward performed their rendition of “That Little Light of Mine”. It recognized Dorothy and the many other Sunday school teachers who taught us as children that we all have that light of heaven within us. The song started out in its traditional form and ended up in a rock-and-roll version. The appreciative congregation brought the house down with their applause. (And rest assured, Dorothy was applauding in heaven!)

Annual Church Clean-up Day
Posted November 29, 2012

Tuesday, November 27, 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 and chop down dead trees, 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.

A warm breakfast was served to the volunteers who turned out early on the crisp, cold morning to fuel their holiday spirits and energies.

Volunteers Pitch In for Food Drive
Posted November 21, 2012

In anticipation of Thanksgiving, a large number of Chapel volunteers showed up on Friday, November 16, to help out with the annual Food Drive. The event, which was held at the Whitney Church of Christ, was organized to benefit Whitney's Our Daily Bread Food Bank. Team members were led by project chairman Diana Van Wagner of White Bluff Chapel.

Happy Hill Choir Entertains
Posted November 15, 2012

Before a near-capacity audience at White Bluff Chapel on Sunday evening, November 11, the choral students of North Central Texas Academy at Happy Hill Farm in Granbury performed to rave reviews. The choir debuted several selections from their upcoming Christmas concert repertoire and featured various vocal soloists from their group. Additionally, a particularly talented student musician accompanied the group on the violin for their opening selection and then performed a solo of a stunning Chopin selection on the piano.

The Hospitality Committee treated the visiting musicians and the audience to a light supper following the concert.

New Chapel Members Honored
Posted November 15, 2012

Bill Torman, Membership Care Committee Chairman, extended an official welcome to sixteen new members of the White Bluff Chapel congregation during worship service on Sunday, November 11. Torman introduced the honorees and announced that they could be identified by the red carnation that they were wearing. A reception in their honor was held during Fellowship time afterwards.

The new members include Ron and Beth Botten, Les "Doc" and Debbie Bradley, Carol Buckland, Gail Heinen, JB and Marga Helford, Al and Jeanne Hurlebaus, Roland and Phyllis Olson, Richard and Betty Patterson, and David and Ava Wood.

Pictorial Directories Distributed
Posted November 15, 2012

Directory Chairman, Tonia Chapman, and her team, Jean Rose and Patty Turner, have announced that the chapel pictorial directories are now ready for pick-up. They distributed the bulk of the binder fillers during Fellowship time after worship service on Sunday, November 11.

Those who did not receive their copy then should go by the chapel office during regular office hours to get theirs.

New Trustees and Chairpersons Announced
Posted November 1, 2012

In the 2012 Annual Business Meeting of the White Bluff Chapel congregation, held on Sunday, October 28 preceding the worship service, Board of Trustees President Milt Bergman opened the elections of Trustees for the 2013-2015 term and Committee Chairs for 2013. He offered in nomination three new trustees, Terry Newman, Cheryl Robinson and Charlie Whisenand, who would replace retiring trustees Bob Harris, Tom Moore and John Upchurch. The new term will become effective in January, 2013. 

Bergman explained that the process to replace the three outgoing trustees had started in July with nominations from the congregation.  Then the Chapel Nominating Committee met and selected a slate of candidates that was, in turn, reviewed and voted upon by the current Board.  Pastor Terry Cosby contacted the candidates to determine their willingness to serve for the next three years, and all three accepted that their names be placed in nomination to the congregation. They were elected by acclamation.

The approval of a slate of Committee Chairpersons for 2013 was next on the agenda.  They were also elected by acclamation. Bergman specified that these chairpersons by no means constitute a complete list of the people that make up our committees, but rather, that they are the ones who have agreed to take the leadership positions. Their names appear below.

Members of the congregation are encouraged to give thoughtful and prayerful consideration to contacting one of the committee chairs to volunteer for serving on a committee. There is no better way to become, nor to stay, involved in Christ-centered activities.

Treasurer Bob Harris also presented the 3rd quarter financial report, which was accepted by the membership.                               

Committee Chairs for 2013

Adult Education Kay German
BenevolenceWes Mitchell
Children's MinistriesKay Lea Scott
Membership CareBill Torman
Men's Ministry Larry Turner
MissionsPat Griffin
Worship John Upchurch
Audio/Visual Jim Duncan
AuditJohn Stockton
Child ProtectionAnn Duncan
Finance Mike Pollard      
PropertyCharles Whisenand
Public Relations/WebsiteMadeleine Lively
Special Gifts Jamie Barnes
Weddings Candy Haverkorn
Food Bank Diana VanWagner
PhotographyJim Browder
Procedures ManualsLinda Yeary
Outdoor Sign Terry Newman
TreasurerBob Harris

Note that the current Board of Trustees and Chairpersons can always be found on the website on our Organization page.

Trunk or Treat Popular Event
Posted November 1, 2012

Mary and Martha

Twenty-seven children plus their (grand) parents attended White Bluff Chapel’s popular Trunk or Treat event at the Chapel’s parking lot on Saturday, October 27. Chapel members dressing in costume included Ann McAlpin and Mildred Jackson, who portrayed Mary and Martha; Doc Bradley, who came as Joseph in his many-colored coat, with Debbie Bradley, an Egyptian princess; and Scotty Scott portraying Jonah with (Bailey Beetle as the whale). Charlie Whisenand came as Moses of the plague time, and Kay Lea Scott was Jacobed, with the infant Moses.

