We are pleased to welcome Rev. Dr. Bobby Hawley to the pulpit at Central this coming Sunday, September 17th at 11:00 AM preaching from Mark 4:26-34 - "What Kind of Legacy Will You Leave?" He will also lead an introductory Legacy Planning workshop at 9:45 AM focusing on what questions to ask yourself and others as you consider and plan your financial legacy.
Robert “Bobby” W. Hawley is vice president of the Christian Church Foundation’s South Central zone, which includes Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas. He joined the staff of the Foundation in 1998.
A former congregational pastor, Bobby received his Bachelor of Science in Social Work from Texas Christian University, his Master of Divinity from Brite Divinity School, and his Doctor of Ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He received his Certified Specialist in Planned Giving designation from California State University.
Bobby and his wife Diane are active members of University Christian Church in Fort Worth, where his office is located. They are the parents of three adult children.
Bobby can be reached at email@example.com or at (817) 923-0422. You can learn more about the Christian Church Foundation at www.christianchurchfoundation.org.
Download resources for individual and organizational legacy planning here.
As the Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church in Dallas, I’m pleased to welcome The Gathering and provide space here for you to hear directly from the founders. If you want to know more of my thoughts, those can be found here in another post.
Rev. Yvette Blair-Lavallais
Rev. Kamilah Hall-Sharp
Rev. Dr. Irie L. Session
Guiding Scriptural Foundation: Luke 4: 18-19
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
The Gathering has the following Social Justice Priorities:
Our desire in this ministry partnership is to uplift, to seek justice, and to form beloved community where all are welcome. Innovation in ministry enables us to expand the reach of God's embrace and bless those who have not yet found a place of belonging. We believe that we move closer to God's vision of Shalom by highlighting underrepresented voices and holding space for new communities of worship to form.
You may have heard that Central Christian Church is being given the opportunity to host a new worshipping community beginning this fall. It is an exciting time for all of us together. We will certainly have opportunities to learn and grow along the way, and might not get it right every time. While this is very exciting, there are aspects of it that have raised some concerns for a few folks – mostly around the idea of separating or segregating out this community and their voices from the rest of Central, and whether other people who don’t look like the leadership of The Gathering will be welcome. Fair questions. I’ll let those leaders speak for themselves (as is only fair), and… Here’s what I understand.
One way I am thinking and talking about The Gathering is this...
I am a straight, white, middle-aged, middle class male with masters and doctoral degrees, but our worship service is open to all people regardless of how closely they do or don’t match my demographic profile, as is our whole church programming (at least that’s our hope).
That said, not everyone connects with my preaching or leadership style or approach to scripture and theology, so Central benefits by having multiple perspectives elevated from within our campus. Not that those perspectives are in contradiction or competition, but that they are varying facets of the same beautiful gem stone. Likewise, our regular worship style at 11am on Sundays in the sanctuary does not speak to every spiritual longing. Only as we see and hear the many facets do we become aware and appreciative of the breadth and depth of the beauty of God's creation and kingdom, as they emerge both in the church and the wider world.
Perhaps more importantly, Central Christian Church is being given an opportunity to open space in which under represented voices of life and faith may be seen and heard. These are voices which have been explicitly silenced and excluded from theological conversation and spiritual leadership in the DFW area. Our partnership with The Gathering provides an alternate witness that all voices of light, hope, love and faith are valued and deserving of a place in our community.
Most importantly, Irie, Kamilah and Yvette are three leaders whom God has called and is empowering with a vision for a new ministry, a new worship gathering that will proclaim an inclusive, life-affirming Gospel with voices poised to reach those who have not yet heard and understood that the Good News is for them.
And just as Central seeks to be, while the conveners and initiating leaders of this community are African American Women, they seek that the Holy Spirit would create and a wonderfully diverse worshipping community that reaches people who have yet to experience the full embrace of God's redeeming love.
I believe we will continue to stretch for the more helpful ways to think and talk about what God is seeking to do among us in this new day.
I'll let these women describe their vision for The Gathering in their own words which you can
XPLOR, sponsored by NBA - the National Benevolent Assn., is an opportunity for young adults to live together in community, grow in their faith, and explore a wide range of ministry, mission, and community service experiences. The Board of Central enthusiastically approved hosting a resident as a “congregation away from home” and also providing a ministry worksite opportunity as our Community Engagement Intern. Our XPLOR resident will be Amethyst Kelly. Here are some excerpts from her application where she introduces herself.
I am excited to embark on this journey! I decided to join the XPLOR program because I wanted to work at something different than school assignments. I would like to work with my hands, feet, and mind to better our world. I want to experience growth and discovery before returning to graduate school.
I am a Biosystems engineering graduate from Oklahoma State University with the option of environmental and natural resources. In my last year I tutored multiple math and Biosystems courses. My past work experiences include an internship at Georgia Pacific, volunteer positions at summer and mission camps, and an internship at Weddings of Tulsa.
I have a professional interest in engineering and problem solving. I am also interested in environmental protection and the stewardship of our planet. I really just have an interest in making the world a better place. I would enjoy working in many different justice areas. I would enjoy helping to provide clean water to those who do not have access to the necessary resource. I could work in renewable resources or teaching others about caring for resources properly. I would like to help people find expression in the arts, to help them have access to such a healing outlet. I could help teach about the responsible care of animals. I would like working in animal therapy to introduce the comfort of animals to those who could benefit from the experience. I would like to help feed people who go hungry due to lack of nutritional food or the inability to prepare it. Above all, I just want to love isolated people that need to be loved and feel special.
Among the growth opportunities in XPLOR, two stand out. The work of Spiritual Discernment will be new to me as far as vocational discernment. I am serious about how my current skills can be used to make the world better including the planet as I am very eco-conscious. I wonder where my life is going when I get to the end of this tunnel; it could all be new. I expect this time will allow me to see some doors opening and some closing. Leadership Development excites me so much! I love being in leadership positions. My sorority has taught me a lot about leadership as sometimes there are all chiefs and no Indians. I have learned when to step up and take leadership and when to support others in their stepping up to lead.
My passions help make me who I am. I have a heart for all types of animals, especially cats. I like to volunteer at animal shelters. I have a passion for dance. Dance can be used to let loose and relax or to meditate and heal. I like to read. I am always up for a good mystery novel. I enjoy traveling and trying new things. I love to cook and I love to eat. That makes a good combination. I enjoy working in a team with other personality types. I can be a leader or a follower. I enjoy spending time with friends, family, and others who help me to see the good in life.
I look forward to this new experience!