Joseph and an Egyptian princess

Mary Parish served fruit, hot chocolate and apple cider to the visitors. And in addition to candy to remind the children of each Bible character represented, the favors that were distributed were glow-in-the-dark bracelets used to illustrate the salvation story in colors, as well as pencils and buttons with a message about Jesus.

In Downtown Whitney, bikers representing WBC gave out “Biker Bites,” treats with Bible messages attached, included Marelia and Monte Geren, Chris and Susan Bradford, and Rhonda Bass.

Jacobed and the infant Moses
Jonah and the whale

Baby skeleton
Baby witch

Career Day Group Organizes
Posted October 3, 2012

Individuals interested in being a part of the annual College and Career Day for Whitney High School juniors met at W.B. Chapel on October 2. Betty Newman, who is serving for the second consecutive year as Chair of the Career Day Sub-Committee of the Chapel Educational Missions, held the early organizational meeting in an effort to identify and encourage folks to share their career or vocation experiences with the young people of Whitney.

This program, which is an important asset to our school district, serves significantly in helping our high school students make decisions for their future education. Those who were not able to make the initial meeting are urged to email Newman or call her at 254-694-7290 with their interest in participating.

Betty Newman brings much experience to the chairmanship of this project, having retired as Executive Director over Student and Scholar Development for Midland I.S.D. In that capacity, Newman supervised all the guidance and counseling programs for 22,000 students, including the Advanced Placement, Gifted and Talented, and college-bound programs. Ms. Newman also served as keynote speaker for this event in Whitney in 2009 & 2010.

Griffin Ranch BBQ
Posted September 20, 2012

On Saturday, September 15, approximately 120 members of White Bluff Chapel enjoyed crisp 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 pork and sausage were prepared by Danny Bodeker, with side dishes and desserts brought by members.

Members who arrived early could fish in the nearby pond. This event is much anticipated each year by the members of White Bluff Chapel.

Griffin Gives Personal Testimony
Posted September 20, 2012

In a presentation to promote Missions Emphasis Month, Committee Chairman Pat Griffin addressed the congregation during worship service on Sunday, September 9, with the following testimony:

I have had an interest in missions since joining a mission organization in my church at age 9. At one point, I felt God wanted me to become a missionary, but my career led to teaching instead. Yet God is a God of second chances, and He has honored my commitment by letting me become a "missionary" through White Bluff Chapel.

I urge everyone to take a brochure and prayerfully consider how the needs presented there intersect with your talents and passions. God wants to use you, so just let me or one of the committee members know when you decide where that might be.

Pat elaborated by telling how as a youth she had attended mission camps, read books on the lives of missionaries and participated in mission projects through her church. Her parents even took her on an extensive driving tour of Mexico (1959) to visit several missionaries there. She has felt a love for the Spanish people since working with them in South Dallas as a youth.

"My interest in missions lay dormant for years as I raised my family and taught at Texas A & M. I must admit to feeling some guilt, and like I had let God down," Pat confesses. You can imagine how thrilled she was to go on her first mission trip to the Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries in the Valley with White Bluff Chapel.

As chair of the White Bluff Missions Committee, Pat has helped send money to missions all over the world. Recently, the committee funded a young couple going to a part of Mexico Pat visited so many years ago. She also has seen the English As a Second Language ministry started for the Hispanics in our own community. God really is a God of Second Chances. He wants to use our retirement years for His Service.

Piano 4-Hand Duet Amazes and Inspires
Posted September 6, 2012

WBC instrumentalists Betty Newman and Kathy Ward presented an offertory selection at Sunday's worship service that elicited sighs and applause of appreciation from the congregation. While Newman is the pianist and Ward the organist, Ward joined Newman on the piano bench to perform the unique one-piano, 4-hand duet arrangement by Raney.

Their rendition of "Great is Thy Faithfulness" can be heard here.

Buckner President Delivers Sermon
Posted August 23, 2012

Dr. Albert L. Reyes, the recently-named President and CEO of Buckner International, engaged the WBC congregation on Sunday, August 19, with a sermon in which he addressed the work and purpose of his organization. Reyes was accompanied by Jim Huey, who showed a video on Buckner in Fellowship Hall after service, where both were available to answer questions on Buckner.

Buckner International is global Christian ministry that seeks justice for 'the least of these' by providing care and resources for orphans and at-risk children in the United States and more than 50 other countries. It also advises national governments on children's issues and legislation to ensure lasting changes for at-risk children. This is one of the missions that White Bluff Chapel supports through our Global Mission initiatives.

Dr. Reyes is the successor of Ken Hall, former CEO of Buckner, who visited the Chapel in February, 2010. It was during that visit that WBC Associate Pastor Ann McAlpin spent time talking to Hall and his wife Linda about Buckner's mission trips. It was then that McAlpin's desire and enthusiasm to take a mission trip to Africa took shape and direction, and Ann ended up by spending Christmas of that year at an orphanage in Kenya. [See Chronicles of an African Trip.]

Buckner provides humanitarian aid, volunteer mission opportunities, community enrichment and prevention programs, an international network of residential, foster care and transitional housing services, domestic and international adoption, support programs for children living in orphanages in other countries, and operation of seven senior living communities in Texas.

Reyes previously served as President of Buckner Children and Family Services, providing leadership and operational oversight to Buckner International's children's ministry arm. Reyes also has served as a manager for Sprint's National Customer Service Center and as pastor of three churches. He has been involved in numerous roles with the 2.5 million member Baptist General Convention of Texas, serving as its president in 2005.

Reyes earned a bachelor's degree from Angelo State University and master's and doctoral degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. He also earned the doctor of philosophy degree from Andrews University.

He is a member of the board of trustees of the Joint Council for International Children's Services, the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, and the T.B. Maston Institute.

Mentors Receive Scholarship Winners
Posted May 31, 2012

On Sunday, May 27, the 2012 “class” of W.B.C. mentors received nine of the eleven college scholarship winners. The graduating seniors from Blum and Whitney High Schools, along with their families, were our guests at worship service and for a reception following in their honor.

The students were presented to the congregation and were each received by their Chapel mentor. This mentor or mentor couple has committed to a future relationship of support and encouragement of the student throughout the student’s college career.  Laying the groundwork for that relationship, the mentors presented their students with a small bible.

Chapel members who have volunteered to serve in the capacity of mentor for this year’s class include David and Dottie Briggs, Monte and Marelia Geren, Carol Buckland, Terry Cosby, Howard and Linda Yeary, Jim and Lanette Browder, George and Maura Collins, Jack and Jean Post, Larry and Linda Turner, Becky McKee, and Jim and Ann Duncan.

Biographical sketches of the eleven 2012 winners have been posted on the website.

Luncheon Honors Mothers
Posted May 17, 2012

On Saturday, May 12, the WBC Hospitality Committee honored mothers of the congregation and the White Bluff community with an event befitting the special nature of the occasion. The keynote address was presented by author and Chapel member Fran McGraw and her daughter Kathy. Their entertaining program was embelllished by Lynn Louthan at the keyboard, who presented a song both before and after Fran's presentation.

Spring decorations adorned the tables. A menu of tossed salad, a special chicken dish prepared with peaches, dark cherries and sweet and sour sauce, green beans almondine, rolls, and a dessert of crustless pie was topped with whipped cream and a fruit mixture.

Ginger Seurkamp, chair of the Hospitality Committee, was assisted in hosting the event by committee members Mary Parish, Tonia Chapman, Patty Turner, Linda Turner, Sharron Lively and Kay German.

Tribute Honors Critter Founder
Posted May 10, 2012

Last week in worship service when Board President Milt Bergman started recognizing the over 150 people who serve on the various chapel committees for the service they perform for W.B. Chapel and beyond, Sandy Cannon sat quietly in her pew, never suspecting that some mischievous little critters had been scurrying around planning a special surprise for her. But as Bergman started summing up his remarks, he said that there was a particular person who has given an extraordinary amount of self over many years who deserved special recognition.

Milt then asked that anybody who has cut, stitched, stuffed or delivered a critter come forward. At that point, a whole string of ‘critter ladies’ lined up to present Cannon with a specially-framed certificate of appreciation. The mat surrounding the certificate was adorned with the signatures of the critter ladies who meet with Sandy twice a month on Tuesday mornings to create the precious stuffed critters that bring such comfort to little children in distress.

Cannon was inspired to establish this unique mission back in 1992 when her tiny grandson Ethan, during a hospital stay, found such comfort from a little red stuffed heart that arrived on his meal tray.  She set to work organizing the ladies at her church, Holy Trinity Lutheran in Irving, and soon after moving to White Bluff, she founded another group at White Bluff. Since then, in 2011, two more groups were founded to carry forward this mission, the Crochet Critters here at White Bluff and a sister Critters group at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Clifton.

Through the efforts of these groups, more than 20,000 items have been delivered to children globally, in Afghanistan, Africa, Haiti and Mexico; regionally, at St. Jude’s Hospital, M. D. Anderson Hospital and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas; and locally, at hospitals, doctors’ offices, law enforcement and fire fighter headquarters, the Whitney Food Bank, and Isaiah’s Place. Even the elderly at Park Plaza Nursing Home and Hospice of the Heart have received special comfort from the bright-colored, soft little critters. Each Critter carries a tag saying, “HUGS and PRAYERS from Critter Ladies at White Bluff, Whitney, Texas,” touching the young and the elderly with these small expressions of God’s love.

Benevolence Committee Established
Posted May 3, 2012

Milt Bergman, Chairman of the White Bluff Chapel Board of Trustees, has announced that Wes Mitchell will serve as the first Chair of the Benevolence Committee for the Chapel. The Benevolence Committee has the ultimate responsibility and accountability for disbursement of the benevolence fund, the purpose of which is to meet individuals’ or family needs during a time of hardship or crisis by temporarily assisting them with their basic needs.

Mitchell has selected the members of his committee and confirmed their acceptance to serve. They include Ann McAlpin, Pastoral Staff; Bob Harris, Trustee; Caroline Upchurch, Membership Care; Angie Drews, WBC member; and Larry Chapman, Trustee.

The benevolence fund is intended as a source of last resort, to be used when the family or individual requesting assistance has explored all other possibilities of help from family, savings, or investments. It is intended to be a temporary help during a time of crisis. All assistance is subject to the availability of funds, and all requests are held strictly confidential.
In order of priority, recipients of the benevolence funds will be 1) Chapel members, 2) regular attendees, 3) members of the White Bluff community, and 4) individuals living in the Whitney Independent School District. The Benevolence Committee will have the discretion to consider other possible recipients that it deems appropriate.

The benevolence fund shall receive income from two sources: through the receipt of special contributions by individuals and/or families wishing to make a donation to the fund; and through the allocation or transfer of funds from the Chapel’s Operating Fund, when deemed necessary and appropriate by the Trustees. Contributions in the form of a check should be made payable to “White Bluff Chapel,” with a notation that the funds are to be placed in the Benevolence Fund.

On a Natural High with Kurt Kaiser
Posted May 3, 2012
by Betty Newman

Meeting Kurt Kaiser again Sunday night after forty-one years brought back memories of a natural high that I had experienced as a young college girl on the Baylor campus. In the fall of 1970, word spread throughout the School of Music that an executive director at Word Records would be assembling a group of students to perform a youth musical. For this small town, West Texas gal, being in the premier of a youth church musical on the Baylor campus was as good as being in a New York Broadway production.

With great anticipation, I auditioned and was selected to be in the Kurt Kaiser Singers. Kaiser was the composer of the musical we would be performing, and one would have thought I was going to be singing at Carnegie Hall! Many hours and long nights later, we premiered the musical "Natural High" in the spring of 1971. Waco Hall was filled with people from across the country who would use the musical in their churches to reach young people about the Natural High of God's grace and love.

One of my favorite memories of that time included ending each evening rehearsal with Kurt playing and the group singing, "Oh How He Loves You and Me." I can also remember being amazed at the patience Kaiser had as we worked on staging, solos, duets and chorus numbers.

What a treat to see Kurt Kaiser again last Sunday night, forty-one years later. With the original score of “Natural High” in my hand, I asked for Kurt’s signature on the front page of my copy. In his traditionally gracious manner, he not only gave me his signature, but took the time to chat about a quick review of the past forty-one years.

I left Kurt’s concert exhilarated and once again on a natural high.

Missions Receive Extra Blessing Funds
Posted April 26, 2012

Over the last few years, the generous giving of Chapel members has exceeded the budgeted amount. Wanting these “Extra Blessing” funds used to reach out to others, the Trustees voted to give the bulk of the funds, $40,000, to the mission committee.  Some of the Extra Blessings that WBC has spread around Whitney and the world are:

  • A 15-passenger van to transport the women and children of the Lilies program at Southwest Good Samaritan Ministries in the Texas Valley to classes for cooking, sewing, childcare and Bible lessons. The program has grown so they often are driving over 100 miles round trip to transport the women.
  • Support for orphans in two parts of Africa and also in Guatemala City. One of the programs asked for a lean-to to shelter the orphans from mercenaries and the weather. Our funds provided a small building.
  • A scholarship to college or a vocational school for a resident student from Happy Hill Farm in Granbury.
  • Study books and Bibles for English as a Second Language program students and their children.
  • A plane ticket for a Wycliffe missionary couple training in Duncanville, so they could begin their ministry in Mexico.
  • Worked with the Men’s Ministry to weatherize and repair a home for a local man.
  • Helped provide low-cost medical care through Agape Clinic, run by Grace United Methodist Church in Dallas.
  • Helped organize, computerize and fund the benevolence ministry of Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance.
  • Provided funding for a summer intern at Isaiah’s Place.
Recipients of Extra Blessing Fund, 2012
Agape Clinic$2,500
Buckner, Ethiopian Orphans $1,000
Foundation Ministries, Widows and Orphans           $2,500
Wycliffe Bible Translators $2,500
SW Good Samaritan Ministries, Lilies of the Valley $15,000
Casa Bernabe Orphanage, Guatemala        $1,700
School Supplies$500
English as a Second Language$1,100
Salvation Army$2,000
Happy Hills Farm$1,000
Isaiah’s Place$2,000
King’s Kids Learning Center$500
Lake Whitney Ministerial Alliance, Benevolence $5,000
Child Protective Services $500
Men’s Ministry, (local need project)$1,350
Total Allocated$39,150
Still to be Allocated$850

Healthy Nutrition Topic of Ladies' Luncheon
Posted April 19, 2012

Jena Bodeker, R.D./ L.D., was the guest speaker at the April 14 luncheon sponsored by the White Bluff Chapel Hospitality Committee and held in Maurice Martin Fellowship Hall. Bodeker, a clinical dietician at Hill Regional Hospital in Hillsboro, states that her main interests lie in the application of nutritional science, specifically the use and preparation of food in an enjoyable and healthy context.

Bodeker’s remarks covered such topics as trimming calorie density per bite to trim pounds, how much sugar is too much, and 50 insider tips to keep healthy. Some of these tips include:

  • Keep packages of individually-frozen broccoli florettes and other veggies in your freezer for quick additions to recipes, as well as zip-lock bags of chopped bell pepper.
  • Practice low-density cooking by adding more vegetables (either puréed or finely chopped) to traditional casserole dishes, stews, soups and pasta dishes and by reducing the amount of meat and pasta you use. (Frozen veggies work nicely for this.)
  • Cut the amount of meat and cheese on pizzas, sandwiches and burgers, and load up with extra fresh vegetables, like tomatoes, onion, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, olives.
  • Don’t drink sugar-sweetened beverages. Limit fruit juices to no more than 1 cup a day.
  • Drink water or sweetened waters and consume fresh fruits instead of fruit juices.
  • Switch to “thins” or light bread and try open-faced (1-slice) sandwiches loaded with veggie garnishes.
  • Use lots of fresh spinach in your salads and on sandwiches, instead of or mixed with lettuce.
  • Switch from tuna to salmon for the more-healthy omega-3 fats.
  • Add diced bell pepper, shredded carrot and halved cherry or grape tomatoes to tuna/salmon salad.
  • Add lots of grapes, diced apples and celery to chicken salad.
  • Add sautéed mushrooms, bell peppers and onions to pasta and pizza, along with fresh tomato slices and spinach.
  • Switch from white rice to brown.
  • Add steamed (even frozen) broccoli to your favorite Chinese take-out dish. Add fresh or frozen veggies to frozen or package skillet meals.

Ginger Seurkamp, Chair of the WBC Hospitality Committee, reports that the audience of thirty was forthcoming with a myriad of questions that kept the discussion animated and flowing. She says that Bodeker, a natural at speaking in front of a group, had immediate answers and elaborations to the questions. She also provided the group with handouts of handy tips for daily use. Bodeker is available for private consultations and can be reached at jenabodeker@yahoo.com.

The thirty ladies each brought either a salad or dessert to share and ended up with a wonderful assortment of dishes to sample. The event was deemed such a success that Seurkamp promises to look into doing another event with the same format again later in the year.

Easter Reflections
Posted April 12, 2012

After an Easter Week of beautifully inspiring services at White Bluff Chapel, we received a letter from a deployed Navy Commander written on Easter Sunday, reflecting on how the meaning of Easter has changed for him now that he is away from home and church and family. We have decided to share his inspiring letter with our congregation, along with reflections from some of our own members on the different services we were blessed to share together here at White Bluff Chapel.

A Deployed Military Man’s Thoughts
by Mission Commander, P3 plane, USN

…I’ve been away from home for a little over four months now.  I’d like to say that it’s going by fast, but it’s not.  Not that I’m unhappy, but being a father has changed my perspective.  I’m much more concerned with the events that I’m missing than I was in years past.  Fortunately technology has made it all bearable.  The ability to watch live video of my son crawling, babbling, and trying to walk is a real blessing, and one that many of us take for granted.  As I lament about the months when I cannot hold my son and my wife, but can see them and talk to them via the internet, I cannot help but think what it must have been like for my Pappy.  He spent years away from my Grandmother, collecting bronze stars, surviving combat and relying on letters that were months late for his connection to a life back in Texas. 

Considering that, I have it easy.

…As I write this letter I am sitting on the island of Masirah, Oman. …Oman is a very conservative Muslim nation that does not permit the practice of Christianity.  Think about that for a second.  That doesn’t mean that Christians don’t occupy this part the world.  It means that the ones who do live here practice their faith unofficially.  There is a man who is employed on the base who is in charge of arranging our meals.  Like many of the service oriented people who work in this part of the world, he is not an Arab.  This particular man is from Bangladesh.  In his country only 5% of the population is Christian, and he is one of them.  He leaves his family for 10 months a year to make a living in Oman and he practices his faith in secrecy with a few others without the advantage of a minister, or as he says, without a “father”.  

I think he is glad to have a group of Americans around on Easter because he knows that some of us will be Christians as well.  As is my habit, I trapped him with small talk on the first few days of my arrival because I am curious about those who travel so far from their homes and their families to work in a place that I wouldn’t even visit if it were not for the US Military.  This is where I learned of his two daughters, his wife, and the 45 days a year that he spends with them over the Christmas season.   On Good Friday he arranged for us to eat fish for dinner, but I learned that for him Good Friday was a day of fasting.  In this place, a man like this is motivating, without intending to be so.

I’m eight hours ahead of some of you, 11 hours ahead of others.  It's the end of Easter Sunday for me.  This morning, without a Church or the benefit of others to lead us we held an improvised service on the aircraft.  The mighty P-3 Orion is sovereign US territory and was thus the most suitable place for us to convene.  So there we were - 11 men about to fly plus 5 others who service the plane - standing in a gaggle, adorned in flight suits, survival vests, and steel toed boots listening to the Chief Petty Officer read from the book of Luke, speaking loud enough to cast his voice over the sound of the auxiliary power unit.

The Chief reminded us that Christ lives within all of us, wherever we are, even when we are away from all of the things and people that we love.  He reminded us that despite the wonderful Easter traditions that we all love, Easter Sunday carries a bigger message.   I thought about that today more than I did last year. 

I hope all of you have a great Easter Sunday.  I hope your kids and grandkids eat lots of candy and find all of the eggs.  Most of all I hope you take a moment to remember the big picture and to realize how lucky all of us are to be Americans – free to worship and celebrate in every way that is wonderful…   

Happy Easter

Maundy Thursday
by Lanette Browder

Maundy Thursday is just one of the special ways we worshipped during Holy Week. Sharing the bread and the cup was a more personal event as we came forward in the Chapel to each hear a blessing from Terry or Ann. Not only did we remember how Jesus shared that last meal with his disciples, but it gave us a time to reflect on our own lives and what this special event means to each of us.

It is a time of celebration, thanksgiving, hope and renewal. What a gift we were given through Jesus' suffering and death; the giving of his body and the shedding of his blood for our sins. What a gift indeed!

Good Friday
by Kay German

At one time my Easter week consisted of dyeing Easter eggs, egg hunts, an Easter Cantata, the Easter Sunday Service, and ham for lunch.  Belonging to an Interdenominational congregation has changed my week considerably as I experience the different services leading up to the resurrection of Christ.  The Good Friday service was a very somber, beautiful service as we listened to the scriptures, the readings, and beautiful music.  As we left the sanctuary, very few words were spoken, as no one wanted to disrupt the awesome feeling of the service.     

Easter Saturday for the Children
by Kay Lea Scott

On Saturday morning Moms got children squeaky clean and dressed in Easter finery.  Dads helped them find something in which to carry the found eggs and Gram and Gramps took the family to the Chapel.  There the children sat on the sun-soaked front lawn to sing Easter carols like “We Three Bunnies” with Chris and Charlie Whisenand.  They knew why Easter is a special day and answered Ann McAlpin’s questions that led into the retelling of the marvelous Easter story.   

As a whistle sounded, the hunt was on.  Finding Easter eggs is just plain fun for everyone involved.  Cookies and lemonade while eggs were counted and the treasures they contained discovered made the morning complete.

Sunday Sunrise Service
by Kathy Ward

Resurrection Day 2012 was a day overflowing with gifts! The fresh, crisp air, the serene lake that is once again full, the blankets of bluebonnets that seemed to be a carpet leading the way to our special place of worship, the lone bird sitting on the roof watching over us and the group of birds flying above as if in tribute to the Risen Lord, friends we know and friends we haven’t met yet, the scriptures, the prayers, the message and music of the best day in our Christianity; all gifts from the one who loves us beyond imagination.

Our gathering at daybreak on the edge of the lake was a special time for us to share the miracle of Jesus’ triumph over death.  The inspiration of being outdoors at dawn, as Mary had been that day, filled us with awe as we imagined how it might have been.  All these gifts were given to us, unworthy us, by the Lord God Almighty.  How blessed we were to be a part of that Sunrise Service.  As we departed to share even more gifts at the Chapel, He had yet another gift for us…the most beautiful of all skies, filled with white and gray billowy clouds. Through a small opening, there was an especially bright, brilliant, sparkling crown of sun that reminded us again that the Son of God reigns!

Easter Sunday for the Children
by Kay Lea Scott

Easter morning was filled with the Easter story in four different formats.  Carolyn Williams shared Jesus’ Easter story with the children.  Linda Yeary helped them build their own graham cracker snack with treats symbolizing Easter joys.   Red licorice to form the cross and M&M blessings scattered about were just two of the goodies.  One of the crafts Harry Seurkamp and Gayle Kralik made with the children started with a tracing of the child’s hand and ended with a personalized Easter lily to present to Mom or Gram. 

And finally there was the carton of resurrection eggs.  Ann Duncan walked the children through the events of Easter week with 12 eggs, each containing an item to remind the children of the events.  The child that held the twelfth egg had a long time to wait his turn to see what was inside that egg.  First came the flash of disappointment as it was found to be empty.  But then many big smiles as the children recognized the wonder and glory of an empty tomb.

Easter Morning Cross
by Pat Clement

The Chapel’s tradition of having the two crosses during the Easter season has touched and enhanced our celebration of Easter in an unexpected way.  Three years ago we were asked to take over the responsibility of setting up the crosses.  We were pleased to find this place of service.  Never did I expect the joyful impact the sheer transformation of a somber, dark cross of death on Good Friday to a victorious, beautiful resurrection cross on Easter morn would have on me and on so many others. 

So many comments were made about how beautiful the cross turns out.  Not through any skill of our own, truly each Easter, it is Devine intervention on all levels.  God’s children adorning, with the beauty of His creation, the very instrument of torment and of the world’s hatred poured out on our Savior is truly a beautiful expression of love and victory.  I encourage you to share the pictures of the cross, tell the story, help others see the beauty of the cross.

Stations of the Cross Observed
Posted April 5, 2012

On Friday, March 30, at 3:00 in the afternoon, Harold Edwards and Ann McAlpin led a group of twenty White Bluff Chapel worshippers as they processed through the fifteen Stations of the Cross. The ceremony, which depicts the events leading up to Christ's Crucifixion, had been written by Harold Edwards when he was still in active service as a Disciple of Christ pastor and made its debut at WBC last year just preceding Palm Sunday. A short reading and a prayer with participant responses were held at each station, and a hymn was sung at every other station. John Upchurch lead the participants in the hymns, the accompaniment of which had been played on the piano and organ by Betty Newman and Kathy Ward and recorded on CD by Glen Lively.

The event was held on the wooded, vacant lot immediately east of the Chapel. Fifteen small, numbered crosses were affixed to trees throughout the lot, creating a winding trek among the trees for the procession to follow. A large, dead tree with its core branches broken in two made a dramatic statement of death amidst the lush, green spring growth and bluebonnets throughout the site. The station crosses have remained on the trees for the past week, with the open invitation for people to make the prayer walk on their own, if desired. Copies of Dr. Edwards' booklet are available in the office.

Retreat Leader Captivates Participants
Posted March 22, 2012

Whether they heard only his Sunday sermon or the full 8 hours of his fascinating teachings, W.B. Chapel retreat attendees generally agreed that Dr. James Fleming held them spellbound. The Bible scholar, archeologist, geographer, cartographer and linguist drew from his 40 years of experiences and research in the Holy Land to bring “the rest of the story” of Christ’s apostles to the retreat participants, which included Chapel members and other White Bluff residents.

Fleming’s study, entitled, “The Rest of the Story: A Study of the Lives of the Apostles,” incorporated four aspects of study: biblical times, archaeology, history and theology. It dealt with the Twelve Apostles of the Gospels, three Apostles in the Book of Acts and selected other apostles. Each one was discussed in terms of their name, birthplace, major Gospel references, Acts and Epistle references, and particular stories that illustrate his or her character. Traditions from church history about their later ministry and other relevant details associated with each apostle were also discussed. The retreat experience left most participants wishing they could take a full college course under the fascinating Indiana Jones-style professor and artifact collector who has supervised twelve archeological digs and who leads a variety of tours of the Holy Land, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

Chair of W.B. Chapel’s Worship Committee, Bill McKee, made arrangements for Dr. Fleming’s visit and introduced him to retreat participants and also at Sunday’s service. Our own Mildred Jackson culminated the week-end experience in Sunday morning worship service with a song she composed during a trip she and Bob took to the Holy Land a number of years ago.

Audio version of Mildred performing her song

Composed and performed by Mildred Jackson

While sitting on the hillside
   Where once my Savior taught,
I reel in expectation,
   As well I ought.
For through the gentle breeze
   His voice falls on my ear
In words of truth and wisdom,
   Proclaiming strong and clear:
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst
   After righteousness...
   For they shall be filled.”

While gazing at the mountains
   And the valleys far below,
I marvel at the wonder
   Of Your creation long ago.
The vineyards now are showing
   The early signs of spring
And fields of grain are green with growth
   With Your love proclaiming:
“Blessed are the meek
   For they shall inherit the earth…
   For they shall inherit the earth.”

The Sea of Galilee below
   Is calm and so serene,
As it was in days when You were here
   As Jesus the Nazarene.
Though storms blew up in turbulence,
   You calmed the waters then,
Just as You calm the storms of life
   And save our souls from sin.
Proclaiming “Blessed are the peacemakers
   For they shall be called the ‘children of God,’
   For they shall be called the ‘children of God.’”

Just as this land is fertile, Lord,
   My heart cries out “Thus so,
May my life be a fertile soil
   In which Your works may grow.”
I thank You for Your love, dear God,
   And for this hallowed hour
And I lift my voice in praise to You
   For your resurrection power.
Proclaiming “Blessed are the poor in spirit
   For theirs is the Kingdom of Heav’n,
   For theirs is the Kingdom of Heav’n.”

Click to read about Mildred’s account of how she came to write the song.

Offertory Duet Awes Congregation
Posted March 7, 2012

White Bluff Chapel’s two accompanists, Betty Newman and Kathy Ward, captivated the congregation with a four-handed piano duet during the offertory on Sunday, March 4. Their rendition of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing” was a Raney arrangement which requires that both performers of the duet play on the same piano. Betty Newman played on the high end of the keyboard, and Kathy took the lower register.

The result was a sparkling, animated and captivating interpretation that mesmerized onlookers who couldn’t believe the complexity and beauty emanating from the instrument. Bravas to these two talented musicians! WBC is indeed blessed to have you enriching our worship services.

Click here to listen.

Chili Cook-Off Attracts Fierce Competition
Posted March 7, 2012

In this year's Third Annual Chili Cook-Off, sponsored by the WBC Men's Ministry on March 4, Sandy DiLorenzo was proclaimed Grand Champion for her Chili with Beans entry, which also won in that category. DiLorenzo beat out 14 other chili entries and dethroned the Grand Champion from the last two years, Monica Allen. Allen, however, still managed to win the Hot Chili category this year.

Commenting on DiLorenzo's win, Monica Allen said she was glad another woman still reigns, since the men had been telling her that if she weren't competing, the men would surely take over as the Grand Chefs of the Bluff. Winners in the other categories included Jim Griffin for Wild Game Chili, Mary Parish for Regular to Medium-Hot Chili, and Harry Seurkamp for Vegetarian Chili.

 The judges, who were selected because of their discerning palate and experience with high (Texan) cuisine, were Danny Bodeker, Jenna Bodeker and Anne Fox. They scored each entry on the five characteristics of color, aroma, consistency, taste and aftertaste.

Charlie Whisenand was the impartial accountant who tallied the results and announced the winners. Harry Seurkamp presented the chili pot trophies to each of the five category winners and the grand prize trophy to DiLorenzo. Her name will also be added to the plaque that hangs in the chapel kitchen with the grand prize winners from each year.

Immediately following the judging, a chili buffet was served in which those attending could sample the 15 chili recipes entered, along with corn bread and iced tea. Larry Turner, Chairman of the Men's Ministry, welcomed the guests and thanked them for their goodwill donations. He thanked Harry and Ginger Seurkamp for making the yearly event a success and specified that this is the only fund-raiser that the Men's Ministry holds throughout the year. Turner invited all men in the chapel to attend the organization's breakfast on Saturday, March 31, at 8:00 am.

Ash Wednesday Service Held
Posted February 23, 2012

White Bluff Chapel members observed Ash Wednesday on February 22 with a service entitled "A Season of Reflection: On the Sacrifice and Sufferings of Jesus." Associate Pastor Ann McAlpin offered the opening prayer, and Music Director Tom Reedy led the hymns and a responsive reading from Psalm:51.

Pastor Terry Cosby delivered the homily. After the Prayer of Unison, led by Harold Edwards, McAlpin and Cosby conducted the Imposition of Ashes to members as they processed to the front of the Sanctuary. The service benediction was in the form of the hymn, "Be Thou My Vision."

Folding Walls Repaired
Posted February 23, 2012

Charlie Whisenand, Property Committee Chairman, has reported that after eight years of use, the folding walls used to divide Fellowship Hall into various rooms were determined to need some replacement parts (drop downs) and some adjustments. The work has been completed by Modernfold Door and Specialties of D/FW.

The need for the repairs became apparent when the walls became difficult to close. The worst damage was caused after the end plate on the drop downs came off and the doors did not slide together properly.

Persons using Fellowship Hall are discouraged from trying to move the walls without having first received proper instruction in their use. With careful use and keeping up with minor repairs, the walls will last many more years.

Valentine Banquet Scores Hit on Entertainment
Posted February 16, 2012

A rousing standing ovation was given the WBC Synchronized Swimmers Team as they took their bow after performing at this year’s Valentine Banquet. Nancy McGinnis recruited the members of the team, choreographed their routine and rehearsed them.

Special uniforms were designed and the grand, familiar music from George Bizet’s opera, “Carmen,” set just the right mood. The swimmers maintained an appropriate demeanor of seriousness and didn’t break character even once, despite the howling laughter emanating from the audience.

For another popular number, Dottie Redding introduced musicians Cate Fritz on the violin and Dwayne Redding on the guitar as she coached the crowd on how to sing with a karaoke machine. The large, flat-screen TV monitor displayed the original Platters singing “Only You” while the lyrics crawled across the bottom of the screen and while our musicians accompanied them. As the audience eased into their second round of the song, most of the group had laid their shyness aside and they managed to produce a most pleasing and romantic song.

Video provided with permission of the WBC Swim Team

Financial Highlights Reveal Generous Giving
Posted February 2, 2012

WBC Treasurer Bob Harris took great pride in announcing the financial highlights for the year 2011 at the quarterly business meeting of the congregation on Sunday, January 29. Most significant in the report was that in 2011, 41% of the total White Bluff Chapel expenditures were dedicated to Mission activities, approaching our long-term goal of 50%.

Toward the end of 2011, the WBC Board of Trustees established an Extra Blessing Fund, resulting from the generous contributions by members. The Extra Blessing fund for 2012 is $50,000, of which the Missions Committee will receive $40,000 and $10,000 will be used to establish a Benevolence Fund.

Outgoing Trustees Honored
Posted February 2, 2012

Chairman George Feather, 2011 outgoing Chairman of the Board of Trustees, was presented a plaque of appreciation by Milt Bergman, new Chairman of the Board of Trustees for 2012, at the quarterly business meeting of the congregation on Sunday, January 29. Bergman also honored outgoing members of the Board, Sara Edwards and Susan Johnston, with framed certificates of appreciation. Johnston also served as Secretary of the Board in 2011.

Trustees join the Board for a tenure of three years, and each year three members rotate off the Board while three new members come on. New trustees joining the Board in 2012 are Nancy McGinnis, Jean Rose and Howard Clement. Continuing trustees are Chairman Milt Bergman, Vice Chair Karen Williams, Secretary Tom Moore, Treasurer Bob Harris, and members Larry Chapman, Keith Moreland and John Upchurch.

Children Participate in Christmas Services
Posted January 5, 2012

The children of White Bluff Chapel and visiting ones, as well, provided enrichment to both our Christmas Eve and our Christmas Day services. Kid's Klub members sang "Happy Birthday, Jesus" by Carol Cymbala at the early evening service on Christmas Eve. The song reminds us that presents are nice, but the real gift is Jesus. Dressed in costume, the children performed a re-enactment of the manger scene.

At the Christmas Day worship service, Pastor Terry Cosby presented a children's sermon during which he pulled surprise items from a paper bag to tie into the special message that he had prepared for the children. Following both services, the children were treated to a birthday party for Jesus.

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